Sexually Transmitted Diseases/I am worried about this STD?


Red mark
Red mark  

Red markk
Red markk  
This red mark appeared on the head of my penis about 3-4 days ago. I've been with the same girl for 2 years now. This has never appeared before & I've been looking to see if maybe I have contracted an std because i was sexually active before my girlfriend now. & there was only one girl that I had unprotected sex with but that was 4 years ago. I'm 22 years old. I had went to the doctors last year because I noticed some bumps on my head when I would pull my skin back & he said I had herpes. I just had a feeling that I knew it wasn't, i had no pain, & they weren't pimples that grouped up or pussed. Turns out it was balanitis. The experience no pain, itching, discomfort, nothing. So i dont know what it could be. There are times where we do have rough sex, sometimes when she wants me to penetrate her, she won't be all lubricated so it hurts me too. Could it be because of the tension?

Hello Anthony,
Red marks on the glans (head) of an uncircumcised penis are common consequences of insufficient lubrication during sex (rough or gentle), masturbation, athletic activity, etc.  

The bumps you may have had on your penis under the foreskin may very well have been "pearly penile papules" or warts caused by human papilloma virus. Herpes usually causes fluid filled BLISTERS, not bumps. Balanitis is an infection and inflammation of the foreskin and glans, usually caused by a skin fungus. Go to and look up these terms to see an assortment of images to see whether the previous diagnosis was accurate.

Give your penis a rest for a few weeks, and use silicone based lubricant next time, and I think your penis will be fine!

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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