If I Have Herpes, How Can I Tell The New Guy I’m Dating?

anxious woman in bed dating a new guy

Hi Evan –

Really enjoy your blog. I found out a few months ago that I have herpes. After going through the normal flip out and that my dating life would now consist of Ben and Jerry’s and DVD’s every Saturday night, I’m ready to get out there again.

I have gone through “the conversation” a million times in my mind. I have seen men post on various dating sites where they come right out on their profile stating they have herpes. And before I found out about my little gem, I would immediately think, “not in my backyard”. I think that is a TMI on a profile. I thought that if I meet someone, and there seems to be some sort of vibe, I would have the talk pretty quickly, possibly even the first date. And I wouldn’t be dramatic, just simply say, you need to know something, I have herpes. I control it with medication, but no matter how you slice it, it is what it is.

There are “herpes sites” but they kind of creep me out at this point.

I have enough common sense that I wouldn’t casually mention this as we are flinging clothing all over the room.

What are your thoughts? Is there a “right time or wrong time” to have this discussion?

If ok, want to jump on my soapbox for a second, if anyone reading this has herpes, do the right thing, let people know. One of the most difficult things I had to do was call former boyfriends I may have exposed (think it was dormant in my system for quite sometime, I honestly did not know). None of these guys started screaming at me, they THANKED me and said they would get tested – none of them had it -YAY!!!!

This is forever, don’t make it forever for someone else – have “the talk”.

Thanks Evan, happy new year!


Important question, Jen. And while I’m not an expert in herpes, per se, I do know a number of people who have it, and continue to lead rich, happy, limitless dating lives. So don’t worry. It’s all gonna be okay.

I do know a number of people who have it, and continue to lead rich, happy, limitless dating lives.

I think all the readers should take a second to put themselves in your shoes for a moment. Because one second you’re saying “No way” to a guy with herpes, and the next, you’re praying that a guy doesn’t judge you for this one minor thing.

And let me be clear, it IS a minor thing.

According to Herpes.com, 50-80 percent of the American adult population has oral herpes. Ever had a cold sore? Congratulations. You probably have oral herpes. As far as genital herpes goes, we’re talking 20% of the population. That’s 50 MILLION people, a majority of whom don’t even know they’re infected. The scariest part of this whole thing is the staggering ignorance about herpes — a disease that undoubtedly affects someone that you know.

Don’t think so? Well, let’s just say that I have close friends, clients, and ex-girlfriends who have genital herpes, and none of them are traumatized, hospitalized or ostracized because of it. So let’s get past that.

Just know that if you have the disease, you may be entirely asymptomatic, which would mean that you could potentially transmit it without knowing. And if you do have symptoms, they are easily controlled with the use of drugs. The question is how do you explain this to someone else who is freaked out by this kind of stuff?…

I think the best answer is to treat your condition matter-of-factly. The bigger deal you make out of it, the bigger deal it becomes. This should be like talking about how your father died, or how you had anorexia in high school, or how you didn’t lose your virginity until you were 25. All of those things might be sensitive and relevant, but they don’t have to be dealbreaker-type issues if dealt with effectively.

I wouldn’t put it in a profile, I wouldn’t say it on a first date, and I wouldn’t say it when slipping on a condom. I’d wait until you were ready to have genital contact and initiate the conversation prior. Perhaps even a few days prior. Do it in person so your partner can look you in the eyes and ask any questions. And make sure you have your facts ready in case he’s curious. You want to make it clear: this is a fact about you, and it’s something you have under total control. He need not worry.

You can literally have this conversation after dinner or a movie while walking, so as not to make the situation feel too pressurized. And while it’s not quite “Please pass the salt”, you can probably cover what you need to cover in just a few minutes, as opposed to a two-hour herpes summit.

Major bulletpoints:

You trust him and feel he needs the truth if the relationship is to progress.

You have herpes. It’s a fact that he needs to know about you.

You have a handle on the disease and outbreaks are rare.

He will not catch it since you take drugs and carefully monitor the situation.

He can ask you questions, research it, digest it, but understand that it’s not a big deal. 1/6 of the country has it and most don’t even know.

Again, I’m no expert, but I coached one client through this tricky process. She said the conversation with her new guy took less than five minutes and didn’t blow her chances with him at all.

And finally, if there are herpes dating sites for people who aren’t afraid of your condition, maybe you should at least take a peek, okay?

Take care and good luck.



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  1. 1

    I’m saying this is a first-date convo but, let me understand this..it’s not contagious on medication?

    1. 1.1

      Yeah, that’s not correct :/ Even if on medication, and not during an outbreak, one could still be having viral shedding and pass it on. The chance is extreeeeemely low, but it is still there.

      1. 1.1.1

        And in order to transmit through skin contact, there has to be an open wound, cut, abrasion, something like that.


    2. 1.2

      You can teanit no matter what. It is not limited to the penis or  vagina.   But also around those areas. My wife had it on one of her fingers. On medicarion or off, condom or not, breakout or not. You can always transmit. Some thing reduce the risk by only abstinence is foolproof.

    3. 1.3

      It’s not easy to tell others about this truth. For people with herpes, I would like to suggest bestherpesdatingsites.com, 2016 best reviews for herpes dating sites. Hope you can find the most suitable community here.

    4. 1.4

      And here are the stats in 2015. If you ever had a cold sore in your life you have herpes and can spread it to the genitals or the lips just as easy as someone with genital herpes can spread to the genitals. It never goes from the genitals, HSV2 to the lips. When you think about the states below, those who don’t have it are in the gross minority.


      A new report by the World Health Organization estimates that two out of three adults under the age of 50 had herpes simplex virus 1 in 2012. That’s 3.7 billion people worldwide who are infected.

    5. 1.5

      The censorship is horrible here…how can you have free speech?

      1. 1.5.1
        Evan Marc Katz

        Yes, 113,000 comments and every single one agrees with me. This is like North Korea.

        1. Stu

          Except I can’t reply to the people who attack me! There is no button!

        2. Stu

          Wow….I talk about censorship and I get a reply from the owner within 30 seconds…that’s cool!

        3. Evan Marc Katz

          Just a lucky coincidence that I’m reading while watching my fantasy football team lose.

  2. 2

    I would guess there is legal liability involved if you know you have herpes and you do not tell a sex partner beforehand.

    Let’s put it this way: If I had sex with a woman, got herpes, and later found out she knew she was exposing me to the virus without telling me in advance, I’d sue the the living daylights out of her. I would try to take every asset she had.

    And this is coming from a guy who is not at all materialistic or greedy.

    It doesn’t at all sound like you are irresponsibile like that. But, for anyone out there who is, get ready to deal with a lawsuit if you get ahold (no pun intended) of a partner who doesn’t play nice after getting infected.

    1. 2.1
      Teri Wilson

      I have had this virus for many years. I was not told by my partner. I am a very conservative person. As for me, I don’t even think about it. Sorry, but I consider it no big deal. My experience, I have told every partner. Only 2 men have told me, and that was after I told them. Most men do not tell. I have had 1 partner freak out. And this was before sex. He actually through a fit. I decided not to go out with this person anymore. I am proud of myself for telling. But, what I really want to say to those out there freaking out… you have been with someone that has had it. Period. They just didn’t tell you or didn’t know you had it. I happen to think it is not as easily spread as they say. The drug companies say it can be spread without having an outbreak. But, I think they are just saying this so they cover themselves from being sued. I certainly have never given it to anyone. Lighten up folks. You will be with someone that has it. Worry about world peace or something

      1. 2.1.1

        Sleeping around is how you got herpes in the first place yet you continue to sleep around like no big deal. Do you just keep going until you get a higher lvl STD??

        People today act like freaking animals, as if they can’t live life without constantly having sex. Why not look for the right person and have a great life. This would also stop the spread of all of the STD’s.

