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Is herpes a lifelong disease?

Q: I am a 40 years old unmarried and sexually inactive man. Recently I underwent a cystoscopy procedure for a urological ailment. After the procedure I developed an infection on the glans penis, which appeared like reddish blisters. The doctor diagnosed it as herpes and treated it with Aciclovir. I responded well to the treatment. After 5 months herpes recurred and so I treated it similarly. Again I responded well to the treatment. Even then I decided to go in for an antibody test (HSV 1 & 2 IgG and IgM). The results were negative. Is it possible to get this infection through non-sexual routes? Can the infection be there even if the antibody test is negative? Is it a lifelong disease?

A:Herpes simplex viral infection is a life long infection, which comes and goes. Most cases of genital herpes are acquired through sexual contact. Many a times serological tests for herpes are not contributory for final diagnosis. False positive and false negative test results are well known. Proper clinical correlation is essential.

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