Sexually Transmitted Diseases/Possible std? Help?


Bumps 1
Bumps 1  

Bumps 2
Bumps 2  
Names Chris. I'm 19. and from North Carolina.

Over the past few months I've been getting small itchy bumps on my penis and surrounding area. The first time was about a month or two ago and it started off at one or two small red bumps and eventually turned into more. They ranged from the head of my penis all the way to my scrotum. I think in total there was about 6 or so, all just itched and wouldn't go away for a few weeks. I had myself checked at the std clinic in town, and came back negative for everything they could test for. Even went as far as getting 2 shots of penicillin in my backside just to be on the safe side. After another week or two the bumps cleared up and life went back to normal.

As of a few days ago it seems like they are coming back. I haven't had any sexual relations since I was tested the previous time. The bumps that appear aren't blistering at all, and are more just red and raised. They itch from time to time if I mess with them at all. I was wondering if it was an STD or just some skin condition that I shouldn't be stressing over. This is the second time it has happened in the past few months.

Thanks for your time,

Hello Chris,
Hopefully, you had herpes testing, and it was negative. My guess is that you have a skin parasite known as scabies, which is related to prolonged skin-to-skin contact with another person.   This may be sex with someone, or sleeping in the same bed with someone, or less frequently sharing unwashed clothing with someone, or wrestling with someone (as in high school or college wrestling, even though it may not be naked wrestling!!).  Look up scabies:, or

Treatment for scabies is a prescriptive medication.  

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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