        1. Emma

          It’s not a number game. I got from my bf of 3 years that cheated on me! I was a complete wreck! Iam 46 years old and only have been with 3 guys in semi-long term relationships prior. It only takes 1 person to spread it if not treated. I’m not gonna let the past define my future..I’m a good person and taken responsibility for my health. 🙂

        2. angie

          I got it from a boyfriend, who I had not cheated on and had been living with. He got if from someone he screwed in our bed while i was at work. You don’t need to be a whore to get herpes you ignorant, ridiculous, individual. People are dishonest at times and burn you without you knowing it until it’s too late. think about that before you spew out idiotic, uninformed information…

        3. jess

          Not everyone just sleeps around! How about being in a committed relationship and the dbag   just doesn’t tell you about it.. all the while you’re planning on getting married!?

        4. hunter

          …their feelings change, its not that they won’t tell you about “no marriage”..

        5. tarah

          This is not true at all. I caught this disease with the very first man I slept with. You get it by not being honest with one another.  

        6. mav

          Wow way to be a real dick!! It happens all the time. Some people don’t know they have it so it’s more easily transmitted. Someone could be in a relationship and get it.from their partner without knowing and then be in a new relationship and have the same thing happen. It’s not a huge deal but it is emotional for most people so don’t be an ass hole and just get that that happens and you don’t have to be a slut or sleep around to get an std.

        7. Mellissa

          I have herpes, and I don’t sleep around or act like an animal. I have had very few sexual partners and have always been monogamous My ex husband had it and didn’t know.. Stop assuming that you know other peoples lifestyle and behavior.

        8. DessertRose

          Women are more likely to get herpes simplex 2 & not all women/men get it from *sleeping around* I got the herpes simplex 2 from my 1st & only relationship so maybe take a good look at your attitude before jumping to the conclusion someone is a slut because they have herpes simplex 2….wake up to yourself.

        9. tao

          absolutely not true. you can get it from someone who has a cold sore and they give you oral sex,JUST ONCE. You can get it from a boyfriend who never knew he had it because he had sex with an ex who never knew she had it. You could have sex with one person your whole life and still get herpes. Sure the chances are higher the more people but I’m sure you’ve had relationships,more than one,and I’m sure they involved sex. what if one of those relationships caused you herpes? does that make you a slut? no.

        10. D

          That’s pretty ignorant and insulting. I got it from my husband who had no idea he got it as a teen. You should work on not acting like a judgmental prick. That’s definitely worse than herpes.

        11. Laura to

          I would just like to say that I got married very young to my first sexual partner and got genital herpes he didn’t know he had it.    its people like you who make people feel bad.   Sex is important in relationships.   and i hope that this judgement stops.

        12. cootie

          let me say this….ignorant ppl like you make things harder then what they should be!…Your ignorance is definitely hindering you..understand that having herpes can be transmitted even without having actual SEX!…if me and a guy are dry humping with just undergarments and we have skin to skin contact and he doesn’t know he has it the disease can be transmitted… Newflash condoms do not protect you 100% from getting the disease..you take the risk of getting it every time you have sex protected or NOT!…Then you could have contracted it as a kid by drinking off someone else and NEVER had one outbreak..then on you wedding night you and your husband have oral sex and you happen to be contagious and you just gave him herpes even though you waited until marriage!!.. People need to be fully educated on what herpes is and how dangerous it is NOT!..This disease us NOT life threatening at ALL unless its given to a infant from its mother during gestation and it is a 0.1%chance of that happening.. Nobody dies from herpes..nobody is sick ..hospitalized.. Or even threatened with illness from this virus!.. It is so MINOR the fucking common cold and flu have no cure and it KILLS thousands of ppl a year yet herpes doesn’t kill or make ppl ill and ppl freak out….In my experience I have an outbreak every 6to8months….that is equivalent to once maybe twice a the most yearly!..It last in total for 2to3weeks…the outbreaks are minor its a nuisance more than anything..it doesn’t have me in horrible pain…its not this gross looking stuff the show on websites..I get two sores three on my first outbreak…they don’t even happen on my vaginal area but in my in grion area..the most painful think to me is before the blister breaks after that its OVER.. Its really not that bad it feels like a boil you get from shaving under your arm..then it goes away and I almost forget I have until it shows up again…its not this horrible disease the fucking stomach virus is worse…Grow up..and get some education please!

