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The Clam

Published: February 22, 2001
Dear TeenHealthFX,
Please post information regarding a STD called "the clam" or moscullum. I have been unable to locate any significant info on the web and my boyfriend was just diagnosed with it.
Signed: The Clam

Dear The Clam,

TeenHealthFX believes the sexually transmitted disease (STD) you are referring to, is known as Molluscum (mo-LUS-kum) Contagiosum (kun-TAGE-ee-O-sum). Molluscum Contagiosum is a viral skin infection and can appear anywhere on the body. It is not considered life threatening; in fact, it usually is only a cosmetic problem.

Molluscum Contagiosum appears as a small, flesh-colored or pink spot. These are sometimes mistaken for warts, but tend to have a smooth, shiny surface, and a depression in the middle.

In children, Molluscum Contagiosum is transmitted through shared clothes, towels, or through person-to-person contact. Its transmission is associated with places like swimming pools. When found in children the spots usually appear on the chin, chest, abdomen, face legs and arms.

In adults, the most common way in which Molluscum Contagiosum is transmitted is through sexual contact. It usually, but not necessarily, appears on the genital area, inner thighs, and lower abdomen.

While Molluscum Contagiosum is not considered a dangerous disease, always seek medical advice if you notice anything unusual around your genital area. In most cases the virus disappears by itself. In more extreme cases medical treatment will be required.

Until you boyfriend is rid of the virus you should refrain from any close contact (especially sexual contact) until the bumps disappear. Tell your boyfriend not to scratch the bumps. Scratching may spread the infection to other parts of the body or to other people. Also, practicing safer sex can help prevent the spread of STDs (and reduce the risk of unintended pregnancy).

If you think that you may have contracted Molluscum Contagiosum you should see your doctor. Or you can call your local teen health center or Planned Parenthood for an appointment. They can see you confidentially on a low/no cost basis. If you live in northern New Jersey you can call the Adolescent/Young Adult Center for Health at 973.889.6350.

TeenHealthFX hopes this answers your question. Please let us know if you need further information.

Signed: TeenHealthFX

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