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Infectious Diseases

How do I know for sure if it`s herpes?

05/23/2006

Question:

I am currently deployed to Afghanistan, and while here I have developed something on the end of my penis that the medic said resembled herpies or a fungis. Its sore to the touch, and at first felt like an insect bite. I am currently using Calmine Lotion to lessen the effects, but am worried it may be Herpies even though I haven`t had sex in over 6 months. How do I know for sure, symtoms, signs, etc....?

Answer:

Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by the herpes simplex viruses type 1 (HSV-1) and type 2 (HSV-2). Most genital herpes is caused by HSV-2. Most individuals have no or only minimal signs or symptoms from HSV-1 or HSV-2 infection. When signs do occur, they typically appear as one or more blisters on or around the genitals or rectum. The blisters break, leaving tender ulcers (sores) that may take two to four weeks to heal the first time they occur. Typically, another outbreak can appear weeks or months after the first, but it almost always is less severe and shorter than the first outbreak. Although the infection can stay in the body indefinitely, the number of outbreaks tends to decrease over a period of years. 

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Response by:

Pamposh   Kaul, MD Pamposh Kaul, MD
Assistant Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati