My sexy boyfriend always refused to get in my hot tub with me-until yesterday. When his head was submerged, I finally figured out why. He's going bald! I really like him but I'm not into the shaved head thing. What can he do?
First, you both should know that a majority of guys will experience hair loss. The good news is that treatments are constantly improving. The first option is chemical treatments, like Propecia (which stops hair loss at the physiological level) and Rogaine (a topical growth stimulator). These are the only FDA-approved drug treatments. The second option is a hairpiece. Toupees have come a long way" many can be attached permanently or semi-permanently" and can provide a natural look with minimal maintenance. The third option is hair transplantation. Check out companies like medicalhairrestoration.com that provide links to permanent hair replacement solutions. You can also look at americanhairloss.org for additional options. The sooner he treats this issue, the more likely the treatments will work. Before you consider your boyfriend's impending baldness a deal breaker, though, remember that most men will have to deal with hair loss at some point-maybe even you.
YOU GOT WOMAN'S TROUBLES?
I hear a lot about HPV in women. Is this something that gay men need to worry about as well?
HPV is a very common virus. A large majority of sexually active people will acquire the disease-both men and woman are affected-and yes, this is especially important for the gay community. Genital warts are the most easily recognized symptom of HPV. Many people, however, have no visible symptoms. Warts, which can affect the penis or anal area, are embarrassing, but not the only byproduct. There are several strains of HPV known to cause cancer. But don't freak out. Most types of HPV do not cause cancer-the strains that cause warts are even less likely to. You should know, however, there is no cure. Warts can be removed, but the virus never goes away. Because the jury is still out as to whether a condom protects against HPV, and because the virus is extremely transmittable, abstinence is the only way to avoid infection. Realistically, however, the best offence is a good defense. Make sure to have yearly checkups and anal pap smears. HPV infection does not have to impact your daily life. But if it's there, being aware can save you embarrassment--or even your life down the line.
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VIRGIN MARYS & MOES
I'm 19 years old and, so far, have only had sex with women. Thing is, I know I'm gay and want to have sex with men. I did have unprotected sex (once) with a virgin (girl), so do I still need to be tested for HIV before I have sex with men?
What a stud! Yes, you still need to be tested. Any occasion on which you have unprotected sex-with either a guy or a girl-HIV infection can occur. And who knows who's a virgin these days? Or what a guy or a girl means when they say virgin. Some people think orally servicing the track team technically makes them a virgin since they didn't take a javelin up the peep show. Remember, too, that unprotected sex can also lead to other STDs not only HIV. Some guys who hunt down sex in public spaces and who only do oral think they're being safe from HIV, but they end up with oral gonorrhea from performing unprotected oral sex. Some guys on the prowl for action protect themselves by assuming that potentially everyone has HIV or is carrying around an STD. Look at this way: It's late. It's a party. He's hot. You're horny and you may never see each other again or he may be your future husband. The point is you're total strangers and all you really know about each other is that you're both ready to go. You've even been imagining different positions and have a checklist. Wrapping up the excitement is a good rule of, uh, thumb. Another useful rule to live by now that guys will be chasing your hot body down the street is to get tested for HIV every six months. In fact, Centers for Disease Control now recommend that family doctors automatically include an HIV test in an annual physical. Have peace of mind now that you're getting a piece of the action.
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