Saturday, July 20, 2024

Do I Have To Tell Someone I Have Herpes

Why It’s Important To Tell Your Partner

What You Need to Know About Genital Herpes

Herpes viruses are extremely contagious. And it’s not just the risk of spreading a cold sore that you should be worried about.

This is because herpes can spread from the mouth to the genitals or from the genitals to the mouth. Skin-to-skin contact is all that is needed.

Having an open sore also increases your risk of an STI by providing the virus or bacteria a direct route into the body. Herpes can actually promote HIV infection by attracting the immune cells the HIV virus targets and infects.

To this end, it is just as important to discuss both of your sexual histories and not just herpes. As awkward as this may seem, it allows you both to explore whether it’s time to get STI testing from your healthcare provider or local health clinic.

Tell Them Directly But Not With An Apology

Pretend youre in your partners shoes. Of the following two sentences, which would you rather hear come out of your mouth?

  • Im terribly sorry to tell you this, and I know its going to be a major blow to us and our future together, but I have genital herpes.

  • I need to let you know something. I have herpes. We can still have a relationship and it isnt a major problem, but I thought you should know before we went any further.

Obviously, most people would prefer to hear the second sentence. When you let your partner or person of interest know that you have herpes, its important to frame it accurately. Herpes isnt a big deal its an easy virus to deal with and while genital sores are an inconvenience, there’s no real need for negativity.

The first response which, unfortunately, is what a lot of people with herpes may sound like as a result of negativity and nervousness treats the virus far more seriously than it should, adding a negative connotation to a statement that definitely doesnt warrant it.

It also begins with an apology, something you dont need to make. Youve done nothing wrong by having genital herpes. Theres no need to apologize for your infection status. Instead, get the point across openly, honestly and directly to your partner.

Learn As Much As You Can About Genital Herpes First

Before you tell, learn all you can about genital herpes so you can be prepared to answer any questions your partner may have. Stress that its very common. Hearing the one-in-five statistic could be a relief. Also explain what it means to have it. Some people get sores on their genitals occasionally, but many others get symptoms so mild they dont even notice them.

Choose words wisely. You dont want to load the discussion with negative imagery. Although genital herpes is a disease, saying that you have this disease conjures up unpleasant images, so avoid using that word. Watch adjectives, too. Dont describe your condition as horrible,disgusting, or incurable.

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Oral Herpes Poses A Risk Beyond Cold Sores

Dating when you have a cold sore on your lips or mouth can be embarrassing. But embarrassment shouldn’t stop you from telling a sexual partner if you feel a sore coming on or there is one hidden behind your lip.

Even if you’re on the mend, cold sores, which are also known as fever blisters, are highly contagious and may do more than just transmit the infection to your partner. It may increase your risk of a sexually transmitted infection .

The article will explore the viral cause of most cold sores and the risks associated with them. Plus, it offers strategies for discussing a cold sore with your partner.

Why Isnt A Blood Test Recommended For Herpes

Can someone please help? Herpes??

Whilst you cant get rid of the virus, herpes is treatable.

Most herpes episodes last three to seven days. Antiviral medication is available on prescription from a doctor to help prevent or shorten these episodes. These tablets should be taken within the first three days of the symptoms appearing for best effect.

Local treatments may also help.

These include:

  • salt baths, this may help if your genital area is painful
  • aspirin, ibuprofen or paracetamol to help relieve pain
  • acyclovir creams, like Zovirax, which can be used on cold sores as soon as they appear
  • topical anaesthetics such as lignocaine
  • passing urine in a warm bath, if urinating is painful
  • applying ice to the infected area to help relieve pain

In addition, you can:

  • wear cotton underwear and loose-fitting clothing to increase comfort and help healing
  • drink plenty of water so the urine is diluted and doesnt sting when it contacts the genital sores
  • rest to help recovery

Suppressive treatment is when you take a tablet every day to prevent episodes and this is usually used by people who have multiple episodes a year.

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Let Your Partner Think Before Making A Decision

People can react differently to hearing that you have genital herpes. Sometimes, you might be surprised to discover that the person youre coming out to also has herpes, and was dreading the prospect of sharing their status with you.

Sometimes, your partner might be well informed about herpes and willing to take a test to check if they also have the virus before having a relationship. Some people might simply not care and feel comfortable having a relationship with you even knowing about your HSV-2 status.

On the other hand, some people even people who might have been highly interested in you might not feel comfortable having a sexual or romantic relationship after finding out about your genital herpes. The reasons can differ, but for many people, any STD is a hard no.

The key point here is that you cant expect everyone to react the same way. One way to make it easier for your partner is to give them time. Suggest that they take a day or two to think about it before contacting you to see how they feel.

If someone is seriously interested in you, they might want to take a day or two to research the facts about herpes before giving you a yes. Or, they could just need an hour to double-check the data before inviting you back over for a cup of coffee.

