Sexually Transmitted Diseases/Do I have and STD?



I'm really worried I might have and STD. A week ago I had a random fever and headache. Around this same time frame I thought what I believed to be a tear on my vagina. It only hurt when I would wipe down there and it was on the inner part of my vagina but on that small area that connect almost to my bottom. I didn't have sex for a week to let it heal. when my boyfriend and I had sex it kind of hurt when he inserted but I was fine after that. when we were done I realized I was bleeding. I figured I had not given it enough time to heal and I had reopened it. It did hurt for a few days after. I then realized I had an itchy bug bite on my bottom. I thought it strange that it was on my bottom but it was pretty normal looking. It has been a few days and the bug bite is still not gone and its red and raised. My right groin lymph node is now swollen as well. I found out that lymph nodes swell when there is an infection. Could that tear just be infected now? Are all these signs just a coincidence or are they and STD like herpes? I have been goggling against my better judgment but I'm incredibly worried now it could be herpes. I have a doctors appointment on Friday but I'm so nervous. Do you think these symptoms are related? and I have and STD? Thank you

Hello Stephanie,
I can't say whether you may have an STD, but it sure sounds like something is wrong. The swollen lymph node suggests an infection: it could be staph aureus (MRSA or non-MRSA) from the "bug bite" (it usually isn't from a bug bite, but looks like one; this is common for a staph infection); it could be herpes but probably is NOT; it could be syphilis, but probably is NOT. Applying an antibiotic ointment to the bug bite may help, but it might also make it more difficult to accurately diagnose the condition.  I suspect you will need an culture to identify the actual germ and to determine if it is sensitive to particular antibiotics; and then an appropriate antibiotic to take. Don't miss the doctor's appointment!

Good luck!

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Mark P. Behar


Almost any question or concern about gay men's health issues, sexually transmitted infections, abnormal Pap smears, anal cytology (anal "Pap smears"), etc. There is no such thing as “d/d free” or “clean” (free of infection), so why do so many of us deceive ourselves into thinking that some people are indeed totally free from a potentially infectious disease, like HIV, herpes, hepatitis, syphilis, chlamydia, warts, gonorrhea, etc., just because they say so? Clinical laboratory tests are not perfect, and having a “negative” or “nonreactive” test does not mean that a person is free from infection. Perhaps at the moment the test was taken, the person was uninfected; or, perhaps, the test wasn’t sensitive enough to detect presence of the infection. There is really no way that anyone can determine that they are truly “disease free,” and there are over a hundred of infectious conditions that can be spread without your knowing anything. Rather than trying to “pre-screen” or “serosort” a potential sex-mate with deceptive questions that are impossible to know by today’s technologies, a wiser option may be to consider everyone infected with something, and either use appropriate protective measures (“safer sex”), or accept the responsibility and consequences of possibly “catching” something from someone who’s hotter than expected (pun intended!). There is much research that supports the contention that an HIV positive person reliably taking HIV medications, and having an undetectable viral load, presents a lower risk for transmission of HIV than people who may think or say they are HIV negative, but are not. Food for thought!


Family Practice PA since 1981; Volunteer Clinician for Brady East STD (BESTD) Clinic, Milwaukee, since 1977; answered STD questions submitted to their web site. Professionally lectured at national and regional Physician Assistant and Nurse Practitioner conferences, and at national gay & lesbian health conferences on topics including HIV/AIDS, herpes, hepatitis, STDs, human papilloma virus (the cause of venereal warts), abnormal Pap smears, gay and lesbian health issues, among others.

Co-Founder, Lesbian, Bisexual, & Gay Physician Assistant Caucus of the American Academy of Physician Assistants, Inc.; American Academy of Physician Assistants; Wisconsin Academy of Physician Assistants; National Co-Chair (2012-16), National Association of Black and White Men Together: A Gay, Multiracial Organization for All People (NABWMT)

Journal of the American Academy of Physician Assistants (JAPA) Q Visions, Quarterly Newsletter of the NABWMT

Bachelor's of Arts, 1972 (University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI) Graduate Credits Experimental Psychology, 1972-75 (Tulane University, New Orleans, LA) Physician Assistant, Bachelor's of Science, 1981 (George Washington University, Washington, DC); Masters in Physician Assistant Studies, 2000 (University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE)

Awards and Honors
Colposcopy Recognition Award (CRA), the American Association of Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology; Distinguished Fellow, Clinical Preceptor, American Academy of Physician Assistants; Fellow, Wisconsin Academy of Physician Assistants

Past/Present Clients
Brady East STD Clinic, Milwaukee, WI Milwaukee Health Services, Inc. (Martin Luther King Heritage Health Center), Dept. of Family Medicine and Early Intervention Program for HIV Infected Persons

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