Background A high level of anxiety is associated with a diagnosis of genital warts but health-related behaviours are less well known.
Objective To gauge the perceptions of Canadians towards genital warts and associated treatments.
Methods A survey supported by an unrestricted grant from Graceway Canada was conducted in February 2011 by Leger Marketing using their online panel (LegerWeb). It included 17 questions (2 multiple-choice, 15 4-point rating from strongly agree to strongly disagree]) relating to genital wart perception plus nine demographic questions.
Results The survey was completed by 1520 Canadian adults aged 18–75+ years, of which 52% were female. Fifty-two per cent of respondents stated that they would monitor an unrecognised spot on their genitals and only seek medical assistance if it did not go away. Only 43% said they would stop having sex until the spots were gone. Concerns of being judged by friends/family were high (44%). Regarding prevention, 32% of respondents believed that monogamy would protect against genital warts, and 25% believed they are not at risk if they use a condom. Treatment preference was in favour of a cream rather than an invasive treatment (58%), particularly among younger (67%) and male respondents (63%). Over 60% would worry that genital warts could not be resolved. Women were less likely to believe that genital warts could be cured (13% vs 23%), and more likely to believe that they would recur (46% vs 42%) see Abstract LBP-1.14 Figure 1.