I have Herpes. Is my sex life over?
When first diagnosed with genital herpes, many people are anxious about what the infection will mean in a current sexual relationship or when searching for a new sexual partner. No – genital herpes does not mean that your sex life is over even if there is no cure for herpes.
Some people experience a burden of responsibility when they know that they have an incurable infection, It is important to remember that your partner may already be infected. If they are, they may experience mild or unrecognized symptoms like many people who are infected.
For casual or short-term sexual relationships, protection in the form of condoms is recommended to help to reduce acquiring a wide range of sexually transmitted infections. Avoid direct genital skin-to-skin contact during a herpes outbreak, as this is the time the virus is most likely to be passed on. Wearing a condom will not completely prevent transmission during an outbreak as the virus may be present on the surrounding genital area.
In an on-going relationship where both partners fully understand the implications of genital HSV infection and the risk of transmission, the decision not to use condoms may be agreed.