I’ve been experiencing urinating problems after I ejaculate. It becomes difficult to pee and sometimes hurts. The doctor says I’m healthy and seems clueless as to why this could be happening. Any idea why? Is this normal?
“Peeing Problems” Madison, WI
It’s not abnormal to have an urge to urinate after ejaculation. This happens because your prostate releases fluid with the ejaculatory fluid (semen). Also, the prostate swells prior to ejaculation, which can change urinary function. If you were urinating without knowing after ejaculation, that would certainly be abnormal. Your problem could be a result of a something simple, such as overactivity of the bladder, or something more serious, where the sphincter muscle is acting abnormally. If this condition persists, I would seek the attention of a urologist. In the meantime, try some herbal remedies. I recommend uva ursi (Arctostaphylos uva ursi) as a daily tea, twice a day or in the tincture form (liquid). Ginseng, cranberries and even oysters can also help aid in bladder function and should have you going in no time. —PF
I was recently diagnosed with hepatitis C, and I noticed upon doing research about the illness that it can be linked to HIV. This and many other STDs are often linked as a risk of co-infection. Why is this?
Peter Crystal Falls, MI
Co-infection means that one individual has two different diseases at the same time. It is an unfortunate occurrence when your doctor has to notify you that not only have you contracted HIV but also hepatitis C or even syphilis from a recent sexual partner. Considering that some gay men engage in unprotected sex with multiple sex partners, the chance of contracting more than one infection is high. If you factor in recreational drugs like crystal meth and Internet chat rooms that boast PNP (party and play), the rates can go up even further. Hepatitis C, like HIV, is a blood-borne disease, but it is usually transmitted through sharing needles. Among gay men, HIV is contracted mainly through sexual contact. The biggest concern with having both diseases is that they act to accelerate the progression of one another. This can pose a problem with treatment. Managing patients with these two viruses can be difficult and challenging. For those who qualify, the treatment for hepatitis C is an injectable form of interferon and an oral medication called ribavirin. This, in addition to the HIV cocktail, equals a considerable amount of medication that has to be prescribed. Hepatitis C unlike HIV is curable in a small percentage of patients, and treatment can go on for up to a year. The best way to avoid both is to use condoms and avoid sharing needles. —FS
JUICE IT UP
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One of my best friends is HIV positive and healthy. He started taking a mangosteen fruit juice supplement months back and has been medication-free for nine months. His health has never been better, and his doctor told him to keep drinking the mangosteen juice. I know this is no cure, but can juices and other natural products help HIV patients that much?
Scott Porter Las Vegas, NV
The mangosteen fruit is found in Southeast Asia and other tropical places and is packed with xanthones, an antioxidant, known to protect the body from the effects of free radicals. Found throughout the environment, free radicals attack the body in order to become electrically balanced. Antioxidants act to defend the body from this irreversible process, called oxidation. By donating a free electron, antioxidants disarm the free radical. The beneficial effects of antioxidants have been studied in relationship to maintaining intestinal function, improving the immune system and promoting respiratory health. However, before you go and throw your HIV cocktail down the drain, talk with your doctor. Vitamins and nutritional supplements have shown to improve the body’s defenses against infection, but they do not cure HIV. In addition to mangosteen juice, other naturopathic remedies like hydrogen peroxide, have also been associated with improved immune function, but the studies are limited and the evidence is not consistent. The best advice is to discuss these options with a naturopathic specialist or nutritionist in conjunction with your HIV doctor. Be careful not to self-medicate or replace your antiretroviral medication on your own. There are irreversible outcomes associated with resistance once HIV meds are stopped. Also, some supplements are contraindicated in use with certain HIV meds. —FS
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