What to do when your new boyfriend or girlfriend tells you they have herpes.

So you have met this great person, the chemistry is perfect, they have a great personality, it seems that this person was made for you. Out of nowhere, that person starts to act a little distant and tells you that you need to “talk.” Things have been going so well that you can’t imagine what you might need to “talk” about. During dinner, the person throws a big bomb at you; “Honey, I have genital herpes.”, and so you feel that your whole world can collapse.

The truth is that this conversation happens hundreds of times every day, it is equally contagious and can be transmitted to any part of the body. The medical industry estimates that almost 80% of people infected with herpes do not know it. So before you go crazy with your boy or girl, ask yourself, “Do I have herpes too?”

Herpes sounds like a really scary disease, and while I’m not suggesting you take it lightly, of all the sexually transmitted diseases, it has the least harmful long-term impact. Did you know that routine STD tests DO NOT detect herpes? Many in the medical industry say that they don’t bother to test specifically because so many people have it, which is much more common than one might think. Some doctors even refer to it as a “dermatological complaint … nothing serious.” Now, it is not said to disguise it so that you can ignore it or think that it is actually not a big problem, but the demonetization of herpes has made the condition exaggerated.

So what should you do if you discover that the person you are dating has herpes? Here are some things to consider:

1. Can you see a long-term relationship with this person despite herpes? Since herpes is not a life-threatening condition, there should be no fear of death or anything like that. He or she is the same person you fell in love with yesterday and who is today. Herpes is not an indication of a promiscuous lifestyle, so just because they have herpes doesn’t mean they sleep with everyone. Did you know that herpes can be transmitted even with a condom? I bet you didn’t!

2. The chances of transmitting herpes to a partner decrease by 73% when a person takes suppressant medications on a daily basis, the most popular being Valtrex. The use of condoms combined with daily medication reduces the possibility of infection by 98%.

3. The longer a person has herpes, the less frequent the outbreaks are. The first year of a herpes infection is also the busiest year, most people will experience an outbreak every three to four months. However, as time passes, the body develops an immunity to the virus, which means that outbreaks occur less and less. Many people who have the virus report having less than one outbreak per year after the first 5 years.

There is life after a herpes diagnosis or discussion, and while it’s contagious, it doesn’t have to be the end of the world. If you can honestly see yourself with this person one, two, or even five years later, don’t steal that love and happiness. The transmission of herpes can be avoided with mutual respect and communication.

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