Open Wide

Open Wide

Ask Dr. Eva

by Eva Hersh, MD

Friday, June 23, 2017

Mosquito Season

Dear Dr. Eva,

The mosquito season is already exploding in my back yard. After a couple of hours of gardening, my wrists and ankles have so many bites they are swollen. I put on mosquito repellent, but is there anything else I can do? I’m thinking of hiring a mosquito spraying service, but I wonder if the spray is dangerous and also won’t it interfere with the ecosystem?


Friday, June 09, 2017

Pride in a Changing Climate

It’s easy to show our LGBT pride when we are in a crowd of people who are all doing the same. That’s why some people are out only during Pride: it feels safe. It’s also much easier to feel and show gay pride when things are moving in the right direction, as they had been in the last few years. The Supreme Court affirmed the legitimacy of same-sex marriages, there were steps towards equal rights for transpeople, and barriers to LGBT participation in the military and other institutions were coming down.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Questions About Herpes

Dear Dr. Eva,

I am a woman in my 30s. I have been in what I thought was a monogamous relationship for the past five years. I recently developed a group of pinheads sized, painful/itchy blisters on my left labia. My partner swears that she has not had sex with anyone else, but this sure looks to me like evidence to the contrary. She says that her doctor told her that a person can be silently carrying herpes for years and then have it show up by infecting another person. Could that possibly be true?


Dear Dr. Eva,

I am an older person and a longtime member and observer of the gay scene. As I’m sure you know, cross-dressing (men dressing as women) has been part of gay life at least since the Victorian era. And since that time, cross-dressers have varied along a spectrum from part-time to full-time. For example, there have always been young gay male prostitutes who dress as female for work but dress and behave like gay men the rest of the time. At least since the 1800s there have been drag queens, men with the ability to transform themselves with clothes and make-up into beautiful women. Drag queens would dress as women for performances and to go out at night, but never for work or for routine day-to-day activities. Drag queens were often very interesting, intelligent men– I dated several, long-term. Then in the past couple of decades, we have seen a new type of full-time cross-dresser, known as transwomen.

Friday, April 28, 2017

When to Start HIV Meds?

Dear Dr. Eva,

My 16-year-old son recently learned he has HIV (not as bad as AIDS). The whole family is upset and trying to decide what’s best for him. It’s my understanding that it’s best to start HIV meds as soon as the virus is found, to protect the person’s ability to fight infections (the immune system). My son says he can’t take medicine every day and that it would remind him every day that he has the infection. Also he may just not be responsible enough – he often misses school and I know he uses some kind of drugs. What do you think?

Worried Dad

Friday, April 14, 2017

Why Can’t I Stay Awake?

Dear Dr. Eva,

I have always had problems staying awake in movies and boring classes. Over the past few years this has gotten worse to the point that I am falling asleep at work, especially in meetings. What can I do about this problem? I don’t like coffee or tea.

I. Doze

Friday, March 31, 2017

Questions About Depression

Dear Dr. Eva,

I am very concerned about my sister. We are both adults in our 20s. She has had depression on and off for many years, but this time it seems worse. She will sit and cry for hours and sometimes refuses to speak. She doesn’t want to leave the house at all, and I haven’t been able to get her to agree to see a mental health professional –  she says she’s tried that before and it didn’t help. I’m not saying very much to her either, because I’m afraid of saying something that could make it worse. Can you suggest what to say and what not to say, and any other ideas how I can help her?



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