I had sex with someone and then found out he had herpes. Do I have it, and does that mean life as I know it is over?

Mona Shangold, M.D., Director of the Center for Women's Health and Sports Gynecology, Philadelphia

Your chance of getting herpes from a partner who has it depends on whether he was contagious at the time and whether you had immunity to protect you. Although herpes is most likely to be spread during an outbreak (when someone has sores or other symptoms), most herpes is transmitted between outbreaks - when people don’t realize they are contagious. You should see your gynecologist ASAP for an examination and testing, as well as a discussion of your partner’s diagnosis (what tests were done to determine whether he has herpes and which type he has). Both you and your partner should have blood tests to measure your immunity to both types of herpes. The results will determine whether more testing – or treatment - is needed. If you do have herpes, life is definitely not over, and learning about the disease will help you deal with it.



To check out more Check Up items go to www.philly.com/checkup