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How likely is it that I've been infected with genital herpes if my partner has it?

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How likely you are to get genital herpes from your partner depends on whether you've always practiced safe sex and how long you've been sexually intimate with each other.

If you've had sex only once or twice, and if you used a condom each time, your chances are lower than if you've had unprotected sex for a long time. But you could have been infected during any one encounter.

SOURCES:  Fleming, et al. "Herpes Simplex Virus Type 2 in the United States, 1976 to 1994," New England Journal of Medicine, Oct. 16, 1997. ASHA, National Herpes Resource Center. NIAID (fact sheet), "Genital Herpes," Sept. 2003. MEDLINEplus Medical Encyclopedia: "Herpes genital (genital Herpes simplex)." CDC, "Sexually Transmitted Diseases Treatment Guidelines 2002." WebMD Medical News: "Herpes Virus Linked to Cervical Cancer," Nov. 5, 2002.Terri Warren, RN, Westover Heights Clinic. Warren, Terri, RN, and Warren, Ricks, PhD, The Updated Herpes Handbook. Portland Press, 2002.

Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson on September 9, 2018

SOURCES:  Fleming, et al. "Herpes Simplex Virus Type 2 in the United States, 1976 to 1994," New England Journal of Medicine, Oct. 16, 1997. ASHA, National Herpes Resource Center. NIAID (fact sheet), "Genital Herpes," Sept. 2003. MEDLINEplus Medical Encyclopedia: "Herpes genital (genital Herpes simplex)." CDC, "Sexually Transmitted Diseases Treatment Guidelines 2002." WebMD Medical News: "Herpes Virus Linked to Cervical Cancer," Nov. 5, 2002.Terri Warren, RN, Westover Heights Clinic. Warren, Terri, RN, and Warren, Ricks, PhD, The Updated Herpes Handbook. Portland Press, 2002.

Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson on September 9, 2018

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How can I protect myself from genital herpes if my partner and I keep having sex?

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