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does my doctor need to know i'm gay?
Jan 31, 2006

Hi, recently I had many nights of sex with my partner whom i hadn't seen in a while. i'm the top and i always use protection for anal intercourse but he performed unprotected oral on me. days later i started feeling pain in my testicles and one day while i was masturbating i noticed 2 things--before i ever ejaculaed, a lot of this white/yellow liquid came oozing out of my penis--a good amount of it. and also when i ejaculated, it didn't "shoot" like usually but kinda' just came out. with the pain, the discharge, and the ejaculate problem, i thought i needed to tell my boyfriend. so i told my boyfriend who has an appointment tomorrow to get a checkup and i went yesterday to the doctor. but the doc i saw at a clinic seemed really conservative (i live in the bible belt) and so i replaced "boyfriend" with "girlfriend". i told her i was worried it might be gonnorhea or clamydia. she took a swap and said i'd know for sure in a week but she went ahead and prescribed me 14 cipro pills--2 each day for 7 days. but i just read that the CDC doesn't recommend cipro for men who have sex with men and might have gonnorhea. so does that mean i'm in trouble? should i have told her that i was gay? she seemed to be promoting absitnence, telling me at one point that condoms failed almost 30% of the time and i need to be more careful, etc. so if i do have gonnorhea, will this cipro help or do u think i'll need to go back and fess up that i'm gay? i'm really nervous. i don't know any gay-friendly doctors in my area. i did a search online and couldn't find anything either. thanks from a closeted young gay guy in the deep South.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Closeted Young Gay Guy in the Deep South,

It's a sad commentary on moral values when living in the Bible belt results in such fear that it could negatively affect the health of gays and lesbians. I doubt the higher power these Bible-thumping zealots pray to approves of their judgmental behavior.

The abstinence-promoting sex-phobic conservative prude you spoke with is disseminating false information about condoms. A condom failure rate of 30% is pure bullshit, unless you happen to be Edward Scissorhands. Are you sure she was a doctor and not an anchor for Fox News or perhaps a cardinal from the Vatican? (Since both could be wearing red dresses it could be confusing.)

Regarding your potential STD, the specimen the doctor took (and I hope it was a "swab" and not a "swap" as you wrote) should give a definitive diagnosis. Plus the fact your boyfriend was also going to be evaluated (presumably for STDs) should provide you with additional information as to your need for any additional evaluation or treatment. Chances are the Cipro will take care of your problem.

As for gay-friendly doctors in your area, I'd suggest you try the GLMA (Gay Lesbian Medical Association) Web site. They have a search feature to help you locate gay-friendly health care workers. If at all possible, I'd avoid the judgmental lady with the inaccurate condom info. But you might do her and her other patients a favor if you send her a copy of the AmfAR information sheet "The Effectiveness of Condoms in Preventing HIV Transmission." You can locate it on the Web (Google AmfAR).

Finally, although I know it's difficult, don't let anyone force you to be closeted. The consequences can be devastating. See Brokeback Mountain and encourage others in the Bible belt to go with you.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob



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