My brother found out that he is HIV-positive and is devastated. He is taking it very hard. He 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 motivation to sort out their lives.
You can help your brother
by encouraging him to seek immediate counselling. Good counselling and support from his family 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 the cause of this intense itching before my period could be?
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 an STI would be greatly reduced whenever you have sex. However, if you continue to have sex without a condom, knowing that your boyfriend is wild, you could become infected with HIV. You must start thinking seriously.
Use a condom every time you have 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.