Tuesday, May 28, 2024

How To Date Someone With Genital Herpes

When Should I Tell My Partner I Have Genital Herpes

How Common Is Herpes Really? | Report Card | RIOT

When it comes to dating with herpes, the first question youmight ask yourself is, When is it a good time to tell my partner?

Ultimately, its up to you to decide exactly when you want to tell your partner that you have an STI, but one things for certain: Tell him or her before you two have any sexual contact. Its just common sense. If you think you might have an STI, its absolutely your responsibility to tell your partner , prior to being intimate, in order to reduce the chances that youll spread it. You might be dreading telling your partner that you have herpes, but its much better than telling your partner that he or she might have herpes.

Is Genital Herpes Infection Related To Hiv

Herpes and HIV are caused by different viruses. But patients infected with these viruses are more likely to transmit either disease to their sexual partners. Patients with herpes are more vulnerable to HIV infection. People newly diagnosed with herpes should be tested for HIV infection and other sexually transmitted infections.

Patients who are infected with both herpes and HIV also may have a higher concentration of HIV viruses in their body because of the interaction between the herpes virus and the HIV virus. When HIV damages a persons immune system, the person may be more likely to shed herpes simplex virus asymptomatically.

What Do I Do If I Find Out I Have Herpes

Its normal to have lots of different feelings after you find out that you have herpes. You might feel mad, embarrassed, ashamed, or upset at first. But youll probably feel a lot better as time goes by, and you see that having herpes doesnt have to be a big deal. People with herpes have relationships and live totally normal lives. There are treatments for herpes, and theres a lot you can do to make sure you dont give herpes to anyone you have sex with.

Millions and millions of people have herpes youre definitely not alone. Most people get at least one STD in their lifetime, and having herpes or another STD is nothing to feel ashamed of or embarrassed about. It doesnt mean youre dirty or a bad person it means youre a normal human who got a really common infection. The reality is that herpes can happen to anybody who has ever been kissed on the lips or had sex thats a LOT of people.

Herpes isnt deadly and it usually doesnt cause any serious health problems. While herpes outbreaks can be annoying and painful, the first flare-up is usually the worst. For many people, outbreaks happen less over time and may eventually stop completely. Even though the virus hangs around in your body for life, it doesnt mean youll be getting sores all the time.

And tell anyone you have sex with that you have herpes. Its not the easiest conversation, but its an important one. Here are some tips:

Also Check: How To Get Rid Of Genital Herpes Outbreak

How Does Genital Herpes Spread

Herpes can be spread when an infected person has lesions blisters and open sores on their body or when you do not have any symptoms. Taking antiviral medicine can help you reduce the risk of spreading genital herpes to your sexual partners. You can also:

  • Inform your sexual partner that you have genital herpes.
  • Use a condom every time you have sex.
  • Refrain from having sex when you have symptoms.
  • Abstain from performing oral sex if you have blisters or open sores around your mouth.

Tell Them Directly But Not With An Apology

GenitalHerpesDatingSites.org Launched To Help People with Herpes ...

Pretend youre in your partners shoes. Of the following two sentences, which would you rather hear come out of your mouth?

  • Im terribly sorry to tell you this, and I know its going to be a major blow to us and our future together, but I have genital herpes.

  • I need to let you know something. I have herpes. We can still have a relationship and it isnt a major problem, but I thought you should know before we went any further.

Obviously, most people would prefer to hear the second sentence. When you let your partner or person of interest know that you have herpes, its important to frame it accurately. Herpes isnt a big deal its an easy virus to deal with and while genital sores are an inconvenience, there’s no real need for negativity.

The first response which, unfortunately, is what a lot of people with herpes may sound like as a result of negativity and nervousness treats the virus far more seriously than it should, adding a negative connotation to a statement that definitely doesnt warrant it.

It also begins with an apology, something you dont need to make. Youve done nothing wrong by having genital herpes. Theres no need to apologize for your infection status. Instead, get the point across openly, honestly and directly to your partner.

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Choose The Right Moment To Chat

One of the hardest aspects of telling someone you have genital herpes is choosing the right moment. Perfect, distraction-free one-on-one conversations rarely play out like they do in the movies, meaning you might need to improvise a little in this category.

If you need to tell a romantic and potential sexual partner that you have herpes, its essential that you do this before you have any sexual contact. Herpes can spread easily, and theres a real risk of transmission even if you arent experiencing an outbreak.

Generally, the best time to explain to your partner that you have herpes is when you start to think that sexual contact is on the horizon. After a date, your partner might invite you to their home, sending an obvious signal that theyre open to the idea of escalating the relationship.

Once youre alone and comfortable, its generally the best time to get the herpes conversation out of the way. In the next sections, weve provided some techniques that you can use to help make the conversation a little more manageable.

