Got Herpes at the base

Question

Ok, so I had protected sex and ended up with 2 herpes sores on the base of my penis. If the skin wasn't intact enough to prevent the herpes then I guess it couldn't have been intact enough to prevent HIV? Could I have contracted HIV via the same route at the same place on my penis? This has me very worry because all the symptoms I had were much more like HIV symptoms and less like herpes symptoms . Especially the night sweats during that time I had other ARS symptoms. I just feel like I tried to protect myself and still got HIV and I'm not sure what my Herpes history was but I never remember sores around the base of my penis like that. I used a condom and I feel I got cheated. Thanks

Answer

Hello,

"If the skin wasn't intact enough to prevent the herpes then I guess it couldn't have been intact enough to prevent HIV." If you did "guess" this, your assumption would be completely wrong! The facts are that herpes, like HPV (genital warts), is spread merely by skin-to-skin contact. Therefore even with the skin intact you can contract herpes and HPV. However, HIV is more difficult to transmit. HIV cannot permeate intact skin! HIV can cross intact mucous membranes, such as the lining of the urethra (pee hole), but not skin (the covering of the shaft of the penis, for example). You can read much more about HIV transmission, both sexual and nonsexual, in the archives of this forum. You can also learn more about other STDs and their modes of transmission as well.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob