1. I am having foul smelling discharge with tummy pain. What to do?
Foul smelling discharge is likely to be related to an infection. Get yourself and your partner (if you are sexually active) treated by a doctor. It is likely you will be put through some tests and given some antibiotics. Advice will include preventive measures like maintaining good perineal hygiene and barrier contraception.
2. My private parts often itch a lot. It is quite embarrassing. Please help me.
Itching near the private parts could be associated with a fungal infection. Topical treatment consists of creams or pessaries to insert inside the vaginal passage. Often oral medicines are used alone or in addition to the topical agents. There are different reasons for these infections – it could be due to poor genital hygiene, through sexually transmission, following a course of antibiotics or in association with other diseases like diabetes.
3. I suspect my boyfriend with whom I am having a physical relationship has other sexual partners. What should I do?
Are you still prepared to hang around with him is my question? If you believe in a monogamous relationship you need to protest and confront him. If you want to carry on, it would be wise to use barrier protection like condoms before every sexual act.
4. Is HIV and AIDS the same?
They are not the same. HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is the viral infection, which over time may result in the disease AIDS (Acquired immunodeficiency Syndrome) where the immune system of the body is compromised making it susceptible to various infections.
5. How does HIV spread?
HIV spreads most commonly by the sexual route. Both heterosexual and homosexual relationships could spread the infection. All kinds of sexual activity – oral, anal or genital can result in any of the sexually transmitted infection including HIV. Mother-to-child transmission and sharing of body fluids are also responsible. Transfusion of HIV contaminated blood and sharing needles as in cases of drug abusers are other reasons for spread. HIV does not spread by touch or sharing objects of daily use.
6. My inner parts burn a lot after having sex. Could I have an infection?
Yes you could have an infection. It would be worth getting yourself and your partner evaluated at a clinic. It is likely both of you would be given medicines for relief of your problems.
7. How can I check whether I have HIV?
There are government-approved centers where you can check your HIV status. Alternately you can have your blood sample tested from a private clinic. The initial test result if positive, would need to be confirmed, by another special test.
8. Does HIV mean death? Is any cure available for the disease?
HIV does not mean death. A fraction of patients with the infection eventually go on to have the disease i.e. AIDS. There is no absolute cure for the disease. However medicines are available to reduce the viral load to a minimum and limit symptoms arising from advanced disease.
9. How can I protect myself best from HIV?
Staying in a sexual relationship with a single partner would be ideal. Barrier contraception or condoms should be used during intercourse. Avoid sharing of needles or using contaminated needles. Ensure that transfused blood is screened for the virus.
10. How can I be of help to spread HIV awareness?
It is good you think about and feel for the HIV cause. There are NGOs doing good work for people living with AIDS and you can definitely be of help. Contact their websites for ways in which you can contribute.