AIDS Affairs : Genital herpes

July 19, 2016

Dear Counsellor,

I went to the doctor for my yearly check-up, and to my surprise, he told me I was infected with genital herpes. I cannot believe this. I have been a Christian for the past seven months and I have not had sex since I became a Christian. Could my doctor be wrong?

Born-Again Christian

Dear Born-Again Christian,

It is very unlikely that your doctor made the wrong diagnosis.

You must be aware that a person infected with genital herpes may not have symptoms for a long time after infection. Some persons don't have symptoms for years after infection.

Therefore, it is possible for you to be infected and show no symptoms for a long time. You may have been infected from your very first sexual counter before you became a Christian.

It is important that you follow your doctor's instructions carefully. I am suggesting also that you try to get all the information on genital herpes you can, and do not hesitate to question your doctor.

Remember also that while there is no cure for genital herpes, it is not life threatening.

Dear Counsellor,

I often have sex without using a condom because my husband refuses to use one. My problem now is that my husband tested positive for HIV and I tested negative. We were married and then separated for a while and then we got back together. He is taking the treatment for HIV and is doing very well health-wise.

He still wants to have unprotected sex saying that if I should get HIV I would have got it already, and moreover, he is getting treatment.

Counsellor, I really cannot trust him because he tested negative some years before and we know that he got infected while we were separated based on discussions we had. He is still seeing other women.

I am now confused and I really don't want to leave him. What do you suggest I do?

Frustrated Wife

Dear Frustrated Wife,

If you cannot persuade your husband to use a condom, then you will want to persuade him to engage in non-penetrative activities with you, where you won't be exposed to sexual fluids or blood.

You should take some time to discuss this very important matter with him. If you are unable to get through to your husband, then you may want to seek some professional help.

Your husband must know that because he is already infected with HIV does not make him immune from other sexually transmitted infections.

The final responsibility is yours to protect your body, sexual health, and life.

For more information on condom use, HIV/AIDS, and other sexually transmitted infections, call the AIDS/STD Helpline toll free at 1888-991-4444

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