When is it Okay Not to Use a Condom?

Can viruses pass through condoms? Dear Dr. Eva, I heard that HIV and other viruses can get through pores in latex condoms because viruses are so much smaller than sperm. Is that true? Wondering Dear Wondering, No, it isn’t true. Latex is a continuous solid surface. It has no pores – that’s what makes it so effective. Multiple scientific studies have shown that the HIV virus cannot pass through latex condoms. The condom is 100 percent effective unless it tears. When a condom is worn, infections can only be passed if the condom breaks, tears, or slips off. Tearing and […]

Questions about Testosterone

Dear Dr. Eva, I am a 20-year-old trans man. I’ve been on testosterone for close to three years. I’ve developed a lot of facial and body hair, but my voice hasn’t changed much. How long do you have to be on testosterone before you get a significant voice change? Still High-pitched Dear High-pitched, Many trans guys do not experience significant voice change from testosterone. Any voice change a person does get will be complete in the first 18 months on testosterone. However, there are things you can do to make your speech sound masculine without having a lower-pitched voice. For […]

Magnet Therapy, Copper Bracelets, and TB Testing

Dear Dr. Eva, What do you think about magnet therapy? It is supposed to improve blood flow by attracting the iron in blood. Does it really work? Also, do copper bracelets work for arthritis? Metal Fan Dear Metal Fan, Magnets can’t change blood flow by attracting iron, because all the iron in blood is bound up in hemoglobin molecules. The hemoglobin structure neutralizes the magnetic charge in the iron and because of that, the iron doesn’t respond to magnets. There is also no reason to think that magnets are effective by some other method. Research on magnets has found that, […]

Conversion Therapy

Dear Dr. Eva, Why should gay conversion therapy be banned? What if someone wants to change? Why should treatment be denied just because it is currently out of fashion or considered politically incorrect? Not Ex-Gay Yet Dear NEGY, I agree with you that all effective treatments that are not harmful should be made available to anyone who wants them. Just to be clear, “conversion therapy,” also called “reparative therapy,” is a discredited type of mental health therapy in which the therapist, and sometimes the patient, tries to change the patient’s sexual orientation from lesbian, gay, or bisexual to straight (heterosexual). […]

Memory Problems in a Grieving Friend

  Dear Dr. Eva, My best friend lost his lover of many years last September. Since then I’ve noticed he has become increasingly forgetful. What are the early signs of dementia? And what can I do to help my friend? MC Dear MC, Although physical problems should be considered, memory loss in a person who is grieving is most often a sign of depression, not of mental deterioration (dementia) like Alzheimer’s disease. Memory loss as the main feature of depression is common enough that there is a specific term for it, “pseudo-dementia.” Depression is not always seen as sadness or […]

Mold-Related Illness

  Dear Dr. Eva, We finally decided to get a couple of bedrooms painted. They had wallpaper, and when it was stripped off we saw big patches of black and red mold. Looked like it must have been growing for years, and it smelled musty. The painters say they can use anti-mold paint, but will that be enough? One of my kids has asthma, and I wonder if this could be the cause of it. Moldy Home Dear Moldy, A mold investigation can be as deep as you are willing to go. The most important thing to know is that […]

Is Throat Gonorrhea Real?

Dear Dr. Eva, A friend says that he was treated for gonorrhea in the throat and was told he didn’t need a follow-up test to make sure it was gone. Does this make sense? Is there such a thing as gonorrhea in the throat? And if a person has an STD, don’t they always need to a follow-up test to make sure it’s gone? Dubious Dear Dubious, Yes, there definitely is such a thing as gonorrhea infection of the throat. Throat gonorrhea is picked up when a person gives oral sex to a man who has gonorrhea of the penis. […]

Simple, Healthy Changes for 2018

New year, new you Dear Readers, Lots of people make New Year’s resolutions. When a person can’t stick with the changes they planned – which is what usually happens – they may feel like a double failure. Not only are they continuing the behavior they meant to change, they also have been unable to keep their commitment. Considering this, my first thought was that maybe we should swear off the whole idea of New Year’s resolutions. But on second thought, it would be a shame not to make good use of the motivation for positive change that many people feel […]

Piercing Questions Top to Bottom

Dear Dr Eva, I’ve been thinking for a while about getting my nipples pierced. I like the idea of having them pierced, but at the same time I wonder what will happen if I have a baby and decide to breastfeed. Could the nipples get damaged from piercing in a way that could interfere with feeding a baby? Thanks, Cat Please follow and like us: