Living with Herpes: Dating, Treatment, and Intimacy with HSV-1 and 2

17.11.2019 1 Comments

Potential Partners: What You Need To Know When Considering Dating a Herpes Positive

It took years for Davis, founder of The STD Project , which encourages awareness and acceptance of various sexually transmitted diseases, and spokesperson for Positive Singles , a dating site for people with STDs, to come to terms with the diagnosis she got at age When she was diagnosed with herpes almost three years ago, Whitney Carlson, 29, a social media editor in Chicago, had a similar reaction. The infection, which is caused by the herpes simplex 1 and herpes simplex 2 viruses and passed via skin-to-skin contact, can show up as a cluster of sores on the mouth area or genitals. Around two-thirds of people worldwide under age 50 have herpes simplex 1, according to the World Health Organization , and around one in every six Americans between ages 14 and 49 has genital herpes, usually caused by herpes simplex 2, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Both Davis and Carlson eventually moved past their initial panic and saw herpes for what it is: an infection many people have that happens to usually get passed through sexual contact. In the past, Carlson would put the herpes conversation on the table quickly. On sites like Positive Singles and HMates , users are expected to be open about their diagnoses, but because they know everyone else there has an STD, too, it removes a huge barrier-and the question of whether the information will send a potential partner packing.

Does your dick get hard around her? Is she nice? The facts on herpes are actually quite clear when you do research online: herpes transmission is not that simple, particularly when both parties make an effort to use condoms, antivirals, dental dams, and so forth. Although individual symptoms depend on your overall health and the strain you carry, for many folks herpes is an uncomfortable initial outbreak and mild recurrences, if any.

How did my partners after my diagnosis make the decision of whether or not to sleep with me? Sure, they did some Googling. One talked to his doctor about how it might impact an existing condition he had. But mostly they looked at me, and thought about the fun, challenging conversations we had, and remembered how gorgeous my thick hair is.

In the past I have made room for the discomfort of strangers who do not want to date someone with an STI. I am afraid of being that ranting feminist with herpes who seems to think herpes is great. Hah hah, herpes is disgusting and hilarious. What a slutty joke. Feminists these days, am I right? Screw that. At the end of the day, STI stigma is a form of prejudice. To you it may seem reasonable, a matter of self-preservation. But to us, it is dehumanizing. But in asking me this question, an actual person with herpes, you are shaming and insulting me in the name of needing help deciding.

Yeah, you can read that again. If you are not willing to brave the risk of getting herpes, you are not worth my time. If my STI is a deal breaker for you, your ignorance and cowardice is a deal breaker for me. One of the most romantic moments of my life was when an old partner told me that I had so thoroughly de-stigmatized herpes for him that he saw contracting from me as an inevitability he chose, rather than a nightmare I should have panic attacks over and although I continued to have said panic attacks, I never did transmit to him.

A true partner, a true best friend, accepts all of you. They do not barter or keep score, or make a pros and cons list when it comes to asking you on a third date. Hi Ella, Thank you for your vulnerability on here. I truly appreciate it. I had such a horrible experience this week. InI was told by a doctor in an email versus a result ugh that I had been exposed to herpes 2 not verbatim I had it. I was with a long term partner. I recently began dating again after 7 years and did the whole sti panel with this partner.

He and I touched one another naked, made out, with some saliva exchange obvi. I then went on to gain more clarity with a doctor that it means i have it.

I was in disbelief and angry. I get it!!!!! I turned that hate at situation inward and got really depressed and luckily have a great social support group and amazing therapist. He and I have since talked and came to more closure which I am so thankful he was open to. I just may not have gotten the closure and would need to forgive myself for an honest mistake. I have a lot of anger at doctors for not being explicit and towards myself for my ignorance.

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

I get it! The rejection sucks!!!!! I mean obviously your story speaks to it. When we are kissing? This process is so new to me so any support and guidance is appreciated. Thanks for sharing your story and inspiring me to do the same. I hope this can be healing. Your story has really impacted me for the better and my shame is slowly diminishing. This was a good, interesting and funny read. Ella, So beautifully well written. I have Herpes 2 and am currently dealing with shame around it.