Avoiding Passing Genital Herpes To A Partner

If you have herpes, you can follow some simple measures to avoid passing the virus on to your partner, and to continue to have a healthy and happy sex life. These include:

  • telling your partner if you have herpes
  • learning to recognise the warning signs that an episode is starting
  • not have sex during an episode of herpes
  • avoiding direct contact with your sores or blisters and another person
  • avoiding kissing and oral sex when you or your partner has cold sores around the mouth

If you have frequent episodes of herpes then it is worth talking to your GP or sexual health clinic about longer term treatment which may also reduce the chance of you passing on the virus to your partner.

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Should You Tell A Partner You Have Herpes

Disclose your HSV status to anyone you’re getting involved with. “I encourage everyone to share their diagnosis with their partners so that everyone can make the healthiest decisions for themselves,” Dr. Baldwin said.

You should also inform your partner about your herpes status for legal reasons. “There are so many lawsuits of people suing someone else for giving them herpes,” said Terri Warren, ANP, a nurse practitioner at Westover Heights Clinic and spokesperson for the American Sexual Health Association. By not telling your partner you have herpes, they lack the information needed to protect their health.

The Most Important Piece Of Advice Know What Youre Talking About

I have herpes: Should I Worry?

OK, first things first. You have to be clear in your own head about what genital herpes is, what causes it, what the symptoms are and how its transmitted.

Your partner probably wont know much about it, so you need to be able to explain it clearly to take the mystery and the fear out of it. You have to able to answer any questions they have simply and with confidence if youre going to be able to reassure them. If youre unsure about any aspects of genital herpes here are a few pointers to get you started.

Before starting any conversation get tested and make sure you definitely have it. You should go to your doctor or a sexual health clinic while you have symptoms. Theyll get you tested and can also explain the infection to you and give advice on talking to your partner.

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Can I Be Treated To Prevent Genital Herpes Transmission To My Partner

Yes. A large study showed that if one partner has herpes and the other partner is uninfected, treating the infected partner with suppressive therapy can prevent transmission of symptomatic herpes in over 90% of cases. This is an option for couples who are interested in having unprotected sex or who are planning to become pregnant.

If you are entering into a new relationship and are aware that you have herpes simplex infection, you owe it to your partner to notify them before having sex.

How To Tell Someone You Have Genital Herpes

Medically reviewed by Michele Emery, DNP

Whether youre telling a close friend or a romantic partner, letting someone else know that you have herpes can be a nerve-racking experience.

Luckily, it doesnt need to be an event you fear or feel anxious about. Herpes is a very common virus, withan estimated 11 percent of the population infected with the HSV-2 form of the virus and the majority of people infected with HSV-1 .

Below, weve provided a range of tips, tactics and techniques to help you tell other people you have herpes without fear, anxiety or other common issues.

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How To Reduce The Risk Of Spreading Herpes

There are ways to lower the risk of spreading HSV-1 to your partner. If you have an active outbreak, avoid letting the affected area touch your partners skin. Concerned about transmitting the virus when no symptoms are present? Using a protective barrier like a condom or dental dam can reduce the risk.

Ease Their Concerns About Transmission

Ingrown hair, herpes, pimple?? HELP

Let them know that its possible to have sex without their getting it. Educate them that in fact, theres actually a very low rate of transmission if you avoid sex during outbreaks. That that low rate becomes 30% lower if you use condoms. And much lower if you use Valtrex as suppressive therapy and condoms. In fact, the chances are vanishingly small according to studies done by Valtrex about transmission rates under various conditions. At that point, its downright unlikely.

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How Can I Reduce My Risk Of Getting Genital Herpes

If you are sexually active, you can do the following things to lower your chances of getting genital herpes:

  • Be in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who is not infected with an STD
  • Using latex condoms the right way every time you have sex.

Be aware that not all herpes sores occur in areas that are covered by a latex condom. Also, herpes virus can be released from areas of the skin that do not have a visible herpes sore. For these reasons, condoms may not fully protect you from getting herpes.

If you are in a relationship with a person known to have genital herpes, you can lower your risk of getting genital herpes if:

  • Your partner takes an anti-herpes medication every day. This is something your partner should discuss with his or her doctor.

Facts About Cold Sores

Cold sores usually appear as a single watery blister on the lip or mouth, or several blisters that consolidate into one.

They are usually caused by herpes simplex virus-1 . HSV-1 is the cousin of HSV-2, which is primarily associated with genital herpes.

However, HSV-1 can also lead to genital herpes during oral sex and HSV-2 can sometimes lead to cold sores.

HSV-1 is very common. About 67% of the world’s population under age 50 has HSV-1.

Cold sores affect roughly 3 of every 1,000 people each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . Of these, 33% will experience subsequent attacks triggered by stress, fever, and other causes.

