Wed | Sep 23, 2020

Dear Doc | Can a man get yeast infection?

Published:Monday | May 28, 2018 | 12:00 AM

Q Dear Doc, I have symptoms of HIV, but did an HIV test and the result came back negative. Is there any way I should still be worried? The symptoms are a white lining and bumps in my mouth, which go away then come back. Should I just rule out HIV as they are only symptoms and the test already came back negative? This has been worrying me ever since I had oral sex on a female. I noticed the symptoms two weeks later and it took me five months after to do the HIV test - which came back negative. Can a guy catch HIV from performing oral sex on a female?

A Repeating an HIV test is never a bad idea, and I agree with repeating it.

Now, whereas HIV, in the broad sense, has no symptoms, there is what is called acute retroviral illness. The acute retroviral illness is characterised by fever, enlarged lymph nodes (wax and cannon), sore throat, rash, joint and muscle pain, and headache.

The majority of persons with early HIV infection will be asymptomatic.

In those persons who develop symptoms, the average time from HIV exposure to the development of symptoms is two to four weeks. Of note, incubation periods as long as 10 months have been observed, and this is why repeating an HIV test is a good idea if you are still concerned.

The common oropharyngeal (relating to the mouth) symptoms associated with acute HIV infection include a sore throat and painful mouth ulcers. These ulcers are shallow, with sharp, well-defined edges and a white base surrounded by a thin area of redness.

The white lining of your mouth is suggestive of oral candidiasis and is the opportunistic infection most often seen in persons with later stages of HIV, but may also be related to oral hygiene and may be as a result of particles trapped between your taste buds. (See article of May 13.)

Regarding contracting HIV from oral sex, the answer is yes! HIV, as well as other sexually transmitted infections (STIs), can be contracted from oral sex. Again, this is why it is important to do not only HIV testing, but a complete STI test panel. You can arrange doing both at the same time with your doctor.

Q Dear Doc, can a man get a yeast infection. If so, how will he know he has one?

A Although it is often thought of as a female health problem, yes, a man can get a yeast infection. Yeast infections in men occur because the fungus that causes yeast infections (candida) is normally present on the skin, especially moist skin. So uncircumcised men are at greater risk.

When some contributing factor - such as having unprotected sex with a female who has a vaginal yeast infection - causes an overgrowth of candida, infection can result. You can also develop a yeast infection without sexual activity. Poor hygiene can make you vulnerable to a yeast infection, as well as prolonged use of antibiotics, having diabetes or being obese.

It usually appears as small, white spots; redness; or a dry, peeling rash on the penis, accompanied by itching, irritation or burning.

Most male yeast infections are easily treated with antifungal creams and tablets.

If you and your partner both have symptoms of a yeast infection, it's important that you both be treated at the same time to avoid reinfecting each other.