How Do I Talk With People About Having Herpes

It might feel scary to admit you have herpes, but talking about things can really ease your mind. You could lean on a close, non-judgmental friend that you trust to keep the conversation private. Parents, brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, and other family members can also be a source of comfort. Remember, herpes is really common, so its possible the person youre talking to has herpes, too.

There are a lot of online support groups for people who have herpes, and the American Sexual Health Association has a list of support groups that meet in person.

Read Also: Home Remedies For Herpes Sores

How Common Is Herpes

The prevalent statistics you encounter in drug commercials, sex ed, and PSAs are inconsistent and often confusing. Thats because herpes infections are much more complicated than we paint them in our SNL sketches and stand-up routines.

Heres the best statistic Ive seen. Its from ProjectAccept.org:

Around 75% of Americans carry HSV 1 or HSV 2 somewhere on their body. That virus can be transmitted to any surface of someone elses body, via physical contact. If it does transmit, theres an ~80% chance that they wont recognize any symptoms from the infection. However they, too, will retain the virus for life and be contagious.

Thats a lot to parse, but boil it down to this: far more than 1 in 6 Americans between the age of 14 and 49 have HSV-2. 1 in 6 means that if youve had three sexual partners in your life, then theres a 50:50 chance that one of them has had herpes and an even greater chance that one of them has had a partner with herpes.

So, when I tell you that your partner disclosing to you that sheand therefore maybe youhave herpes, I really mean that its not that earth-shattering. Not just compared to everyone you know, but compared to your own life up to this point. Whats unique about this situation is that one of you knows and is talking about it openly.

How Do I Know If I Have Genital Herpes

Guru Talk: Would You Continue To Date A Person With Herpes?

Most people who have genital herpes dont know because they have either no symptoms or such mild infrequent symptoms, it goes unrecognised.

Until recently, a diagnosis could only be made by clinical symptoms and swabs from an active herpes episode. However, there are commercially available blood tests becoming available which can distinguish between herpes simplex virus type 1 and herpes simplex virus type 2 antibodies. The time taken to develop antibodies is usually two to six weeks after infection, but can be up to six months. It is also important to know that false positives and false negatives are common in these tests.

Because of the limitations of a blood test to diagnose herpes, it is recommended you discuss the implications of the test with someone who has experience with them. It is important that the test can distinguish between HSV-1 and HSV-2 antibodies.

If you think you might be showing signs of the infection, consult your doctor.

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Communication And Understanding Are Key

One of the more difficult aspects of dating with a herpes diagnosis is the decision to reveal it to your romantic partners. Of course, this has to be done before you have any sexual contact. While both HSV-1 and HSV-2 do not have any cures at this time, they can be managed quite effectively.

Not only do you have to tell partners that you have herpes, but you should also reveal what that means for your interactions. Unfortunately, too many people overreact and instantly turn you down for a dinner out or any other type of date. Communicate, educate, but do not apologize for your diagnosis. Many other personal qualities matter more when it comes to forging a true connection

Tips For Telling Someone You Have Genital Herpes

  • Tell at least part of the truth if you think the person needs to hear it. You dont need to break the news all at once. If you refuse sex one day, for example, tell your partner that it isnt them, that theres something you want to tell them but you dont think you currently have the strength to do it. Honesty, even when it comes to being reluctant about telling your partner that you have genital herpes, is the best policy.
  • Sugarcoat it if you think the person cant handle it. Its me, not you, is a good place to start. Make sure that your partner knows it has nothing to do with him or her.
  • Operate according to politeness theory. This advice is for both of you: You might not want the outside world to know that you have genital herpes, and your partner might not want the outside world to know that he or she is dating someone with genital herpes. According to politeness theory, you both want to save face, so to speak, so just make sure to keep the conversation between the two of you.
  • Take your time to prepare your message. Once you say something, you cant take it back. To your brain, giving bad news is more cognitively demanding than giving good news. Make sure to seriously think about and maybe even practice what youre about to say. It could mean the difference between keeping your relationship and losing it.
  • Rely on others. If you trust a friend enough to bring them into the situation , do it. Theres no reason you should go at it alone if you dont have to.
  • Also Check: How Do You Spread Herpes

    Preparing To Talk To Partner

    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? Do you know the basic steps to reduce the risk to your partner? Do you know the facts about herpes? You want to feel confident and knowledgeable before you can explain the infection to someone else. Be prepared with information from ASHA and other reliable sources.

    What Is Dating Like For Those With Genital Herpes

    Living and Dating With Herpes

    Hello all,

    I was diagnosed with GHSV2 in 2020. I believe I had contracted it early in 2020 when I was travelling overseas but didnt get a confirmed result until I had my second outbreak .

