Sexually Transmitted Diseases/genital herpes?


red bumps
red bumps  

red bumps
red bumps  
I cant remember the date clearly,somewhere around (JUNE 2015) I have some blister near the corner of my mouth,all the signs and symptoms are similar to herpes 1,I went to a derma and got it checked out,the doctor confirmed it was herpes and ask me if I want to do a blood test,I refused because he already confirmed it by just looking and I have personally experienced symtomps like flu,fever,tingling,blister.I did my annual blood test on (16february 2016) and I request for std test as well as herpes,all came back negative except my herpes-1 row is red flag,I assumed hsv1 is positive is due to my cold sores in june2015. On the 18 of february I had met a girl over a club and she perfomed oral sex for me and we had protected sex after that,I did not notice any lesion or blister around her april 2016 I notice some red bumps on the head of my penis after masturbating and I quickly went to my gp and get it checked out,the doctor cant confirm what it was and tell me not to worry about it because the red bumps appear and dissapear often for over 3 months,(i am not too sure about this,i cant confirm,but I think the bumps appear everytime after masturbation)I went to see 2 other derma and after lookin at it and my previous blood report,they too told me it was not herpes and told me not to worry however they suggest I took another blood test just to be sure,I went and did it,so now I have two blood test confirming I am std negative except both are red flag at the herpes 1 row,I assumed it was from the cold sore in 2015.however I got really worried because the red bumps keep appearing and dissapearing and I want to find out what it was I went for another derma today and he was like the grandfather of skin disease,at one look he said it was herpes and quickly tell me about the seriouness of it and things to do if I am planning to have kids.let me clarify one more time,at this point I have 2 blood report stating I am negative in herpes 2 and positive in herpes 1 from both february and june 2016 report.after listening to my explanation,he then said maybe it was not herpes because it comes and goes,but I am still bothered by what he said the moment he look at my penis and if it was not herpes,then what was it?is there a specific test to confirm that I have herpes 1 on my penis head?because if it was really herpes then my condition just have too many outbreaks and very very frequent from april till now,and I am only positive in hsv1,seems like this virus like the lower body so much.

Hello Howe,
The red bumps on the glans (head) of your penis are NOT related to herpes. You didn't mention if you were circumcised, but if you have a foreskin, than friction during sex or masturbation sometimes wears down the unkeratinized epithelial cells (top layer of skin cells), leaving little "islands" of redness or bumps. Use a non-irritating lubricant, such as silicone, to reduce friction and to help with restoration of the skin.  Healing herpes lesions may sometimes look like this.

Stop wasting money and resources on doing repeated herpes antibody testing. You already know that you have antibody to HSV1 and that probably was from the earlier lip lesion. HSV1 can occur above or below the waist, and someone infected with and shedding herpes virus from their mouths, can infect your penis. In spite of this, the photos do not support an active herpes infection of your penis.

Good luck!

Sexually Transmitted Diseases

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


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

©2017 All rights reserved.