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Sexual health and LGBT population
Living with HIV
Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP)
There is no single or easy answer to this very important question. At times you may want to consider seeking professional help from one of our knowledgeable specialists (sexologist) in order to prepare for disclosure, particularly the first time. It is important to inform your sexual partner(s).
It is important to realize that education is one of the first steps. It is important to understand the infection and thereby diffuse the myths and mysteries that seem to accompany the term "herpes". It is important to be able to address any questions that your new partner may have. Important points are the frequency of herpes in the general population (25%) and its similarity to cold-sores (oro-labial herpes).
It is important for you to have come to terms with your own infection. If you are still unable to handle living with herpes yourself, it will be difficult to successfully talk about herpes with a new or potential partner. Your calm, direct and open approach will often help to generate further discussion and, once again, education. Fear of herpes often stems from your own or your partner’s ignorance of herpes. You may want to suggest a joint visit to one of our physicians, so as to talk freely in a stable environment – this may serve to reassure your partner. Ensure that this discussion takes place in a quiet and private location. The fewer the distractions, the better.
Timing is important…do not wait until after sex! Announcing your herpes infection just before sexual relations is probably not the best time, and may fall to the wayside in the heat of the moment. Developing a relationship prior to sex, and disclosing herpes before intimate relations is in most instances the best approach.
Your new partner may surprise you with the same news – herpes is common! In the event of a negative or emotional reaction, remember that your first reaction was likely spontaneous and emotional…it may take your partner some time to think through and deal with the news. Give them the space and time needed.