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Condoms lower your risk, but the virus can reach skin from the area outside one.
But the stigma can create nervousness, she acknowledged, not helped by persistent stereotypes and misinformation."It's often used as a punch line," she said.
"For example, chlamydia, syphilis or gonorrhea might have been encountered and addressed, the NCSH notes, but viral infections like HIV or genital herpes are lifelong health issues."If you follow the treatments (and) the doctor said it's safe for you to engage in sexual activity, then I think you can go about your life," Gilbert said.
In other words, if you were successfully treated for gonorrhea six years ago, you might be in the clear to leave that out of small talk.
Telling a partner about health concerns that can affect him or her is always an imperative, experts said.
But how much to disclose, or when, can depend on the case.