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Should I tell my wife about my Herpes problem?

Q: I am a resident of India. Three years back I went to a prostitute and I am now infected with herpes type 2 virus. I am doubtful about HIV. I underwent tridot test several times after the window period which was always reported as negative. The accuracy of that result was answered by you earlier and I am also confident. Despite herpes infection, I am feeling absolutely well except at times when it flares up when some flu like symptoms occur. Anyhow this is a minor infection and I am not so much depressed. My anxiety is that I am approaching the age for marriage and am worried how to deal with this. If the partner come to know about this infection after marriage, I may feel guilty. So the right thing is to inform the partner about this infection before marriage. But this is not possible and if so feelings of deception arise. The only option remaining is to either marry and convince her later or never marry. I am not able to express myself correctly and I neeed your help in this regard. I will be gratified if you can help out.

A:I am glad you have stopped worrying about the reliability of the negative HIV tests. Herpes type 2 is another issue. Unfortunately there is no cure at this time but several new drugs are being investigated and hold some promise. The cyclovir family of drugs are also being improved. Acyclovir is a drug often used for Herpes II and helps in cutting down the period of symptomatic disease or episode. The main shedding of the virus (infectiousness) is during the periodic symptomatic phases, however in a significant proportion of asymptomatic days some virus shedding has been recorded. Some doctors are now recommending the chronic (long-term) use of the newer varieties of this class of drugs in an attempt to both reduce the frequency of outbreaks and to reduce virus shedding. You have to decide the issue of marriage and of telling the partner. Keep in mind that even if you do not have intercourse during the episodic recurrence, there is a chance of spreading the infection if a condom is not used. If you do decide to get married, get treatment by an anti-viral agent, abstain from sex during episodes and use a condom except when you are trying to father a child. For that too, get advice and restrict your unprotected sex to the maximum fertility period. Keep track of the advances on the Internet and get treatment as it evolves.

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