Episode #58: Community Conversation With My Physician Assistant, Ms. Simmons – On HIV – Hep B – Warts – Anal Pap Smears – Girl And So Much MORE!!!



I have with me today my personal Physician Assistant, Ms. Simmons. She has treated me for the last 10 years and I am excited to have her on to talk about the diseases that affect us, treatments and vaccines.


INCLUDED IN THIS EPISODE (But not limited to):


·      Explained: Physician Assistant vs. Nurse Practitioner

·      HIV/AIDS Explained

·      Hepatitis Explained

·      Why Syphilis = “Blind, Crippled & Crazy”

·      The Deeper Risks Of Gonorrhea and Chlamydia

·      STI Vs. STD

·      HPV Virus & Warts

·      The Need For Anal Pap Smears

·      Get STD Vaccines For God’s Sake

·      Is It Just The Gays Getting Diseases???




Centers For Disease Control & Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov





Website: https://www.SexDrugsAndJesus.com

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Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/SexDrugsAndJesus/_saved/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/devannon

Email: DeVannon@SexDrugsAndJesus.com





·      Pray Away Documentary (NETFLIX)


TRAILER: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tk_CqGVfxEs


·      Hillsong: A Megachurch Exposed (Documentary)



·      Leaving Hillsong Podcast With Tanya Levin



·      Upwork: https://www.upwork.com

·      FreeUp: https://freeup.net




·      Disabled American Veterans (DAV): https://www.dav.org

·      American Legion: https://www.legion.org





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You’re listening to the sex drugs and Jesus podcast, where we discuss whatever the fuck we want to! And yes, we can put sex and drugs and Jesus all in the same bed and still be all right at the end of the day. My name is De’Vannon and I’ll be interviewing guests from every corner of this world as we dig into topics that are too risqué for the morning show, as we strive to help you understand what’s really going on in your life.

There is nothing off the table and we’ve got a lot to talk about. So let’s dive right into this episode. 

De’Vannon: Hello, all your beautiful souls out there. And welcome back to the sex drugs in Jesus podcast. Today I have with me, my personal, very own physician assistant Ms. Simmons. Who’s been treating me for the last 10 years. I wanted to have her on to talk about infectious diseases, vaccines, and different sicknesses that tend to plague our world.

I’ve had just about every. Goddamn infectious disease in the book since I [00:01:00] spent my formative years being a whole. And so I thought I would be super transparent and talk about it. Hopefully this helps someone cheers to your health.

Hello everyone. And thank you so much for listening to the sex drugs in Jesus podcast. Again, I’m so damn excited to have. The lady who’s responsible for me still being alive on the podcast today. Her name is Ms. Simmons. She’s down there in new Orleans at the VA healthcare center.

And this is where I go to get my medical healthcare done. So today we’re gonna talking about health this time of year. People tend to talk a whole lot about health because it’s gay pride and they think that gay people are responsible for all the fucking diseases, but and you know, what, if some people aren’t really gonna pay attention to sickle and disease one month out of the year, I’ll take that.

So we’re gonna work with this in this month, but really it should be all 12 months of the year. Ms. Simmons, how are you doing today?[00:02:00]

Ms. Simmons: I’m fine. Thank you.

De’Vannon: Okay, thank you so much for joining us. Tell me so, so Ms. Simmons is the person who has been doing my healthcare since I was homeless. And I transferred all of my health in legal troubles from Houston, the Baton Rouge, and she is the person who has had me under her wing for like the last 10 years. So just tell us, like, so you are a physician’s assistant.

Tell us the difference between a doctor, a physician assistant and a nurse practitioner.

Ms. Simmons: So physician assistants and nurse practitioners are what we call mid-level providers. They typically practice under the scope of guidance of a physician. Nurse practitioners are. Typically RNs who get additional training to [00:03:00] function as frontline providers, they are now considered licensed. Licensed.

 What is it? The L I licensed individual practitioners. So they actually can hang out there, shingle have an office and not work under a physician. They had to in the past. Physician assistance are mid-level providers, which means in mid levels, basically we can prescribe, diagnose and treat most diseases.

Most of your typical diseases but the physician assistants, I have a supervising physician. So as you become more proficient as a, a physician assistant, you typically don’t have to have a doctor looking over your shoulder or watching everything you do. You, you [00:04:00] basically practice. Individually, but if you run into some snags or it’s something that’s beyond your scope, you can chat with your supervising physician who may give you some guidance.

So it’s, it’s a little hard to explain, but a physician. Four years of medical school, usually an internship. And they usually specialize into something like ear, nose and throat infectious disease, or some of the surgical subspecialties like dermatology general surgery or whatever the physicians typically.

If you a general surgeon, you going to die general surgeon. You’re not gonna switch back from working in E N T to general surgery or being a gynecologist or an infectious disease doctor because they spend [00:05:00] at least eight to 10 years trying to hone in on their specialty skills, nurse practitioners.

And physician assistant typically are masters prepared. They, they have a bachelor’s degree in sci some science class. The nurse practitioners are typically all are ins. And they get another two and a half years. Physician assistant grew out of the army, medics or the Navy medics. So your background could be anything.

I was a clinical dietician. That was my background. So when I went to PA school, I couldn’t take a blood pressure. You know, I was dumb with a lot of the frontline things that I need to practice as a physician assistant now, but I, after two [00:06:00] and a half years, I was able to get out on that front and practice.

So that’s kind of the difference. I hope I didn’t cloud it. Nurse practitioners were RNs. PAs could have been anything. They could have been paramedics. They could have been nurses, but nurses typically go into the nurse practitioner field. And then in this, and in this neck of the woods, you’re gonna see probably more nurse practitioners because they have more of the schools.

We are beginning to get more schools in the south now. So you may run across a few more physician assistants.

De’Vannon: Yeah, thank you for that breakdown. I like the physician’s assistants and the nurse practitioners more than the doctors. And so I always recommend. You know, alternatives to doctors, to people, because in my experience I have found the doctors. To be a little bit more like, sometimes it just don’t seem like they have a soul [00:07:00] and it’s just been such a pleasure dealing with you.

I dunno if it’s the female thing or what, but the nurse practitioners and the physician’s assistants to me are nicer than the doctor. So I want people to know that if you have a doctor that’s being an asshole, you don’t have to deal with him. You have, or her or they, whatever the fuck, you know, you have other options out there.

I didn’t know about physicians, assistant and nurse practitioners until I met you. You know, in all these years, I was thinking I had to deal with this doctor. Who’s gonna have me waiting for three hours, even though my appointment was three hours ago. And then. He only gonna talk to me for five seconds and then just blaze right out the room.

I didn’t like that. I felt like I was disrespected by doctors. And so I don’t deal with doctors anymore, you know? And then, you know, cuz y’all have the same. You can prescribe medicine, you can diagnose things like there’s no, you can do everything practically that a doctor can do. So there’s no reason to fuck with the doctor.

Ms. Simmons: Right. But remember if you have an infectious disease doctor, [00:08:00] he has eight

plus years of experience under his belt. Whereas. I have two and a half years. So there’s a, a big difference in the knowledge base. Now, when you talk about what you need to practice and get most of the common things that people come across done, that’s where, you know, we can kind of be on equal footing more so than some of the more complex things.


De’Vannon: I just wanna be loved when I’m in the clinic. I don’t care how much he know. I need to feel like he cares.

Ms. Simmons: Oh, okay. I got you.

De’Vannon: from the beginning. I could. You cared because the doctors who may have known more than you, they just didn’t have heart. So I didn’t listen to ’em. so.

Ms. Simmons: I got you. I got you. And, and really that is a hallmark of both the mid levels. They were. Physician extenders to allow more times with the patients so that the [00:09:00] doctors could see the more difficult patients and we could see the more difficult or frontline patients. So it works

De’Vannon: Okay. Then you mentioned infectious disease. Now you specialize in infectious diseases. What made you want to go into that? And why are you passionate about infectious disease?

Ms. Simmons: well, to be honest when I. Finished PA school. The VA helped fund my, my education to go to PA school because as I mentioned, I was a clinical dietician and I had a passion or want to do a little more for patients other than their nutritional needs. And I was looking for a career that I could build on what I already had on board.

So after I finished PA school, I was stationed here at the VA in new Orleans. And this is [00:10:00]2003 to 2005. I was in general primary care general primary care, which is always something good to start in and then to move. Into a, you know, a specialty, a subspecialty. So Katrina came, I moved to Texas Houston, Michael DeBakey.

I’m sure you familiar with, with them. I was there from 2005 to 2011. So in order for me to transfer back to new Orleans, the infectious disease. Position was open. So I applied for it. So it wasn’t like I was, I was specifically seeking it out. It was what was open, but I can tell you that it’s been very rewarding and I’m so glad I’m in it.

And compared to some of these other things, I’m, I’m [00:11:00] just excited about it. I love my job.

De’Vannon: Okay. I love that. You love your job. I can tell. So we’re gonna talk about me and we’re gonna talk about my, my, my sexual history, my disease history, because since I’ve had them near every disease in the book, it’s a great way to educate people about diseases. So I have my list of diseases that I have had.

So I’m gonna go down them one by one, and then we’re gonna talk about them and Kind of like just what it is, the treatments for it, you know? And of course what happens if you don’t treat it? So, so let’s start with HIV.

Ms. Simmons: Okay, so what,

De’Vannon: How is it, how is it treated?

Ms. Simmons: oh, okay. Basically it is. It’s treated with anti retroviral medications. Most individuals today can be treated with one pill a day and [00:12:00] the pill generally consist of two or more drugs. That will help suppress the virus, stop it from multiplying. And it will also eradicate all the virus that’s in your blood.

It does not. It does not. However, do anything about the virus that’s inside your tissues, like the lining of your heart, your gut, all of those it’s it’s dormant. It’s still there. And if you get off the medicine, of course it will multiply and you know, populate your, your body as well as your blood.

De’Vannon: what. V is. And then what aids is, what does

Ms. Simmons: Okay. So if you think about. A box. I’m gonna just use a box, a box that contains your immune [00:13:00] system or your T cells or your CD four. Count your CD four number a normal, T-cell or CD four. Count is somewhere between four and and 1500. So this is what we use to fight infections, viruses, bacterial infections, any little thing that we can come in contact.

If we have an intact immune system, we can fight most diseases. Sometimes we can succumb to the disease, but. You know, once your, your system is strong enough, it can fight it off. And eventually it will clear usually with the help of antibiotics or antiviral, whatever we need to treat it in a person who’s been infected with the HIV virus.

What it does is that [00:14:00] little box of fighters or your T cells it kills them. So people who had maybe a thousand, you know, when they first become infected, you know, they can go down very low. Any T-cell count below 200 is considered aids and. After you get into that range, you pretty much will have problems fighting normal infections that come your way.

But also those that are considered opportunistic. So these are little things that are in the atmosphere, but they don’t really. Infect those individuals with intact immune systems. So things like Mac tuberculosis is also one [00:15:00] that is considered opportunistic thrush a lot of, a lot of your.

STDs or STIs. You can become infected with those, but it tends to be a little worse and not a little worse, a lot worse than somebody who doesn’t have a good immune system. So it’s basic. What, what HIV does it attacks your immune system? It kills your T cells over time. Not all at once, but over time, the longer you go without treatment, the more T cells will be destroyed.

And probably never will. You won’t get ’em back either. The other thing that happens as the, the virus invades your body, it multiplies. And so your viral [00:16:00] load or how much virus is detectable in your blood can go from undetectable. If you’re on medicines to. In the thousands or the millions. The problem with having that in your blood is that it increases the inflammation in your body, putting you at higher risk for everything, heart attacks, strokes, cancers, all of those things.

That’s why it’s very important to. Get treated as soon as possible after the infection and to stay undetectable and suppressed.

De’Vannon: And then how is HIV transferred? Like how can someone catch.

Ms. Simmons: It’s through blood and genital fluids.

De’Vannon: Okay. So sex sharing, needles, stuff

Ms. Simmons: mm-hmm

De’Vannon: Okay. So then I wanna talk about hepatitis, hepatitis. I think there’s like hepatitis a, B, C, and B.

Ms. Simmons: Mm-hmm

De’Vannon: [00:17:00] several different ones. I have hepatitis B. How can people catch hepatitis?

Ms. Simmons: Same

De’Vannon: Okay. So still blood and needles. And what, what. In gen genital fluids. And what part of the body does hepatitis attack or go for?

How does

Ms. Simmons: way. And genital fluids, the liver. So HEPA is Greek for liver. Eye is inflammation love. So it’s the liver, but any of these diseases like the target organ for hepatitis is liver, but if it goes untreated, it, the other organs become impacted soon or later. So. You know, and he B is one of those that just having it, you have an increased risk for liver cancer, which is why you have to have your liver checked every six months.

We do the screening on your liver as well as we make sure you [00:18:00] there’s no help be virus on board cause any virus. On board. That’s not supposed to be there is going to cause a problem. Yeah. Yeah. And probably more sooner than later.

De’Vannon: So y’all what she’s saying is, so they send me to get like my liver scanned a couple of times a year, just to get like a more visual look at what’s going on because, because Misson is super thorough like that. And this is the central reason why I wanted to have her on the show to talk about you know, healthcare from a more thorough perspective.

Cause when I’m talking to the homies out there in the community, They’re not having like these kind of tests done. Their doctors are not checking for these things. And so I want it to. Throw it out there to hopefully help somebody. So the next thing I wanna talk about is syphilis. Now you scared the shit outta me with this one here, because when I was running around being a little ho and I was getting syphilis, like every other damn day.

And [00:19:00] she, you used to have the words to me. You were, you were like you ever heard the term blind, cripple and crazy

Then I thought when I was in jail the last time, there was a guy who had contracted sins and then he was in a fucking wheelchair with the cane and he had had a stroke. So. The problem I have with healthcare is me not being straight. And I’m considered to be high risk. When I was going to doctors who didn’t cater to a lot of non-straight people, they knew that I had highly promiscuous ways and they were not checking me for these things, you know, whereas you did.

 So and somebody else’s doctor, you know, maybe skipping them too. So tell us how serious syphilis is. It’s easy to treat. I know you just get penicillin shot in the ass and it just like takes care of it. Super easy to treat. But if you, but you and you get syphilis through sex and like needles and stuff too.

And I guess vaginal, I mean genital fluids as well, but what is syphilis? What does it attack and [00:20:00] what happens if you don’t treat it?

Ms. Simmons: Be spread it’s, it’s kinda a skin to skin. So say you have oral sex with somebody who has open lesion in their mouth. They can spread it like that. So you it’s it’s a sneaky little devil in that. It can present so many different ways. It can present as a rash and, and some of the rashes, if you, if you look up the, the, the syphilis rash, they, it doesn’t have to, it can present differently.

They call syphilis the great imitator. You think you’re looking at something in syphilis. So in anybody with HIV, I routinely test them for syphilis. That’s just part of their regular labs, [00:21:00] because whether they say they’re sexually active or not, whatever, some of ’em forget, you know, I don’t, I don’t really know, but.

If the syphilis moves from your blood into your nervous system, you can develop what is called neuro syphilis and people with neuro syphilis, it can impact your cognition. It can also impact impact your nervous system. So, you know, your nerves in. Your ability to walk and move and all of these things can be impacted with untreated syphilis.

And we use the term blind Cripps, cripple and crazy because it can cause blindness anything in your nervous system and your. Your nervous system includes your brain and your ability to move around. So all of those things can be impacted with untreated [00:22:00] syphilis and those individuals with HIV, especially aids, especially untreated HIV, the, the progression of.

Syphilis to neuro syphilis is much more rapid and fast. Whereas say a noninfected person with syphilis. They may, they may care as syphilis for years without any symptoms. That’s a horrible thing, cuz eventually they will have symptoms and you can’t really reverse a lot of. So it’s best to stay checked and get your treatment whenever

De’Vannon: okay. So then we’ll do an easy one. Gonorrhea and chlamydia. Lots of people have had this like does, so does this, and this is sexually transmitted. Those are just sexually transmitted diseases that present us, like a, some sort of color discharge. I don’t [00:23:00] know if it’s the same in males and females in terms of discharge, but.

Ms. Simmons: Yeah, the males typically with chlamydia, they, they, they are temp typically asymptomatic females with chlamydia. They get this kind of little funny odor funny discharge gonorrhea. Usually you got. A burn, a burn, you know, they it’ll present with that and it may have a discharge. So males typically, I think when it comes to STDs that matter other than syphilis cause syphilis can be tricky.

Sometimes they typically know when something is, is, is D. Females on the other hand, some of these things can be silent and they can hav it havoc on the females. You know, it can dis destroy all of your reproductive organs. So it is it’s it’s you gotta get, you gotta [00:24:00] get checked. You gotta stay checked. If you are sexually active, you, you open yourself up to a large.

Plethora of diseases and infections. So I think you asked what was the difference between the St and the STD? So the infection is just what it is, is some type of bacteria, parasite virus, or whatever that enters your body and causes any. Infection, when it starts to impact your organs and other parts of your body is considered a disease.

So some of these diseases we can treat very easily like gonorrhea and syphilis and. You know, chlamydia, we can treat them their bacterial infections for the most part, the viral ones, you know, viruses, it’s hard to treat viruses. We know, we know, we know [00:25:00] that. So we have developed the medicines to keep the virus suppress so that it can do a minimal amount of harm.

As long as you get it on board early and you stay compliant.

De’Vannon: So, is there, are there any risks to males with chlamydia and gonorrhea? If it goes and treated, can it mess with our kidneys or organs or reproductive systems or anything like that?

Ms. Simmons: The chlamydia, not so much gonorrhea, I’ll say about that is that. I have very few people that go men, especially that go undiagnosed with gonorrhea because they are usually symptomatic. So I’m, I’m not really sure of, of what happens long term, long treated gonorrhea. I’d have to check in on that, but I typically anybody comes in something’s going on with their urine or whatever, but I’ll [00:26:00] check for all of these things. So I, I usually don’t have the long term, the, the syphilis, you can have some people that go a long time cuz it’s silent and some of your subsequent syphilis infections really have no symptoms at all.

De’Vannon: Okay. Cool. So then I wanted to talk about, Warz. So I’ve had anal Warz before, back in like 2002, 2003. From what I understand, this has to do with like, HPV virus, family sometimes like, it’s like, everyone’s exposed to it when you start having sex. Sometimes war will show up on some people. Sometimes it won’t on others, even though they were exposed to the same thing.

So I have very sensitive skin and that’s why I think maybe they showed up on me. I don’t know. That’s not a medical thing I was ever told anywhere, but it’s the only sense, you know, that I can make out of it. So explain to us what wart are, where on the body that you can [00:27:00] appear and what causes them.

Ms. Simmons: The virus is HPV and it’s past skin to skin. Most people who are sexually active. Have had it at some point in their life. And we, we all know that if I have sex with you, I’m having sex with you and everybody else you have had sex with. So I’m getting all of that. So females. We’ve always gotten pap smears, and that’s what they do in a pap smear.

