Genital Herpes: The Basics

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What should I do if I have genital herpes?

  • See your doctor for testing and treatment right away.
  • Follow your doctor’s orders and finish all the medicine that you are given. Even if the symptoms go away, you still need to finish all of the medicine.
  • Avoid having any sexual activity while you are being treated for genital herpes and while you have any symptoms of an outbreak.
  • Be sure to tell your sexual partners, so they can be tested.
  • Remember that genital herpes is a life long disease. Even though you may have long periods with no symptoms, you can still pass the virus to another person. Talk with your doctor about what you can do to have fewer future outbreaks, and how to prevent passing the virus to another person.

This publication was written by the National Women's Health Information Center, a project of the Office on Women's Health (OWH) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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