Herpes Pt 3: How to talk about it with a partner - Play Safe
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Talking about herpes can be hard. Stigma exists. But it’s important to let any new sexual partners know if you’ve been diagnosed with herpes. This allows people to make informed decisions for themselves. The more we talk about herpes openly, the less power that stigma has. Here are my tips for how do that:

  • Before bringing up herpes with a new partner, remind yourself of the facts (see Herpes Pt 1).  
  • Choose a private moment and be confident. How you present the information can have a big impact on how people feel about it. You’re not making a confession; you haven’t done anything wrong! You’re letting them know you have a common, usually mild, skin infection.
  • Don’t forget that there’s a pretty good chance the person you’re talking to already has herpes (even if they don’t know it!). Preventing transmission goes both ways. If you only have one type, you can still get the other.
  • Let your partner know where to find accurate information about herpes if they need time to do their own research. Refer them here or to www.herpes.org.nz or suggest they call the NSW Sexual Health Infolink for more information.

Also check out

Herpes Pt 1: Everything you need to know
Herpes Pt 2: How to avoid passing it on