Aa
A
A
Close
Avatar universal
Herpes possibility?
I'm a gay male who in the past month or so has had unprotected oral sex (both giving and receiving) and protected anal sex (me being the top).  On Friday, I started to notice a chancre or some kind of sore on the top of my penis, right by the opening/urethra.  It hasn't really developed into anything bigger yet, and there is no puss coming from it, also it isn't like a blister either.  So not really sure what it is.  I'm worried it could be a sign of herpes, and so wondered what people's thoughts were?  Could it be herpes or perhaps syphilis?

I am thinking of going tomorrow to get it checked out, but any thoughts beforehand would be greatly received.  Thanks.
Cancel
95 Answers
Page 5 of 5
Avatar universal
Thanks for the extra info.  I'm just trying to stay prepared if I do have it, and therefore take precautions should I get intimate with anyone.  

Although you think it doesn't sound like herpes, the fact that I had the very sore butt, legs and calves right before the outbreak, and the sores lasted 3 weeks does suggest it could be that.  I can't imagine what other thing would have similar symptoms.
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
Another question:  how likely is it to have outbreaks back to back with no break in between?  Since the first suspected outbreak, I have felt some strange sensations in my penis.  Now I feel slight pain in my testicles and lymph nodes and around the top of the penis.  Could this be a prodome before another outbreak?  It seems the first is running into the second which worries me that I will be getting a lot of outbreaks in the future.
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
Grace - could you comment on my question?  Thanks.
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
1174003 tn?1308164419
The fact it could be HSV and it may not be.  The thing to this is it could be HSV.  It may not.  Sores last longer in the inital phase then reoccurances.  There could be and usually is another outbreak shortly after your inital outbreak.  But typically again with sores.  Prodome is typically itching and tingle feeling along with crawling under the skin feelings.  So no doesn't sound like prodome. But you do need to be seen by your provider so they can rule out things and do a culture if need be.
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
Thanks for the reply mistakeguy.  There certainly is tingling feeling around my penis and on the skin just below my belly button.  Plus pain when I urinate.  This has been for a couple of days now, but haven't seen any sores come yet.  Maybe they are on their way.  Certainly if I get another sore I will go to my doctor for a culture.
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
101028 tn?1419606604
if you are having pain with urination, you need to go back and be seen again.

make sure they do urine testing for infections as well as a prostate exam isn't a bad idea either.
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
Hi there,

So I am still waiting to get a definitive blood test but may become physical with someone soon.  Obviously I will tell them what's going on, but I want to know how safe certain things are.  Here are my questions:

1.  If we are naked and cuddling etc - what are the risks of that transmitting the virus?
2.  Would it be better if I put a condom on before we cuddle/frottage etc?  Does that make it safer?
3.  If he gives me a bj without a condom, how risky is that?
4.  If we do anal sex with me the top and I'm wearing a condom - how safe is that?
5.  I've read your statistics for passing on from man to woman and vice versa, but what about from man to man?

Any information would be greatly received.

Thanks.
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
101028 tn?1419606604
we don't have stats for transmission in same sex couples unfortunately.  we assume it's similar but we aren't sure. the rates of hsv2 infection in gays males is pretty high in general.

if you are going to be intimate with a new partner, certainly protected oral sex and protected anal sex are in order. make sure your new partner has a full std work up too along with herpes testing.

just cuddling naked is very, very low risk for herpes transmission. keep your boxers on though and it's not at all a risk for either of you if you are going to be doing more than just laying in bed together.
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
Thanks Grace,

I normally wear briefs instead of boxers, but obviously that covers my genitals - will that prevent transmission too?

The guy I'm starting to see is quite young, and so I'm worried he will be freaked out about the possibilities of transmission.  I'm not on medication yet, so all I have to use is a condom.  I just want to be able to have a great sex life without transmitting it to anyone.  Is that possible without medication?  I don't really want to take it unless I need to.
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
101028 tn?1419606604
yes briefs are fine too.

definitely talk about this with your partner and go from there.

yes indeed you can have a regular sex life and really should be more surprised if you do transmit it than if you don't.
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
Thanks again Grace - that makes me feel better especially with you saying that the possibility of transmitting it if I'm careful is low.  :)
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
Another question (sorry folks!).

If you have an outbreak inside the urethra, where obviously you can't see it, would it be painful?  I have pain after I urinate and during the day, also there is pain in my testicles too and in the groin area.  Could this be an outbreak?  

Also, if you have an outbreak in a certain place, i.e. the penis, will the virus also shed from any skin in the pubic area?  That question also applies to when there is no outbreak - does the virus shed from thick skin areas?
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
I am waiting to take a blood test for herpes - it's now 2 months since my last encounter.  I was told to wait longer but wondering if I can go now.

I just noticed a small blister in the opening of my urethra, so this looks like it's a small outbreak I would think.

