HIV Genital Sores Singapore | Shim Clinic

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HIV Symptoms Genital Sores Singapore


Many different sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) can cause genital sores, including herpes, syphilis, and HIV. Genital sores, along with sores on the anus and mouth and other flu-like symptoms such as fever, nausea, and headache, can indicate the first phase of HIV infection.

Many different sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) can cause genital sores. The earliest phase of HIV infection, which is known as acute HIV infection or primary HIV infection, often produces sores on the genitals. These are small open sores that are usually painful. There may also be sores in other areas, including the anus and the mouth, as well as sores in the esophagus (the tube that carries food from the mouth into the stomach), which can make swallowing painful. In addition to genital sores, there may be other symptoms of acute HIV infection, including fever, nausea, and headache. Sores don’t occur in everyone with acute HIV infection.

Herpes can also cause genital sores. There is often a burning sensation that precedes the appearance of the sores, which is known as the viral prodrome. The sores then appear, beginning as small blisters and then breaking open to form ulcers. They will heal on their own, but the infection with the herpes virus is lifelong, and new outbreaks of sores may occur repeatedly.

  • Many STDs can cause genital sores.
  • In the early phase of HIV infection, some people have sores on the anus, genitals, and mouth. Other symptoms, including fever, nausea, and headache, may also occur.
  • Herpes causes repeated outbreaks of small blisters that break open into ulcers.
  • Syphilis causes a single painless ulcer, and if untreated, can later cause major damage to other body systems.
  • STD testing, including an HIV test, is needed to find the cause of your genital sores. If your HIV test is negative but no other cause is found, you may need to get a second HIV test in a few weeks

Syphilis is another STD that may cause a sore. In this case, it’s usually a single ulcer. It’s usually painless, so it is easily overlooked. After the ulcer heals, the syphilis bacteria remain in the body, and can later cause symptoms including damage to the nervous system and heart, along with other body systems. Syphilis is easily treatable with antibiotics, but the damage that the bacteria do may not be reversible with treatment, so it’s important to catch it while it’s still in the stage of a sore and treat it.

If you have genital sores, then you should go to an STD clinic to get STD testing, including an HIV test. Let the doctor know whether you have any other potential HIV symptoms. It’s common to mistake HIV symptoms for the flu, but your doctor needs to know about them in case they indicate HIV. The HIV test can actually miss the infection while it’s in its early stage, because it takes time for the body to generate an immune response to the virus. If you have HIV symptoms but the test is negative, your doctor may recommend that you return for another HIV test in a few weeks.


Mayo Clinic. “STD symptoms: Common STDs and their symptoms.” Mayo Clinic. Published 18 Mar 2015. Accessed 20 Jul 2016.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Screening Recommendations Referenced in Treatment Guidelines and Original Recommendation Sources.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Published 04 Jun 2015. Accessed 20 Jul 2016.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “HIV/AIDS.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Published 05 Jul 2016. Accessed 27 Jul 2016.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “HIV Basics – Testing.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Published 12 Jul 2016. Accessed 20 Jul 2016.

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. “Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP).” Published 21 Sep 2015. Accessed 20 Jul 2016.

Sexual risk (of HIV/STD/pregnancy), and what you can do before and after exposure.

Timeline HIV STD Pregnancy
Before exposure
Abstain from sex, Be faithful, or Condom use
Circumcision (males only)
(females only)
HIV PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis)
– Stop HIV infection before exposure
STD vaccine:
Hepatitis vaccine
HPV vaccine
STD / HIV exposure
Unsafe sex / unprotected sex:
No condom / Condom broke / Condom slip
0-72 hours HIV PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis)
– Stop HIV infection after exposure
STD testing *
Screening test
– to look for asymptomatic infections
– from previous exposures
Emergency contraception
with the
morning-after pill
(females only)
2 weeks HIV DNA Test
1 month HIV 4th Generation Test
SD Bioline HIV Ag/Ab Combo
– Fingerprick blood sampling.
20 minutes to results
3 months HIV 3rd Generation Test
OraQuick® HIV-1/2 Antibody
– Oral fluid or
– Fingerprick blood sampling.
20 minutes to results
STD testing *
– Full & comprehensive
diagnostic test
– to look for current infections
Watch for HIV Symptoms STD Symptoms
If infected HIV Treatment STD Treatment Abortion

* Males: Do not urinate for at least 4 hours before arriving.
* Females: testing is more accurate when you are not menstruating.


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