How Do You Tell Someone You Have Herpes
The hardest part of telling your partner may be deciding how to broach the subject. The specific words and phrases you use will depend on what kind of relationship you’re building. In general, though, don’t stress too much about having herpes. Your partner may even divulge that they also have herpes. And if they have the same type of the virus as you, they can’t get “reinfected,” Dr. Baldwin stated.
You could start the conversation by mentioning cold sores, then move into the subject of herpes. You could also start by saying you want to be honest in the relationship, or that you want to discuss safe sex. “It can be a very difficult conversation to have, but you should be honest and straightforward,” Dr. Baldwin recommended.
Now That You Know The Facts Own It
Communication is the key to every relationship. So you shouldnt feel uneasy about telling somebody you are seeing that you get cold sores. Having a cold sore is nothing to whisper about. Its really no big deal. Occasionally you get one. You keep them under control. You know all the precautions. And if you have found somebody that cares about you, they will understand this. So dont be embarrassed. Remember, you are not defined by your cold sore, and that dating with cold sores doesnt have to be the end of your romantic life. For more information about cold sores, check out articles on the common triggers of cold sores, treatment for cold sores, and cold sore myths.
1. Oral Herpes. American Sexual Health Association. . Retrieved April 28, 2016, from
Myth: Herpes Can Be Transmitted Through The Blood
Herpes cannot be transmitted through the blood, though it can be detected through a blood test.
In fact, people with a history of herpes simplex virus type 1 or 2 can safely donate blood as long as:
- All lesions and infected cold sores are dry and healed
- They wait at least 48 hours after finishing a round of antiviral treatment
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Treatment The First Time You Have Genital Herpes
You may be prescribed:
- antiviral medicine to stop the symptoms getting worse you need to start taking this within 5 days of the symptoms appearing
- cream for the pain
If you have had symptoms for more than 5 days before you go to a sexual health clinic, you can still get tested to find out the cause.
What Damages Could I Recover For A Personal Injury Case Involving Herpes
Because herpes cannot be cured, the damages caused by contracting the STD can be devastating. For the rest of your life, you may have painful breakouts. You also need to inform each new sexual partner that you have herpes.
- The cost of medical treatment, including prescription medications and over-the-counter medications
- Loss of income if you miss work because of an outbreak or to receive medical care
- The cost of counseling and therapy
- Emotional distress and mental anguish
- Physical pain and suffering
Your attorney may also seek punitive damages. Punitive damages are awarded only in specific circumstances. However, your lawyer will analyze the facts of your case to determine if they support an award of punitive damages.
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How Can I Prevent Genital Herpes
If you are sexually active, you can do the following things to lower your chances of getting genital herpes:
- Being in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who does not have herpes.
- Using condoms the right way every time you have sex.
Be aware that not all herpes sores occur in areas that a condom can cover. Also, the skin can release the virus from areas that do not have a visible herpes sore. For these reasons, condoms may not fully protect you from getting herpes.
If your sex partner has/have genital herpes, you can lower your risk of getting it if:
- Your partner takes an anti-herpes medicine every day. This is something your partner should discuss with his or her healthcare provider.
Should You Tell Your Past Sexual Partners That You Have Genital Herpes
The most ethical approach is to tell anyone whom was exposed to the virus and get tested. This is the hardest thing to do, and thatâs why a lot of people wonât tell past partners to save themselves the embarrassment. Remember, even if they test positive, it doesnât necessarily mean that they got herpes from you.
They may have already had herpes and didnât know it. And itâs possible that they got herpes from one of those previous partners. It doesnât matter anymore who gave herpes to whom. What does matter is that anyone who is sexually active should get tested for herpes, and learn how to reduce their risk of getting or spreading herpes.
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What You Need To Know About Herpes And How Its Transmitted
Two versions of the herpes simplex virus can cause this infection, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention : herpes simplex virus type 1 and herpes simplex virus type 2 .
You might be thinking, Oooh, wait, HSV-1 causes oral herpes, and HSV-2 causes genital herpes, right? Technically, yes. But thats not the full picture. Both viruses can infect either your mouth or your genitals through skin-to-skin contact, the CDC explains.
