Dirty 30s: a dangerous myth
Dear Editor:Tears greeted me as I walked into the exam room. No hellos, good-days or smiles of satisfaction, just a mumbled cry for help. It seems there’s a problem … down there. It started so simply, a friend “with benefits,” a satisfying celebration of independence and sexual yearnings. Weeks later there was a deep burning pain followed by some nasty blisters. There’s medication that’ll help ease the symptoms, but no end of tears will cure this infection; a life has changed with this one encounter.Ms. Berkley, sex is not as simple as you propose (Aspen Times, Feb. 8). As an avowed “Dirty 30” (DT), assuming you really can dissociate your emotions from your body, how will you isolate your body from the real, physical possibilities of your sexual paradigm? Antibiotics may cure the syphilis, trichomoniasis, gonorrhea and chlamydia before they can ravage the body, if you get tested in time. Hmmm, but have you heard about cervical cancer and genital warts? A virus called human papilloma virus causes these sexually transmitted diseases. Although condoms may help, they are not fully effective in preventing transmission. A new vaccine can block some of the particularly nasty types of HPV, but its use is limited (it hasn’t been approved for individuals over the age of 26) and it is expensive. Is your empowered sexy body ready to flaunt the sores and pain of a herpes simplex virus infection? There’ll be plenty of opportunity to familiarize yourself with this particular affliction; it likes to periodically visit for the rest of your life. How do you feel about HIV and hepatitis? Are your friends celebrating as they call their playmates to inform them of their possible future (albeit shortened) with AIDS or liver failure and cancer, thanks to that DT action? The truth is, sex is great; as part of a mature, mutually monogamous relationship. Sadly, when used as Ms. Berkley proposes, sex can injure or even kill, and that’s a strange sort of empowerment. Whether you are a promiscuous female or male, stud or whore, viruses, bacteria and parasites are equal opportunity players and they’ll step through any opening. Like your friends, these bugs don’t care about respect; they’re just looking for a warm body to play in.If you have any questions, please ask a health-care provider. It’s your (and perhaps someone else’s) life that may be at stake.Dewayne Niebur, M.D.Aspen
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