Just gotta say fuck it and move on then! I feel you. At a point I stopped divulging my situation until I was sure I could trust my partner with my humiliating reality. I was always careful, never sex when I get that tingling, had to lie on my menses sooo many times. Someone just broke up with me after 5months of dating. We moved kinda fast but I knew him from my past and thought it was safe to tell him right away.

I had already had sex with him when I told him about my condition. He stayed for a few months but eventually left, said he fell in love with me before I told him.

I get his position. We just have to be strong and patient. My heart is with you. Risk his life? Oh please! This is the kind of hyperbole we should check them on for the sake of being factual and not allowing ourselves to be demeaned.

What I Decided To Do When He Told Me He Had Genital Herpes

Your awesome girl. I really admire youWe need more voices more people to speak about Herpes honestly and openly. Thank you!!!! You are amazing. Do you have any more blogs? Thank you a million times over for being the voice we all have, but feel too stigmatized to use. The world needs more people like you. Thank you! I just met a beautiful, amazing girl that makes me truly happy but she shared she contacted herpes as a kid, HSV Your blog reinforce my decision.

Thank you!!!!! This post has really helped me form my decision when it came to dating someone with genital herpes.

When someone is first diagnosed, the thought of dating with herpes can That way, your partner can make an active choice about what risks. In this guide, we'll show you how to manage dating, intimacy, and living your day-?to-day life. visit after the initial diagnosis to see how someone is coping. active herpes outbreak will also minimize the risk of transmission. Pippa Vacker shares her story of choosing to have intercourse with someone diagnosed with genital herpes.

My head was spinning when I first told to say the least. My girlfriend opened up to me after a month of dating and copious unprotected sex that she had genital herpes, that she was on suppression medication and that she had not had an outbreak for 3 years. I myself have cold sores and to be perfectly honest I definitely did not know as much as I do now about the disease.

I thought it to be very very contagious even when dormant. So, she told me and I freaked out. I was torn because I do love her and I could see myself spending the rest of my life with her but, even the best laid plans go awry. I would then have to try and find love with an STI which frankly scares a lot of people away. These scenarios are still a possibility but after reading your personal experiences about opening up to potential partners before you slept together has made me feel much better about taking the risk.

In the past I thought I would have ran away from someone who were to tell me this, but in reality it did not phase my attraction to her at all what so ever. Yes I did have questions and concerns but I feel we are closer now than ever and are able to talk about anything without criticism or judgment from each other.

I have never experience this type of relationship before and perhaps that is why so many have failed for me in the past. I care about her deeply and hope to continue to grow our relationship much further. Thank you. But, in reality, it is no big deal. The chances of their having something passed to them from one of these other women is probably better than from me, because I take suppressive drugs and am careful.

Good for you for educating yourself! Dawson, Well written think these and I applaud you for tackling this head on. As a person with HSV1 common cold sore i. Herpes I believe I most likely contracted it from my mother as a child. On the other hand, by telling your partner you have herpes and allowing them to enter into the relationship with full knowledge of your infection, you reduce the likelihood of them becoming infected with herpes.

Excuses create distance between partners and often lead to misunderstanding and guesswork. Your partner might interpret your excuses in ways more detrimental to the relationship than an honest discussion of genital herpes would be. Inaccurate and stigmatising articles and advertising have contributed to many of us having a lot of negative beliefs related to herpes that make it difficult to convince ourselves that others would want to be with us.

Accepting the fact that you have herpes and are still the same person you were before will make it easier to have a fulfilling relationship.

Your attitude will influence how this news is received. Psychologists have observed that people tend to behave the way you expect them to behave, and expecting rejection increases the chances of an unhappy outcome. A straightforward and positive conversation about herpes issues is the best approach and may be helped by forward planning. How long should you know someone before you tell them?