You know, they, they check the skin in a cervical area and they run tests for HPV. They remove any lesions that it can cause males and especially male males who have re have receptive anal sex. Same thing applies. The HPV virus is a [00:28:00] certain strains can cause anal cancer. So that’s, that’s your worst case scenario?

Anal cancer anal gen gen warts. That is from that same virus. So the virus is causing these diseases. The wart. The cancer or whatever. That’s, that’s how a lot of people have HPV. They have it. And over time it just clears on its own because it’s a virus is not like a pill or anything you can take for that.

The only thing you can do is get a vaccine. And the vaccine actually works the best when you get it. When you are very young, like in your teens be, well, my needs to start nine and 10 before you become sexually active. And we all know the promise of a vaccine is first of [00:29:00] all, the prevent you from getting the disease.

But if you get the disease to mitigate the impact of the disease, so.

De’Vannon: Right. So like when I had an awards, like she’s saying they can’t treat it, they just like numbed my ass area and

Ms. Simmons: they burn them. Yeah. They burn ’em off just like they do with females. When, when we have lesions or even abnormal cells. You know, cuz miss, who couldn’t tell you, he had an anoscopy where they look with a lighted scope to get a really good look at the skin there to see if there are any lesions to remove or if there’s anything going on with the skin that they, they need to treat or do do something with.


De’Vannon: Right. And so Ms. Simmons had referred me to what general surgery for what she just said was an anoscopy. So [00:30:00] what this means is since I had anal wards, before they can come back, So you have to keep a watch on the area to be sure of what she’s saying is that abnormal cells. So what I got was like an anal P, which is something that I think guys and girls can get.

If you like to get poked in the booty, but you male, female, or whatever, you know, then you, you need to get an anal P and they take it like a cotton swab and roll it around. And then they send that off to some lab, some damn wear to, to see if they find any abnormal cells. If they don’t find abnormal cells.

Keep on fucking, if they do well, then they, then they gotta take a deeper look. In which case I went under anesthesia and then they went in there and they actually found precancer. It cells the first time, which they cut out and removed. And so now I have to go each year to get what I’m coining my anal Rejuven nation procedure every year.

So they gotta put me under, put me under anesthesia every year and go in there and be sure that I don’t have any cancer or shit [00:31:00] going on.

Ms. Simmons: Right.

De’Vannon: So another thing that I think that is not spoken a lot about. So you mentioned vaccines that she she’s talking about the HPV vaccine, which I just got like last year, I had never heard of it.

It takes almost a year to get the vaccine, cuz it’s done in three series. So ask your doctors about all these vaccines and different ways to help fight these diseases that we’re talking about. There was one vaccine I got from you called meningoccal.

Ms. Simmons: Mm-hmm

De’Vannon: What is that for?

Ms. Simmons: so that’s to prevent meningitis. It is recommended for any indivi. There, there are several vaccines. The meningococcal, there’s a new formulation. I think some people who may have been in the military may have received it. You see that meningococcal B advertisement [00:32:00] on TV, and that’s usually people that are in close quarters, like people in dorms, people, soldiers, and barracks.

You know, anybody homeless people, people living in shelters, those, those people at high risk to develop that the CDC has determined that anyone living with HIV needs to be vaccinated against this. Disease, because in a person with HIV, even if it’s well controlled, it could have serious repercussions.

So meningitis is an infection of the meninges. So that’s in your brain and spinal cord. So just to know the have in that, so know that having that, that’s not a good thing to have. You can die from. And so that is important to get those, that vaccine. They’ve also [00:33:00] recommended that anyone living with HIV get the shingles vaccine.

It, it initially was 50 plus, but now is for. Anybody with HIV and everybody else, that’s 50 plus. And probably some other people that have any other diseases that may suppress their immune system or compromise their immune system. The Gardasil or the HPV, those individuals, 45 and less, you know, after that, I guess they figure it’s not going to do much at this point.

