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Coping With a Genital Herpes Diagnosis

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Coping With Genital Herpes Day to Day

If you've just been diagnosed with genital herpes, you may have to make some changes in your daily life, which will feel strange at first. But will life change dramatically? Probably not. You can keep moving ahead in your career, have children, and have fun.

You may need to take medication, but pills are a reality of modern life. Millions of people take pills every day to treat health problems, and many more take vitamins and supplements every day because they want to. As much as you value a carefree lifestyle, you have always done some necessary chores every day, like brushing your teeth. Taking your medicine will become as routine as that.

You may not even have to take daily medication. You may need it only when you have a flare-up, and that's like taking antibiotics for a bout of bronchitis. Also, remember that symptoms tend to calm down in time. Your first outbreak may be the worst you'll ever have.

Dealing With Anger About Having Herpes

Then, ask yourself: Did the person from whom I got genital herpes want to infect me? Again, probably not. Most people with genital herpes don't know they're infected. Unless that person knew, and neglected to tell you, there's no reason for anger. In any case, having sex means you accept the risk of getting a sexually transmitted disease. Don't beat yourself up, or anyone else, because you didn't fully understand the risk.

These are only a few of the personal issues you may face in dealing with your diagnosis. There's also the hard task of telling your partner, the thorny issues involved in dating, and the things you should and shouldn't do when you have sex.

You don't have to deal with all this on your own. If you feel uncomfortable talking about your feelings with people you know, you can hash things over with others who have herpes, in either an online or in-person support group. Be assured that you're not the only person in this situation. A counselor or therapist can also help you resolve some issues.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson, MD, FACOG on September 22, 2014
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