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How would someone know if they have herpes?
Hi,

I will admit this from the outset that at this time I am weak mentally. I have bumps on my penis head. SOme of these bumps have hair growing out of them. SOme of thgese bumps have been there for at least three months.

Is this herpes? Any idea what this could be?
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101028 tn?1419606604
Bumps that have been there for 3 months aren't due to herpes.  Go see your doctor to see if you have a folliculitis or something else going on. It sounds like you need the peace of mind anyways!!

If you've never had a herpes blood test - get one while its on your mind. Most folks who have hsv2 have no idea they have it until tested.  If nothing else then you'll have a baseline blood test to compare future blood tests too. www.herpesdiagnosis.com has more info on how to get properly tested.

grace
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I think your Doctor will tell you this isn't Herpes.  I have a different
view on testing in absence of symptoms.

It's a personal choice, but it's not without it's problems.

1.  The test can only tell you if you have the virus.  It
can't tell you if it's genital.  I could be oral, Herpes Whitlow, Herpes
Gladitorium, etc.  It is true that older studies suggest most HSV-2
is genital, but these were small scale and may no longer be true.

2.  You may test marginally  (reading less than 3) and will need to
be re-tested.  You could end up spending more than a thousand
dollars on testing and still not be sure.

3.  If you take the "recent exposure" test sold by many web sites you
could end up in a string of repeated testing costing thousands of
dollars to no end.  Search the STD forum for comments on this subject (IGM
testing).

4.  Although studies utilizing PCR Technology in symptomatic
populations show symptomatic people shed the virus between
outbreaks it doesn't necessarily follow that asymptomatic populations shed the virus in sufficienct amounts to be contagious..  In other works, the test cannot tell whether you whether you will ever infect another person.


5.  Although there are those who argue elegantly for generalized testing,
there are others who disagree.  The U.S. Preventive Services Task
Force recommended against routine screening in asymptomatic adolescents and adults.  Also, I believe, the CDC doesn't recommend routine screening.

At any rate, it's a personal choice, but be aware of all the facts and make
an informed choice in consultation with your Doctor.  
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t1234 and Grace,

thanks for your response, I really appreciate it. At the moment I am so scared of STDs. I was not always like this. At the moment I am literally scared of labs and medical centres because I had terrible experience with two doctors and with the herpes test.

In october 2006, I had burst condom experience. I went to this doctor (not my personal doctor) to get tested for HIV. This doctor suggested that I do a herpes test. This was about 17 days after the condom break incident. When the resulkt came I was negative for HSV 1 using IGG and Positive or HSV 2 using IGM. I was shocked.!!! I couldn't belive it. I then went to my personal doctor for him to examine me, he determine I had herpes and prescribed medication. I was depressed. But seven weeks after I travelled to states(live in the caribbean) to do a Biokit test for HSV 2 and it said I was negative. I was relieved.

but I still worry about it. Evry sex act I wonder if I caught something . Lastr week I had prostitute give me protected oral sex. Now I am hearing that HSV can spread to trhe genetal. I am so scared and frighten now of tests. I think I need psychiatric help because I am looking at my penis every day for signs of herpes. And these bumps that I have are concern to me. BUt I fear the doctir telling me some rubbish....

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Never_Learn,

Sounds like you got "zapped" by someone diagnosing you with
Genital Herpes based on an IGM test.  Regrettably there's a lot
of labs or clinics in peddling this test and as you found out
(probably after spending thousands of dollars), its useless for that
purpose other than improving the profits of the clinic or lab.

If I were you I wouldn't do any more testing and put this out of your mind.
If in the future you ever have a blister (it its not a blister don't worry about it) on your genitals have a doctor do a swab (of the blister) and type it.  
I wouldn't do another anti-body test.

GracefromHHP,

Thanks for your comments.  I do considerable research in the area of
Herpes and have been trying to find good demographic data regarding
site specific distribution of HSV-2 infections. So far I've been unable
to find any or least any that are statisiticly meaningul.  If you know
of any can you post a "cite" so I can retreive it.  It would be appreciated.

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101028 tn?1419606604
The vast majority of folks will get quick and accurate answers from the blood tests we have now.  Yes indeed some folks will need additional confirmatory testing but most folks don't.  Yes indeed it will only tell you what you have, not where you have it but for the majority of people it will follow the statistical norms and will be useful.  I know I would much rather a potenital partner of mine went thru several tests to confirm his status than I would that he just assumed he didn't have it - I think most folks feel that same way. Same as with my case - I'd hate for my partner to think they had hsv2 and they didn't and needlessly contract it from me because we thought we didn't have to take precautions.  If someone is interested in getting tested for herpes  - they should be and not hold back because of the small chance that they might not get quick and easy answers.  To me it's just like if my doctor did a chest x ray and found a suspicious spot - I wouldn't say well ok doc let's just let it go because it's probably nothing - I'd want as many tests as it took to tell me exactly what it was.  

never learn - it sounds like you've worked yourself up into a  tizzy about all this.  Go see your doctor and find out what is going on. If you know right now you aren't in a good place mentally about sex and risk - then avoid it and just spend your evenings with your hands and some lube until you are in a better place. Where's the fun in receiving satisfaction from someone else if you are only going to drive yourself crazy worrying that you caught something? You say you are obsessed about sti's but then you receive oral sex from a sex worker??  Now where's the logic in that one???  Also put away the flashlight and the magnifying mirror!! Unless you are urinating - don't look at your penis!! You are just obsessing and the more you look - the more you will find!!  If you can't get thru this on your own then yes perhaps you should seek out professional help to help you calm yourself down and get a better perspective on this. Meanwhile go see your doctor, find out what is going on and treat it - that will probably help you calm down a lot.

grace
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Just like any other blister. Normally, with Herpes there will be a cluster of them.  You can ask your regular Doctor what to look for, but if you have one you'll know it. Don't worry about it.
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I am curious, what does a blister look like?
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101028 tn?1419606604
t1234 - go check out the technical folder on the herpes homepage ( where I get the HHP part of my name from ) and ask this question again there - you'll get the help you are seeking I think.

grace
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I had unprotected sex on 28th of March and had a culture test for HSV1 and HSV2 which came back negative. I got the blood test two weeks later which also came back negative but I got all the symptoms of the virus-so im very confused. The few days after, i experienced flu-like/fever type symptoms. Also, my glands were swollen and it burned when i urinated. I had maybe 4 or 5 blister like spots on my pubic area (nowhere near my vagina or anywhere else) which started red with a little white/yellow dot in the top- then they burst and dried out. The red marks are still slightly here and it has almost been 2 months since i had unprotected sex. If I get another 'blister' i'll have another swab culture test but at the moment i feel like im living in limbo and just wanted to see if anyone feels the same or has any advice?!?! I'd really appreciate it :) !

Thanks
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Please start your own thread and post the question there. But also you need to post this question in the herpes community, they have the best info for you. See the link above.
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