STDs Expert Forum
STD or Virus?
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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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STD or Virus?

Hello Dr.,

Timeline:

Day 0: Got hand job at massage parlor after consuming seafood/steak.  Used lubricant, some mutual fondling, no penetration or touching own genitalia. Showered after.
Day 2: Slight tingling, light pink splotches on glans (glands). Later, intense, noisy gastro with gas, bloating and light, thin stool; difficult to pass gas. Nausea, swollen neck; no fever or vomiting. Frequent, light urination, but no burning, discharge; no ulcers, blisters, sores.
Day 3: Gastro activity and urination subsided, but some warmth in genitalia; no burning or discharge. Physician diagnosed food-borne gastroenteritis; I pressed for urinalysis and STD tests, along with CBC.
Day 4: Warmth/tingling persists. Physician prescribed Doxycycline for 10 days; diagnosed epididymo-orchitis. CBC normal with no signs of infection.
Day 6: Neck still swollen, lighter warmth in groin. Not started antibiotics. Urinalysis clean, no bacteria. Physician ordered mono test.
Day 10: Most symptoms subsided; mono test negative.
Day 13: Light pink splotches on glans (glands). Began antibiotics.  
Day 16: Repeat of symptoms Day 2-3. Significant neck swelling, difficult to swallow, breathe; some hoarseness. Very active gastro, light, thin stool. No significant burning; no discharge, no blisters, sores, ulcers.
Day 17: Gastro subsided. Less neck swelling, more acute soreness in groin. Physician ordered stool sample for virus/parasites and Herpes, HIV, Syphilis, to be cautious.
Day 18: Less swelling in neck; more groin soreness, no gastro activity. Antibiotics day 6/10. Slightly crusty eye in AM with some stickiness in PM (not in first round). Awaiting test results.

Questions:

1. Based on exposure, symptoms, timeline, test results so far, what virus could this be?
2. Pending final tests, do you believe I am at risk for Herpes, HIV, Hepatitis, or other diseases based on my exposure and symptoms?
3. Was the source the hand job, food-borne or other?
4. Recovery time and next steps?
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300980_tn?1194933000
.Welcome to our Forum.  I'll provide some thoughts related to the possibility that your current symptoms might be due to an STD.  Beyond that, you need to continue to work with your doctor to get this sorted out.  It sounds like he is thinking about all possibilities.

The illness you describe is not consistent with an STD.  STD transmission through receipt of masturbation is virtually unheard of.  While someone who had a syphilitic or herpetic sore on their hand might theoretically transfer infection to another person through masturbation, neither of us has ever seen or heard of such a case on over 60 years of STD-focused practice.   In addition, I should point out that urinary frequency is not a sign of STD in men.  Were I your doctor, I too would have focused on a food-borne illness rather than an STD.  

In answer to your specific questions:

1. Based on exposure, symptoms, timeline, test results so far, what virus could this be?
There are no STD bacteria or viruses which would cause the signs and symptoms you report.  On the other hand, there are many food borne illness which could do this.  Most are self limited and resolve without specific therapy.

2. Pending final tests, do you believe I am at risk for Herpes, HIV, Hepatitis, or other diseases based on my exposure and symptoms?
No, you are not at risk for any of these STDs from the receipt of masturbation and fondling you describe.  

3. Was the source the hand job, food-borne or other?
Food borne, most probably.  Perhaps otherwise acquired through your activities of daily living.  This is not an STD.

4. Recovery time and next steps?
Wait it out.  It sounds as though you are getting better.  Time to stop testing and, equally importantly, stop worrying.   I am confident that your tests for STD will be negative and that this is not an STD acquired through the exposure you describe.  Sometimes after an exposure that, in retrospect, one wishes they had not had, persons tend to examine themselves and be far more attuned to genital sensations than in periods when they are not concerned.  This in turn leads to noticing what turn out to be normal sensations that might have been not noticed or ignored at other times.   Perhaps this was a contributor to your situation.  

I hope my comments are helpful.  EWH
3 Comments
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Hi Dr.,

All tests came back negative for any STDs, bacterial or viral infection in urine, blood and stool. No abnormalities in any CBC and all looked normal. My symptoms did subside, however, close to a month later now the redness, splotchyness on my penis did come back, less than before. A day later, my neck has swollen again and it is more difficult to swallow, albeit much less than previous two instances. No gastro issues (yet) and redness subsided a bit, with no perceived tingling.

I'm beginning to think this could be autoimmune or endocrine related. Should I get thyroid levels tested? I was a bit high in my TSH a few years ago (borderline) and low in Vitamin D, to which I've been taking supplements every so often. I'm wondering if I am now full-on hypo vs. subclinical...It's just weird to get symptoms down there...

Thanks...
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300980_tn?1194933000
Glad to hear that STDs have no been ruled out. At this time, the big questions are, how much do these symptoms bother you and could they be some normal or self-limited process.  If so, you may choose to wait them out.  On the other hand, if the problems are troubling to you, my suggestion would be to seek a thorough evaluation by an internist who could take a careful history, do a complete exam and address the possiblities that arrise from his/her intial assessment.  EWH
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