Does my Male Friend Have Herpes?

Dear Dr. Tom:

I am wondering if my male friend has herpes. Here are the symptoms he exhibits. On Day 1, burning sensation while urinating – right near the tip of penis. On Day 2 and 3, pain becomes worse – but no blood or blockage. On Day 4, friend goes to the doctor, who diagnoses it as urinary tract infection, prescribes antibiotics. Later that day, a wide series of painful blister/lesions with white discoloration appear on inner side of lower lip – very painful but invisible to observers. It is now Day 6, and friend has fever at night with shivering and some muscle aches. Urinal stinging is abating (probably due to antibiotics) – but oral lesions continue and are painful – though it seems that they might be dying out. My friend has been monogamous for 1 year – but has only recently (6 weeks) begun performing oral sex on girlfriend.

Dr. Tom’s Response:

Dear Anonymous Who Asks If Male Friend Has Herpes:

One cannot be a diagnostician from characteristics given via the Net, but the symptoms you described resemble herpetic infection quite closely. The burning described might also be subsiding because the herpetic outbreak is going into remission. Herpetic lesions do not respond to antibiotic treatment. Oral sex on the girlfriend is risky to her, because the painful oral lesions are quite suggestive of herpes labialis. The chances of transmission to her are good. Being a good boy for a year does not make your male friend a herpes safe guy. He may possibly have acquired the infection through sexual activities earlier than that.


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