[Question #6353] HPV

17 months ago
Good evening.  I have been in a mostly monogamous relationship for more than one year.  I say mostly, because we broke up for a short period.  During that time, I had two instances of sex.  I used a condom, although in one instance it slipped off momentarily.  About a week to ten days ago, I had what I thought was an itchy pimple on by buttocks area.  It pretty much has abated.  More recently I have broken out with tiny itchy red spots on my chest, stomach area, and thighs -- even a few on my arms and one behind my shoulder.  They itch like crazy, and I try not to scratch them.  I find myself, however,  idly scratching them from time to time.   That sometimes will  cause them to bleed if I am too aggressive, and then they will heal and go away.   Yesterday, I saw a bump near the tip of my penis that looked like a normal pimple -- there actually was some white pus at the head which popped and drained.   Now there is a red spot where it was.  The other day, my partner woke up with what looked like three bug bites on her thigh.  We had the bed checked for bed bugs, but there were none.   The swelling since has gone down.  The red itchy spots are not clustered, they are tiny, and none of them  resembles a cauliflower.  For what it is worth, I do have herpes (although I have never seen something like a pimple on the tip of my penis).  I work out at the gym, sometimes sit on an uncovered bench in the sauna, and probably use the towel more often than I should without washing it.  What is the likelihood I have genital warts?  Thanks.      
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
17 months ago
Welcome to the forum. Thanks for your confidence in our services.

First, your symptoms and the spots you describe do not suggest any STD, and I doubt they are related in any way to the sexual exposures you have described. SAme for your partner's "bug bites" or whatever they are.

Second, as for HPV, no possibility:  Genital warts or other signs of HPV generally appear 2-12 months after exposure and never sooner than 6 weeks. And warts don't appear as red spots.

I'm not sure what you're aking about using towels in the gym. No STD can be transmitted in that fashion. If you're concerned about either catching an STD or exposing others, you needn't worry at all.

Bottom lines: If you remain concerned about STD from your casual exposures, see a doctor or clinic for routine STD testing (urine test for gonorrhea/chlamydia, blood tests in a few weeks for HIV and syphilis. You can expect negative results. Talk with the doctor about red spots etc if they persist and you remain concerned. But don't worry about HPV:  no chance.

I hope these comments are helpful. Let me know if anything isn't clear.

HHH, MD
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17 months ago
Thanks for the quick response. 

1.   The sexual encounters actually were within the 2-12 month window you mention in your answer.   Hence the follow up question.  As noted, there was one instance in which the condom slipped off briefly with the woman I saw  about three or four months ago while having broken up with my now full-time partners.  

2.  With respect to my now full-time partner, her bumps showed up about a week after mine.  So, would it not be possible that hers were incubating at the same time mine would have been incubating?   My understanding is skin to skin contact can transmit HPV (BTW, I do not ejaculate due to a prostrate procedure so there are no bodily fluids here except anything that might have been transmittable from the red bumps.

3.   I am still puzzled by the pimple next to the penile opening that seems to have popped but still is a little bit of a bump. — and the two big bumps on my buttock which I never have had but seem to have receded. For whatever it is worth,  I was feeling flu like the past two days but took some Valtrex and symptoms abated overnight.  

 4.   One other question .  Is there the potential for warts to spread on the thigh and onto the abdomen and stomach area, Especially if scratched and they bleed, or are they typically localized?

  I plan to see a doctor tomorrow for an assessment of what is going on but, because of the potential misunderstanding of when the sexual encounters occurred, thought it made sense to do a follow up..  I want to talk with my partner and be as full informed as possible. Thanks. 
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
17 months ago
1. No comment; doesn't change my evaluation or advice.

2. Ditto. There is no possibility that her symptoms are due to HPV.

3. Pmples can occur anywhere, including the penis. Definitely not HPV, which does not cause anything like a pimple. Period, full stop, no exceptions.

4. Genital warts appear exactly where the virus enters the skin, i.e. where exposed during sexual friction. Not the thigh etc.

Good move to see a doctor for confirmation. For sure you don't have warts. (If you do, they are not at the red spots mentioned.)

Everybody gets HPV. You have it (or have had it) -- unavoidable in ALL sexually active people. It's normal!
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17 months ago
Okay, I will let it go.   The biggest red spots are on my inner thigh and the upper part of my hip.   It sounds like warts do not spread to these types of place or multiple places.   I will figure out what it is tomorrow and thank you tonight.
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
17 months ago
I'm glad to have helped. Take care and stay safe.---