As I have said innumerable times on this forum, whenever a person suspects his or her own symptoms have an emotional or psychological origin, s/he is almost always right. And the symptoms you describe are much more typical of that explanation--that is, anxiety magnifying normal body sensations--than of an infection. Most people who are convinced their penile skin or urethral opening are redder than normal in fact have nothing abnormal when examined by health professionals--so even that symptom doesn't sound suspicious.
Discharge is exactly as you describe: whitish fluid or yellowish pus dripping from the penis or appearing at the opening, unrelated to ejaculation or sexual arousal. Some men only notice staining of underwear.
Of course see a health care provider if your symptoms persist or you otherewise remain concerned. But it doesn't seem likely you have an STD.
Good luck--- HHH, MD
Thank you very much for your response, doctor.
Seeing no discharge, still, nor any stains on my underwear, which is a positive sign. However, now -- probably as a result of (1) running to examine my penis after half-hour to constantly examine, pull, and prod at it in an effort to discover something or (2) nerves, I have a reddish mark on it. The only issue I'm really having is my inability to correctly identify a coldsore -- I've had them in my mouth, but can't recall what they look like, and certainly wouldn't know what genital sores look like.
The red mark is not raised -- it almost looks like a bruise or cut. Nothing leaking from it, and it doesn't appear to be pus-filled. Slight "stinging" that could be characteristic of anxiety, as this stinging feeling dissipates quickly whenever I do something that doesn't involve obsessing over STDs.
So I guess my question is: what the heck does a coldsore look like?
Sorry to be a pest, doctor. Appreciate the service.
Anything you have had "in your mouth" is not a cold sore, probably canker sores--an entirely different issue. Cold sores are blister or pimple-like lesions, usually on or near the lips. Search various websites about herpes for more detail.
Keep your hands away from your penis. See the last comment in my reply above. I won't have any further comments or advice.
Many thanks, doctor. I'm sure you get questions similar to mine daily. Or hourly. So I appreciate you taking the time to write out a thoughtful response. Take care.
Please take general discussions over to the STD support forum. Threads on this forum are limited to the specific question(s) raised by the person who opened the thread.
Yes, another HIV question, but this is more of a question for my own education only, not specifically because I have any lingering anxiety.
I just took my six-week HIV test today, and fully expect it to be negative when the results come in. After that, whether I not I choose to test is a decision I'll make at a later date. I probably won't. But the technician I spoke to at Quest Labs (who said he was a "physician") had some interesting stats that I just wanted to run by you, to see if you've heard them before.
He insisted that at 6 weeks, "50%" of people would test positive. "80%" would test positive by 3 months, and "100%" would test positve by the 6-month mark. According to everything I've read, these figures seem outdated -- but do they strike you as familiar, perhaps statistics that were used years ago?
Thanks again for all you do for everything. I kind of dig the tough love approach.
My views on time to seroconversion are all over this forum and I don't have time to repeat them. I haven't changed my mind.
Appreciated, sir. Didn't think your opinions had changed whatsoever -- was just curious as to whether or not Quest Diagnostics should really brief their alleged physicians on the sensitivity of current ELISA tests, because he seemed quite certain about those statistics (which I have never, ever, ever heard before). Am well aware, too, of your thoughts on seroconversion, and trust them. Like I said, was trying to educate myself on why there are so many differing claims on testing windows, and was curious if he was thinking back to some old CDC Adobe Acrobat file that he read years ago. That's the only reason I asked -- not because I'm anxious.
Again, you the man.
There are varying views because of outmoded thinking without knowledge about evolving test technologies; because the data are not precise, leaving room for interpretation; and because of common "take no chances" (i.e., CYA) philosophies. And probably other reasons as well.
Like I said before, you the man, doctor, and thanks for answering my question. I'll go ahead, unless there's a problem with me doing so, and post my 6-week HIV test results here when I get them Thursday. Hopefully it'll help relieve some Medhelp users' respective anxieties.
Because I promised I would (though I wish I could have posted this in the HIV prevention forum, but this is where I posted my original question, so there ya go), here are my HIV test results.
Six-week came back negative. Yes, I will retest at 13 weeks, because I have now discovered that I have anxiety levels no mortal man should really have, and yes, that extra degree of certainty would be totally swell. But my fears have receded quite a bit, and I'm guessing that if the ELISA hasn't picked up anything now, it won't pick up anything ever.
Thanks again, doctor.