Newly Diagnosed With A Herpes Genital Infection

What you need to know

Mature woman in medical gown sitting on examination table, rear view
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Hearing from your doctor that you have a herpes genital infection can be extremely stressful. It's not uncommon for people to get a herpes diagnosis and panic. They may fear that they will never be able to date or have sex again. Fortunately, that isn't true. Herpes won't kill you. Herpes doesn't even have to be the end of your sex life. You may end up changing the way you talk and think about sex.

However, just because you have a herpes genital infection doesn't mean you need to give up on life.

The most important thing to do after being diagnosed with herpes is to learn everything you can about the virus. That way you'll understand what is going on in your body. If after reading everything you can about the virus you're still finding yourself unable to cope, that's understandable. Don't hesitate to get professional help. Herpes is just a virus, but it's a highly stigmatized one. It can be very hard to handle emotionally. There's nothing wrong with wanting to reach out to someone who will listen without judgment and with understanding. Depression is common after a herpes diagnosis. Treating your mental symptoms can help as much as treating your physical ones. 

Resources for People With Herpes Genital Infections:

  • Genital herpes is an incredibly common infection. Scientists estimate that it may affect as many as one out of every five men and one out of every four women. These articles provide  a good basic overview about herpes genital infections and the herpes viruses.
    Genital Herpes Overview
    Types of Herpes Treatments
    Herpes Images
  • Have you ever seen someone with a cold sore? If you have, you've seen someone with oral herpes. Although most people don't think of cold sores as herpes infections, they are. Cold sores are usually caused by HSV1 and herpes genital infections by HSV2. However, either virus is happy to infect either location. They're both herpes. In fact, a growing number of genital herpes cases are caused by HSV1 - the "cold sore" virus.
    More About Oral Herpes
    Cold Sores ARE Oral Herpes
  • Many people worry that being diagnosed with herpes may be the end of their love life. It doesn't have to be. It's true that some people can be very judgmental about herpes infections. A new diagnosis can end a relationship. But that doesn't mean there isn't the possible for other relationships -- both sexual and romantic. It's possible to date quite happily, and openly, with herpes genital infections. Herpes is a very common virus. Once most people get the facts they are very tolerant. Quite often the scariest thing about telling a partner is worrying about it beforehand.
    Dating with Herpes
    How to Tell a Partner You Have Herpes
    Living With Herpes?
    The Problem With Looking for Someone To Blame
  • Can herpes kill you? If you're an adult, the symptoms are usually pretty manageable. However, herpes can be very dangerous if it's transmitted to the fetus during pregnancy. Therefore, if you've recently been diagnosed and are either pregnant or involved with someone who is pregnant, talk to your doctor about managing the risks. 
    Herpes & Pregnancy
    The Risk of Neonatal Herpes Infection

When you are first diagnosed with a herpes genital infection, it can be hard to imagine what to do. However, you can live a long and happy life after a herpes diagnosis. It may be difficult at first, but keep the faith. You will win through. Just remember that, in the end, herpes is only a disease. It's not the end of the world. Remember, many people never even realize that they have herpes.