My brother found out that he is HIV-positive and is devastated. He is taking it very hard. He has started drinking, smoking ganja and sleeping around with different women.
He has not been home for the last three days. He has not turned up for his work, either. I am really upset because of the way he is behaving.
He has always been a responsible person. What can I do to help him?
Dear Caring Sister,
Some people who are infected with HIV react to shock by drinking heavily, taking drugs and having sex with lots of people.
A few want to infect others so that they are not alone with their suffering. Some persons even give up trying to behave responsibly, while others use the test result as a motivation to sort out their lives.
You can help your brother by encouraging him to seek immediate counselling. Good counselling and support from his families and friends is likely to enable him to change his behaviour.
He may come to realise that he is not only hurting others, but himself as well. Having sex with multiple persons could expose him to more HIV and he could become reinfected.
I hope he will come to realise how dangerous he is now living.
For some time now, I have been having intense itching before my period. My tummy hurts badly during and after the period. In addition, I am experiencing a smelly discharge from my vagina. I wonder if that could be a disease. My boyfriend is very wild and I am tired of talking to him about his behaviour. Can you tell me what could be the cause of this intense itching before my period?
Dear Concerned Female,
From what you have been experiencing, it is highly possible that you may have contracted a sexually transmitted infection (STI).
You need to visit a doctor immediately so that your condition can be correctly diagnosed and treated. Remember that if you use a condom, your chances of getting a STI would be greatly reduced whenever you have sex.
However, if you continue to have sex without a condom, knowing that your boyfriend is a womaniser, you could become infected with HIV. You must start thinking seriously. Use a condom every time you have sex.
Early last week, I decided to get a complete medical examination. I had blood tests, urine test, etc. I went back to the doctor and was told that I am in good health. Does that mean that I don't have HIV?
Doctors do not routinely test for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. You should not assume that your blood was tested for HIV. The HIV test is not usually done without the patients' knowledge and consent. If you are concerned, ask your doctor to be a little more specific as to what tests were done.
I am a 23-year-old girl who is in love with a man who is 68-year-old. Whenever we make love, all he wants to do is oral sex.
Can I get HIV from oral sex? My boyfriend told me the saliva is harsh and could kill the virus.
Dear Young Jenny,
You can get sexually transmitted infections, including HIV the virus that causes AIDS, from oral sex.
The saliva has nothing to do with preventing you from becoming infected with STIs. Sexually transmitted infections are spread during sexual intercourse, oral sex and anal sex.
STI germs need to live in warm, moist areas. That's why they infect the mouth, rectum and sex organs (vagina, vulva, penis and testes). My suggestion to you is to practise safe oral sex.
For more information on condom use, HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections, call the AIDS/STD Helpline at 967-3830, 967-3764 or toll free at 1888-991-4444.