Anyway, it used to be. Less than 26, I think. And they increased it to 45. You can get it up to 45. That’s a three shot series. Also, your preor if you’ve been living with HIV for. Any, any length of time you should have received a Previnar 13. [00:34:00] There are some new Preiss I think it’s 20 and there’s one 15 that we would give to, like, if I got any new HIV people, we don’t use the 13 anymore.

We use one of the, the 20, the, the Pneumovax 23. Is the regular pneumonia vaccine that we also give all of our individuals living with HIV. So you get two pneumonia vaccines, the PRAR initially, and then eight weeks later we give that also T D P tetanus, diptheria, and pertussis. And you get that.

 Everybody knows about tetanus shot and diptheria, but, and pertussis that’s the whooping cough. So the CDC has determined that anybody. [00:35:00] With HIV. We, first of all, we don’t want you getting none of this, but if you get it, we wanna make sure that it’s medicated. You don’t get sick too sick from it and you don’t die from it.

So that’s the promise of vaccines and. You know, I guess my patients get sick of me. I, I feel like I’m a vaccine queen because I’m always pushing these vaccines. And I know a lot of people have a lot of reservations about vaccines in general, but. I really try over time to convince them I don’t can’t force anybody to do anything, but I try to make a case as to why you want to, to have them.

And you need to stay up on your vaccines. The only way you can stay up on vaccines is to be on the, the guidance of doctor, PA and P whoever. Wanna [00:36:00] be under, but they need to if you go on a regular basis, you will get everything you need or will at least be offered. If you want any more information about any vaccines, any of the STS, the, any of those things, you can go to the C site and you can.

Put it in, cause Mr. Huber called me about monkey pots. I had to, I had to go because right now it’s kind of new on this scene. It’s it is spreading in this country, but it’s not it’s a concern, but it’s not. You know, like COVID or whatever, it, it’s not getting that attention, but you keep yourself up to date going to a site that has good knowledge and something.

That’s understandable for anybody to read and understand.

De’Vannon: Okay, then one of the last two questions that I have, do you think any of these [00:37:00]diseases we’ve talked about today are more common in the straight world or in the Q I a world? Or do you see it across the board?

Ms. Simmons: Well, I, I will say that my, my patient population is mostly men. I have a few women and really haven’t treated the women for anything because a lot of the. The females, once they get HIV, they all of a sudden they’re not even sexually active anymore. So the, the disease that I see the most is syphilis. And then when I looked it up, it is probably the most common in these parts.

So that cuz I think your question was what, what do I see in, in versus,

De’Vannon: or.

Ms. Simmons: and the, the issue. With straight people or even bisexual people or whatever. A lot [00:38:00] of those people are, you know, they don’t even talk about their sexual habits or practices with their providers. And a lot of the providers don’t even ask cause it’s uncomfortable, you know, they just don’t do it.

I mean, I think about myself as a primary care provider then, and now being in infectious disease. It’s just like part of the conversation for me now. But as a regular primary care provider, don’t ask if they don’t tell me, then, you know, that’s, it just never comes up. So it’s kind of hard to know. If they’re actually being treated or diagnosed at the same rate, then what we call a high risk population, where we checking every five minutes for everything we’re gonna definitely catch more [00:39:00] in, in my population than the, the people that’s on the sixth floor or regular primary care.

De’Vannon: Okay. So then what she’s saying y’all is that since I’m a man who has sex with men, the, the mindset in the medical field is to check us because we have such a bad reputation and stigma attached to us. But what she’s saying is to straight people could be doing worse than us, but it, then it’s not really tracked as hard.

So she really can’t give you definit definitive answer, cuz there’s not enough data on what the straight people cuz they trying to keep they shit on the down low . So.

Ms. Simmons: Right. True. And it’s not even a, it’s not even a part of the conversation. Really. I think when I go to my doctor, they don’t ask, you know, and I, I know I’m older now, so, but even when I was younger, no, you know, You know, if you, you, you, you itching, you got infection, they they’ll check you for that. But HIV, I was never checked for that.

