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Can sexually transmitted infections, like HIV, be prevented?

Q: I had sex with a prostitute some 10 months back and got checked for VDRL, which was negative. Then I got a test for HIV (tridot method) and the result was negative. It was again negative twice over. My first question is that should I take it as being 100% negative? I was suffering from pain at my glans penis with redness and a low grade fever (98.6-99.4) and there were small red coloured eruptions on glans penis, which the doctor diagnosed as genital herpes. I took aciclovir 800 mg and 200 mg t.i.d each for 5 days and also applied fucibet(betamethasone+fusidic acid). The spots diminished but pain is not completely gone. Now what should I do for pain, sometimes redness and low grade fever which disturbs my day to day life? Is genital herpes life-threatening and what could be the complications and cure? Is my son at risk or he is safe? My wife is complaining of pain in vagina but without any redness or eruptions. I have been using condoms during intercourse except for 3-4 times. Is she safe? My younger brother is complaining of having diarrhoea from 5 months and a low grade fever and he had pain while urination a one month back but now cured for pain. I am worried about him as he had used my razor once. Is he safe? Can I do intercourse with my wife and can I kiss her?

A:Your sexual relationship with a prostitute, that too unprotected (without condom) and then your usual marital relationship with wife has raised a number of questions for you. At the moment, you are apprehensive, whether you had contracted HIV infection or not. If you have got your HIV test done by double ELISA method at 3 month and 6 month after that sexual exposure with prostitute, it is most unlikely that you have contracted HIV infection. This statement holds good only if you don't have further exposures. But certainly, you have got herpes genitalis and it is likely that your wife might have contracted it from you. This could be the cause of vaginal pain. For confirmation of this consult a dermatologist or gynaecologist. Some tips for you for safe sex are given below: Information to all persons to prevent sexual transmission of HIV: (a) Be aware that, if you have a mutually faithful relationship with your sexual partner, if you are both HIV seronegative, and if neither of you is exposed to contaminated blood, e.g., intravenous drugs or sharing needles, you are not at any risk of a sexually transmitted HIV infection. (b) If you intend to have sexual intercourse and are not in a mutually faithful sexual relationship, be aware that your chance of acquiring HIV infection is influenced by the following main factors: 1. The choice of your sexual partner(s): The risk of infection is directly related to the likelihood that your partner may be infected; for heterosexual and homosexual partners, this varies considerably according to the part of the world. However, there is no way by looking at someone to know if they are infected. Therefore, only through the use of condoms can you be sure that you are not exposing yourself to a risk of infection. 2. The number of sexual partners: The greater the number of partners with whom you have sexual intercourse, the greater the likelihood that you will encounter a partner with HIV infection. Therefore, reduce the number of sexual partners to the greatest extent possible, and avoid having sex with people who have many sex partners. 3. Proper and consistent use of condoms, from start to finish, for all sexual penetrations (vaginal, oral and anal). 4. The type of sexual behaviour practiced Abstinence is the surest way of preventing sexual transmission of HIV infection. However, for many people this is not acceptable or realistic. The use of condoms and other safer sexual practices such as those listed below are the only ways of decreasing the risk of becoming infected with HIV or transmitting HIV to a sexual partner. Restriction of sexual contact to activities that do not involve the sharing of semen, vaginal and cervical secretions, or blood (e.g., hugging, caressing) will eliminate the risk of acquiring HIV infection. Other safer sex practices include non-penetrative sex, masturbation, massage, kissing and hugging. Safer sexual activities 1. Talking, writing or reading about sex 2. Watching sexy films and live shows 3. Individual masturbation 4. Deep kissing 5. Mutual masturbation 6. Sex with underclothes on 7. Sex with other parts of the body (e.g., thighs, breasts) 8. Penetrative sex (oral, vaginal or anal) using condoms

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