Dealing with Dating When You Have Herpes

Do you have herpes? Does your new friend have herpes? How do you deal with dating when you have herpes or your partner has the disease? Refinery 29 offers a 10 step guide to dating with herpes.

Jenelle Marie Davis, founder of The STD Project, says that talking to new partners about the diagnosis is “the biggest fear people have going forward. It’s not the physical symptoms people worry about, it’s how they’re going to date.”

But they do date, and like all mental hurdles that at first seem insurmountable, you too will figure out how to make the big reveal. Nearly one in six people aged 14 to 49 in the U.S. has HSV-2, the virus that most often causes genital herpes, so you’re far from alone in tackling this diagnosis.

First the ten tips and then a little background on genital herpes:

  1. Decide whom you want to date
  2. Consider telling your date right away
  3. Or wait until the relationship moves to a more serious level
  4. Tell your partner before having sex
  5. Stay cool and pick the best time
  6. Be clear and specific
  7. Be ready for the reaction
  8. Give your new friend time to think about it
  9. Understand if the reaction to your news is bad
  10. Value yourself

Our opinion is that there is no reason to tell a person that you have herpes or any medical condition when you first meet them. However, if the two of you are hitting it off don’t put off the talk for too long. And it is all too easy to start feeling bad about yourself when you have a problem like genital herpes. Remember that you are a good and valuable person and are not defined by the virus. Here is a bit more about herpes.

Genital Herpes, Knowledge is Power

Knowledge is power. If you have herpes go to see a doctor. Learn about the disease. Find out what you can and should do. Three medications are currently available for treating genital herpes (Zovirax, Famvir and Valtrex). These medications help sores heal faster, lessen the severity of a recurrence, reduce the frequency of a recurrence and minimize the chance of transmitting the virus to your sexual partner.

The Mayo Clinic has lot of really useful information about genital herpes on their web site.

Genital herpes is a common sexually transmitted infection that affects men and women. Features of genital herpes include pain, itching and sores in your genital area. But you may have no signs or symptoms of genital herpes. If infected, you can be contagious even if you have no visible sores.

The herpes simplex virus (HSV) causes genital herpes. Sexual contact is the primary way that the virus spreads. After the initial infection, the virus lies dormant in your body and can reactivate several times a year.

There’s no cure for genital herpes, but medications can ease symptoms and reduce the risk of infecting others. Condoms also can help prevent transmission of the virus.

The virus dies quickly when outside of the body so the way that you partner can get this infection from you is by having sex. Barrier contraception (condoms) prevents the spread of the virus.

The more sexual partners you have the more likely you are to catch the disease. Women are more likely to have genital herpes than men as the disease is more easily transferred from man to woman than from woman to man.

Empower yourself if you are dealing with dating when you have herpes. See a doctor. Take medications if recommended. Use condoms. And be truthful with your sexual partner.

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