The hardest part right now is telling someone else.  I'm literally collapsing under anxiety from dealing with telling someone.  The guy I like is young and I'm sure will freak out if I tell him...  Plus he works with me so I don't want him to tell other people about what I have.
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
101028 tn?1419606604
herpes lesions in the urethra are painful all of the time, not just after urination.

grace
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
Well they are painful quite a lot of the time.

When I feel tingling around the belly button area and just below it, does that mean the virus is active on the skin at that time, i.e shedding?

If the outbreaks are limited to the head of the penis (assuming that the current one is an outbreak), what are the chances of shedding from other parts of the genitals?  I'm still confused if you can shed virus from thick skin to someone else.  Sorry to ask all these questions.  I just want to be able to have a wonderful sex life with someone and not worry all the time about risk of transmission.

Also, in terms of soft tissue (which I've read is the areas that normally it can be transmitted to), where are they on a man - is it penis, scrotum and anus, or more places, or less?
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
101028 tn?1419606604
if you have more symptoms, go and be seen. they can do a lesion culture inside your urethra for herpes even.

the free herpes handbook covers the details of transmission for more reading.
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
Thanks Grace - the current outbreak (if it is an outbreak), are so tiny, you can hardly see them, so don't think the doctor would be able to culture it.  Plus it's probably too late now anyway.

The Free herpes handbook on westover has some info, but I'm still unsure as to whether you can shed from thick skin around the pelvic area and where on the other person it will be transmitted.
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
101028 tn?1419606604
the virus sheds from obvious lesions when you have them as well as from the anogenital area. your hip area for instance doesn't shed the virus without an obvious lesion there but your anal area and penis does.
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
I just received this piece of information from someone who works with sexual health.  Can you comment on it?  Thanks.

the absolute only source of the virus is the area where the outbreak occurs. This is great news for people who's "danger zone" is covered by a condom. I have never heard nor seen nor read anything to contradict this, I do believe it is accepted as fact. This is congruent with the information given out on the hotline, so it is indeed the official story on this matter.
It does not make sense to me that shedding would occur anywhere else, here is what i'm thinking: the virus is dormant in a specific nerve cell body. the body of a nerve cell is in the spinal cord, and there are long "incoming" and "outgoing" strands... (axons and dendrites are the names of these parts of a nerve cell) which run from the cell body to the skin and muscles, and back. So when the virus is active, it travels along THE SAME strand every time, causing an outbreak is the SAME AREA every time. When asymptomatic viral shedding is occuring, the virus has taken its familiar path down its usual route to the skin, where it is replicating itself in hopes of finding a new home. I dont think the virus would travel one route when on a symptom-creating mission and then take a different route for a shedding mission. Does that make sense?
A persons body fluids do not contain the virus, the entire region is not contagious. So many people get outbreaks where a condom does not cover... but those who do, this should be good news for you!
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
101028 tn?1419606604
the person you talked to needs to update their herpes information as does the source of the information provided for their hotline.

I recommend they start by reading these journal articles :

http://jid.oxfordjournals.org/content/201/4/499.full

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20088691

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17012458

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15450382

Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
There is so much information out there that suggests worst case scenarios and then others that say it isn't so bad. I don't know what to believe and also what I can now do sexually with another guy. I guess if I just give him oral and he just only uses his hands on me that will be the safest right? Feeling a little frustrated now ...
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
101028 tn?1419606604
you don't even know if you have genital herpes yet.

have you and your new partner discussed this? have they been tested to know their status?
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
I haven't discussed it with a potential partner yet. He's young and I'm afraid he'd freak out. I just want to make sure I'm safe with anyone even while I wait until I know for sure.
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
101028 tn?1419606604
which is more freaky, a partner being open and honest with you to share that they truly care about you or a partner who is held back because they are trying to hide something?
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
Very good point Grace.  I never want to be that person that holds back anything.  Honest is key as far as I'm concerned.  The biggest question I have is - how many people have been able to have a relationship with a non-h person, and not pass it on...
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
101028 tn?1419606604
almost all of my partners have been hsv2 negative and stayed that way.  I did pass it on twice over 20 years ago - once before I even knew I had it and once when I was trying to hide that I had it from a partner.
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
That is encouraging Grace.  I hate this right now, but believe that the right person will understand.
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
A quick question - my friend stayed over last night and we cuddled which was great.  We were both wearing boxer briefs, but it was warm so we were both sweating.  It is possible to spread the virus from above the boxer short line like from my belly button and just below to his back? Thanks.
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
101028 tn?1419606604
no it is not.
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
Thank you - just paranoid.
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
OK, I went for a blood test at 3months past most recent exposure.  Here are the results:

HSV1 IGG  0.15
HSV2 IGG  0.56
which they said was negative

HSV 1/2 IGM 0.97
which they said was abnormal

Everyone on here talks about the IGG being more accurate, but I'm confused by these results.  Is it just too early to have been tested?