HSV-1 has a predilection for the oral mucosa, but cases affecting the genitals are rising, Susan Bard, M.D., a New York City board-certified dermatologist and adjunct clinical instructor at the Mount Sinai Hospital, tells SELF. This can happen if, say, a person with HSV-1 in their mouth passes the infection to someones genitals while performing oral sex. And although HSV-2 is still behind most cases of genital herpes, it can cause oral herpes when someone with this infection on their genitals passes it to another persons mouth during oral sex.
You might think these signs would make it really obvious that something is up with your health if you have herpes. But its also entirely possible to have herpes without exhibiting any symptoms at all. The virus can lie dormant in the body without ever making itself known. Thats why so many people have herpeswithout realizing it, the CDC explains.
Are Canker Sores A Form Of Herpes
Canker sores are different than cold sores. They usually produce a little white spot and a small ulcer in your mouth that heals within a couple of days. In nearly all cases, canker sores arent contagious like herpes-caused cold sores.
Rarely, a subset of canker sores is associated with the herpes virus, Dr. Anthony says. The occasional, one-off canker sore isnt anything to be concerned about. But for severe and frequent canker sores, your doctor may recommend testing for the herpes virus.
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What Do I Need To Prove To Win My Case
If you sue someone for giving you an STD, you have the burden of proving the legal requirements to hold the person liable for damages. Generally, you would need to provide evidence proving:
- The person knew or should have reasonably known that they had the herpes virus
- The person did not tell you that they had herpes before engaging in sexual relations
- You did not know that the person had herpes
- You and the infected person engaged in sexual conduct that could transmit the disease to you
- You contracted herpes from the person and no one else
- Because you contracted herpes, you sustained damages
Your attorney may be able to prove the case by using medical records, your testimony, and statements from the persons previous sexual partners.
Before proceeding with the lawsuit, discuss the process with the lawyer. If the matter goes to trial, sensitive and personal information must be disclosed in court.
Worry About Possible Transmission Find A Partner With Herpes
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Offer To Provide More Information On The Virus
Despite what some people with genital herpes think, its unlikely for a partner to reject you outright as a sexual or romantic prospect after learning that you have herpes.
Its far more likely, however, that they will have questions. Most people arent well informed on how herpes works and how it can affect them. They may not be aware of how herpes relates to sexual activity, or how traditional contraceptives like condoms arent always effective.
If your partner is curious about the virus, it is worthwhile to share some information about how often you experience outbreaks. If you have asymptomatic herpes, you can even let your partner know that you dont get the visual lesions that other people with HSV-2 might.
Do you take medication to treat your herpes? If your partner asks, let them know. Sometimes, a little transparency and comfort is all your partner is looking for, and a quick, honest answer to a curious question can help make the mood more transparent and comfortable.
With this said, there are some answers you might wish to avoid.
You are under no obligation to tell your partner how you contracted the virus. If they ask, feel free to gently let them know that its a private matter if youd prefer to keep the finer details to yourself.
Let Your Partner Think Before Making A Decision
People can react differently to hearing that you have genital herpes. Sometimes, you might be surprised to discover that the person youre coming out to also has herpes, and was dreading the prospect of sharing their status with you.
Sometimes, your partner might be well informed about herpes and willing to take a test to check if they also have the virus before having a relationship. Some people might simply not care and feel comfortable having a relationship with you even knowing about your HSV-2 status.
On the other hand, some people even people who might have been highly interested in you might not feel comfortable having a sexual or romantic relationship after finding out about your genital herpes. The reasons can differ, but for many people, any STD is a hard no.
The key point here is that you cant expect everyone to react the same way. One way to make it easier for your partner is to give them time. Suggest that they take a day or two to think about it before contacting you to see how they feel.
If someone is seriously interested in you, they might want to take a day or two to research the facts about herpes before giving you a yes. Or, they could just need an hour to double-check the data before inviting you back over for a cup of coffee.
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Story: A Disclosees Prespective
Because I know I have a somewhat unique prespective, I wanted to share what it felt like to get to disclosed to. Again, my thoughts are my own and they may not be universal, but Iâm sure thereâs lots of people who feel the same as I did. And I hope by sharing, it will help alleviate the stress of disclosing. Because itâs not always bad.
My partner disclosed to me before we had sex. We had gone on three dates before he disclosed in person. Iâm so glad he chose to disclose face to face. It made it a matter that neither of us could hide from we had to talk about it.
