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Dear Dr. H,

Help! I have pink eye what can I do?

 

Dear student,

 

Ugh, pink eye not enough to keep you in bed for a few days, but with your eye lookin the way it does, you likely dont feel like being out and about. Conjunctivitis, or pink eye, is very common, so as gross as it may feel, know that you arent alone in experiencing this. College students are often inflicted at some point in their academic career because it is highly contagious, and we often find ourselves interacting with a lot of different people throughout our days.

The conjunctiva is a part of our eye that can become infected and inflamed, i.e. the pink. This can result from a viral or bacterial infection or an allergic reaction. Most pink eye is the result of a viral infection, and although it can be very uncomfortable (watery, itchy, hard to keep your eyes fully open), it usually clears up on its own. If youre experiencing pink eye for more than a few days, seek medical attention. While you’re contagious, refrain from interacting with others or, if you must, make sure everyone is avoiding direct contact and washing their hands frequently. Bacterial pink eye, however, is usually accompanied by discharge, which can glue your eyelids together and spread from one eye to the other.

Although there are many home remedies available on the internet, your best bet is to hold a wet, cold compress to your eye(s) throughout the day for viral pink eye. Make sure you use a different washcloth or compress each time. If youve got eye discharge and it is not getting better each day, seek medical attention because you will likely need antibiotic eye drops. If you are unsure which kind of pink eye you have, it’s best to just visit the good medical people at SMaCC. Good luck!

 

Dear Dr. H.,

Does sleeping with multiple partners a week make me a fuck-boy?

 

Dear student,

 

Hm I dont know? I guess Im not familiar with the particular threshold of sex partners one must have to qualify as a fuck-boy. (Frankly, Im stunned people have the time to have sex with multiple partners each week!)

As a public health person, Im concerned with the health risks of your sex are you using condoms, getting tested frequently, talking to partners about STI history, and enjoying consensual sex? Yes? Great. The more partners you have, the more at risk you are for STIs, unwanted pregnancy (if you dont know which partners are on birth control and/or you arent using condoms), and potentially uncomfortable conversations with partners who were under the impression they were your one and only, so be sure to take the care and precaution to minimize those risks.

Culturally speaking, however, people tend to get fairly squeamish about your “number” because of what it says about you as a person of worth (a philosophy by which I dont subscribe). If youre having sex you dont want to have, thats a problem. You should meditate on that and enlist a trusted friend to help you talk through the reasons why you might be doing so and to take steps to break from that behavior.

If youre having sex other people think you shouldnt be having, thats their problem. Are you an ethical slut? By that I mean, are you minimizing health risks (with steps mentioned above) and are you being a good partner to ensure everyone is enjoying themselves (even if you’re just their partner once)? Racking up partners isn’t necessarily a case of using people for sex although we certainly have a cultural tendency to perceive fuck-boys as doing so. If you express your intentions to your prospective partners and everyone is on board, that is a part of practicing ethical sluttiness. Avoid duping partners into sex under false pretenses, like a relationship or monogamy. If you know your STI status and practice safer sex and your partners know you have sex with other people and have no intention of making them a romantic partner, that will minimize the emotional risks of having multiple partners. Good luck!

 

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Ask Dr. H