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:
May. 21, 2011
- 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.
- Genital herpes: CDC fact sheet. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/std/herpes/STDFact-Herpes.htm. Accessed March 8, 2011.
- Genital herpes. American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. http://www.acog.org/publications/patient_education/bp054.cfm. Accessed March 8, 2011.
- Genital herpes simplex. In: Habif TP. Clinical Dermatology: A Color Guide to Diagnosis and Therapy. 5th ed. Edinburgh, U.K.; New York, N.Y.: Mosby Elsevier; 2010. Accessed March 9, 2011.
- Albrecht MA. Epidemiology, clinical manifestations and diagnosis of genital herpes simplex virus infection. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed March 9, 2011.
- Whitley RJ. Herpes simplex virus infections. In: Goldman L, et al. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2008. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/191371208-2/0/1492/0.html#. Accessed March 9, 2011.
- Albrecht MA. Treatment of genital herpes simplex virus infection. .http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed March 9, 2011.
- Wald A. Prevention of genital herpes virus infection. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed March 10, 2011.