It is well documented that herpes simplex virus affects millions of people around the world. It is estimated that around 80% of adults are infected with HSV-1(Oral Herpes), and around 20% are infected by HSV-2(Genital Herpes). With 8 out of 10 people infected with the virus, it becomes critical for an infected person to inform their partner if they are infected with Herpes.
What makes knowing your herpes virus status difficult is the fact that, in some cases, the virus can be suppressed by the immune system to the extent where it may lay dormant without the infected person knowing it. Getting tested is important, but knowing your status also comes with some life changing choices.
For instance, if the test is positive for either one or both of the herpes viruses, how will you tell your partner? This is highly likely to affect the way you have genital or oral sex, or even how or when you kiss.
Theses are only a few thing that you will need to asses and change. But, the most important consideration before telling your partner is for you to be comfortable with knowing you have the virus and have all the information on how you will prevent spreading it to your partner. If your relationship is in its early stage, it is important to make sure that you trust your partner (and preferably, before sleeping with them) since this information is personal but affects both of you.
When you are ready to disclose this information to your partner, start by asking if he/she has ever been tested for any virus. This will allow you to get a sense of whether your partner is informed about their sexual health well-being. An informed partner will be easier to explain your herpes virus status than an uninformed partner who might require extensive education on the virus.
After you decide to go ahead and let he/she know about your status, let them know about the information you have received during your testing session. This is likely to ease them as much as it eased you to take the test.