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As a woman with a deep-seated fear of HIV and plenty of education on the subject, I realized that I hadn’t spent much time studying the ramifications of the herpes simplex virus (HSV). A common misconception is that HSV I is exclusive to the mouth and HSV II is exclusive to the genitals.

It’s true that the majority of the time, genital outbreaks are symptomatic of HSV II, but you can be infected by either type in either location, or even have both types in a given location — which makes me think that, functionally speaking, distinguishing between oral and genital infections is pointless.

If in the past you tended to start a new relationship with sex, you now might want to change your approach.

It might be better to break the news about herpes to someone who has already grown attached to you.

As we all know, talking about having herpes is often harder than actually living with the virus.

One of the most common questions that come up on this site is how to effectively tell one’s partners that he/she has herpes. Antiviral medications have proven clinical effectiveness against genital herpes. Without exception, every health professional or health educator will say you have a responsibility and a duty to disclose your condition.

Some people develop just one bump; others get more.

You're showering one day when you feel something unusual down there — a bump or cluster of bumps in the vaginal or anal area.

The bumps aren't itchy or inflamed; they're firm and painless, flesh-colored rather than red.

While only a doctor can diagnose you for sure, the bumps could be genital warts, a common effect of the human papillomavirus.

The fact that he'd been honest about this pretty major thing before we'd even met was a testament to how trustworthy he was, and maybe because of that, I continued to pursue him.

A week went by, and we continued to abstain from sex, although we were seeing each other almost daily at this point. I already knew I had HSV I — typically expressed orally as cold sores on the mouth — but my partner wasn't sure if he had HSV I or HSV II.

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