We had started to heavily makeout, and he pulled away from me. He said âI have to tell you somethingâ. And I instantly knew it was herpes, I canât tell you how I knew, I just knew. I could tell he was nervous, and as I much as I wanted to say âyou have an sti?â, I knew he needed to say it for himself. It took a few breaths before he said it .
At this point, I just said okay as I processed the information. I was completely unaware as to what herpes actually was, I only knew about the stigmas. So we talked about it. He told me facts and I was more or less silent, trying to absorb it all.
And thatâs it folks. To summarize: to disclose is such a brave thing, and to give someone the choice to take a sexual risk is such a respectful thing. The right person will see that and be even more attracted to you.
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The Right Person Wont Reject You
The truth is, some people will reject you when they find out you have herpes. To quote a herpes support forum poster, dating with herpes can be stressful. However, if you do these things, then being diagnosed with herpes is not the end of the world:
- Talk about your diagnosis early
- Have information handy so that you can talk honestly about the actual risks and concerns of the disease
- Be willing to do what you can to reduce the chance you will spread herpes to your partner
Numerous people with genital and oral herpes are open about disclosing their condition. Most of them have active, happy dating and sexual lives. The truth is, its so hard to meet the right person that dating with herpes makes it only the tiniest bit harder. Life after herpes doesnt mean life without love.
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Herpes Is Not Just A Skin Condition
The whole âitâs just a skin conditionâ thought process isnât okay in my mind. Itâs a chronic viral infection – call it what it is. People like to think of it as a skin condition to calm their minds – but skin conditions arenât contagious. One of the reasons the CDC doesnât recommend regular testing for HSV is because of the psychological harm it can do when someone finds out they have it due to the stigma around herpes.
When Should You Disclose Your Hsv Status
You don’t have to bring up herpes the very first time you talk to someone new, but you should at some point before you have sex or exchange body fluids. “You are more likely to have a positive reception to that news if you have built some sort of relationship. If you tell too early and there’s no reason for this person to be invested in you, then you may get a negative response very quickly,” Warren said.
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How To Tell Your Partner
It may be difficult to talk about these issues before sex. Still, youâre far more likely to be able to build a lasting relationship based on the truth.
People are willing to take risks for love. Theyâre also less likely to blame a partner for giving them herpes if they went into the relationship with open eyes. Hereâs a sample script that may help:
You: âI really like you, but before we go any further, I wanted to tell you that I may have a cold sore.â
You: âWell, because theyâre contagious and caused by a herpes virus, I think itâs important to let someone who Iâm interested in dating to know that I get cold sores before I kiss them or sleep with them.â
Partner: âCold sores are herpes?â
Partner: âI had no idea. My ex used to get cold sores a lot. What does that mean for me?â
You: âWell, the herpes virus can be transmitted during kissing and also during oral sex. I always practice safe oral sex, but even thatâs not perfect.â
Partner: âWe never used condoms for oral sex. Does that mean I have herpes?â
You: âNot necessarily. The virus isnât transmitted every time you have sex. But it might make you feel better to get tested and find out.â
Partner: âThereâs a test for herpes?â
You: âYeah. Itâs a blood test. It can tell whether you have ever been infected even if you donât have symptoms. What do you think about that?â
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Can I Still Have Sex If I Have Herpes
If you have herpes, you should talk to your sex partner about their risk. Using condoms may help lower this risk but it will not get rid of the risk completely. Having sores or other symptoms of herpes can increase your risk of spreading the disease. Even if you do not have any symptoms, you can still infect your sex partners.
You may have concerns about how genital herpes will impact your health, sex life, and relationships. While herpes is not curable, it is important to know that it is manageable with medicine. Daily suppressive therapy can lower your risk of spreading the virus to others. Talk to a healthcare provider about your concerns and treatment options.
A genital herpes diagnosis may affect how you will feel about current or future sexual relationships. Knowing how to talk to sexual partners about STDs is important.
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What Is Herpes Simplex
Herpes is caused by an infection known as herpes simplex virus . The two most common of HSV are HSV-1 and HSV-2. About 1 in 2 Americans ages 14-49 are infected with HSV-1, and approximately 1 in 8 of the same age range are infected with HSV-2.
HSV-1 historically is transmitted during childhood, Dr. Gelow said. HSV-2 historically is transmitted sexually and can increase the risk of HIV infection by two-to four-fold as it provides direct contact with blood.