Dear doctor, I am 35 years old. I was attacked by thugs who injured my head using machetes (pangas) but the x-ray results showed no skull damage and I healed well after treatment.
My problem is that during the x-ray process, the person operating it asked me to sit with my head raised up in the line of the beam coming from behind. It made a funny noise and I heard him opening and fixing some plate on the machine quickly.

This scared me as I had already sat in the line of the x-ray beam, because he looked disorganised after the imaging process. He did not explain anything to me except he asked me to sit in another chair this time out of the beam line for some time. I think he probably he did not follow the right procedure. If so, could this cause mutation or any related health problem in future? This is seriously affecting me psychologically. Please help doctor because now I feel pain and pricks all over my body.
Anonymous

Dear Anonymous, it is likely you did not trust the radiographer and that is why you worry that you could have been over-exposed to x-rays, which is not true.

Over-exposure to x-rays may be harmful to health and that is the reason why radiographers use just a switch so that one is exposed for the shortest time possible.

X-rays are forms of radiation that can penetrate the body, to produce pictures of internal structures to provide valuable information about one’s health and make an accurate diagnosis in case of illness.
X-rays are safe when used with care and radiographers have been trained to use the minimum amount of x-ray radiation necessary.

In a plain x-rays, like what was used on you, the amount of radiation used is very small and the benefits greatly outweigh the risk of harm.

Dear doctor, I have a relative who had three women who have died from Aids-related illnesses. The first was in the 1980s and the most recent was two years ago. I wonder why this man never gets ill.
Owen Akatwijuka

Dear Owen, during the early years of the Aids pandemic, whenever a person lost a lover he or she was suspected even by medics to be infected with HIV. However, what is known today is that a person can, even after many sexual encounters with one who is HIV-infected, be found not to be infected. This is what is called HIV discordance.

This belief left many people who lost their sexual partners resigned to their fate hence discarding using protection with other sexual partners and thus risking infection afterwards. Today, it is advised that one should as a routine have HIV tests. They should also it when one finds out his or her sexual partner is ill or has even died from an HIV-related illness.

I hope your relative did not fall in this trap and got infected recently and has therefore not yet shown signs of sickness.
The continued advice is to protect self against HIV by the ABCD Strategy (A-abstain or delay sex, B-be faithful to your partner, C-use a condom and circumcise, D-Declare your HIV status to your sexual partner).

Since he has lost three partners, there should not be any kind of victimisation that fuels stigmatisation of those unfortunate to be HIV-infected. If one declared his or her HIV status then that should not arise.

A person should count him or herself lucky not to have got infected after sleeping with an infected person. He should not think he will always be lucky when getting involved in casual unprotected sex and not getting infected.

Dear doctor, I am a female aged 25 but what is traumatising me is that I have breast milk and yet I have never given birth or even aborted. It has been like this for years; I took it lightly but now I need help.

At times, my nipples itch and when I press them, milk comes out. I went for a scan, which showed that my breasts are normal. However, other people tell me it is a hormonal imbalance. Please advise me.
Ruth

Dear Ruth, production of breast milk that is unrelated to breastfeeding is called galactorrhea. This sometimes may affect babies or even men.

The causes are many and may include problems with the master gland in the brain (pituitary), medications including herbs and contraceptive pills, chronic kidney disease, and excessive nipple stimulation. In some cases, the cause may not be found.

It is true that in some cases galactorrhea may be associated with increased levels of a brain hormone called prolactin where an affected woman may also get difficulties getting pregnant. Please avoid pressing the breasts, the milk might dry up with time. If not, please visit your doctor.

Dear doctor, I was diagnosed with herpes simplex eight years ago. I have been using drugs of all types since. Of recent, the symptoms and itching occur every three months.
I have even lost my partner and not sure if I will ever get a man who can marry me yet I am in my early 30s. Please help me.
Kevin N.

Dear Kevin, Herpes Simplex virus commonly leads to infections of the lips (cold sores) and private parts (genital herpes).
Genital herpes is usually sexually transmitted and after transmission it lies quietly in the body but breaking out on and off following activation of the virus by factors including reduced resistance to disease. Some people may not show any symptoms but will still transmit the infection.

The virus hides in nerves and breaks out again in the same area but usually with less severity and much less often. Drugs can be taken to reduce severity and recurrence and, most of all, reduce transmission.

Please visit your doctor for advice instead of fearing that you will never get married. Though condoms do not entirely prevent infection, it is advised that you use condoms when having sex.

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