[Question #213] Herpes or HPV?

36 months ago
hello,

I am a 30 year old man who has been in a monogamous relationship for many years but made a horrible mistake and had sex with a female escort 2.5 weeks ago. I did use a condom, thank god.

I have been extremely anxious and have had some herpes like symptoms since the incident (but the timing has been strange). I felt burning above the penis in the groin area 3 days after exposure and then noticed small pink bumps on the shaft of the penis but not until day 10 after exposure. I went to an std clinic twice after seeing the bumps and both doctors said they looked more like hair follicle irritation and to come back if any blisters formed. I am now 25 days from exposure and still have the bumps but not a single blister. Note that the bumps do itch. Should I be concerned about herpes or genital warts? I know the odds of herpes from one exposure are very low but the bumps concern me. That said the bumps came 7 days after the burning and on the penis vs where the burning was in the groin. Can herpes bumps come on the penis if you used a condom? Could this be something else like genital warts?  I am trying not to drive myself crazy but the bumps are a real concern although the std clinic said they did not look like herpes. But they are not getting better. Please help!
36 months ago
Hi, one thing I wanted to clarify on my post.....I am now 19 days from initial exposure (not 25). Also, my specific questions are as follows:

1. Can I rule out genital warts given that my bumps  First appeared 10 days after exposure (ie too soon)?

2. Can I rule out herpes simply because I wore a condom and bumps are on penis shaft? Also the burning was above penis In groin and bumps are in a diff spot on penis.

3. My bumps have looked the same now for 9 days. If it was herpes would they have formed lesions / blisters by now? I thought they always did on first exposure.

4. Do you think there is any chance I have herpes as a whole given my symptoms and timing? I am very anxious and not sleeping well.

Thank you!
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
36 months ago
Good morning John,
Thank you for your post and your clarification. 
If the bumps have not turned into blisters and they are still hanging around, that suggests very strongly that they are NOT herpetic.  If a clinician experienced in STD's looked at them and said they don't look like herpes, I think that is also a very good sign indeed that they are not.  Can you tell if there is a hair coming out of the bumps?  And it is also good that they are getting better.  If you don't normally use a condom with sex, it is possible that the condom irritated that area also.
I don't think that genital warts would appear any where near that soon, no. 
Yes, if the bumps were herpes lesions, I would expect significant changes and likely resolution by this time.
What you describe to me, both in your encounter wisely using a condom, the description of the bumps, the process they have gone through (or not), and  the viewing by a clinician suggest very strongly to me that this is not herpes.  Though condoms are not perfect they are certainly really useful in the prevention of STDs. 

Terri
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36 months ago
Thanks so much for the response Terri.  To answer your question, here is more info on the bumps. There are roughly 20 of them on the base of the penis but all of those have hairs coming out. But then there are 20 or more higher up on the shaft that do not have hair coming out of them. The dr looked at these and said they could be anything but they definitely aren't something I noticed before. That said they have now looked the same for 9 days. Getting slightly better but still there. Any idea of what this is?

Not that I do plan on getting a igg blood test at 3 weeks but I think they Re only 50% accurate at that point? 
36 months ago
Oh and can you clarify my earlier question....can you even get herpes bumps on the penis itself in areas covered by the condom? Thank you so much for the help!
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
36 months ago
You wouldn't contract new herpes in the area covered by the condom, if you did contract herpes, it would be contracted in an area not covered by the condom and the infection could also move along the nerve and present in areas not covered by a condom.  But 20?  And they aren't blistered?  My guess is that they might be hair follicles without a hair in them.  We see that all the time.  But the doctor who saw you would be the best judge of that.  I doubt anyone would miss 20 herpes bumps! 
Yes 50% of people who will become positive will be positive on the antibody test by 3 weeks from infection and 70% will be positive by 6 weeks from the encounter.
You are actually out of posts here John, if you have more feel free to renew.

Terri
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