[Question #3446] Is this herpes or something else?

38 months ago

I had unprotected sex 33 days ago with a female and am losing my mind. It started 7 days post-encounter with a fever, chills, and an ache in my right testicle. During this time I also had tingling urination...not necessarily painful (about the equivalent of eating a mild hot wing). Additionally, my groin skin felt like it was burning and crawling from time to time. Ten days post-encounter my 10-panel STD test came back negative. It is important to note that the fever resided in a day or two, but then the ache moved to my right groin lymph node.

Eighteen days post encounter, I had a urinalysis and another round of Chlamydia/GC tests which were normal and negative respectively. The doctor prescribe doxycycline and the groin pain went away in less than 48 hours. Currently and thirty-three days post encounter I have felt a funny tingling sensation on the penis/groin skin area, groin itching, and continued tingling urination. Of course, the partner claims they're clean and was recently tested.

I had one tiny red bump on the shaft of my penis which went away in 7 days. This looked nothing like the blisters I’ve seen on the internet. I’m getting another 10 panel test for peace-of-mind next week. How soon after the infection of herpes can you infect someone else? Also, is my case likely herpes or something else?

Thank you!
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
38 months ago
Your symptoms sound more bacterial than viral, like herpes. The fact that you responded to antibiotics is very important because of viruses, like herpes, do not respond to antibiotics. You could have had something called mycoplasma which is a bacterial infection that is more commonly recognized than it used to be. Is not routinely included in testing for sexually transmitted infections as are the other bacterial infections like gonorrhea and chlamydia. Well it is possible that you acquired herpes at this encounter, one tiny red bump is not typically what I would expect. However, if you are still concerned, you could repeat the IgG herpes antibody test when 6 to 12 weeks have passed since the encounter.

You ask how soon after infection you could infect someone else and the answer is right away. In fact, people who have brand new herpes our most infectious because the immune system has not yet been able to get a handle on the virus.

Given what you have told me, I think herpes in your situation is unlikely but obviously I can't promise you that

Terri.
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38 months ago

Thank you for your response...very helpful. I couldn't stand the anxiety/stress any longer and consequently have since had another 10-panel (5 weeks post encounter) with the IgG/Elisa tests. Again everything was negative. However, I still have a slight tingle while urinating which is just enough to be noticeable. It sounds like you feel that I should test again in a couple of weeks.

Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
37 months ago
You can surely test again but I would do this only once more at 12 weeks post exposure - then stop or if you are still uncertain, you could get herpes western blot for greater certainty

Terri
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37 months ago
Since Mycoplasma is a bacteria, wouldn't that have showed up in an urinalysis?
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
37 months ago
No,not necessarily, there is little routine testing for mycoplasma available yet, like there is for gonorrhea and chlamydia.

Terri
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