[Question #5128] Unknown STD

23 months ago
Hi I'm looking for help to diagnose my problem.  I have outlined in a previous question the super alarming occurrence of the last six women I've slept with all getting sick and or strange symptoms.  (Three had severe next pain after normal sex, only one with oral, two days after intercourse.)  Three others had bad stomach issues and flu like symptoms and joint pain,  one of which i heard about a year after the fact.   It's hard to lay out all the details in a short post but the circumstances can not be a coincidence.   Over the last few months a bunch of my friends and people I do activities with have come down with strange illnesses shortly after hanging out with me that seem to have recurrences.  Their symptoms vary and but mostly consist of flu like symptoms but no doctor has diagnosed it as the flu.  The doctors I've spoken to almost all seem perplexed but don't know how to point me in the direction of a diagnosis.  Do you know a specialist I can see that try to help with this issue as I've done all basic blood work and std testing?  One that would go beyond basic std tests.  What resources are available for learning about newer or less known STDs?  What STDs can be acquired sexually and become dormant and reactive to be contagious after years and non sexually?  It has been super alarming how many of the people i spend time with getting sick.  The only test i have had that is positive is for CMV.  Of course I realize this question seems paranoid but I would really appreciate your full help regardless thank you.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
23 months ago
Welcome to the Forum.  I'm sorry to hear of your continuing problem and will be happy to share my thoughts, more as an Infectious Diseases expert than as an STI expert (for reasons I'll outline below).  As an FYI, I did review your earlier interaction with Terri and agree with all that she said- there is nothing here to suggest that this is herpes.  Similarly,, I do not see this as a recognizable STI.  Please find some additional questions and comments below:

Questions
1.  Over what period of time has this been going on.  i.e. six partners in how long?, other friends becoming ill for how long.
2.  I presume that you have been checked for other STIs.  Particularly gonorrhea, chlamydia, trichomonas and perhaps Mycoplasma genitalium.  Is this correct?
3.  Have your partners seen health care providers for their illnesses?  did they receive a diagnosis?

Comments:
1.  As Terri already told you, neck pain is not a manifestation of any STI.  Do you have a sense that the nect pain was associated with perhaps a sore throat or swollen glands in their neck.  did it hurt to swallow?
2.  The rapid onset following sex is not typical of STIs.
3.  The fact that "a bunch of my friends and people I do activities with have come down with strange illnesses shortly after hanging out with me that seem to have recurrences" is more compatible with a viral illness of the sort that people pass from one another (like the flu) than an STI.
4.  There are many viral illnesses which are not the flu but cause flu-like illnesses.  These tend to circulate in communities.,  When they do, they spread from person to person and then taper off.  I suspect that this will be what happens for you.

I hope these comments are helpful.  I do no t think this is an STI.  EWH
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23 months ago
Thank you for your help Doctor Hook.  1)  The neck pain has happened with three woman.  Each it was two days after sex and they described it as really painful to the point where they felt they couldn't move they're head after normal sex.  None said anything about swallowing issues and one had nausea accompanying it. Two of them it was after our first time having sex.  The third to have neck pain got it in that same time frame (however we had sex multiple times before that) as a woman i slept with a week later also got very sick but with some kind of stomach infection.  After this time i noticed a red patch of irritated looking skin.  The two other woman I've slept with have gotten bad stomach infections or been diagnosed with gastritis.   The timing of our sex and the illnesses has been disturbing although the symptoms strangely vary.  1) It happened over a 3.5 year period.  In the last 5 months friends been getting sick and they've had flue like symptoms and stomach issues.   Several are having repeat issues.  2) I've been tested for all that come on a full panel test multiple times but not mycoplasma or trichomanias.  Do you recommend these?  I've also had some parasite and regular blood work testing.   3.  The three women with stomach issues all went to the doctor.  Doctors diagnosed two with stomach infections and one gastritis.  1)  Yes neck pain is weird but has occurred in the same time frame 3 times.  2) Its been a few days time frame in every case.  3 and 4) Yes this makes sense.  I am just worried I'm the cause and don't know how to proceed. 
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
23 months ago
1.  Thanks for the additional information. It does not change my opinion that this does not suggest an STI as the cause.

2.  See above.  I really do not see a reason for testing for trichomonas or Mycoplasma genitalium.

3.  thanks.  Again, gastritis is not an STI symptom

Sorry I don't have more advice beyond my original suggestions. EWH
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23 months ago
No problem I appreciate your advice.  The last questions I'll ask on here are:

1) Could a virus act this way?  Start as sexually acquired and be dormant and then start to transmit in non sexual ways.   How unusual is it for it for the symptoms to present themselves differently to different people and could that depend on how it was transmitted (orally, sexually)?   Flu like symptoms that recur(hernia like for some), neck pain etc. 

2)  Is there a good resource online for me to investigate further/ lesser known diseases?  

3)  Similar to the previous question is there a specialist you could recommend to further look into this and try to figure out what's going on if it is a lesser know or diagnosed disease?

Thank you for help Dr Hook.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
23 months ago
It seems that you and I are going to disagree regarding whether this is an STI or not.   On to your final questions (as per Forum Guidelines, this thread will be closed later today without further responses).

1. Yes, the characteristics of the symptoms you are having and that others around you appear to get similar illnesses could be due to an viral illness although not necessarily one that is sexually transmitted diseases.  Given your minor symptoms and the waxing and waning course however, determining precisely which of the thousands of viruses might be doing this is likely to be difficult and, should a diagnosis be made, therapeutic options are limited for most viral illness which just have to run their course.  Sometimes for this to occur can take weeks or even months.  

2. No

3.  You could seek evaluation by an infectious diseases specialist.

I hope this helps.  I wish you the best.  EWH
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