Getting the facts

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Genital herpes is a common sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by a virus that affects one in eight Australians aged over 25 years. The symptoms of genital herpes vary and can often be relatively mild, or not present at all. As a result, many people with the virus are unaware they have been infected, and can pass it on to others without even knowing it.

The trouble is that most people’s perception of genital herpes is based on a wide range of myths about the condition rather than the facts. As a result, being diagnosed with genital herpes can often be a confusing and confronting experience.

There is currently no cure for genital herpes, but the virus can be effectively treated and managed. Antiviral therapy can help reduce the number and duration of outbreaks experienced by a person with this condition.

Genital herpes doesn’t have to spell an end to your sex life either. Ongoing antiviral therapy (called suppressive therapy) and condoms are effective ways to protect your partner from contracting genital herpes, but do not offer 100% protection.

If you’ve just found out you have genital herpes, we hope you’ll find the facts about the condition and available treatment options both empowering and reassuring.

Of course if you have more questions, you should consult your healthcare professional.

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