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Specific groups and genital herpes

GLBT – Gay, Lesbian, Bi sexual and Transgender

No matter what your sexual orientation is, if you are sexually active, then you are at risk of contracting genital herpes.

Genital herpes makes the body more susceptible to HIV, and vice versa. This is an important point for gay men, as the prevalence of HIV is highest in this group.

Genital herpes is less common among lesbians than in heterosexual women. However, as the virus can be transmitted via oral sex, it is important to get tested regularly for STIs and practise safer sex.

Immunocompromised individuals

Most HIV infected persons are co-infected with the genital herpes virus, and many will experience frequent herpes outbreaks.

Immunocompromised patients, including those with HIV, may have prolonged, severe, and more painful episodes of genital, perianal or oral herpes.

Speak to your doctor about the right treatment strategy for you.

Being gay and having herpes

Safer sex practices are widely accepted for gay men and women and can include:

  • Using a condom (for oral sex on a penis or anal sex)
  • Using a dental dam (for oral sex on a vulva or anus)
  • Kissing, massaging, mutual masturbation

Remember that condoms offer a degree of protection against the transmission of genital herpes, but do not provide 100% protection because the virus can be passed on to your partner from parts of the genitals not covered by the condom.