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Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick!Some forums can only be seen by registered members. At this stage of my life, no relationship is worth jeopardizing my health in any way, shape, or form.Compared to many other sexually transmitted infections, herpes is relatively harmless.

This is a list of Frequently Asked Questions designed to help you explore and understand a few of the thorny issues that can come up in relationships as a result of one or both partners having herpes.

The questions and answers below were chosen to give the reader an idea of how to understand the possibilities in each situation, how to find the answers you need, and how to proceed once you get your bearings.

According to a 2006 online poll conducted by pharmaceutical company Novartis, the stigma surrounding herpes is second only to HIV.

Mc Kay said the percentage of the population with herpes is “huge,” but most people don’t know they carry the virus.

While having many sexual partners does carry increased risks of acquiring any STI, herpes can spread between partners in long-term relationships just as easily, he said.

“Many of the people who may be making jokes about herpes may in fact have it themselves and they are unaware of it,” said Mc Kay.

Having “The Talk” can be very stressful but it is important to do.

How you approach it can make a difference to how well it goes – for both you and your friend.

Only in extremely rare cases can the virus result in serious infections.

Still, herpes has a social stigma attached to it that for many sufferers is worse than the actual infection.

It wouldn't be a shock for her to hear someone decline a sexual relationship because of HSV2, not saying it won't hurt, and it's not fair, just saying she has probably heard it before.