        13. Sue

          It is not always “sleeping around” that makes you catch it. I was looking for a lifetime partner, spent a year and a half with him ONLY, without him knowing he had it, and he passed it on to me. I wasn’t sleeping around, I was with him and him only for a total of 3 years, but was unlucky.

        14. amber

          I couldnt say it better

        15. Theresa

          I have herpes type 1 of the genitals. I got it from my husband when we had oral sex. He has never had a cold sore in his life and had no idea he had oral herpes. I have never slept around and neither has he. At first I was devastated. But it’s been two years and I have only had the initial outbreak. My husband has never caught it from me (on the genitals). I am not going to be defined by this virus or uneducated people who think you only get this if you are sexually promiscuous or “dirty”.   Personally I think ignorance is a much worse affliction.

        16. Mary

          you say that like everyone that has herpes is a “slut”. That’s like saying every rectangle is a square when in fact every square is a rectangle but not all rectangles are square..not all people with herpes got it because they were “slutting” around. You should really just not say anything.

        17. Lisa

          I have only had sex with one person, and I have herpes. That person has only had sex with me. They got oral herpes (type 1) from kissing someone. They then transfered it to my genitals. All of this without either of us showing symptoms. You do not have to be sleeping around to get herpes. It is a very common condition. 3/4 of adults have oral herpes. 1/5 of adults have genital herpes. You only need to be exposed once to catch it.

        18. Genie

          I far from slept around..he did ..i had four children perfectly healthy..and divorced after i found him cheating so stop judging.

        19. flr

          Sleeping around is not how you get it in all cases at that a very narrow minded comment to make

        20. Claudia

          Not everyone got it from sleeping around, I got it from my first boyfriend, he didn’t even know he had it and he gave it to me , he was my first and I still got it, so don’t just assume that people who has herpes is because of sleeping around.

        21. Steph

          I got herpes when I was raped as a teenager.   Think before you speak.

        22. me

          Did you know the Amish has nearing a zero percent divorce rate and have no stds we should learn

        23. Adreana


          Being a good boy/girl out of fear of being shunned isn’t something to be desired.

        24. Louise

          Stu-i got herpes from my husband (whose name is also Stu) when i was 32 weeks pregnant with our first child. He cheated on my a week prior and came back and gave it to me. I was so in love. We had a great sex life. We had a 2nd child. My first child suffers from mouth ulcers and my 2nd child suffers from cold sores. And i of course am suffering with genital herpes and my now ex husband has nothing wrong with him.

        25. Bree

          Not everyone that gets herpes just sleeps around with everyone. I was in a relationship with a man for 5 years.. He cheated and now I have to live with this virus. Glad you seem to know it all though.

        26. Cali

          You do not need to “sleep around” to get it… of course.. that is probably the case for some. But, you could be with the same partner and not get it until years later…

        27. Hsv

          Excuse me but I didn’t sleep around my bf had it and didn’t tell me. I think your remark is rude and a stereotype which is why people choose not to tell because they don’t want to be looked at like a whore and further more you can get it with out having sex.   Do the world a favor and get educated before making ignorant remarks!

        28. Jamie

          What about those you got it from their husband or wife and knew nothing about it? Just because you have herpes foesnt mean you slept around. There are people who were raped and got herpes. Get real! ()

        29. CPA

          I got herpes from my first and only partner of three years, I waited until I was 25 years old to have sex, I asked my partner to get tested before we were together and his tests came out negative for STDs… I was responsible and still got herpes.

        30. Jules

          Your assumption that sleeping around is how you get it, is completely incorrect.   That’s the negative stigma attached to it.

        31. joe

          I cought HSV 2 and I had a condom on FYI showed up a few days later ..