I had to ask to be checked for [00:40:00] those things. So I, I, I just think that It’s gone other days where the doctor is gone and he’s just barking out all these orders to you. You are a big part. You are the most important part of your healthcare and you have a right to find out if you don’t understand something or something.

Doesn’t make you understand it, but it doesn’t make sense to you to question. And there are a lot of good resources out there that you can look to read up about and, you know, have a intelligent conversation with your, your healthcare provider or even, and no question is. Too simple, too silly to ask if, if it’s something bothering you, you need to talk about it because that’s what they paying us for. So[00:41:00]

De’Vannon: vitamin. Levels checked. Ms. Simmons is the first doctor. Every time I go in there twice a year, they’re checking all these, you know, cholesterol, vitamin this vitamin D and everything. And I know a lot of people, especially here in the south, just like the doctors only check for like HIV, but they missed like the whole panel.

Vitamins are important too, to be sure that. These diseases are not pulling down your vitamin absorption. And and I just wanna remind people when you have ear waxes, I had, she, you mentioned E N T earlier that’s ear, nose and throat. I had this bad ear ache before, and we thought it was like this whole thing.

And then Ms. Simmons had enough sense to send me to the ear nose and throat doctor. And that dude reached into my ear with these tweezers and pulled out like a two inch. Back log jam of ear wax. Cuz I had did, like I learned in the south to clean my ears with Q-tips and what you really need is a peroxide solution.

And so I just wanted to mention that and throw that out there because somebody who’s really close to [00:42:00] me who’s like in their mid twenties was still cleaning their ears with two with QIPs so just let you know that. Let throw the QIPs

Ms. Simmons: because typically you just pushing it further back in, you know, if, if you have some ear. Some wax in the, in the external canal, you know, as long as you not. Sticking it all the way in, but most of the time you can’t really see what you’re doing. You actually pushing it in. So you can DeRock is over the counter.

You, you put it the solution and give you the little ear syringe and you do it in of course there are some people who have just really tiny canals and they, you know, they accumulate a lot of wax. You may need to go to someone to get it cleaned. It’s a whole new world.

De’Vannon: whole new world. And tho those are all the questions I have for you. I thank you so much for your time today. [00:43:00] And and so any last words you have, you can say anything to the world. You wanna say, I’ll let you have the last word.

Ms. Simmons: Oh, thank you so much for inviting me. I really, really, really love all of my patients. I’ve been doing this for about 11 years, so everybody’s like an extended family. Some of the, I know you asked me about some of the, some sad things. Of course, as some of my patients have aged I’ve, I’ve lost some of them and that is.

Hard to deal with, but the good thing is, is that with HIV your life expectancy is about the same as your non HIV counterpart, but because you do have HIV, your surveillance has to be. Much more than your non [00:44:00] HIV counterpart because you are at high risk for most of the things that kill everybody else, cancers.

 and not just the anal cancers I’m talking about, you know lung cancer uh, some of the skin cancers, just a lot of, of things that. Would kill your mom and your grandpa and everybody else, but in you with this virus, even though it’s suppressing your blood is still in you, you really need to be checked.

And that’s the importance of finding a provider that you’re comfortable with, that you can go to, you can call ’em. If you have a question about something and they listen to you and take care of it. So that’s really all I have to say. And thank you.

De’Vannon: Oh, thank you. And just amen and amen.

Thank you all so much for [00:45:00] taking time to listen to the sex drugs in Jesus podcast. It really means everything to me. Look, if you love the show, you can find more information and resources at SexDrugsAndJesus.com or wherever you listen to your podcast. Feel free to reach out to me directly at DeVannon@SexDrugsAndJesus.com and on Twitter and Facebook as well.

My name is De’Vannon and it’s been wonderful being your host today and just remember that everything is gonna be right.


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