Dating with herpes seems daunting, if not terrifying, to people new to the virus. or recently found out you might be considering dating someone with HSV-1 or HSV-2, educating them about the virus and reducing your risk of transmission.

Allow the relationship to develop a little. There are good and bad times to bring up the topic of herpes. Talking just prior to love-making is not a good idea either. The discussion could take place anywhere you feel safe and comfortable. Some people turn off the TV, take the phone off the hook, and broach the subject over a quiet dinner at home. Others prefer a more open place, like walking in the park, so that their partner will feel free to go home afterwards to mull things over.

This allows both people to work off a little nervous energy at the same time. Try to be natural and spontaneous. If you find yourself whispering, mumbling, or looking at the floor, stop for a moment and try to speak calmly and clearly.

Look your partner in the face. Your delivery affects your message. The following opening statements represent a variety of non-threatening ways to prompt discussion about herpes. They are not intended to be regarded as scripts.

Try not to be melodramatic. This is not a confession or a lecture, simply the sharing of information between two people. Could we talk about what this means for us? Look for logical opportunities to bring up the subject. You might even be surprised to learn that your partner has been equally concerned about telling you that they have genital herpes or another sexual infection.

In fact, the probability of this is reasonably high, given the statistics on HSV. People may just need a little time to assimilate the information. This is where having well-written information helps. Consider giving them reading the material or referring them to a Sexual Health Centre, the Herpes Helpline: 11 12 13 or the herpes website www.

Negative reactions are often no more than the result of misinformation. It takes a lot more than the occasional aggravation of herpes to destroy a sound relationship. Some people react negatively no matter what you say or how you say it.

Others might focus more energy on herpes than on the relationship. These people are the exception, not the rule. This is not a reflection on you. You are not responsible for their reaction. If your partner is unable to accept the facts about herpes, encourage him or her to speak with a medical expert or counsellor. The majority of people will react well. They will respect the trust you demonstrate in sharing personal confidence with them.

With the proper approach and information, herpes can be put into perspective: an irritating, sometimes recurrent skin condition - no more, no less. Regarding the relationship overall, know that you can have the same level of intimacy and sexual activity that any couple can. It is true that in an intimate sexual relationship with a person who has herpes oral or genitalthe risk of contracting herpes will not be zero, but while there is a possibility of contracting herpes this is a possibility for any sexually active person.

Risk of dating someone with herpes

And the person may unwittingly already have been exposed to the herpes virus in a previous relationship. All relationships face challenges, most far tougher than herpes.

When you ask me questions about if you should date someone with If you are not willing to brave the risk of getting herpes, you are not worth. HSV can be passed on when one person has the herpes virus present on the skin Always using latex condoms can reduce the risk of transmitting the herpes?. I had always insisted on using condoms, which can reduce the risk of Not everyone with herpes has to date someone infected with the virus to find true love?.

Good relationships stand and fall on far more important issues - including communication, respect and trust. Whether or not this relationship works out, you have enlightened someone with your education and experience about herpes, correcting some of the myths about herpes that cause so much harm. You have removed the shroud of silence that makes it so difficult for others to speak. And you have confronted a personal issue in your life with courage and consideration.

Genital herpes can be transmitted through direct contact with an infected blister or sore, usually through sexual contact. It can also be transmitted when there is no symptoms present. HSV-2 infection is usually passed on during vaginal or anal sex.

HSV-1 is usually transmitted by oral sex mouth to genital contact. If your partner has only just been diagnosed as having genital herpes, this does not necessarily mean that he or she has been unfaithful to you, or sexually promiscuous in the past.

Your partner may have caught genital herpes from you. So it is very easy for you to have unwittingly transmitted the infection to your partner. The symptoms of the infection vary greatly between individuals - it might be totally unnoticeable in you but cause severe blistering in your partner.

