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Herpes affects approximately one in five Americans. It's also not as awful as many people think it will be. You'll still be able to date, fall in love, and have sex. It isn't a curse, a judgement, or the end of the world.

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.

Whether you have been together for years, or you're just starting out, the conversation will be difficult. Start by being comfortable with the information yourself.

Know how herpes is transmitted and how you can reduce the risk of giving it to your partner.

There is medication that you can take to help: The vast majority of people with genital herpes have asymptomatic infections.