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Genital Herpes Health Center

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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 complicationsfrom 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

How to Tell Your Partner You Have Genital Herpes

You must tell your partner you have genital herpes. If you pick the right time and say it the right way, there's a good chance things will work out OK. Think about how you want your partner to take the news. Do you want it to seem like a huge problem? Of course not, so don't present it that way. If you say, "I have some awful news for you," your partner will likely take it as awful news. Instead, be casual, direct, and unemotional. Also avoid suggesting how he or she should react, especially in...

Read the How to Tell Your Partner You Have Genital Herpes 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.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: November 14, 2014
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.
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