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I am a lesbian and I have been dating someone for the last 7 months. We have tongue kissed, fingered each other and once we had clit on clit rubbing sex. We have not shared toys or had oral sex. She said she needed some time apart a month ago and tonight she called and said that her gyno thinks she MIGHT have herpes. She has asked them to retest. In October she was diagnosed with Lichen Sclerosus and discussed sex with her doctor and they said it was safe. What should I do? Should I be tested? Info on how to continue an intimate relationship?

Hi there,

Herpes (HSV) is a very common viral STI that causes sores on the mouth or the genital area. The good news about herpes is that it's relatively harmless to your body; the bad news is that it tends to cause people a lot of stress and difficulty in their sex lives.

From what you've told me, it sounds like your partner might be diagnosed with genital herpes. There are a lot of possibilities here, so it's difficult to say exactly what you should do.

One possibility is that you may have been exposed through skin-to-skin contact with her genital area (e.i. the clit on clit sex you had). If you've contracted HSV from this, you will probably get sores or blisters that come up on your genitals - if this happens, go into a clinic as soon as you can (before the sores dry up and heal) to get a swab for HSV. This swab could tell you if it's herpes and whether it is HSV type 1 or 2 that is causing the sores. Then you'll have a bit more information to make decisions.

If you don't get any sores, it's a bit harder to say what's going on. You might not have caught HSV, or you might have had it already but not have any noticeable symptoms.

It can be a tough thing to decide how to continue the relationship when something like this happens. Using barriers like barriers like dental dams for oral sex and genital skin-to-skin contact can reduce the chance of transmitting HSV, but not completely. Many people find it helpful to go into an STI clinic together with their partner to discuss their situation, since it can be quite confusing.

In all this, it can be helpful to remember that while HSV outbreaks can be uncomfortable and annoying, HSV is extremely common and does not usually cause any serious problems in your body.

We often recommend a book called "The Truth About Herpes" by Dr Stephen Sacks to people wondering about HSV. You can find it on Amazon and at many bookstores.

Please leave a comment to let us know if that answers your question or if you need more information.

Health Nurse

For other readers, please feel free to leave a comment, or let us know if this was helpful.



This answer was posted on March 31, 2014

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