        32. Annie

          My previous post had a typographical error in it!
          Sleeping around DOESN’T cause someone to get herpes. Having sex with one person who has it and passes it on to you is how you get it. I got it from my fiancé in May of ’94, one month before we were married in June. He says he didn’t know he had it. He knew something was up, but he was in denial. We were married 15 years. We’re now divorced and I’ve had to deal with having to have this conversation with someone. It’s not easy. People like you think it’s from screwing a bunch of different people. I simply had sex with my husband the month before we got married. Now that I’m single again, I carry the stigma. Most people with herpes are just regular folks who caught a virus from someone. Period.

        33. ttt

          I am 40 years old and have had exactly 3 sexual partners.


          The last person I slept with unknowingly gave me herpes.


          Neither of us are promiscuous “animals”   but now bith suffer permanently from the virus.


          Shit just happens sometimes.


          Get a handle on your self righteousness.

        34. Maria

          I’ve slept with only 2 man in my life who I had feelings for and I have it cause one of them was cheating on me. Truth is it’s really not a big deal. Once every couple months you get 2 or 3 or 1 spot on genitals and it doesn’t affect your health in any other way at least mine. It’s not hiv for god sake

        35. Arizona

          What a cowardly thing for you to say! I was rapped and got it. Think I wanted to be rapped. NOO!

        36. Scarlett

          I only slept with one man. Who I was with for 7 years. He cheated on me and now I’m paying the price for his mistake. Stop the damn stigmas! You CAN have herpes without sleeping around.

        37. Jill

          Take your judgement elsewhere. Having sex with a few people you’ve dated does not equal sleeping around get over yourself. Oh btw humans are animals FYI. Take your holly roller shit elsewhere.

        38. Dana

          Stu, you are wrong…sleeping around is not always how you get it! I got it from my 1st bf ever and he simply didnt tell me. So dont be stupid . There are lots of nice decent people that carry the virus.

        39. Connie

          Same for me. I was married 34 yrs, never been with anyone but my ex husband. 5 yrs after my divorce I was in another relationship when he gave it to me. My 2nd sexual partner my entire life He was very clean and very picky about his looks. No breakouts. I came up with herpes two days after I slept with him. I even asked him twice if he had anything, because the protection kept coming off. When I called him and told him he had given me herpes, he said sorry didn’t know I had it. Total BS!! I’m not a whore, I believed him when he lied to me and changed my life forever. I’m ok now, but wouldn’t wish this on anyone. Always tell your partner before sex period!!

        40. Frank

          This Stu person doesn’t  know what they’re talking about, I got it at the age of 28 from the first girl I had sex with while in a relationship with her.

          I was freshly divorced from my high school sweetheart, the only girl I ever had sex with in my life!

          It’s so common I would bet 70% of the population has HSV2 also. Wouldnt surprise me if Stu tested and came back positive for HSV2. 80% of those who have it, don’t know it. Google that stat if you think I’m kidding.



        41. Jojo

          That is an outright LIE, I was with the same person for 6 years, and always got tested negative, until one day they cheated. You can but not always get Herpes from sleeping around. In fact lots of married women, women in committed relationships acquired herpes from their cheating partner or possibly had it all along, you never know.

        42. Lynn

          NO, Stu…I was NOT sleeping around, my ex-husband was. He also gave me HPV. I was the blind, trusting wife of 20 years and never thought to connect the HPV to him…duh? Then, after we divorced I found out I had herpes. So, I was not a freaking animal; I was a devoted wife to a cheating jackass.

        43. N

          Wow. You sound like a misogynist d-bag! I am positive because when I was 19, my cheating 29 year old asshole of a boyfriend gave it to me. Only the 2nd man I was ever with.

      2. 2.1.2

        Spot on thank you thank you thank you!

      3. 2.1.3

        I could not agree more, Teri!

      4. 2.1.4

        I gave it to someone. I have never had an outbreak. It happens. Trust me.

      5. 2.1.5
        Charli Jones

        My experience & sentiments exactly. In 17yrs with my ex, I never passed it on & in that time we didnt use condoms all the time. Know your body and know when to abstain once in a committed relationship.

      6. 2.1.6

        I love how no woman will take responsibility for themselves…they blame the guy! Don’t be a slut…it’s not a good look!

