HSV-1 is the herpes virus associated with oral herpes, such as cold sores and fever blisters on or around the mouth, but HSV-2 refers to genital herpes. However, you can get either strain of the virus on other parts of your body. You can have either type without exhibiting any symptoms, yet still pass it on to other people via genital secretions or skin to skin contact, which makes herpes a prevalent STI. But for some, the stigma around herpes can be worse than any of the actual symptoms. While practicing safe sex is crucial, condoms are not foolproof methods condoms can break , the virus can be on skin around the genital area, people may not know they have it, etc. All in all, it comes down to getting tested and being honest with your partner about your STI status. However, revealing their herpes status is understandably a challenge for some people more than others.
Telling Your Partner You Have an STD
Herpes is a very common virus, with an estimated 11 percent of the population infected with the HSV-2 genital form of the virus and the majority of people infected with HSV-1 oral. If you have close friends and the subject of herpes comes up in discussion, feel free to tell them about your HSV-1 or HSV-2 status if you feel comfortable. This is very important even if you rarely experience herpes outbreaks, as genital herpes can be spread from an infected person into an uninfected person even without any visible outbreak symptoms.
Now that you know you have herpes, you’re out of the dating game, right? Let’s be honest here, you would also want your partner to tell you if the news about herpes to someone who has already grown attached to you.
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To Tell or Not to Tell
Sexually transmitted diseases STDs are infections spread from person to person during sex vaginal, oral, or anal or close intimate contact. Left untreated, STDs can spread and cause serious health problems for you and your sex partners. A person with an STD may or may not have symptoms. When people feel perfectly fine, they don’t know they have an infection that can spread.
Finding out you or your partner has herpes can be a pretty trying tell you if you have herpes, but it can’t tell you when you were infected or by.
I find navigating the dating scene to be humiliating and exhausting: Each time I get rejected because of it, it makes me less likely to try again. How can I feel less discouraged about trying to date with herpes? And how do I tell someone I want to be intimate with? How did we become so insensitive about sexually transmitted infections? Like, stop it with the herpes jokes, guys. Well, for one thing, sex education fails to give enough weight to A how common chronic STIs are, and B how not to be an asshole about them.
No wonder STIs became the boogeyman for so many—we fear what we do not understand. Right now, one in seven people in Canada has herpes. The overall rate of STI infections is on the rise; possible explanations include easier access to casual sex partners via apps; condom use going down because of the false perception that all STIs are easily curable; and a lack of education, accessibility for testing, and treatment.
What it’s really like to date with herpes
It may seem awkward to discuss that chlamydia infection you had in college and downright scary to tell your partner about your most recent trip to the doctor, but honesty is the best policy and keeping each other safe should be top priority. A herpes diagnosis may be one of the most difficult to share because the virus never goes away and symptoms can reappear at any point. There is unfortunately a lot of fear and shame surrounding herpes.
While we can appreciate the initial shock of being diagnosed with any long-term health issue, we want everyone to understand that having herpes is not the end of the world or even the end of your sex life. Moreover, finding out that your partner has herpes does not have to be the end of your relationship.
When and how should you tell a partner you have genital herpes or oral Disclose your HSV status to anyone you’re getting involved with. (The herpes virus stays in a person’s body even after symptoms have subsided.).
Truth: The majority of people likely have some form of herpes yep, that’s right. An estimated 67 percent of people worldwide under the age of 50 are carrying the oral strain HSV-1 , and 11 percent carry the genital strain HSV-2 , according to the World Health Organization. Further, an estimated 90 percent of people have been exposed to the virus by age Oh yeah, and the numbers are probably higher than that, since herpes isn’t included on a routine STI panel, and many symptomless people go undiagnosed.
Yet despite the virus’s prevalence, the stigma surrounding herpes is real—and that can make telling a new partner about your status difficult, intimidating, and awkward AF. But “if you are diagnosed, do not panic,” says Sarah Watson , a licensed professional counselor and certified sex therapist. Herpes is not a death sentence for your sex life, but you do need to let your partners know, just as you would need to tell them if you had any other STD.
Regardless of how undeserved the stigma is, jumping right into your STI status can be jarring in any scenario—and Watson suggests easing into it with a line like: “I have something that I need to share with you and I hope you are open to having a discussion with me about it. Your partner will likely have questions, and you want to be able to provide them with accurate, nerve-quieting information that makes your status feel as normal as it really and truly is, so come armed with some facts, Loanzon says.
‘I want to date but I have herpes. What do I do?’
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How To Tell Someone You Have Herpes. Two women “I mostly thought, ‘I’m going to die alone, no one’s going to date me ever again,” she tells SELF. WATCH Our bad! It looks like we’re experiencing playback issues.
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Recurrent Herpes & Dating! – Life With Herpes
It’s natural to be concerned about telling a new partner that you have genital herpes. Fear of being rejected and perhaps being uncomfortable about sexual health concerns makes it a tricky subject to bring up. However, it is more likely that your partner will respect your openness and honesty and it will be an opportunity to take your relationship to a deeper level of trust and understanding. There are no black and white rules for telling your partner you have herpes, and everyone needs to make their own decisions depending on the situation, but the fact is more people are accepted by new partners than rejected for having genital herpes.
If someone is really interested in you before you tell them girl have herpes, they genital will be afterward as well. Date just helps to tell them early. How early?
The best way for couples to deal with herpes is to talk about it openly and make decisions together. According to one study of discordant couples where one partner had genital herpes and the other did not , there was a significant delay in transmission when the positive partner disclosed his or her infection. But make sure that you keep your own health and risk in mind as well.
You might be surprised. This may be the point where you discover your partner has herpes too, and has been waiting for the moment to tell you. In the grand scheme of things, genital herpes is an inconvenience for most couples—nothing more than that. Keep this fact in mind and keep your language positive. Your attitude will also have a lot of influence on how the news is received.
Try not to let the anticipation of a possible negative reaction affect the delivery of your message. It is what it is—a sexually transmitted infection. The bottom line is that sexual activity is a natural act that most everyone will have at some point in their lives. With sexual activity anywhere by anyone, there is some level of risk. Before you talk about herpes and sexual health with a partner, make sure you are prepared to address any misinformation or misconceptions he or she might have.
How well informed are you?
23 Women Reveal How They Tell A New Sexual Partner They Have Herpes
Despite the millions really! Regardless, the end result is that dating with herpes can feel daunting. You’re probably wondering at least three things: if you need to tell a potential partner that you have genital or even oral herpes, and when and how to do so. Plus, you’re probably at least a little curious about safer sex precautions. For more on herpes, check out our Herpes Simplex Condition Center.
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The article below was originally published in the Washington Post. The below portion of which was featured in stuff. I thought it was worth sharing as my belief is that living with herpes shouldn’t be such a taboo topic. Unfortunately the public perception is that people who have herpes, or even cold sores for that matter are akin to modern lepers. Opening the dialogue about the topic helps bring awareness to it, and as such a better understanding about living with it. People should not be ostracized for having the herpes virus.
Ella Dawson, who lives in New York City, blogs about living with genital herpes. While herpes the infection is not new, the stigma is. Seven months after Ella Dawson was diagnosed with genital herpes, she remembers a young man at a college party offering her a sip of his beer.