I may be infected with syphilis!
I am 18. My neighbour's son, who is about 20, usually comes to my house when my parents are out and we would have sex.
The minute I know my parents are out, I would call him.
I love him and am hoping that one day he will marry me and we can live together as partners for life.
I have a little problem, though. First I had a sore-looking thing on my vagina. I did not pay that any attention until I started having a rash on my hands and feet.
Counsellor, I am now very scared because I read about those symptoms in my biology class. So I think I may be infected with syphilis. Please, tell me, what I can do. I cannot let my parents know I am sexually active. It is my fault why my boyfriend is having sex with me. How can I deal with this problem without going to the doctor?
Dear Clever Teenager:
You just cannot deal with this problem without going to the doctor. There is no medication over the counter that can adequately treat syphilis if you are, in fact, infected.
Remember, as well, that untreated syphilis can lead to serious complications.
You mentioned that you want your boyfriend to become your life partner. You must tell him the truth, you must have a serious conversation with him and let him know about the symptoms you are experiencing, so you both can deal with the issue you are now facing.
You must see a health-care provider, as soon as possible, so you can be medically assessed and treated.
Remember you must protect your sexual health. You are to use a condom every time you have sex so you can be protected from sexually transmitted infections, including HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
I went to the doctor for my yearly check-up. To my surprise, he told me I am infected with genital warts. I cannot believe this. I have been a Christian for the last seven months. I have not had sex since I became a Christian. Could my doctor be wrong?
Born Again Christian
Dear Born Again Christian:
It is unlikely that your doctor made the wrong diagnosis. You must be aware that a person infected with genital warts may not have symptoms for a long time after infection. Therefore, it is possible for you to be infected and show no symptoms for as long as seven months or more.
You may have been infected before you became a Christian and had stopped having sex.
It is important that you follow your doctor's instructions carefully. Your partner must also be checked for genital warts. I am suggesting, also, that you try to get all the information you can on genital warts and do not hesitate to question your doctor.
For more information on condom use, HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections call the AIDS/STD toll free at 1888-991-4444.