Thanks
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
101028 tn?1419606604
disregard the igm results. they are meaningless.

you are negative for both hsv1 and hsv2 - CONGRATS!
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
Thanks Grace for the encouragement.  Is it possible though that's it too early to be sure?  I've read that some people don't test positive until at least 4 months since exposure.  Although also read that 3 months is a good indication.  I was about 3 days short of 3 months.
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
101028 tn?1419606604
your testing is fine dear. don't obsess over things you don't need to obsess over!
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
Hi there,

Another paranoid question!  The doctor said that the iGM test shows a recent infection.  If that is the case, is it possible that mine is just taking a longer time than normal to show antibodies?  She did say that mine was very borderline however.

Her suggestion was to do the iGM test in another month from the last test.  

I really want to go 'woohoo' on being negative, but still not sure about it.

Thanks
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
101028 tn?1419606604
sweetie - go woohoo and stop worrying about this. I think it's time to end this post. I'm not going to play the "what if" game with you. we've already given you the most up to date info on herpes testing and your provider is misinformed by still relying on the herpes igm test. don't waste your time with more igm testing.
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
I posted the question on the doctor's forum and this was Terri Warren's response.  Although she thinks I will be negative too, she is concerned - any thoughts?

I also believe it is very likely that you don't have herpes.  I am concerned by your statement that you had sores on the penis.  You specifically said sores, and there aren't very many things that cause sores on the penis, actually, so that comment still concerns me just a bit.  I am also just very slightly concerned about your relatively high negative value on your HSV 2 antibody test. The last thing I am concerned about is is the STD clinician's opinion that the sores looked herpetic.   I actually also believe that you are negative, but if you were my patient, given the three things described above, I would like to see you get tested once more in about 4-6 weeks, and maybe this time with a western blot if you can get it.  You might not live in the US, in which case, the IgG is fine, but absolutely forget the IgM test.  

My response is very cautious here, admittedly.  There is just something about the contents of your post that give me slight concern.

Terri
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
1174003 tn?1308164419
We aren't going to play the guessing game.  You can follow up with Terri further.  
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
I have another question - I've had what I'm presuming are sores on the top of the urethra for over 4 weeks now and they haven't gone away.  I also have pain in my testicles and inner thighs, groin area, lymph nodes I'm guessing, and sometimes when I pee as well.  I've read that inner thigh pain is part of the prodomal phase but nothing seems to come up in terms of new sores.  I'm just confused as to what this could be, and would like to ask if it sounds like herpes to everyone here. Thanks.
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
897535 tn?1295210035
Terri is already helping you on the expert's forum, we won't second guess here advice here.
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
101028 tn?1419606604
any further posts will be reported to the moderators for removal. please do not continue asking questions here on this forum as there is nothing else we can tell you.
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
Hi there,

So I got another iGM test back today and it was positive at 1.6.  I had another iGG done which I am waiting for the results.  Am now a little nervous that I do have it.

I'll come back when I get that result back.
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
101028 tn?1419606604
you should've never wasted your time or money on herpes igm testing.
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
That's why I told the doctor I wanted another iGG test.  So that came back today.

On another note, I've read that genital-hand-genital/anus transmission of herpes is pretty low risk - can you confirm this?  Thanks.
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
1174003 tn?1308164419
This has been discussed over and over.  

In order to have tranmission you need direct skin-to-skin contact with a herpes being active on the sin such as an outbreak or viral shedding.  

You need to move on from this.  If you can't then you need to seek out professional assistance with dealing this.
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
So what was the result of your Igg now? When was the last time you had sex before the symptoms appeared?
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
So got my iGG results back today, which were 16 weeks and 1 day from the last sexual exposure.  They were:

HSV1 - 0.14
HSV2 - 0.47

So my doctor thinks the iGM positive result is erroneous, which I know is what many herpes experts say too.

I'm a little confused still as I still feel like I have some symptoms, but I have to believe the medical professionals.  Trying to say woohoo but not quite there yet!

Thank you to everyone on here for the support and information.
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
101028 tn?1419606604
time to woohoo dear :)
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
as Grace already told you, it's highly unlikely for you not be showing a positive result after 16 weeks. so woo-hoo!

if you need some peace of mind, ask for a WB - it will probably give you a positive result for HSV1, since you had a confirmed culture.

were you ever on suppressive therapy? theorically, that might delay antibody production, but I don't think you should really worry about such hypothesis.
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
Hi Bobrope

I haven't been on any suppressive therapy, so I should rely on the results.  Strange though that I didn't get a positive on the HSV1, considering the culture was done over 2 years ago...

I won't worry about that - I'm already a worrier, so don't need anything more.

My doctor is sending me to a urologist to see if they can work out what else is going on.  
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Your Answer
Avatar universal
Answer
Do you know how to answer? Tap here to leave your answer...
Answer
Answer
Post Answer
A
A
Looking for a Doctor?
Shop for health care like an expert. Find the best doctors based on reviews from patients like you.
Herpes Community Resources