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Open Access Open Badges Research article

Incidence of genital warts among the Hong Kong general adult population

Chunqing Lin1, Joseph TF Lau12*, King-Man Ho3, Man-Chun Lau1, Hi-Yi Tsui1 and Kuen-Kong Lo3

Author Affiliations

1 Centre for Epidemiology and Biostatistics, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Room 504, School of Public Health and Primary Care, Shatin, New Territories, SAR Hong Kong

2 Centre for Medical Anthropology and Behavioural Health, School of Sociology and Anthropology, Sun Yat-sen University, 135, Xin Gang Xi Road, Guangzhou, 510275, China

3 Social Hygiene Service Headquarter, the Public Health Service Branch, Center for Health Protection, Department of Health, Cheung Sha Wan Dermatological Clinic, 3/F West Kowloon Health Centre, 303 Cheung Sha Wan Road, Kowloon, SAR Hong Kong

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BMC Infectious Diseases 2010, 10:272  doi:10.1186/1471-2334-10-272

Published: 17 September 2010



The objective of this study is to estimate the incidence of genital warts in Hong Kong and explore a way to establish a surveillance system for genital warts among the Hong Kong general population.


A total of 170 private doctors and all doctors working in the 5 local Social Hygiene Clinics (SHC) participated in this study. During the 14-day data collection period (January 5 through18, 2009), the participating doctors filled out a log-form on a daily basis to record the number of patients with genital warts. The total number of new cases of genital warts presented to private and public doctors in Hong Kong was projected using the stratification sampling method.


A total of 721 (0.94%) adults presented with genital warts to the participating doctors during the two-week study period, amongst them 73 (10.1%) were new cases. The projected number of new cases of genital warts among Hong Kong adults was 442 (297 male and 144 female) during the study period. The incidence of genital warts in Hong Kong was estimated to be 203.7 per 100,000 person-years (respectively 292.2 and 124.9 per 100,000 person-years for males and females).


The incidence of genital warts is high among adults in Hong Kong. The study demonstrates the importance of collecting surveillance data from both private and public sectors.