Sexually Transmitted Diseases/Herpes


QUESTION: I shaved and noticed this weird rash. What is this?

ANSWER: Hello Leslie,
I cannot say with certainty what it is.  You didn't provide much information as to other symptoms, such as itching, discharge, contact with a potentially infected partner, etc.  This rash looks very much like it could be due to a vaginal yeast infection.  It is not likely that it is herpes, since that would usually show just a single or cluster of lesions usually just one one side, not both.

Good luck!

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

QUESTION: It itched until I shaved the area, and I have had a thick white discharge. I just got over bacterial vaginosis, for which I was prescribed metronidazole. I know that metronidazole tends to cause yeast infections. The discharge doesn't itch or smell, but it has the same color and consistency of the icing you would put on cinnamon rolls (when it is warm... Kind of gooey, like syrup, as gross as that sounds).

Hello Again, Leslie, and thanks for the additional information!

Shaving with a straight edge razor can cause irritation, but you mentioned that it itched UNTIL you shaved, which seems counter-intuitive. Metronidazole vaginal gel is usually more effective than the pills for bacterial vaginosis, and of all the antibiotics, metronidazole is the least likely to cause vaginal yeast. The actual discharge you describe sounds very much like a normal physiological discharge.  Cervical mucous mixes with the vaginal debris to produce the "icing" type of vaginal discharge.  (I never heard it described that way, but it is a good one!)

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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