As I have stepped out the confinements of my safe-zone and decided to explore my sexuality, I have stumbled upon many types of penises in many shapes and sizes. Some may have had other undesirable additions and some might stand glorious and gleaming with perfection before your very eyes.
In the Caribbean, many people have a bad habit of only going to the doctor when they see something that looks wrong on their body or they have a really bad flu; or as my late grandmother once said, “mi only go a docta if mi bone bruck!”(“I only go to the doctor if my bones are broken).
But are we able to tell what is a STD from what is not?
Lest we forget that we must protect ourselves from the various STI’s that are common to our region. We spend so much time being hung up on HIV, that we forget that it is not the only threat to our health that exists through unsafe sexual practices. For most of us, safe sex practice is just merely, using a condom during penetrative sex and doing rapid HIV tests every few months. However, even that has its faults—though very rear.
How many persons can identify the difference between Pearly Penile Papules and Human Papillomavirus?
Not only do they sound the same, but they are often times confused to be the same—due to their similarities in appearance. However, they are not. Though both happen to be quite common, PPP just happens to be common amongst the human race (for 7/10 men are genetically predisposed to having the circumferential papules form around the corona gland of the penis). HPV is common amongst persons who are sexually active, and most persons who have the virus don’t even know they have it—for HPV can often times be asymptomatic.
Furthermore, HPV is a sexually transmittable disease. PPP is neither contagious nor transmittable.
If you are a hormonal teenage boy who is engaging in sexual activity, and start to see a ring of bumps coming up at the bottom of the head of the penis—relax! PPP in most cases, usually starts forming around the ages of 17-21 and disappear naturally as you grow into adulthood.
But how can one be sure if they are HPV+ or just have PPP?
Could the rash on your partner’s shaft be from eczema?
What about that bump on your groin?
It could very well be a buildup of lymphocytes, ingrown hair, or even body acne derived from hormone imbalance! On the other hand, syphilis—a blood disease of which has no cure—is often described by medical and health professionals as “the great imitator”; because its symptoms can include all of the above mentioned, and more.
However without the right blood work and credible medical examination, one may never know.
It is imperative that we all as sexually active individuals, account ourselves responsible for ourselves (and our partners, if we have one) and budget the finances and time to take care of our bodies and see our physicians for regular medical check-ups, at least once or twice per year.
Be sure to request an executive blood examination, which will not only be beneficial in reporting STDs/STIs but also in reporting any other complications in your health that may exist.