Easy answers

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Dan Savage
LaRae Lobdell of PhotoSister.com

Dear Dan: My girlfriend opposes sex work because she believes it oppresses women. Early in our relationship, she demanded to know if I had ever paid for sex because she couldn’t be with me if I had. And I told her the truth: “No, never.” She didn’t ask if I’d ever been paid for sex. (One guy, he blew me, no women were oppressed because no women were involved, it happened twice.) Do I need to tell her?

—Two-Time Gay For Pay

Dear TTGFP: Nope.

Dear Dan: My partner is too embarrassed to raise this question with his doctor: Is it safe for me to drink my partner’s urine? He’s HIV-positive, but his viral load is undetectable. I know that other STIs could potentially be passed on to the watersports receiver through urine. My partner has been tested for everything and has no other STIs. He is worried that his urine could contain enough of his antiretroviral drugs (Tivicay and Descovy) to do me harm. He is particularly worried that I might suffer from the side effects of those drugs. I am not currently on any medications. I believe that his fear stems from when he was on chemo drugs for something else. Nurses treating him then advised me not to use his hospital bathroom so that I would not possibly be exposed to any chemo-drug residue. I know that you’re not a doctor — but could you ask a doctor for us?

—Ingesting Medicines

Dear IM: “This one is easy,” said Dr. Peter Shalit, a physician who has been treating people with HIV/AIDS for 30 years. “Tivicay and Descovy are very benign medicines with very little potential toxicity in standard doses. If one were to drink the urine of someone taking these medicines, there would be essentially no Tivicay, as this medicine is excreted by the liver, not the kidneys. The remnants of the drug are excreted in the feces, so to get significant exposure to secondhand Tivicay, you’d have to eat… well, never mind.”

As for Descovy — that’s actually two medicines in one. First, the bad news: Emtricitabine and tenofovir alafenamide, the meds in Descovy, are excreted in the urine. And the good news: “The amount of Descovy that would be in one liter of urine is much less than a single pill’s worth,” said Dr. Shalit, who is also a member of the American Academy of HIV Medicine. “Since these medicines are intrinsically very safe to begin with, in my opinion the health risk from exposure to the small amounts that may be found in urine is negligible. Don’t worry about it.”

Dear Dan: My partner and I have been together for 11 years and have always had a great sex life. I love his cock, we have similar appetites, and until recently everything was great. But he has always had an aversion to blood. He is a pacifist, a vegetarian and a recovering Muslim, so as much as I don’t understand his fear, I would never push him to have sex during my period. The problem is now I bleed whenever we have sex — just a tiny bit, but that’s enough to kill it for him, and the sex is immediately over. We already have enough constraints with differing schedules, kids, lack of privacy, periods. This is a big deal for me, and I don’t know how to deal with it. Any ideas?

—Afraid To Bleed

Dear ATB: Turn off the lights, draw the curtains, have sex in the dark, get him a blindfold — and insist he see a therapist who specializes in helping people overcome their irrational phobias.

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