Coping and support

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Finding out that you have genital herpes may be quite distressing. Among the tumult of emotions, you might feel shock, shame or anger. You may be suspicious or resentful of your partner if you think he or she "gave" you the disease. Or you might be fearful of rejection by your current partner or future partners.

What you're feeling is normal and perfectly valid. But you can cope with your diagnosis of genital herpes in a healthy and effective way. Here's how:

  • Communicate with your partner. Be open and honest about your feelings. Trust your partner and believe what he or she tells you. Don't be too quick to assign blame. Genital herpes can lie dormant in your body for years, so it's often difficult to determine exactly when you became infected.
  • Educate yourself. Talk with your doctor or a counselor to learn how to live with the condition and minimize your chances of infecting future partners. Learn about your treatment options so you understand how to best manage outbreaks.
  • Join a support group. Look for a group in your area or online so that you can talk about your feelings and learn from others' experiences.
May. 21, 2011