Home' LOTL : December 2004 Contents HEALTH
Q My girlfriend has these painful sores on both lips of her vagina.
The doctor says it is staph. How can that be?
A Oral sex has a lot to answer for! Staphylococcal bacteria are just some of the many
bacteria living on our skin. Small cuts and abrasions can easily get infected if the
situation is right. Staph also commonly colonise the nose without causing any symptoms,
but this nasal colony is often the source of infections in other parts of the body. So if
you have a health colony of Staph in your nose and go down on your girl, chances are
she could get a Staph infection. Likewise it's possible she has infected herself from her
own little nasal colony. Either way, nasal swabs can identify the culprits and a few days
of inserting Bactroban ointment into the front of the nostrils and onto your girl's vulva
should solve the problem. Funnily enough, recurrent thrush can also be caused by oral
sex or using saliva as a lubricant because of contamination from Candida in the mouth.
SPERM DONORS AND HIV
Q My girlfriend and I are looking for a gay male friend to be sperm
donor. What tests should be done before the donation? I recently
heard HIV is not showing up in some tests. What can you tell us
A There is a wonderful guide called Pride and Joy: A resource for prospective lesbian
parents in Victoria. It's put out by The Royal Women's Hospital in Melbourne and is
available online from their Wellwomen's website at http://www.rwh.org.au/
wellwomens/whic.cfm?doc_id=4612. Although it refers to Victorian legislation, much
of the information is relevant wherever you are. There's a section on known donor
testing which lists all the tests you need. These include not only HIV, but also
gonorrhoea, chlamydia, hepatitis B and syphilis. Tests for Hep C and cytomegalovirus
(which can cause problems similar to rubella) are listed as optional. Tests for HIV are
done at least three months after the last unsafe sexual or blood-borne contact (like
injecting drug use or work exposure). This is the time when an infected person will first
show antibodies to HIV in their blood. Sperm banks retest at six months because in
some rare cases antibody development is delayed. Fertility clinics also test donors for
genetically inherited diseases. You won't be in a position to do that, but you should
ask your donor about his family history, especially of genetic disorders like
haemophilia, Huntington's disease, cystic fibrosis, or thalassemia. These become more
important if you also have a family history of the disease and so may be a carrier. In
that case, you should consider genetic counselling to find out what this may mean to
you and your child.
LOTL's health columnist is a lesbian GP on the NSW north coast.
The opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and
are not intended as a substitute for medical advice. If you have
concerns about your health please consult your health practitioner.
ORAL SEX HAS A LOT TO ANSWER FOR!
STAPHYLOCOCCAL BACTERIA ARE JUST SOME OF THE
MANY BACTERIA LIVING ON OUR SKIN. SMALL CUTS
AND ABRASIONS CAN EASILY GET INFECTED IF THE
SITUATION IS RIGHT.
TESTS FOR HIV ARE DONE AT LEAST THREE MONTHS
AFTER THE LAST UNSAFE SEXUAL OR BLOOD-BORNE
CONTACT (LIKE INJECTING DRUG USE OR WORK
EXPOSURE). THIS IS THE TIME WHEN AN INFECTED
PERSON WILL FIRST SHOW ANTIBODIES TO HIV IN
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