Sexually Transmitted Diseases/what is this? Herpes?


about a month ago I noticed a bruise ado thats all it was. continued to have sex (about everyday) and its started hurting no big deal I know what that is. later it got real dry and I noticed red spots just below the head and at the bottom of my penis. still figured it was just friction sores so didn't slow down. the sores never opened up except for the first on ado they didn't crust over just dry skin peeled off. I started using lotion a little over a week ago and it healed nicely just looked like new skin so had alittle rough sex and after that the areas around the red spots were inflamed and it the pain wasnt bad to the touch but my penis felt weird and the next day it was back to what it was before the lotion. now 4 days later it is healed to the same point. do you think it could be herpes? my girlfriend has not shown any signs.

Hello "Johnathna" (Jonathan?),
Sounds like you are NOT circumcised, which means the underlying skin of the head/glans and underside of the foreskin, may be more susceptible to friction related injury, especially if certain types of lubricants (or no lube) are used. Your problem may be that you didn't permit full healing of the skin before resuming sex, and the fragile skin was re-injured. I would switch to a silicone based lubricant, and to hold off on "rough" sex until everything is fully healed. You may also have a bit of a fungal infection of the skin, but this is not easy to diagnose without photographs or more information. It does NOT sound like herpes, since herpes usually does not have these types of symptoms. The best way to know for sure, is to be examined by a knowledgeable health care provider!

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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