You should tell any sex partner that you have genital herpes. It's important to learn all you can about genital herpes and share that information. Then you and your partner can make an informed decision about sex. Tell a partner that there is always a chance of getting the virus from you, but that there are ways to reduce the risk, such as using latex condoms and avoiding sex when you have symptoms.
There are plenty of reasons why you should communicate openly. Your partner may have infected you, and he or she should know. It may also help your relationship in the long run. Your partner is likely to appreciate your honesty.
When breaking the news, explain how common genital herpes is: About one in five adults in the U.S. are infected. You can say it's like having cold sores on the mouth (which 50% to 80% of all adults in the U.S. have), except the virus has infected your genitals. It will also help if you're calm when talking to your partner and approach the discussion with a positive attitude: "I think we can work this out so that we'll both be happy," not, "This will probably tear us apart, but...."
If you were sexually intimate with your partner before you were diagnosed with genital herpes, he or she should be tested for the virus.
This answer should not be considered medical advice...This answer should not be considered medical advice and should not take the place of a doctor’s visit. Please see the bottom of the page for more information or visit our Terms and Conditions.
Archived: March 20, 2014
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