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“It can be emotionally hard and it’s important that people have a support system around them to help them cope and understand what next steps are,” she adds.

Between your appointments, create a list of questions you have about your diagnosis. Once you have a treatment plan, the next steps require you to make some difficult decisions about your personal life and the people you’re intimate with.

Harbushka says to relax and realize that it can be sexy to communicate with your partner about sex and other important intimate topics.

With the right information and adequate protection, you can still enjoy a healthy sexual relationship.

They are going to have questions for you concerning their health and will want to know how they can avoid contracting the virus.

Mysore often suggests that her patients avoid saying “I have herpes,” and instead try something like, “I carry the herpes virus.” She says this will be clearer since you don’t always have an outbreak.

“HSV-1 is most commonly related to cold sores, which a large amount of the population have.

However, HSV-1 can also be the virus that causes genital herpes (via oral sex) and HSV-2 can be the virus that gives you cold sores,” she says.

That’s why Mysore always suggests having a follow-up visit after the initial diagnosis to see how someone is coping.

Lazzara stresses the importance of consistent and correct condom use, which can provide significant protection against the spread of herpes.

Plus, avoiding sexual interaction while experiencing an active herpes outbreak will also minimize the risk of transmission.

Read our guide for proper tips on how to use outside and inside condoms.

Finally, stress often triggers a new herpes outbreak, so Mysore suggests having good stress management skills and living a healthy lifestyle, which can help in future outbreaks and therefore lessen the chance of transmission.

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