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HPV vs. Herpes
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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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HPV vs. Herpes

Doctor,
   I've already been diagnosed with HPV and currently undergoing cryotherapy. I was wondering how I would be able to distinguish HPV from Herpes. What I have are visible genital warts, including a few clear white bumps in my genital area. Is it possible to have herpes and not have any pain? Additionally, I don't have any sores on other parts of my body besides my genital region. The urologist just did a visual test on me and determined that I had genital warts but didn't mention anything specifically about herpes.

   Just asking the question for peace of mind.

Thank you very much
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Herpes causes lesions that evolve from small red bumps to blister-like lesions to open sores to scabbed-over lesions, all spread over 10-20 days--shorter for recurrent outbreaks, longer for initial infections.  Many atypical symptoms and signs are common, and most people in fact have few or no symptoms.

Health care providers don't usually confuse warts with herpes lesions, and most urologists will have seen plenty of both.  However, herpes is intermittent--so nobody can be certain they don't have herpes just because a provider didn't see herpes-like lesions.  If you have recurrent symptoms like I just described or otherwise suspect you may have herpes (e.g., a past partner with it), have the blood test.  See numerous other questions and my replies about the proper test, i.e. either the Biokit or HerpeSelect test for HSV-2 infection.

Good luck--  HHH, MD
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I have been tested for herpes using the herpselect test for both 1 and 2 and came back negative.  Is there at all a possiblity that the test could be wrong. I have had one dry patch of skin on the under side of my penis that doesn't seem to go away and seems to worsen after intercoure or masterbation (masturbation).  My girlfriend also has a yeast infection and complains about some irritation after sex that she believes is caused by friction from the condom could this be the case and shoud I be tested again.
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I thought I had Herpes after using Aldara for 3 weeks, I started to get blistery, red, chaffing, itchy, scaley lesions on my scrotum, and I thought it was more warts so I put Aldara on those which was a mistake.  I was convinced I had Herpes until I read the testimonials of others using Aldara as well (see below), also I received these lesions after taking Aldara and 10 weeks after my last sexual encounter so it kinda ruled that out, but side effects can definetely give the wrong impression of Herpes.

http://www.askapatient.com/viewrating.asp?drug=20723&name=ALDARA
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A related discussion, Herpes or side effect? was started.
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A related discussion, HPV & HERPES was started.
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This Forum's Experts
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H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D.Blank
University of Washington
Seattle, WA
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Edward W Hook, MDBlank
University of Alabama at Birmingham
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