STDs Expert Forum
Long Term Std ?
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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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Long Term Std ?

Dr.
    My question is I am having joint pain in my knee and I was wondering, if their is anyway I could have had a std for twenty years that is turning into arthritis ? The joint pain started about four months ago and my GP gave me steroids and nsaids which stopped the pain for about a week . Then I tried a cortisone shot in the knee and again pain gone for about a week. Now after nsaids again for a week . This time allupurinal before I stop the Nsaids . I do have a high uric acid level also high liver enzymes . Acid reflux and high bad cholesterol , I have been tested for gonorrhea chlamydia and all hepatitis all neg I did test positive for herpes 2 but never had a outbreak .I also had a ct of the  lower gi and had 2 small lesions on the dome of the liver that they suggest are benign  hem . I am 40 now and the only time I ever had problems was when I was about 19 and had discharge from penis and took antibiotics but I have never been the same , I had swelling in the knee at the first onset of pain that came at night suddenly but since.. joint pain, but no swelling or redness . I am just wondering what you think Dr and where I should go from here .
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There is no STD that can do this, i.e. develop into arthritis or other forms of joint pain 20 years after infection.  There is no possibility of a relationship to herpes, syphilis, gonorrhea, or other common STDs.

I don't understand the closing comments:  did you have an episode of painful joint swelling at the time you had penile discharge 20 years ago?  And does "never been the same" mean you have been having joint pain or overt arthritis ever since that time?  If so, it is conceivable you have the condition called reactive arthritis (formerly known as Reiter's syndrome).  Reactive arthritis the body's abnormal reaction to certain infections of the genital or gastrointestinal tract.  It occurs only in genetically susceptible persons.  In sexually active persons at risk for STD, chlamydia is the most common trigger; in other persons, the most common initiating infections are various kinds of infectious diarrhea.

Reactive arthritis is not believed to be due to persisting infection in the joint.  The joint problems persist long after the infection itself is gone, due to an abnormal immune reaction.  The condition usually involves the spine as well as other joints, and often is associated with eye problems (conjunctivitis, sometimes more serious eye inflammation) and certain kinds of skin rash.

Do I think you have reactive arthritis related to your apparent STD (chlamydia?) 20 years ago?  Probably not.  Statistically, things like osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis are more likely.  But RA might be a possibility, especially if you have had the other symptoms I mentioned, like back pain.

What to do?  Ask your doctor whether s/he has considered reactive arthritis.  Or just see a rheumatologist (arthritis specialist).  Such a specialist will know all about reactive arthritis and its potential causes.

Whatever is going on, it definitely does not mean you have any continuing STD as the cause.

I hope this helps.  Best wishes--   HHH, MD
3 Comments
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Given that you have high uric acid and your doctor has prescribed allopurinol, it sounds like he or she suspects that you might have gout. It causes joint pain and is not related to any sexually transmitted diseases.
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239123_tn?1267651214
I agree; should have thought to say the same thing.
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