For many people, living with genital herpes generates not just episodic physical discomfort but recurrent emotional distress, centred on concerns about how to live and love safely without passing infection to others. This article considers the evidence on herpes transmission, levels of sexual risk, when the law has intervened and to what extent health professionals should advise with respect to these issues. It proposes a mechanism by which moral philosophy might provide a rational basis on which to counsel concerning sexual behaviour.
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