I have been HIV positive for three years now but my wife has always tested negative.She now has a 2-year-old son who keeps falling sick. Could the baby be HIV positive?


Dear Oscar,
HIV transmission commonly happens through unprotected sex, a sick mother infecting her baby when in the womb or when breastfeeding it or through infected blood transfusion.
In some cases, a man or woman may not have yet got HIV infection from a sick sexual partner in what is called discordant couples but continuing to have unprotected sex is likely to lead to infection of the other partner.

It is likely both of you knew that you were infected but went ahead to have unprotected sex, the reason you got pregnant and had a son.
However, it’s good that she did not breastfeed the baby even when she was negative because you never know she may have got infected while breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding if a mother is positive risks the baby infection as well. Many women have HIV positive partners but because of ignorance or poverty, the women cannot refuse having unprotected sex with their sexual partners.

HIV germ is not found in the sperms, and if the mother is actually HIV negative then the son is likely to be HIV negative despite the father being positive. If the mother is HIV positive the son may get the germ during pregnancy, birth or breastfeeding.

You need to visit an HIV counsellor or your doctor to counsel you more about preventing your wife from getting HIV infection from you since it might be mere luck that she is still not getting HIV infection despite unprotected sex.

I have taken long without having sex but lately I have noticed that my vaginal fluids are excessive and sticky and wet my panties. They are also a bit yellow although without a bad smell. Do I have an infection?

Dear Tracy,
Normal vaginal discharge consists of about a teaspoon a day of white or transparent, thick to thin, odourless or musky discharge produced to keep the vagina moist apart from cleansing or removing fluids with worn out cells and excessive bacteria. It is usual for the discharge to be brown a day or two following the menstrual period but if it is yellow and accompanied by pain, itching, rashes or sores, this definitely indicates a problem especially an infection.

Yellow means pus and pus means infection including sexually transmitted infections. It can also indicate none “infection “problems including cancer of the cervix.
A vaginal discharge may vary in amounts depending on the time of the menstrual cycle, sexual activity, and use of contraceptives, pregnancy and breastfeeding. Having been sexually stimulated, a woman may produce lots of discharges and many sexually starved women claim to leak lots of discharge at the mere thought of intimacy.

Towards ovulation, the discharge may increase in amount and mucus content so as to require some women to wear panty liners to stop feeling wet. Apparently, this could be what is happening to you that at the time of ovulation you get lots of sticky discharge. The sticky discharge then may carry a tinge of red or even brown.

That it does not smell also indicates that it is likely to be normal and you need not worry about it. It is unlikely that you have sticky discharge because you are not sexually active! Lack of sexual activity may, however, make you more easily aroused.

Any unusual discharge especially if it is accompanied by a foul smell, is yellow or red, looks like spoilt milk and is accompanied by painful sex, lower abdomen pain or pain during urination apart from itchy genitals requires you to be examined by your doctor.

Can a woman get pregnant when I had intercourse with her during her period?

Dear SK,
Though it is rare, it can happen especially if a woman has a short cycle and stays longer in periods. When a woman starts a period, she is expected to start the next period after 21-35 days. The normal period may last between three-five days or two to seven days without health issues.

Since a woman ovulates 14 days to the next period, taking seven days in periods means she is likely to ovulate on the day of the last period. Given that sperms can stay alive for two to five days in the fallopian tubes, then a woman can get pregnant while in her period.

Sometimes women may have irregular periods and not know their normal periods and may get pregnant having intercourse in their abnormal periods. Also, at ovulation, women may have a day or two of light periods. Playing sex then will lead to pregnancy.

Some women, if not interested in sex may use tomato sauce to deceive their partners that they are menstruating. However, given that at ovulation many women get a big urge to have sex, they may not resist the presence of tomato sauce and play sex. Then they will more easily get pregnant.

Is it true that lettuce cures diabetes?

Dear Zac,
Lettuce has for long been rumoured to have insulin, a hormone whose deficiency or malfunction in our bodies usually leads to diabetes. The problem with insulin is that it is a protein which when taken orally is digested and will, therefore, not help treat diabetes if taken orally.

That said, lettuce has good nutrients such as folate and vitamins A and K, and is low in calories. It also makes you feel full hence a good food always and especially for diabetics and for obesity management.

However, although lettuce can help in management of diabetes, it cannot cure it.