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In the same way that no birth control method reduces the chances of pregnancy to zero, couples eventually find the right balance between caution and calculated risk.Some couples have sex with condoms every time, others only wear protection during outbreaks or simply avoid contact with the areas where the virus is transmittable.Q: I've been seeing this girl and we've really been hitting it off. But my gut reaction is to ghost and never look back—I don't want herpes! – Jason, San Antonio A: Finding out your partner has herpes can be a bombshell at any point in the relationship. But it is not nearly as unique or earth-shattering as you think it is. I know there a lot of thoughts and anxieties swirling in your head—about your partner’s health, about your health, about your partner’s fidelity, about your future (or lack thereof) with your partner—and we’ll get to all that. My head tells me to handle this like a mature gentleman.1 in 6 means that if you’ve had three sexual partners in your life, then there’s a chance that one of them has had herpes and an even greater chance that one of them has had a partner with herpes.

Is the risk higher than being in a relationship with someone who is confirmed negative? But is it realistic to only be in relationships with people who have been recently tested for herpes? For most people, herpes outbreaks happen less and less frequently as time goes on.But know this: many, many couples find a way to make it work. In a long term relationship where there is open communication, maybe even a little professional counseling (people like Eric Garrison, or someone your doctor refers), you find your rhythm.You find the lifestyle and sex life that fits your comfort level.However they, too, will retain the virus for life and be contagious.That’s a lot to parse, but boil it down to this: far more than 1 in 6 Americans between the age of 14 and 49 have HSV-2.

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