April #58 : Curb The Herb - by Bob Roehr

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Proud of Our Blood

The Most Dangerous AIDS Reporter



Give a Dame

Mom's Needle Point

Shout Out


Gays Need Not Apply

Ana Gets Analyzed

Shout Out

Supremes Reunion

Mom’s Needle Point


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You’ve Got AIDS

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Letter From Dreamland

Battle At Immunesburg

The Tools Of The Trade


Cheap Veep

On The Runs

Alternatives 2000

Choose Me

The Case of Missing Cofactors

Don’t Buy The HIV Lie

Like A Prayer

Comfort Zone

You Are What You Eat

Curb The Herb

Herb Of The Month

Organ Grinders

What’s The Alternative?

No Roman Holiday

4.20.90: Proud Of Our Blood

No Roman Holiday

Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle


Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV

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April 2000

Curb The Herb

by Bob Roehr

Women with the double whammy of HIV and recurrent genital herpes have been known to roll their eyes when advised to avoid stress—long viewed as a major cause of those itching, burning outbreaks: “Sure, doc, I’ll have no problem leading a completely copacetic life from now on.” Well, cynical sisters, retreating to a monastery may not be necessary after all. University of California at San Francisco researchers report that short-term anxiety (seven days or less)—a bad day at work, a distressing plane flight, a pet emergency—didn’t increase eruptions in 58 women with a long history of recurrent herpes. But long-term stressors—ongoing financial difficulties, trouble finding a job, a family member with chronic health problems—boosted the rate of outbreaks substantially. Similarly, while no herpes promotion occurred after temporarily increased levels of negative mood (anxiety, depression or anger), monthly peak levels of anxiety for each person were likely to be followed by an attack So, gals with HIV and herpes, don’t stress over (a little) stress. (Guys, the researchers caution against applying these results to your own case of herpes, since theirs was a woman-only study and the underlying mechanism by which stress causes outbreaks remains only dimly understood.) High anxiety, of course, is another matter, and may call for counseling and stress management, plus anti-herpes meds such as acyclovir (Zovirax) or valacyclovir (Valtrex)—or even a trip to the local ashram.  

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