Should you tell your partner you have genital herpes? The answer is yes. You should always tell your sexual partner about any medical conditions that may affect them. After all, a relationship should be built on trust and honesty. While there are no laws that require you to tell someone about your medical issues, you have a moral obligation to do so. In today’s sue happy society, you can’t rule out being sued for passing an STD to another person.
What is Genital Herpes?
Painful blisters on the genitals and surrounding areas is a condition known as genital herpes. It is a very common infection that comes from the herpes simplex virus. This sexually transmitted infection is passed through sexual contact. Herpes affects the mucous membranes, and it can easily be transferred from one person to another. It is a chronic condition that remains in the body, and it can reactivate time and again. Most people will have four to five outbreaks in the first two years after being infected.
The outbreaks tend to become less severe and more infrequent, as time passes.
Herpes simplex virus has two categories, which are referred to as type 1 and type 2. They are both contagious and can be passed from person to person by direct contact. The genital herpes variation is transmitted through sex with an infected person. The disease can be passed even when a person is showing no signs of an outbreak. As many as eight out of 10 people have the virus and are unaware. There is little to no symptoms when the virus is not activated. Consequently, herpes is very common among the 20-24 age group, which tends to be the most sexually active age group.
The Symptoms of Genital Herpes
A person may carry and pass the infection to another person without having any knowledge of the event. The symptoms of genital herpes can be nonexistent when the virus is dormant. Some may notice symptoms within a few days or weeks after the initial contact, while others may not have any symptoms until months or years after they are infected. If symptoms occur immediately after being infected, they tend to be more severe in nature. They commonly begin as small blisters that break open to raw and painful sores. Thankfully, these sores will scab over and heal in a short period of time. Unfortunately, the blisters are usually accompanied by fevers and swollen lymph nodes, which are common flu-like symptoms.
The most common genital herpes symptoms in women are blisters around the vagina, buttocks, and rectum. Headaches, backaches, and flu-like symptoms are also commonplace. They may also have cracked, raw, areas that are around the genitals that are not painful. Genital herpes symptoms in men are the same as in women, except the penis may have blisters on the shaft or around the ball sack area. Men can also get blisters inside the urethra, which is the tube that passes urine from the inside out. When this medical issue occurs, the pain will be great during urination.
Unfortunately, genital herpes is not the only medical condition that causes these symptoms. In many cases, herpes is mistaken for yeast, bacterial or bladder infections. The only way to receive a definitive diagnosis is by having a physical examination to confirm the results as well as a swab or blood test.
Do you legally have to tell someone you have an STD?
In many states, there are no laws that require you to tell another person that you are infected. However, it is both criminally and civilly illegal to knowingly pass a sexually transmitted disease to another person, especially when you know that you have this medical condition. Knowingly transmitting the disease is not the same as telling someone. Keep in mind, many states do have laws about telling someone that you are HIV-positive.
Whether you tell them or not, the news is not going to be received well. However, you have a moral obligation to let them know that you have an STD. If you are in a relationship with this person, they may no longer trust you if you keep a secret from them. It can also mean the end of something great. It is always best to be open and honest with sexual partners about such matters. Have you ever wondered how to tell your partner you have genital herpes? If you do tell someone, there is really no easy way to do it. Remember, honesty is always the best policy. Most people don’t tell because they are embarrassed or afraid of the outcome. The other person has a right to know, especially when it is a matter that affects them.
Herpes is an incurable medical condition that requires lifelong treatment and monitoring. If you pass this condition along to someone else knowingly, then they have a right to seek damages from you. The state of New York has stringent laws on the matter. The laws here assume that a person would not have sex with an infected partner if they had known up-front. Knowingly transmitting genital herpes without telling the other person is a crime of assault and battery. In California, transmitting an STD to another person can be a felony. You can spend up to eight years in prison for this action. In Florida, it is a misdemeanor unless the person is transmitting AIDS. Many states are stepping up and speaking out on these matters. They are realizing the great emotional and physical turmoil it causes a person to be passed such a disease without any foreknowledge.
When do I tell someone I’m dating that I have herpes:
Doing The Right Thing
Should you tell your partner you have genital herpes? Yes, you should always be upfront and honest with anyone you have an intimate relationship with. You would want someone to tell you if they had something that could affect the rest of your life. Herpes has no cure. This is a condition causes emotional and physical pain as well as much embarrassment.