Sexually Transmitted Diseases/Bumps

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Question
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QUESTION: Hi,

I have had these bumps on my penis for as long as I can remember, and I wanted to know if they look like anything I should worry about. Thanks for any help.

Adam

ANSWER: Hello Adam,
Unfortunately, the photo doesn't show the bumps very clearly.  You may wish to stretch the skin as tight as you can, and see if these bumps flatten out, or become more prominent. You didn't mention how old you are, whether you are sexually active, whether you have any other skin conditions, and since you've had these bumps for a long time (1 year? 10 years?), were they present before or after your having sex with someone else?  They may reflect normal variations in the skin around the "circumcision" line (where skin rather suddenly becomes darker) and medial "raphe" of the skin on the underside (middle linear ridge running on underside from base to the head/glans where it terminates in the "frenulum".) Each of the preceding terms enclosed in quotes may be looked up on Google.com/images to help clarify.

Good luck!
--mark


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QUESTION: The bumps don't hurt. I am 17 and I am gay. I used to sexually experiment with one of my friends but just one person who doesn't have such bumps. We may have had unprotected sex, once, but it must have been a very long time ago. I have had them for as long as I can remember. When I stretch my skin out, they look better, but i think this is just due to the fact that I am stetting them out. When together they are more of a cluster, but when i spread them out I can see them individually.

ANSWER: Hi Again, Adam,
The bumps do not appear to be related to HPV/warts, molluscum contagiosum, HIV, or secondary syphilis. They appear to be a variation in the skin that may be thought of as a normal variation, nothing to worry about.  There are lots of skin variations that sometimes appear to be blemishes in both skin pigmentation and what appear to be bumps.  An examination by a knowledgeable health care provider with standard STD tests will help to provide you with a more accurate assessment.

Good luck!
--mark


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QUESTION: Here is a more clear picture of the region when I have an erection. I am just curious as to whether it still seems like a normal fluctuation in my skin or if it appears to be related to an STD.

Thanks for all your help .It is much appreciated.

Answer
Hi again, Adam,
The morst recent photo looks very much like warts (condyloma), which is not what I saw earlier.  The only thing I can think of is that you need to have yourself examined by a knowledgeable health care provider. I wish I could help.

Good luck!
--mark  

Sexually Transmitted Diseases

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Mark P. Behar

Expertise

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!

Experience

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.

Organizations
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)

Publications
Journal of the American Academy of Physician Assistants (JAPA) Q Visions, Quarterly Newsletter of the NABWMT

Education/Credentials
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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