Once you have HSV-1 it doesn’t go away. If you develop a cold sore, the virus can spread more easily.

Cold sores are typically spread through saliva and direct contact. You can get them through kissing or sharing lip balm with someone who has a cold sore.

Cold sores can be painful and may take up to 14 days before active healing begins.

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Can Genital Herpes Cause Other Problems

For most women, genital herpes does not usually cause serious health problems.

Women with HIV can have severe herpes outbreaks that are long-lasting. Herpes also may play a role in the spread of HIV. Herpes sores can make it easier for HIV to get into your body. Also, herpes can make people who are HIV-positive more likely to spread the infection to someone else.

Dont Psych Yourself Out

Can I Get Herpes From A Towel? Your Worst Fears Confirmed

Its human nature to imagine all of the no good, very bad directions the conversation can take. When I was first diagnosed, the many nasty ways my date could reject me ran through my head like ticker tape. But convincing myself every disclosure would be a disaster was a self-fulfilling prophecy, and Ive only ever been turned down when I entered that conversation from a place of doubt and insecurity. When you bring negative energy into your disclosure, your partner will mirror it and anticipate the worst. If youre visibly stressing out, they will be on edge too. If youre a confident, smiling charmer who graciously shares information, theyll be more at ease and in a better frame of mind to process what youve said.

Instead of fixating on the risk of rejection, think of the character and respect you are demonstrating by being honest about your sexual health. In disclosing your status, youre being generous and responsible and kind. Theyre lucky to know you. They may even find your transparency refreshing.

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What Happens At A Sexual Health Clinic

The doctor or nurse at the sexual health clinic will:

  • ask about your symptoms and your sexual partners
  • use a small cotton bud to take some fluid from 1 of your blisters or sores for testing

The test cannot:

  • be done if you do not have visible blisters or sores
  • tell you how long you have had herpes or who you got it from

Symptoms might not appear for weeks or even years after you’re infected with the herpes virus.

What Does The Test Measure

At-home genital and oral herpes testing detects antibodies to the herpes simplex virus. Antibodies are produced by a persons immune system to defend the body against a potentially harmful substance, called an antigen.

Antibodies to HSV are only present in patients who have been infected with HSV at some point in their life. At-home genital and oral herpes tests cannot distinguish between a new or recent infection and an infection that occured in the past.

Antibodies to HSV are specific to the type of HSV and develop within a few weeks of being exposed to the virus but may take longer depending on the type of herpes. Antibodies to HSV remain in the body indefinitely. Some at-home kits test for only one type of herpes while others test for both HSV-1 and HSV2.

After a persons first outbreak of genital or oral herpes, the virus initially infects a persons skin cells and eventually moves to their nerve cells. The virus may stay inactive in the nerve cells forever without causing another outbreak, or it may become active again in the future.

Testing for other herpesviruses

While at-home tests are often called herpes tests, its important to keep in mind that these tests do not detect all forms of herpesvirus, including shingles, Epstein-Barr virus , and cytomegalovirus . When purchasing an at-home herpes test, its important to look carefully at the types of herpesvirus the test is designed to detect.

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How Do You Tell Someone You Have Herpes

The hardest part may be deciding how to broach the subject. The specific words and phrases you use will obviously be highly individual depending on what kind of relationship youre building. In general, though, dont make a big deal of it. You never knowyour partner may divulge he or she also has herpes. And if they have the same type of the virus as you, they cant get reinfected, Dr. Baldwin says.

You could start the conversation by mentioning cold sores, then move into the subject of genital herpes. You could also start by saying you want to be honest in the relationship, or that you want to discuss safe sex. It can be a very difficult conversation to have, but you should be honest and straightforward, says Dr. Baldwin.

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Civil Consequences Of Transmitting An Std To A Partner

Is this herpes? What is this? Please help

If you have sex with another person knowing you have herpes or another STD, you could be sued for damages if you do not tell the person about the disease before sex. However, the person would need to prove that you knew you were infected and failed to tell them before sexual intercourse.

We all have a duty to avoid causing harm or unreasonable risk of harm to others. Breaching this duty of care can result in a negligence claim. The legal elements of negligence are:

Negligence is failing to act with the same level of care that a reasonable person would have used in similar circumstances. For example, a jury may find that a reasonable person who knew they had herpes would understand that having sex with someone could spread the infection. Therefore, a reasonable person would inform the other person of the herpes diagnosis so the person could decide whether to take the risk.

If the defendant did not inform the other person that they had herpes, the jury might find the defendant liable for damages. Damages in a personal injury case can include medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, emotional distress, permanent impairment, and other out-of-pocket costs.

Even if you wear a condom, you still place the person at risk. Therefore, if you do not tell a potential partner you have herpes or another STD, you could be arrested for a crime and sued in civil court.

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