Here’s a list of things that you definitely should consult a doctor or clinician about sooner rather than later:
- You’ve had unprotected sex, or the condom broke during sex, and you’re worried that you may have been at risk of HIV. Ask your healthcare provider about taking PEP to stay HIV-negative. You must do this within 72 hours of possible exposure.
- If you think you’re HIV-negative and want to start taking PrEP (not the same thing as PEP) so you can be less at risk of HIV infection if you have more than one sexual partner.
- If you are HIV-positive and want to start ARV treatment to stay healthy and become undetectable so that you can’t transmit HIV to anyone else. U=U Undetectable equals Untransmittable.
- If you’re not sure about your HIV status and want to be empowered by knowing.
- If you suspect you may have a sexually transmitted infection and you’re concerned about it.
- If there is a fluid other than urine that comes out of your penis regularly.
- If your anus and genitals are itchy and have a different smell than usual or there is also a fluid being released from or around your anus.
- If there are any lumps, sores, blisters or rough bumps that appear on your penis or anus.
- If you feel a lump inside your scrotum other than your testicles that is tender and was not there before. Even if it is quite small.
- If you experience any persistent symptoms like a cough or chest pain that doesn’t go away. Diarrhoea, cramping or headaches for extended periods of time.
- If you experience rapid weight loss and lose your appetite.
- If you struggle to get or maintain an erection (your penis doesn’t stay hard.)
- If you feel lightheaded often or you are craving very sweet food and drinks all the time.
- If you’ve been on PrEP or ARVs for more than 2 months and are still experiencing side effects.
Men often think that they need to be tough and wait for these things to come right by themselves but sometimes they wait too long and when they do see a healthcare provider the problem is much worse and can even be dangerous. Why not send a ‘please-call-me’, text or WhatsApp to Call4Care on 071 683 3226 Monday to Friday 9 AM to 4 PM to get access to care near you.
Bruce J. Little is the Content Creator for Anova Health Institute.