Sexually Transmitted Diseases/Please help!!


QUESTION: Hi mark,
I'm a 27 year old male from San diego California   I recently noticed these small bumps in my pubic region and on base of my shaft after shaving  ( I used a small plastic gard on my clippers). I've only been with 2 partners in my life and I have been with my current partner for 4 years. Just wondering if you can shed some light on my situation id appreciate it thank you

ANSWER: Hi Tommy,
These bumps look very much like venereal warts (condyloma) caused by human papillomavirus.  Probably would be a good idea to ask your former partner and your present one if they have had any warts or history of abnormal Pap smears. Get yourself check out!

Good luck!

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Also iv done the vieniger test and they stayed pink like and never turned white.  
Could they still be warts??  I mean how long does it take for warts to pop up if you have hpv?

Hello Again, Tommy,
The "vinegar test" is best done on UNKERATINIZED (usually moist) skin such as the underside of the foreskin/glans penis, the vulva, the anal area. It can be done on the keratinized (dry) skin of the penis, but it is more difficult to interpret and has a less dramatic response.

The photos look like warts, but in order to know for sure, you need to be seen by a knowledgeable health care provider who has experience with such things. Warts frequently present as a ring around the base of the shaft, where the condom doesn't cover.

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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