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is it possible to confuse genital herpes

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Hi, so I had protected sex but you know how fingers end up everywhere. Couple days later (not to get graphic) my anal area is tingling and red bumps show up which are uncomfortable. I was freaking out and went to the doctor who only looked at a photo I took and declared it herpes. Basically my question is, if the symptoms above are the only ones I had, and there was no fever or joint pain or anything else. Is it at all possible it could be something else. To be safe I am already taking valtrevaltrex or one of them but please help I am not ready for this.



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You were diagnosed by a picture?! Why didn't they swab it?


It is possible it is something else. Without proper testing there is no way to know what it was. Keep in mind everyone's symptoms are different. I didn't get the joint pain/flu like symptoms, however, if that was your first outbreak, it seems rather mild.


I'm sure someone will give you the facts in a bit. I'm stunned at the picture diagnoses. Where are you at?

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I agree .. a photo is no way to diagnose and the Dr should have LOOKED at it and swabbed it if there was something to get a culture from. Odds are you have hemerroids (VERY common if you are traveling from all the sitting in busses/planes/etc) ... but you really need a swab to diagnose it.


That said, I wouldn't panic. Odds are very low that you got it from any manual stimulation ... generally you need sustained, skin to skin contact with friction and/or perhaps open wounds/micro-cuts from shaving


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I'm in the Philippines right now. When I told the doctor where to look she kinda choked like she didn't want to go down there lol don't blame her. But the moment she looked at it she was like definitely. Plus looking at pictures on google and how soon it happened after that night makes me agree. I won't be able to get it checked till I get back. Should I continue thinking it is herpes and be safe or relax?

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That is very unprofessional of her. That's all I can say about that. As far as your worries I would relax but chill on the sex until you have a confirmation. (Or wear protection if you must have sex)


Editing this to ask if you are still having the irritation at the moment? Because if so, I would abstain from sex until you have more info.

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If the medication helped she *may* be right or it may be coincidental. I would suggest you play safe till you get to a country with more modern medical facilities ... until you have a proper diagnosis I suggest that you forego sex because with traveling, you may not be able to track down your partners and *IF* you have herpes it DOES open us up to possibly catching HIV ... it may not be much more of a chance but for now you need to be sensible around your sexual health, ok?

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Well, the first thing is to get a proper diagnosis. Then you will know what steps to take next.


In the meantime, use this time to get educated about STD's and to think about what you really want in life. It doesn't mean you can't have casual sex... but it DOES mean you have to be more adult about it and that means having adult conversations about sex before you get freaky :)

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Thanks! Bizarrely this blood test only tests for hsv-2. Is it true though that it may be too early to tell.I've been reading that enough antibodies haven't been made yet. If so it still doesn't help me and still can't technically relax, right?

Plus nothing has shown up on my mouth besides some irritation but that seems to happen when I generally meet someone new. I think it's like my body needs to get used to them.

I feel so stupid and daily regret that night and I am on vacation....this sucks!!


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Just found this online:

Symptoms of Anal Herpes

The symptoms of anal herpes are reasonably unique, but only if you know all of what you're looking for. If you're not paying attention, anal herpes can be mistaken for hemorrhoids, anal fissures, an allergic reaction, heat rash, a yeast infection, ingrown hair follicles, abrasions, jock itch or even insect bites. The reason these false diagnoses come up is because people are only paying attention to one or two symptoms instead of all of them.

The process of elimination by consideration of symptoms is called "differential diagnosis", and it's essential to dealing with the anorectal region.

So, in the interests of accurate diagnosis, all possible symptoms of anal herpes should be investigated.

Anal herpes, along with hemorrhoids and anal fissures, can cause a knife-like pain during bowel movements with the pain lasting for up to 15 minutes after the movement's complete. This pain is often described as "like passing glass."

Anal herpes can also leave bright red blood on the toilet paper, in the bowl or on the stool. It can even make you feel as though you have to pass a movement constantly.

When herpes manifests around the anus, it often forms a small crack or fissure instead of the more typical blisters, ulcers or rash. In a sense, it really is an anal fissure, just one with a viral cause instead of from overstraining.

You also may notice a bloody or mucus discharge.

The real symptoms that differentiate anal herpes from everything else are the specifics that identify an infection, such as swollen lymph nodes, fever, headache, muscle ache, burning sensation in infected area, lower back pain, and recurrence of symptoms. The infected area is usually painful and will probably itch, burn or tingle right before and during an active outbreak.


If that is true all I had/have are the blisters/bumps around the cavity... This is so confusing I hope this all clears up

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This is why I'm saying it sounds more like hemorrhoids .. because you don't sound like you have the other symptoms...yeast infection would be my second guess... and yes, it's confusing because many things can mimic each other down there.


And yes, if you are H- right now you will want to be cautious untill you can test again...and while a few months may *seem* like forever, it's a great time to sit back and do some soul searching :)

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Those numbers look very low to me! I would get retested in a few months just to make sure. And get an HSV1 test also, because you can get that down there. (You may already know that, but I'm just clarifying, because when WCS mentioned it you started talking about your mouth).

I think that I would still be very careful for a few reasons. You don't know what caused your irritation and you didn't get an HSV1 test. And hopefully someone jumps in to correct me if I'm wrong but doesn't taking valtrex affect your testing?

I'm not trying to worry you, the numbers look good! I just want you to be positive of your negative status. (which is a good positive to have :) )

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Well the good news is that the IgG indicates you didn't come into this with Herpes AND while we really don't recomend relying on IgM results (they can be notoriously unreliable) the low number there indicates that you *likely* have not been exposed to Herpes ...


So for *now*, I'd guess you have something else going on ... but you want to retest (and include HSV1) at the 4 month point. as @MMissouri said, the valtrex *could* have affected the results too...


For now, be careful ... use the next few months to reflect and regroup. I know when you are younger it may feel like forever but taking time to just be with YOU and look at where you are and where you want to go can really help you in the long run :)


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Awww Hon.. don't let it affect you socially... really... whatever the outcome, this really isn't worth letting it get you that badly... promise. You are buying into the stigma .,....and stigma isn't "real" ... it's something we create when we don't understand something that *seems* scary... please ... go out tomorrow and have a good time ... and make yourself a promise that this year will be your best ever....no matter what your results :)

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