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Does this sound like herpes or something else?

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So technically I don’t know if I have herpes for sure or not. I went to my PCP and said I was concerned about HSV2 and HPV and he basically shrugged like neither were important enough to look more into. Gave me every other STD/STI test (all negative), but didn’t even want to do any examine for those two items. I did have some genital warts (HPV) but for what I think is herpes I wasn’t showing much. Then I went to planned parenthood to get looked at. They helped with treatment for the warts but wouldn’t test for HSV. The Dr thought it sounded more like folliculitis but I have my doubts. It’s frustrating because I’ve seen essentially two doctors in a month for this and neither wants to test me. Planned Parenthood said the tests are supper unreliable and not worth doing. She also said she didn’t think it was herpes because herpes sores are super painful and the pimple like sores I’ve gotten I’ve popped and they haven’t hurt at all. 

So here’s my story. I had one night stand with a woman and we used a condom. Obviously, that doesn’t protect everywhere and the HPV I got is proof of that. In addition to that 2-3 days later I got tingly feeling in genitals and my lymph nodes were sensitive (not swollen). Then a rash came. I’ve never had any blisters but have had white bumps like pimples. I’ve popped them and it’s always been white puss and then they bleed. Always completely healed/gone by next day: Similar to a pimple but previously I never got pimples or ingrown hairs in my genital area. Over 3 plus months I’ve maybe had 10-12 of them and never more than 2 at any time. The rash comes and goes. Like it can be completely different from first thing when I wake up to what it’s like when I go to bed. It’s been 3.5 months and the rash never goes away for more than 1-3 days. What sucks is when I went to planned parenthood the rash was 100% gone for first time in probably a month. Then literally the next morning it was back. The rash will be all over my pelvic area and then seems to settle in basically the base of my penis. But other times it’ll be a couple bumps near base of penis and then slowly gets bigger and bigger (or spreads out over more and more area) I can add photos if it helps but wondering if this sounds like herpes or something else. Is it normal for herpes to just hang around and basically never leave? I assume the fact I got HPV probably isn’t doing me any favors with the issues I’m having either. 

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  • mr_hopp changed the title to Does this sound like herpes or something else?

Hey there @Dpcpt,

I totally get the anxiety and frustration you're experiencing! Navigating these health concerns can be super confusing (they certainly were for me!), especially when there isn't a clear consensus from healthcare professionals. I'll share some insights, keeping in mind that nothing beats direct consultation with a specialist.

  • HSV Testing: The reluctance of doctors to test for herpes unless there's an active, typical-looking outbreak is not uncommon. HSV blood tests can be controversial because they might detect past exposure rather than current infections. They can also sometimes yield false positives. IgG tests are the most common to test the blood for herpes antibodies, but the gold standard is the Western Blot, although it costs more.
  • Symptoms: While herpes can sometimes present as atypical symptoms, the presence of pimple-like bumps that pop with white pus and heal the next day doesn't align with typical herpes sores. Herpes lesions tend to form ulcers, and the fluid inside is generally clear, not pus-filled. Also, herpes outbreaks tend to reduce in frequency over time, not persist as you've described.
  • Rash Duration: Chronic, lingering rashes aren't typical of herpes. Herpes outbreaks have a more distinct pattern: onset, peak, and healing. A persistent rash might be indicative of another skin condition.
  • Condoms and Protection: You're right; while condoms reduce the risk of many STIs, they don't eliminate the risk entirely. Locations not covered by the condom can still be exposed.
  • HPV & HSV Co-Infection: While it's possible to be co-infected with both viruses, one doesn't necessarily exacerbate the other. They're distinct viruses with separate mechanisms.
  • Photos and Diagnosis: On these forums, we don't want to be diagnosing via pictures since 1) we aren't doctors and 2) it's even hard for doctors to diagnose when not in person. If you still feel uneasy, seeking a third opinion or visiting a dermatologist might be worthwhile.

Remember, you know your body best. If something feels off, it's okay to seek further consultation. It's also worth noting that stress and anxiety can sometimes amplify or even cause physical symptoms.

I truly hope things get clearer for you soon. Hang in there!

Note: This is for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute medical advice or diagnosis.
I'm not a medical professional, so please take this as friendly peer support. 

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