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Dr. Norm S.
Dr. Norm S., Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 11287
Experience:  Over 30 years of experience in OB/GYN practice.
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What are the key ways of knowing you have hsv or hpv as a man

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What are the key ways of knowing you have hsv or hpv as a man if you can't be tested. I have tiny papules on my penis shaft but I have had them for years.
Hello and welcome.
I am Dr. Norm, and I look forward to helping you today.

There are lots of tiny papules on the penile skin that are normal. Since you've had them for years, they're more likely normal.

The only way to know for sure would be with a biopsy, where one of the papules could be removed and examined under a microscope. You're correct that we don't have a test for hpv, but we can see the characteristic changes of hpv under a microscope.

Hsv (herpes simplex virus) doesn't cause papules, so I don't think it's applicable. We do have cultures available for hsv.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
After a biopsy, is it possible to know if there is a dangerous strain of hpv? How would I be tested for herpes? I'm told that there is no test unless I get a breakout of spots on my penis then they can be tested.
High risk hpv causes cancer and precancerous changes, whereas low risk hpv causes warts. The two would be differentiated by the biopsy.

You're correct that herpes is tested when there is a breakout. If you have no breakout (ulcers), there is no reason to test.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
What is the risk if catching high risk hpv in the uk from a blowjob? What are pre-cancerous changes.?
It's difficult to know the risk of catching high risk hpv in the uk from a blow job. It depends on too many factors, especially related to how many blow jobs the woman had done on other men. The risk is not high. Penile cancer (which can come from high risk hpv) is not common, and contracting high risk hpv is much more likely from vaginal intercourse than from a blow job, since the hpv virus is far more likely to be present in a vagina than in a mouth.

Pre-cancerous changes are the changes that we see years before cancer develops. We see them especially in the cervix, where hpv causes these changes. Most of them disappear on their own, and if they get severe, then we treat them, usually by removal. Similar changes would be seen on the penis before cancer develops, but we don't have a Pap smear for detecting these changes. It hasn't been needed, since we don't see very much penile cancer (compared to cervical cancer, which was common before Pap smears).
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