What do I do if I think I’ve caught herpes from another man?

Dear Dr. Amy:

I am a 21 yr old male. I became curious about men and decided to have an experience. My problem is that I wasn’t really smart-or knowledgable enough to ask if he was wearing a condom (I’m not normally in that situation…). Turned out he wasn’t. I felt “sore” down there a day or so after…I thought that was normal I guess…well it’s like three weeks later and now I’m really sore-can’t go to the bathroom without serious discomfort and I have to resort to a shower rather than toilet paper. The is TERRIBLY uncomfortable and scary…I don’t know if it’s herpes or not?? Today I saw a little blood on the paper after using the restroom…I’m really scared and embarassed-I don’t want anyone to know what I did…What should I do?? Please help.
Scared-Popular Undergrad

Dr. Amy’s Response:

Dear Scared-Popular Undergrad,

Genital herpes can occur in the genital and anal area. Unprotected sex is ranked as a high risk activity for STDs and AIDS. You may be experiencing discomfort due to the infrequency of the sexual activity. Only a medical exam can provide you with a diagnosis. The only thing you and I can do is guess.

I can understand your feeling scared and embarassed. Try to put that aside and seek medical attention. Try to find a clinic or physician whose practice is familiar with the college-age population. This may help your comfort level.

After you see a doctor, if you are still feeling emotionally upset, seek individual or group counseling. Talking to others can be extremely helpful. Being curious about sex is human nature. Being wise about sex is human sense.


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