I Have No Idea How To Tell People I'm Poz - Health Q&A
Wednesday, 01 October 2008
TO TELL OR NOT TO TELL?
I just found out I’m HIV positive and stopped crying maybe a day ago at the most. I am afraid to tell everyone—my friends, family and everyone I work with—but I know I have to…or do I? If I tell them, how can I go about it? This is very hard for me. Please help.
Dale via Internet
Close your eyes, breathe deeply and feel the loving arms of the Instinct family around you. You are not damaged goods. You’re the same lovable person you were before your infection. Wipe away those tears and listen up. Disclosing HIV status is a process, same as coming out. Before telling anyone, ask your local AIDS service organization (National AIDS Hotline can help, 1-800-232-4636, 24/7) about support groups for newly infected men. Start by telling a trustworthy friend. Then move on to a family member with whom you already have a comfortable relationship. Forget about disclosure at work unless you want to tell the mail room stud you’ve been stamping so he can also get tested. Ask the testing service to explain ways others can be contacted about getting tested that keep your name anonymous. Treat disclosure on a “need to know” basis. Know why you’re telling everyone you tell: Do you need their support? If you’re starting HIV medicines, will you need help remembering to take your pills? Build your support network one person at a time for one reason at a time. Disclosure is less threatening if we know why we’re telling others. Regarding sex, guys understandably shy away from physical contact at first, but then the hornies kick in and off we get. HIV isn’t tattooed on your forehead, but do remember to always play safely. Your doctor or a caseworker can explain proper condom and lube use. Now blow your nose, wash your face and smile. You’re going to be just fine! —FP
BIG WILLIE STYLE
Are penile-lengthening exercises safe? Do they work? What do you recommend?
Rick Everett, MA
There are many techniques that allegedly make the penis larger. There are manual exercises, surgical procedures, non-surgical procedures, penis-enlargement pumps and even some “herbal preparations.” Some of the oldest techniques originate from African tribes and involve heavy weights attached by a rope that grips behind the glans. In recent years, penile surgeries to increase both girth and length have been performed. Inflatable implants have been used to replace the “muscle,” or corpus cavernosum in older men who have impotence secondary to prostate cancer. Penis or vacuum pumps do work but can cause bursting of blood vessels and blistering for the overly enthusiastic pumper. An easier, safer way is a technique called “jelqing” that increases blood pressure in the penis. Wrap your thumb and index finger around your semi-erect penis and draw them away from the body to force blood into the glans. This makes the penis appear to be larger, but there is still a risk of bursting blood vessels. The “miracle penis herbal/pill enlargers” should be used with caution as some have contained harmful contaminants, including mold, yeast, lead, mercury and pesticides. Why not be happy with what you’ve got already? Remember, it’s not the size of the ship, but the motion of the ocean. —PF
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A CLOSE SHAVE
I’ve tried shaving “down there,” but every time I get bad razor burn. What is the trick to manscaping without having a burning, itching set of bumps on the thighs?
Andrew Dueñas via Internet
Surveys have revealed that 57% of men would choose to have less body hair. Whenever you decide to “manscape,” it must be a continued process of upkeep of exceptional hygiene and strategic hair removal. First, you must choose your hair-removal options: razor, electrolysis, waxing or creams. This will partially depend on your tolerance for pain. If you go with the blade, I suggest the following. First, shower using high-quality herbal soap and then towel dry. Second, use a clipper to clip the area(s) desired above or below the waist. Third, shave with a razor in the direction of the hair follicle to avoid cutting, nicking and irritation. (Do not use hot water when shaving, as this can be irritating to the skin.) Fourth, keep your new skin smooth with a daily moisturizer. I personally use Lasting Results by Prescribed Solutions, available at Longevity Nutritionals (212.688.5536). Finally, supplement your sleek new look by treating yourself to a mani/pedi. —PF
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