        1. Sf

          FU!… 17 years, I was faithfully married. He wasn’t.

    2. 2.2

      Law suit. Lol….. I have one word for you hearsay! !!! All you have to do is say I told the other person Before hand and it’s your word vs his it goes nowhere! !! Big waste of time emotions and money !! Good luck. I know this road all I can say now is. .nothing good

    3. 2.3

      I think in most states this is a misdemeanor. Derek  Jeter was sued for this at least once, maybe more. Which means that Jessica Alba, Scarlet Johannson, Jessica Biel, Jordana Brewster, Tyra Banks, Vanessa Minnillo, Mariah Carey, are all likely infected, plus anyone they’ve dated subsequently. If you Google celebrities with Herpes you’ll be pretty shocked who has it. Brad Pitt, Jennifer Aniston, Angelina Jolie, Orlando Bloom, Justin Timberlake, Colin Farrell, Janet Jackson, etc, etc…

  3. 3

    And by the way, I wouldn’t call herpes “not the big of a deal.” It is a lifelong disease for which there is no cure.

    I’d call that a big deal. The common cold is not a big deal.

    1. 3.1

      Er. Herpes is not a disease it is a virus. The common cold is a virus. Whilst, yes the herpes virus lies dormant in the body it is very common. Anyone who has had Chicken Pox has the virus as that is part of the herpes zoster virus.
      stop being so dramatic Ron !

      1. 3.1.1
        Karl R

        jac said:
        “Herpes is not a disease it is a virus.”  

        It’s a sexually transmitted disease caused by a virus.

        jac said:
        “The common cold is a virus.”

        So is ebola. So is HIV.

        Do you have a point?

        jac said:
        “Anyone who has had Chicken Pox has the virus as that is part of the herpes zoster virus.”


        We’re talking about Herpes Simplex Virus 2 (more commonly known as herpes), not Herpes Zoster (more commonly known as shingles). They’re two completely unrelated viruses.  

        1. Stu

          Karl R

          Nice break down! I’ve noticed a lot of the people saying “it’s no big deal” are the ones that have herpes!

    2. 3.2

      It is not a big deal in that it’s not going to kill you or hurt your immune system, and is essentially just a skin rash in an unfortunate place. Unlike HIV, HPV, or Syphilis, all of which can become debilitating, causing other chronic illness, and even death.

    3. 3.3

      It is not a big deal, Ron. It is a skin infection. There are things that threaten your life out there, only one of which you can get from sex and that’s HIV. It is less of a nuisance IME than psoriasis, port wine stains, plantar’s warts and a host of other skin diseases. If you look at the facts and the stats, this is not a big deal. But if you are afraid, it becomes a very big deal. I am not thrilled I have to have this talk with prospective partners, but I am really glad that I’m 1) honest enough to have it; and 2) not dying from this. It’s not cancer, and it’s not HIV….it’s a skin disease. Teri is right. But I’m guessing, again, that men like you – who know nothing about this and are clearly afraid (wait until you find out somebody you slept with has had it) – are not any HSV positive person’s target audience. No thanks. You could not have possibly have enough charm to offset your ignorance or fear.

      1. 3.3.1

        I don’t think it’s a big deal either, it’s like the cold sore virus. It will come out at times of stress, most of the time no symptoms. I think its hard on ppl with compromised immune systems. It’s prob not deadly like the hpv strains that cause cervical and penile cancer, though I expect the two often go together.
        There is too much stigma connected to stds which ironically leads to more of them as ppl are secretive and don’t get treated.

        1. Al

          Well, in fact, it IS the cold sore virus. HSV1 and HSV2 are almost identical genetically and both can evidence as oral OR genital depending on where the exposure happens. So, if you date someone with cold sores and engage in oral sex with them you absolutely CAN get genital herpes from it.

