Doctor's Advice: Is homosexual sex the only way to get HIV?
Q Doctor, I am a female biology student, age 18. Most of my girlfriends seem to be having a great time, sexually speaking. In fact, my best friend seems to sleep around quite a bit, and sometimes has one-night stands with guys.
My pals sometimes encourage me to give sex a try, but so far I have remained virgin. What is preventing me from sleeping with boys is the fact that I am scared of AIDS.
But my friends have told me that I am being chicken. They say that there is no risk of getting HIV from having sex with a male. They claim that it is only homosexual sex which can give a person that virus.
Are they correct?
A No way. What they have been telling you is foolishness.
Unfortunately, a lot of young people like to believe that you cannot get HIV from heterosexual intercourse. They think that it is always transmitted by rectal sex.
Sadly, that is not the case. A lot of males and females are now catching this awful virus as a result of straight vaginal sex. I have actually seen several young women and young men who caught it this way.
So I applaud you for refusing to get involved in sleeping around, and in one-night stands. As you are a virgin at the moment, you are in the happy position of being at virtually no risk of AIDS at all.
It would be quite understandable if you wanted to start enjoying a sex life fairly soon. But when you do it, please practise safe sex. Try to keep to just one partner. And make sure that you always use a condom, at least until you are absolutely sure that your guy is virus-free.
It is a pity that your friends are trying to get you to behave in the same way as them. But if they really are sleeping around, then sooner or later, they will catch an infection - and it could be HIV. So please pay them no mind.
Is sex making me blind?
Q I am a guy of 17, and recently I have noticed that my eyesight is not as good as it was.
Could this be due to having too many sexual climaxes, as I have heard?
A No, that is impossible. There is a persistent myth that sex is somehow connected with the eyes, but it just isn't true.
Q My menses go on for 10 days, Doc. Is that OK?
A Not really. Periods should last for around four to five days only.
You shouldn't have to put up with all that inconvenience. Also, long menses are likely to make you anaemic (that is, weak-blooded) before very long.
I suggest you consult a doctor. She should be able to give you some medication that will shorten the periods to around four or five days.
Q I had sex with two different girls on the same day. Unfortunately, they have now talked with each other, and have discovered that is what happened. So they are both mad at me.
Also, they are claiming that I gave them both a sexually transmitted infection (STI). But is that really possible, Doc? You see, I have no symptoms.
A It is possible for a guy to have an STI, but to have no symptoms. However, that is unlikely. So I think the odds are that you don't have any infection.
Nevertheless, it would be sensible to see a doctor and ask for a check-up and some tests. The two girls should also have tests, if you can persuade them to do so.
Please try and be more careful about your sex life in future. Always wear a condom.
Email questions to Doc at firstname.lastname@example.org and read more in the Outlook Magazine tomorrow.