Since the genital herpes virus can be transmitted through oral sex as well as vaginal sex, it is also possible that your partner caught the virus from a cold sore on your mouth or face. Alternatively, your partner may have contracted the herpes virus from a previous sexual partner, perhaps even several years ago.

The herpes virus can remain inactive in the body for long periods, so this may be the first time it has caused symptoms.

The real truth behind the realities of dating someone with herpes. Is the risk higher than being in a relationship with someone who is. Genital herpes needn't be a barrier to a healthy sexual relationship There will always be some risk, even if you practice safer sex, but you can. How To Tell Someone You Have Herpes . long as she gets it done before engaging in sexual activities that would put the other person at risk.

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 HSV-1 and herpes simplex virus type 2 HSV-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. The symptoms of genital herpes may reappear from time to time. This is because once the herpes virus is acquired, it stays permanently in the body.

Most of the time it remains inactive, but every so often it may reactivate and cause another outbreak. Each individual is different - some people never have a recurrence; others may have recurrences several times a year. However, recurrent outbreaks are usually shorter and less severe than the first herpes episode. Certain events or situations can trigger recurrences, and you may be able to help your partner avoid or reduce the trigger factors, which may include stress at work or home, fatigue, ill health, loss of sleep, friction due to sexual intercourse, and menstruation in women.

If your partner has frequent or severe episodes of genital herpes, or if the recurrent outbreaks are causing a lot of anxiety for your partner, then he or she may benefit from suppressive therapy taking oral antiviral tablets continuouslywhich prevents or reduces recurrences.

If you take the necessary precautions, the chances of getting the herpes virus from your partner are reduced. Genital herpes does not mean abstinence from sex or a reduced enjoyment of sex. The continued use of condoms in a long-term relationship is a personal decision that only the couple can make.

Most find that as the importance of the HSV infection in their relationship is seen in perspective, that condom use becomes less relevant if this is the only reason condoms are being used. However, most couples choose to avoid genital skin-to-skin contact during an active episode of herpes because this is when the herpes virus is most readily transmitted.

Your Survival Guide to Dating with Herpes

This period includes the time from when your partner first has warning signs of an outbreak, such as a tingling or burning in the genitals, until the last of the sores has healed. Also, sexual activity prolongs the healing of the episode. Herpes transmission risk is increased if there are any breaks in the skin. For example, if you have thrush or small abrasions from sexual intercourse, often due to insufficient lubrication.

It can be helpful to use a lubricant specifically for sexual intercourse and avoid sex if you have thrush. A sexual lubricant is helpful right at the start of sexual activity. Sores in other areas - such as the buttocks and thighs - can be just as contagious as those in the genital area, and care should be taken to avoid direct contact with such sores during sex. At other times, there is still a small risk of transmitting the herpes infection through a process known as asymptomatic shedding, even if your partner is showing no signs of genital herpes.

This risk can be reduced significantly if a person with herpes takes suppressive oral antiviral treatment.

If you or your partner has a cold sore, it is advisable to avoid oral sex as this can spread the herpes virus to the genitals. However, the information provided below is relevant regardless of your herpes infection type. This means that if you contract HSV-1 or HSV-2, the virus will remain in your body for the rest of your life, or until a cure is discovered.

Finding this out can be devastating news, especially from the perspective of your dating and romantic life. After all, you have an incurable, lifelong virus that spreads through either oral or sexual contact-two things that, last we checked, are pretty important in every romantic relationship.

Every day, millions of people around the world are completely able to have normal, healthy relationships in spite of their HSV-1 or HSV-2 status.

One easy way to put the herpes virus in context is through statistics. This is a normal, common reaction. However, many people only occasionally deal with outbreaks, and some people with the virus never get any genital herpes outbreaks at all. Herpes outbreaks can happen once a year or once every three months, depending on the type of virus you have, your immune system, your diet and other factors.

Usually, your body will repel the virus and heal within two to three weeks, giving you months in between each outbreak for you to enjoy a normal dating life. Third, genital herpes is easy to treat.

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