    Aside from my 2 outbreaks, it hasnt physically affected me at all. When I was initially diagnosed, I held a lot of shame and felt isolated and alone. This was linked with my lack of knowledge about the virus and the internalised stigma that I held. After some education and joining a herpes reddit sub, I realised I wasnt alone and that many people are living with this virus . My GP assured me it was a very common virus that he dealt with it day in and day out, with people from all walks of life. I came to a place of gradual acceptance and peace and decided to put myself out there with the mindset to be honest and upfront with my partners moving forward .

    Unfortunately Ive been living in lockdown for a majority of 2020-2021 because of the rules around the pandemic. I live in Australia so I havent had the chance to really date. I guess Im having more time to myself and my anxiety is creeping up on me around fear of rejection and judgement from others. I find myself being very closed off at the idea of dating due to this.

    A few questions I have for this sub are:

    -What are your thoughts on dating someone with genital herpes?

    -for those living with genital herpes or know anyone living with it, how has dating been for you?

    Thanks all!

    Read Also: At Home Treatment For Genital Herpes

    Should I Seek Medical Care

    Herpes does not affect the ability to get pregnant, but in connection with childbirth, there is a small risk of transmitting herpes to the newborn child, who can then become very sick. The risk is greatest when you have herpes for the first time. It is important to consult with his doctor if you suspect that you have received a herpes outbreak during late pregnancy.

    While it is very rare, you can get bacteria in the wounds that are formed when herpes blisters burst. In addition, an unusual complication can occur the first time you get herpes. You will have a mild meningitis, and then get severe headaches and stiff neck. In both cases, you should contact your healthcare provider.

    You can read more about how to get tested for and if you have genital herpes here

    What Is Hsv And How Does It Spread

    Herpes typically presents with rash, sores, and blisters in and/or around the mouth or genitals. Many people may not have any symptoms of herpes despite being infected.

    In most cases, herpes blisters heal without long-term scarring. The recurrence rate is about 33% for people with oral herpes and 50% for those with genital herpes. More facts about HSV include the following:

    • HSV spreads by skin-to-skin contact with a rash and can be sexually transmitted . It can also spread by sharing sex toys.
    • Women with active genital herpes can pass on the infection to their babies while giving birth.
    • It is highly contagious between the time when symptoms first appear and blisters or sores completely heal.
    • Both oral and genital herpes can spread even in the absence of sores. This is called asymptomatic shedding. It is extremely important to be aware of this because there is about a 10% chance you can get herpes infection from a person who is asymptomatic yet shedding the virus.
    • People who have active herpes can start dating and engaging in sexual contact once they have been treated and recovered , but it is important that they are honest with their partners.
    • Using condoms may reduce the risk of herpes transmission but will not eliminate the risk completely.

    Also Check: How To Treat Herpes Outbreak At Home

    What Are The Risks Of Dating Someone With Hsv2

    For starters, you could risk missing out on having an amazing person in your life. They could be your best friend, partner in crime, the one who makes you laugh and who is always there for you. You know..THAT one. You could also catch herpes. You can certainly lower the risks but anything short of abstinence will not be 100% effective in preventing it. Many couples have been together for over 10-20 years without one giving it to the other. Just know that it is a possibility.

    What Else Should I Know

    Herpes (oral & genital) – causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, pathology

    Genital herpes is a lifelong condition, but there are ways to manage it. If you have genital herpes:

    • Take medicines to stop outbreaks or make them less frequent and less severe.
    • Help reduce the risk of spreading genital herpes to others by taking medicines, always using a condom during sex, and avoiding sex during outbreaks.

    Recommended Reading: Can You Donate Organs If You Have Herpes

    Learn How To Manage Outbreaks

    While theres no cure for genital herpes, there is a lot that can be done to reduce the length and severity of outbreaks.

    A number of proven medications speed up the healing process and reduce discomfort. Antiviral medications like acyclovir and valacyclovir offer a simple way to control and minimize herpes outbreaks.

    Start taking acyclovir as soon as you notice the first signs of an emerging outbreak. This medication stops the herpes virus from growing and spreading during an outbreak, though it cant remove the virus from your body completely. Most people experience relief within just a few days.

    Improving lifestyle habits may also prevent future herpes outbreaks:

    • Stay rested to support a strong immune system
    • Eat nutritious foods to support your bodys innate healing response
    • Use the Luminance RED

    The Luminance RED nourishes the skin with red light, which is metabolized to accelerate the bodys healing process and to strengthen its defenses against future attacks. Regular use of the Luminance RED not only shortens the healing time of active outbreaks, but can also prevent future outbreaks altogether!

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