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Bacterial Infection vs. STD (Herpes or HIV)
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The STD Forum is intended only for questions and support pertaining to sexually transmitted diseases other than HIV/AIDS, including chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, human papillomavirus, genital warts, trichomonas, other vaginal infections, nongonoccal urethritis (NGU), cervicitis, molluscum contagiosum, chancroid, and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). All questions will be answered by H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D. or Edward W Hook, MD.

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Bacterial Infection vs. STD (Herpes or HIV)

I am a faithful, late 20s, heterosexual male.  

In early April, much to our surprise, my fianc
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The description of your facial rash doesn't sound like herpes; both the location and the nature of the outbreak are much more consistent with bacterial folliculitis or something similar, probably due to staph or strep.  Spread of such infections by shaving is typical.  The individual skin lesions can appear similar to herpes, which probably influenced the first doc's knee-jerk reaction.  Most likely the second doc was more experienced (maybe they were intern and resident, respectively?).

There is no obvious reason to suspect any connection whatever with the chlamydia.  Your respiratory and sweathing symptoms are not at all suggestive of HIV, and clearly there is nothing here to suggest high risk for HIV, despite your partner's chlamydial infection.

You can judge the truthfulness of your partner's assertion of no other recent sex partners, and your own truthfulness in that; I cannot.  But if chlamydia can be carried for months, rarely up to a few years, especially in women, and if you are confident in your fidelity and hers, the infection undoubtedly dates back to some past partnership.  Chlamydia always clears up on its own, eventually--so despite your negative test, you could have been the source of your partner's infection, even though your test was negative.  Or vice versa.  You will never know which was which, and it doesn't matter.

Bottom line (no pun intended):  All is well and likely no harm has been done.  Best wishes--

HHH, MD
9 Comments
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239123_tn?1267651214
Sorry, that's nurse followed by doctor, not 2 docs.  Even better evidence the rash wasn't herpes.

HHH, MD
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Thanks for your response.  It is a source of comfort.  May I please ask you a couple of follow up questions?

What is the likely cause of bacterial folliculitis?  Is it contagious?  

My fiance and I did not kiss for a while after the break-out and are only now returning to "business as usual".  So I think she would be low-risk for it anyway but just curious.  

The doctors said stress and a poor diet could have caused this in conjunction with the dog that licked me possibly having some bacterial infection.  Does that sound correct to you?

If some of these medical conclusions do not make sense, I apologize - they were explained to me at 3AM on a weeknight after a several-hour wait.

The doctors were very confident, though, that this was nothing more than a bacterial infection.  It was the nurse who originally said Herpes.

Given the doctors' opinions and my negative test results as well as your opinion, I guess I should feel pretty good about all of this.  

Thanks again for your time.    
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"What is the likely cause of bacterial folliculitis? Is it contagious? "  As I said above, mostly staph or strep. We all carry such bacteria on our skin, with infection triggered by minor trauma, like shaving.

"The doctors were very confident, though, that this was nothing more than a bacterial infection. It was the nurse who originally said Herpes.  Given the doctors' opinions and my negative test results as well as your opinion, I guess I should feel pretty good about all of this."

Yup, exactly.  Complete the antibiotic therapy then forget the whole thing. This sort of infection happens to everybody from time to time.  It's nothing.
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Thanks, Man, I appreciate it.  Good luck.  You do a great service on this site.
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Dr. HHH,

Sorry, a few more follow-on questions.  I had a candid discussion with my fiance after receiving your replies.  

Here are more details.  

She did have sex with another man but it ocurred 4.5 months ago and was supposedly isolated to a one-night stand (or at most a weekend).  

Protection was not used; it was an old boyfriend.  I largely believe her about the length of time; she was in tears.  But, I guess there could be a fudge factor here.  

Her ex claims that he tested negatively for all STDs a couple of months ago, which I guess jives to some extent with the fact the Chlamydia seems to come and go on its own.  

My only point is does my situation sound anymore at-risk than before based on this information?  

I had a negative Rapid HIV Test and negative Herpes culture results in early May.  I had a negative Chlyamydia and negative Gonorhea test results in mid-to-late April.  

Since then, the only health issues I had were the bacterial rash and a scratchy throat this weekend with the occasional sweats at night.  I honestly think I'm starting to get overly paranoid about this situation and am probably doing more damge worrying about this than anything else.  

But to reiterate, I have bad allergies (which could have affected my throat) and the sweats seemed to stop when I discontinued using a heavy blanket for a lighter one.  

Otherwise, I have no other symptoms (diarhea (diarrhea), flu-like symptoms, weight loss, hair loss, swollen glands throughout the body, inability to eat, fatigue, etc.).

Thank you.  
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Well, that explains the chlamydial infection. But the additional information does not otherwise alter my risk assessment or my advice.
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Dr. HHH, sorry...this is my last question (for sure).

Considering the Bactroban and Cephalexin was so effective in treating my rash, is this another positive indicator that I am in good shape?

Thanks for the patience.  That's my last quesiton.  
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Hi I was just wondering if it is possible to transmit herpes via sharing razors for pubic hair.

and ....   can herpes spread to other parts or you body ex. chest face arms..
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A related discussion, could herpes 1 happen 2 years ago? was started.
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