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Health Stories – True and False

TRUE: New York City adults have more genital herpes than the national average (26% versus 19%). One commenter replied, “Well, that’s what you get from ‘Sex in the City.’”

FALSE: A practical joke sparks Internet health myth: cell phones can cook an egg or pop popcorn. People really will believe anything.

FALSE: Some folks in India swallow live fish to stimulate coughing and to “clean the esophagus” and cure asthma. Must be an interesting feeling to have a live fish swimming around one’s stomach! Of course this doesn’t work. h/t to Happy Hospitalist

TRUE: More and more Muslim women are having their hymens restored so that they will appear to be virgins on their wedding night. I wonder about those women who are born with small or nearly absent hymens? Will they be punished? And what about the men who made the women non-virgins? This NYT story is quite upsetting.

TRUE: The media misrepresents health information 2/3 of the time. Fewer and fewer people are willing to take the time to get a story straight. When perception is nine-tenths of reality, science and truth are in jeopardy.

TRUE: Marijuana smokers enjoy lax laws in Mendocino County, California. It’s legal to keep up to 2 pounds of marijuana and 25 live plants in one’s home. How much marijuana does one really need for medical purposes?

FALSE: Gummy bears do not have internal organs.  However, this artist has a wonderful imagination.This post originally appeared on Dr. Val’s blog at

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4 Responses to “Health Stories – True and False”

  1. RH Host Melissa says:

    Thanks Dr. Val for this blog post.  Some of these actually put a smile on my face, especially the one with the gummy bears and internal organs :)

  2. Village Elder says:

    Great post, would love more!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Fun and interesting info. But you don’t do any good by perpetuating the insensitive comment that “city” folk deserve and/or are more prone to herpes than suburban or rural people!  

  4. ValJonesMD says:

    I also wondered about the higher rates in the city and here’s what I discovered: STD rates are influenced by the number of partners that one has. The number of partners one has is related to how long one remains single. People remain single longer in urban areas… So, it’s not that people in NYC areas are more promiscuous – they still have the same average number of partners/year (i.e. 2) as the rest of the singles in the US. They just do so for more years, thus exposing themselves to STD risks for longer periods of time. Take home message: ALWAYS use condoms.

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