Sexually Transmitted Diseases/Herpes or what?



Could this me herpes or something else? I have had strange symptoms ever since a year and a half ago. I am sexually active and haven't been a fan of condoms due to not finding ones that fit right.. Dumb I know.. Around 3 weeks ago a patch of scaly skin appeared on my penis.. Right on the shaft a week or so later a tiny whitehead or zit appeared. I thought nothing of it. I shaved my shaft and a few days later after a sexual encounter, 5 or so more bumps appeared around my shaft. No pain. But some slight tingling here and there when my genitals get sweaty. A day or two a ago I noticed a slight white discharge so the very next day I went in to the doctor and they diagnosed me with ngu. I'll have to wait a week to find out exactly what the discharge is from. I've taken antibiotics and almost 30 or so hours later, no more discharge or tingling/itch really. Anyhow these bumps really have me worried, could this be an acute or latent herpes infection? I forgot to add that the doc noticed two of my right lymph nodes seemed slightly puffier than the rest but are painless. I'm a thinner guy so she didn't think much of it. My throat is also experiencing some slight shooting pains now, not sore but there feels like trauma from the inside.. Could that be stress?

Hello Ryan,
The bumps look like flat warts, and are definitely NOT herpes. The fact that  you had a discharge is more correctly called "nonspecific urethritis (NSU)" because NGU (nongonococcal urethritis) implies that gonorrhea was ruled out, and you don't have the test results yet.  The most likely cause is chlamydia.

Stress can cause lots of things, but many things can cause sore throat, such as viral infections, allergies, sinus drainage, strep throat, tonsillitis, etc.

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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