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Abstract

Background  Although new HPV vaccines have been developed and are in the process of implementation, anogenital warts remain a very frequent problem in clinical practice.

Objective  We wished to update previously published European guidelines for the management of anogenital warts.

Methods  We performed a systematic review of randomized controlled trials for anogenital warts. The primary data were analyzed and collated, and the findings were formulated within the structure of a clinical guideline. The IUSTI Europe Editorial Board reviewed the draft guideline which was also posted on the web for comments which we incorporated into the final version of the guideline.

Results  The data confirm that only surgical therapies have primary clearance rates approaching 100%. Recurrences, including new lesions at previously treated or new sites, occur after all therapies, and rates are often 20–30% or more. All therapies are associated with local skin reactions including itching, burning, erosions and pain.

Conclusions  Physicians treating patients with genital warts should develop their own treatment algorithms which include local practice and recommendations. Such patient level management protocols should incorporate medical review of cases at least every 4 weeks, with switching of treatments if an inadequate response is observed. First episode patients should be offered sexually transmitted disease screening. Management should include partner notification and health promotion.