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Herpes affects approximately one in five Americans. The first thing you need to do after you've received a genital herpes diagnosis is sit down and take a breath. Do some research and learn all you can about the disease.

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Genital herpes can be transmitted even in the absence of symptoms.

That's something you already know, since that was probably how you became infected with the disease.

When you are first diagnosed with genital herpes, you may want to find someone to blame. Since most people with herpes have no symptoms, your partner may not have known that he or she was putting you at risk.

There are some conversations that change your life.

If a doctor has ever diagnosed you with genital herpes, you may remember that discussion as one of them.

Genital herpes is a frightening diagnosis for many people, since often society puts out the message that people with herpes are dirty or somehow flawed.

However, many people are living with herpes -- more people than you'd expect.

Over time, however, your outbreaks will become less frequent.

There is medication that you can take to help relieve your symptoms, reduce the frequency of outbreaks, lower the amount of virus in your system, and make it less likely that you will transmit the virus to someone else. The vast majority of people with genital herpes have asymptomatic infections.

If you didn't have a symptomatic outbreak within a month after you were initially infected, you may never experience genital symptoms.

However, that does not mean that you can ignore your infection.

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