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Worms Attack

OK, you don't know anybody with AIDS and you very likely never will. You do know a fair share of people, mainly slightly older friends with seedy pasts, who've had the clap.
February 1, 2006, 12:00am

A worms victim; worms at work under a microscope (inset)

OK, you don’t know anybody with AIDS and you very likely never will. You do know a fair share of people, mainly slightly older friends with seedy pasts, who’ve had the clap. “It was such a not-big deal,” they tell you, “Five pills and I was good as new.” (Then they usually snap their fingers in your face for emphasis.) You’ve always thought of yourself, dear early-to-mid-20s college graduate with a not-above-average number of sexual partners, as living below the level of degradation that would find you con la SIDA. Right? No STDs for me, you said. Well, you’re wrong. Who says so, you ask? About a gazillion microscopic worms that are about to chow down on your crotch, that’s who. “Vermiculus hypodermis will become a very real threat to sexually active people in North American urban centers in 2006,” says Lisa Burton, a caseworker at the Downtown Manhattan Healthy Streets Center, a not-for-profit health-awareness foundation that deals with all the problems people like you and me create when we fuck each other, and each other’s friends, and each other’s friends’ friends all willy-nilly. “We’re just calling them worms for short,” Burton says. “They live only in the groin region, they are transmitted through skin-on-skin contact, and they are extremely voracious.” Basically, these are tiny vampire worms on crack that live in your privates. But wait, it gets better. Dr. Ron Goldberger, an Upper East Side MD who does volunteer shifts at the center, says, “There are varying degrees of infection with worms. If they’re at the tops of your legs, which we call Type 1, you’re in luck. We can treat those without too much of a problem using a topical solution. If they are on a woman’s labia or the shaft of a man’s penis, it’s a lot worse. The treatment is painful. It involves aggressive lancing of the infected areas and injections of an antibody. Those are Type 2 worms.” So we’re already up to “lancing” and “injections” on your area and we aren’t even to Type 3 yet? Do go on, Dr. Ron. “Type 3 is when the worms have gone internal. For a woman, that means they climb inside the vagina. For a man, they invade the urethra.” That’s right, lads. Your piss hole. “There’s no way we’ve figured out yet to treat worms once they go internal,” says Goldberger. “These things have only been on our radar for six months. We’ve now tried everything short of surgery, and I guess that’s going to have to be next. People with internal worms deal with quite a lot of pain and a total lack of sexual functioning. These are microscopic, burrowing worms we’re talking about. They are pretty insatiable.” Penis surgery. Very 2006. NOAH LEWIS