[Question #4125] ARS symptoms???

32 months ago
Hi Dr,
My sexual activities last 2 months  I went to Asian massage parlors every 2-3 weeks. The visits all included french kissing, handjobs, my penis rubbing against her crotch area, putting my penis between the girl's tits and ass cheeks. There was never any actual penetration in any of the visits.  I saw a high-end escort 8/10/2018 where there was french kissing she licked my penis head for 2 seconds before putting on a condom for oral sex. The sex with escort included protected vaginal and oral sex. 

First 2 weeks of July I noticed a red pimple looking bump on penis shaft closer to the head of the penis that I did not pay attention to. 1 week later the red pimple turned white and couple of days later it looked like a sore. I examined the sore and it did not hurt when I put rubbing alcohol on it. Noticed there was hair in the sore and pulled the hair out with tweezers. I put some Neosporin on it and it got healed a couple of days later.

My question is about what started on 8/12/2018. I was caught in a downpour and my tshirt got wet in the morning. I used the same wet tshirt later that day to go for a run while it was still wet. That night I started to get a sore throat and slowly it has been getting worse, today on day 3 I am definitely starting to lose my voice and having minor noticeable body aches alongside very minor coughing and no runny nose. Had a little fever on day 1 that 2 Tylenol took care of. I'm paranoid this might be ARS because it happened exactly 21 days since my last Asian massage visit.  I'm a very active person and have not had a cold or flu for last 8-10 years even when I run in snow during winter.  Feeling like this in August got me very paranoid. I was planning on going for my yearly STD test in September but got extremely worried because of this ARS or Cold in August.

Do you think what I'm experiencing right now is ARS or a cold???
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
32 months ago
 Welcome to our forum. It will be my pleasure comment. Congratulations on your practice of safe sex.  It will keep you safe.  Everything which you describe sounds very low risk and as though what you are experiencing now is the beginnings of a cold and not the ARS. 

To elaborate,   Most commercial sex workers do not have HIV. In addition, all of the sexual activities you describe are virtually no risk events. The non-penetrative activities are not at all associated with HIV and are totally safe. Further, no person has ever acquired HIV from having their penis licked or from receiving oral sex  from an infected person. Finally for penetrative sex acts,  condoms as you have used them are the single most effective means of preventing acquisition of HIV and other STI's. 

 With the description you provided the genital pimple with the hair present in it sounds much more like folliculitis than any STI. 

Last,  The symptoms you describe are more compatible with a cold then the ARS. When the ARS occurs the symptoms are severe with a high fever, a severe sore throat and generalized, highly uncomfortable muscle and joint aches.    I anticipate that when you have your annual STI check up your test will be negative  (Parenthetically,  congratulations on your practice of regular STI check ups. This is an excellent sexual health practice and will work to your advantage.)

 I hope that this information is helpful to you. Take care. EWH
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32 months ago
Thank you for the quick reply Dr. 
I'm a hypochondriac and feeling like this in August really got me paranoid. Today I ended up going to my dr's office and saw the nurse practitioner. She examined me and could not take a throat swab because of my extremely sensitive gag reflex. She told me I had some viral infection that my body was dealing with. I had no fever and visual exam did not suggested strep throat. Told me to rest and go back on Tuesday if things did not change.

Thank you again.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
32 months ago
Thanks for the follow-up.  I agree with the assessment your received.  Take care. EWH
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32 months ago
Hi Dr,

Sorry for coming back probably another stupid follow up. My right eye was red once this cold started and today 7 days after sexual encounter my left eye this morning was red and there was crust on the lids this morning. I washed it off and put some systane on both my eyes. My right eye cleared up today, but my left eye turned red again in the late afternoon. I have never had crust on my eyelids before and found online it might bacterial infection including gonorrhea or chlamydia of the eye. Could my eye be red because of STD? What signs should I look for or how long should I wait before heading to the doctor or a clinic?  

Thank you.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
32 months ago
The symptoms you describe are far more suggestive of local irritation and perhaps a viral conjunctivitis than an STI.  I would not attribute these problems to an STI.  EWH
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