If you are living with herpes, Sutter Health encourages you to:
- Be alert to triggers that activate herpes.
- Use safe sex methods, such as condoms.
- Don't share personal care items.
- Respond quickly to a herpes breakout.
Tips for dating with herpes
Having the herpes virus does not mean that your dating life is over. There is no reason you cannot continue meeting and dating people, as long as you’re willing to be open and honest with them about your diagnosis. Here are some tips for dating with herpes.
Be willing to communicate
A herpes diagnosis does not mean the end of your sex or dating life,” says Lazzara. But it does require some responsible maintenance and communication with both your sexual partners and your physician.
Don’t be afraid to get emotionally intimate
An open and honest conversation about your diagnosis can require emotional intimacy that may be scary to have in a new relationship. Harbushka says to relax and realize that it can be sexy to communicate with your partner about sex and other important intimate topics.
Tips for safe intimacy
With the right information and adequate protection, you can still enjoy a healthy sexual relationship. Here are some tips to help you and your partner stay safe during sex.
Recognize there is always a risk
Even though most people are only shedding the virus for a short period of time, Mysore says you cannot completely eliminate the risk. That’s why she says you need to use protection 100 percent of the time with new partners.
Taking a daily antiviral can help suppress the virus as well as the asymptomatic shedding, says Harbushka. One studyTrusted Source found that taking an antiviral daily can reduce transmission. This strategy is not appropriate for everyone but maybe reasonable for some people with genital herpes.
Know the correct way to use a condom
Lazzara stresses the importance of consistent and correct condom use, which can provide significant protection against the spread of herpes. Plus, avoiding sexual interaction while experiencing an active herpes outbreak will also minimize the risk of transmission. Read our guide for proper tips on how to use outside and inside condoms.
Manage your stress
Finally, stress often triggers a new herpes outbreak, so Mysore suggests having good stress management skills and living a healthy lifestyle, which can help in future outbreaks and therefore lessen the chance of transmission.