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Frequently Asked Questions After a Genital Herpes Diagnosis

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Should I tell my partner I have genital herpes? continued...

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 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, he or she should be tested for the virus.

Where can I find support for genital herpes?

Many resources are available for people living with genital herpes. A good place to start is the CDC National STD/HIV Hotline: 1-800-227-8922. Also, talk to your doctor about any concerns you have.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Debbie Bridges, MD on August 06, 2012
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