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Dramatically lower your chances with these two easy steps
Your girlfriend just told you that she has genital herpes. It’s not an unlikely scenario—one in six Americans has the disease, according to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention.
So what are your chances of getting it from her?
They’re actually very slim—as long as you’re smart about it.
While no form of protection against genital herpes is totally foolproof, you can dramatically lower the odds of transmission with two easy steps, says Men’s Health sex advisor Debby Herbenick, Ph.D.
First, ask if she’ll talk to her doctor about taking an antiviral medication such as Valtrex. Research has shown that it reduces the odds of becoming symptomatic—as in, dealing with painful lesions—and it cuts the risk of transmission in half.
Second, use condoms—they’ll drop your risk even more, she says. (A touch of lubricant outside the condom will make things feel better for both of you.)
With that combo in place, you can worry a lot less.