Skip to content

Genital Herpes Health Center

Font Size

Genital Herpes - What Increases Your Risk

Things that increase your risk of getting genital herpes include:

  • Having more than one sex partner.
  • Having a high-risk partner or partners (partner has more than one sex partner or has herpes-infected sex partners).
  • Having unprotected sexual contact (not using condoms).
  • Starting sexual activity at a young age. The younger people are when they start having sex, the greater their risk is of getting genital herpes.
  • Having a weakened immune system.
  • Being a woman. Women are more likely than men to become infected when exposed to genital herpes. And their symptoms tend to be more severe and longer-lasting. Women also are at a greater risk of having complications from a genital herpes infection.

Having herpes, especially if you have open sores, also increases your risk for becoming infected with HIV if you are exposed to HIV.

Recommended Related to Genital Herpes

Coping With a Genital Herpes Diagnosis

You have been told you're infected with a virus for which there is no cure, and one that affects a very sensitive area. That's crummy news, but don't get too down about it. Above all, realize that genital herpes is very common. Chances are one of your friends, family members, or co-workers has it, too. If you have read about genital herpes, you know the statistic: About one in five people in the U.S. is infected. But you may not realize that some diseases we consider quite common are less so than...

Read the Coping With a Genital Herpes Diagnosis article > >

Any child with genital herpes needs to be evaluated by a doctor to see if it is the result of sexual abuse. For more information, see the topic Child Abuse and Neglect.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: August 14, 2013
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
    1
    Next Article:

    Today on WebMD

    STD Overview
    Slideshow
    BHC Healthy Sex Life
    Quiz
     
    things your guy wish you knew slideshow
    Slideshow
    Sex Drive Killers 03
    Slideshow
     
    Genital Herpes Risks Quiz
    Quiz
    Young couple holding hands
    Quiz
     
    Hepatitis Prevent 10
    Feature
    Herpes Vaccine Study
    Video
     

    If you have genital herpes, do you know the person who passed it to you?


    Daughter Development Evaluator
    Article
    HPV Vaccine Future
    Article
     
    STD Facts Quiz
    Quiz
    mother and daughter talking
    Tool
     

    WebMD Special Sections