Looking for a bridge over troubled water? Krithvi Shyam, our young psychologist, addresses your worst anxieties.

I’m 22 years old and I have HBV, a sexually transmitted disease. I am otherwise healthy. But now I have been asked to marry. Should I get married or not? How do I deal with this? Please advise.


For the medical aspect of your letter, I spoke to Dr. Uma Ram, obstetrician and gynaecologist, and she says, “The question is whether the letter writer contracted the infection acutely, or is a carrier. If you have been tested as antigen positive, then you need to ensure that your partner is vaccinated against Hepatitis B Virus and has immunity. Until this time, it is important to use some form of barrier protection.

You should also make sure you divulge this diagnosis during the time of medical interventions or pregnancies, so that appropriate precautions can be taken.” So yes, just because you have HBV doesn’t mean you can’t get married. However, regardless of whether you decide to marry or not, disclose any history of STDs to future sexual partners (and ensure that he/she does the same for you). Don’t hesitate to meet a gynaecologist or infectious disease specialist to get more clarity on your situation.

My younger brother's friend who is also of the same age comes to our house often and leaves to play with my brother. But these days he comes to my house only when no one is at home.

I initially considered it to be normal until he started touching my hair saying it was soft and started acting strangely. I am scared if he’s approaching me in a wrong way. What should I do to make him understand he’s wrong?


I am a fan of having a peephole installed in front doors because: (a) you can smirk at how ridiculously bad that ridiculously good-looking friend of yours appears when seen through it and (b) you can avoid having to open doors to creeps/serial killers/Avon ladies when you know they’re standing on the other side.

It’s time to tell your family firmly that you don’t want your brother’s friend invited to the house anymore, and don’t be afraid or embarrassed to explain why. If your brother is still keen to pursue his friendship, he can always just meet the guy in one of Chennai’s 101 Places to Loiter Around Before You Die.

The next time the friend tries coming over when there’s no one else there, ignore the knocking and let him think you’re not at home. Regardless of their age or gender, don’t let people you feel unsafe with inside the house.