Your doctor is mostly right, and it sounds like he knows how to treat molluscum contagiosum. However, he is wrong about transmission; in adults, the infection is almost entirely sexually acquired. As in your case, lesions occur mostly around but not on the genitals--lower abdomen, scrotum, and thighs are much more common sites than penis or labia.
On to your specific questions:
1) The virus may remain latent in some cases, but probably rare. Once lesions are removed and you go a month or so with no new ones appearing, you can consider yourself cured.
2) Yes, persisting lesions can be a source of new ones through "auto-inoculation". You can treat a few residual or new lesions yourself: open the top with a sterile (heat or alcohol) needle and express the hard, white core. Brisk bleeding afterward is a sign the core is completely out. Wash both the area and your hands with soap and water afterward.
3) It seems pretty clear your current lesions are MC. If the ones thought to be herpes were the same lesions or looked the same, you probably had MC then as well. But since there is doubt and you have apparently been sexually exposed to herpes, you might want to have a blood test for HSV-2 infection; then you'll know for sure. See numerous other messages on this forum about the proper HSV blood tests.
4) MC is a benign (if frustrating) condition; because it isn't at all serious, almost no research has been done. We just can't say how infectious it is. However, it's not a super-common STD, so my guess is that it isn't very efficiently transmitted. Most likely, most exposed people are immune due to distant past childhood infection. But as implied above, I suggest waiting a month until the last lesion has been removed and no new ones have appeared.
Don't be too hard on your doc. With all the H-something-V diseases (HSV, HPV, HAV, HBV, HCV, HDV [hepatitis viruses A, B, C and D] plus HIV) that mistake happens all the time; I do it myself, especially in writing if not verbally.
Good luck-- HHH, MD
Thanks doc. You're very generous to provide your services so free and expeditiously.
I had blood drawn for the HSV 1 and 2 titre today. Hopefully I'll know in a week.
I first broke out with MCV about 2 months ago, I posted on this forum at that time, it was pretty wide spread on my lower abdomen, about 20 lessions. There were about a 1/4" in size. I never went to the doctor, just did research on the net and was able to remove all the lessions using the method above. Just a sterile needle, tweezers, and then I applied that new skin stuff which prevented any secondary infection. Only real question I have is that I still have 1 or 2 pop up every now and then, but they are really small now, maybe the size of a ball point on a pen. Could these be related to the initial outbreak and just took a little more time to flare up? Maybe my immune system is kicking up and keeping them from growing like the initial ones? I heard that MCV can crop up when your immune system is not at it's best. I had an HIV test and it was negative. I have however been drinking alcohol on a regular bases, about 2 times a week for last 6 months. I think it is finally taking a toll on me so I'm off drinking for a while. Just curious how long it takes to get your immune system built back up again.
As noted above, MC has not been the subject of much research--so there are no definitive data about the natural course. My impression from caring for patients is that it takes several weeks for lesions to stop appearing. Six months seems on the long side, but I'm sure they'll stop occurring sometime pretty soon. I doubt your immune system was seriously affected by your alcohol intake. (Of course I'm not encouraging you to drink heavily if it is affecting your life and health!)
I know it's not okay to post a new question here, but it says I cannot create a new topic.
My question is simple: I am now treating my MC with Imiquimod. From what little is known about this specific treatment, it seems to be a bit long to completely treat MC and far from 100% effective. Would you advise using the "surgical" method described above along with the Imiquimod treatment? Would both be more effective than either done separately? I want to get rid of that as quickly as possible, it is making my life very miserable at the moment.
Thank you, and I apologize for asking a question here.
The reason MedHelp doesn't like new problems posted as comments is that only the initial question and reply are retained in archives--so that over time future participants in the forum won't have access to your question or this reply.
I am unaware of any research or other data that document that imiquimod (Aldara) is effective against MC and I have never heard of it being used for that purpose. The standard therapy is "surgical" (physical removal or opening and expressing the core); freezing with liquid nitrogen also is effective. If imiquimod works, I would have expected exactly what you are experiencing: it will take a long time.
Good luck-- HHH, MD