Disclaimer: This article is not a replacement for
professional advice. If you have any medical questions
or concerns, please consult your doctor.
There lies a belief
amongst the homosexual community that individuals who
have sexual relations with those of the same sex have
less risk than heterosexuals of contracting sexually
transmitted diseases (STDs). However, that is not
necessarily true, so it is our responsibility to
enlighten our women and show them how these problems can
be prevented and avoided. In this issue, we are going to
start off with a minor yet common STD, whose name says
it all: The Kissing Disease. It may sound like fun, but
you better watch out, for this sucker may sneak up on
you and wear you to the ground.
The Kissing Disease, or Mononucleosis (Mono), is caused
by the Epstein-Barr virus, a member of the herpes
family. Once you've been infected, the virus stays in
your body for the rest of your life and may reappear in
your saliva from time to time. Even though anyone can
get this disease, most people who are infected are
between the ages of 15 and 25. Mono is transmitted
through direct contact with infected saliva – be it by
an intimate kiss or the sharing of a straw or utensil
with someone who is infected or has recently contracted
the virus – regardless of whether they have shown the
symptoms! You can even catch it if the person who has it
coughs or sneezes within a close range.
Mono symptoms are devious. You see, when someone catches
this virus, it takes from 30 to 60 days for it to show.
Mono is characterized by exhaustion, and possible fever.
It may even keep you in bed for a while. This infection
also causes engorged glands on the neck and armpits.
Other symptoms are a sore throat, headaches, muscle
aches, and an enlarged liver and spleen. This does not
mean you should be alarmed as soon as you feel feverish;
these symptoms can frequently be mistaken with the
common flu. The only way Mono can be diagnosed is
through a blood test.
There is actually no real cure for Mono, so if you think
you have the Kissing Disease, do not even consider
medicating yourself by popping pills; you can never tell
how your body will react to drugs when you catch Mono.
Even if your doctor diagnoses you with the disease,
there is not much to do but to check that your liver and
spleen are functioning normally. Again, do not panic;
the best cure for Mono is rest, rest, rest! There is no
magic pill to make it go away, so you better take all
the time you need to relax and wait for the infection’s
symptoms to go away. Basically, put yourself in bed, and
forget about those must-go-to parties. Drink a lot of
water and fluids - this is to protect your liver and
According to doctors, you can take Tylenol or Advil for
the fever, muscle ache and headache. For your sore
throat, gargle with warm salty water and have yourself a
Popsicle or two. You also need to keep yourself on a
well balanced diet in order to feel better and fit, so
make sure you introduce lots of fruits, vegetables, and
whole grains to your daily meals. When you start feeling
better again, do not jump on your feet and set a full
week’s schedule. Take your time: slowly, slowly. Listen
to your body, it will tell you when it needs to rest. It
is also recommended to keep away from physical exercise
for at least a month after the symptoms have disappeared
to protect your spleen from rupturing.
When you know you have the illness, don’t be bitter, and
make sure you’re responsible. Try your best not to pass
it to someone else; keep your eating utensils to
yourself. When you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and
make sure you wash your hands often. Trust me, for once
your friends and family will thank you for being
obsessive-compulsive. If Mono strikes, don't just give
up (and don't just watch someone else give in either).
Granted, plenty of rest is recommended, but that doesn’t
mean you have to lie in bed for three weeks. As soon as
you feel fit, remain proactive! Count on your friends to
be there for you because even though you are going to go
back to school, university, or work, weariness can still
catch up with you. Do your best to overcome it and kick
that pest’s head off the curves!