Sexually Transmitted Diseases/Sores on penis and lips

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Question
penis sores
penis sores  

lip sores
lip sores  
Hello,

I am 25 from San Diego, CA and had unprotected sex lately with other men last month. I recently got a cold 3 days ago, maybe fever at night since I felt really warm and sweated a lot.
In the morning I noticed cold sores in my lips, my had swollen painful gums and throat. I checked my penis and notice some sores on my penis forehead, inside head and around around behind head ring. Sores on penis are little itchy and painful.

-Did I get an STDs?
-How soon should I treat this symptoms? I will be getting health insurance in 2 weeks, should I wait?
-Can these sores leave permanent marks? Will they disappear on their own?

Taking over the counter meds:
-carmex original lip balm: Benzocaine 10%
-carmex cold sore treatment
-equate Sinus Congestion & Pain for Adult: Acetaminophen, guaifenesin, Phenylephrine HCI

Answer
Hello Albert,
The cold sores on your lips is probably due to infection with the herpes virus.  This may have come about from your recent sexual activities, or, you may have had the virus from earlier, that just became reactivated.  It would be good to seek care from a free clinic to obtain acyclovir (prescription medication at very low cost at Wal-Mart pharmacies), which can speed healing and prevent viral shedding to others.  Any sexual activity, including kissing, can spread the virus. The sores will eventually heal without scarring whether you use effective medications or not. Carmex may make the sores feel better, but the other medications mentioned are useless.  The only "effective" treatments are acylovir (Zovirax) or valacyclovir (Valtrex) only helps speed the healing and cutting down on the viral shedding.

Good luck!
--mark  

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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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