    4. 3.4

      Its a skin condition. “Outbreaks” are nothing more than a tiny spot of irritated skin.   And the longer you have it, the fewer the outbreaks. I’ve had it for 8 years. I’ve told every boyfriend and have given it to no one. It is truly not a big deal. It lasts a lifetime. Well, so does eczema and so do a lot of other conditions. It’s honestly not a big deal and it upsets me how herpes’ reputation causes so much stress on those afflicted with it. No one asked for it- but sometimes, shit happens. And those that freak out over just hearing about their potential mate having it are usually extremely immature and ignorant- and it’s a great warning sign to us to move on from a person like that! 🙂

      1. 3.4.1

        Herpes wasn’t even considered a big deal until the 1970s when a huge campaign was released to drum up hysteria over it. Guess who was responsible for that ad campaign? The drug company that had just patented a treatment.

      2. 3.4.2

        I find your attitude immature.   Step out of your present self and think back to before you had the virus.   Can you remember?   I am sure that you didn’t have a carefree attitude about Genital Herpes.   If you are honest with yourself, you will remember that it was a concern.


        Like it or not, this is the situation in most cases.   For those that have it, you have had to learn to accept the fact that you have it.   It is not a big deal to you now.   However, for those of us who have not contract the virus, it IS a big deal.   We don’t want to expose ourselves to it if we don’t have to.   Show some tolerance.   We don’t owe you a date, relationship or sex.   We have the right to say no thanks, for the simple fact that you have a virus that we do not.


        Nobody is saying that everyone who has Herpes is a bad person, you are just a person with Herpes.   We do not have it, and want to try to keep it that way.   Stop trying to shame us for our very personal choice.   We have a right to our choices, just the same as you do.




        1. cootie

          I think back to how immature I was about this disease before I knew I had it..I think the point being made here by ppl who have herpes is that it really isn’t a big deal and ppl like yourself who don’t have the disease are uneducated on what it really is and create anxiety not only in yourself but others who may or may not have the disease… I had no clue what herpes was other than something with no cure..its nasty and gross… Hurts like hell..and just horrible BC I wasn’t educated on what it really was going off of the stigma from ppl like you..but why would you wanna know about this disease you dont have it..but if you educate Yourself on herpes you will find it is NOT a big deal at ALL…but you absolutely have the right to be aware of what you might be subject to..I’m honest with all of my partners and BC I know about the disease they have the best chance if not contracting it…FYI..look up how many ppl are hospitalized due to herpes vs the flu then I want you to look up how many ppl die from herpes vs the flu..hell the stomach virus is worse than herpes… Geesh

        2. Elizabeth

          Good Luck sweetie, if you’re fortunate to always have your partner tell you! Sometimes symptoms aren’t even present and people pass it along and never know. For me,   I’m almost 51yo and just found out yesterday! WTF!!! My bf of a year didn’t think it was too damn important to tell me about his history! He has been HSV-2 positive for 30 years and I have known him since high school! Sometimes you get it….and it’s not all wrapped up with a pretty bow-SHIT HAPPENS!


        3. Bee


          are you sure you dont have it? Go and check… You might be surprised.

          I had two partners all my life, I divorced because of mu husbands infidelity and did all STD tests

          have never had herpes outbreak, neither did he.

          I tested positive for both type 1 and 2.

          So dont be so sure that you are “all clear” you might be very wrong…

      3. 3.4.3

        Unfortunately, not all outbreaks are like that.   I had my first one about 5 months ago, and it was horrible.   Several open sores, difficulty urinating and walking was painful.   I missed 2 days of work, had to use oral and topical pain medication.

        When outbreaks aren’t “visible” it is almost impossible to know you have it.

      4. 3.4.4

        “tiny spots of irritated skin” my ass. I couldn’t go to the bathroom without crying so I did everything I could to not go. I could barely walk with out feeling like I was being ripped apart down there. I was in too much pain to sleep and my symptoms weren’t even close to as bad as some peoples. Just because your outbreaks weren’t bad doesn’t mean everyone else’s aren’t either. And it actually is kinda a big deal. Yeah, you can’t die, but it’s something you have to live with forever and with the stigma on it, I’ll speak for myself, but I feel dirty and gross. I’m too scared to tell anyone because I know the first thing they are going to think is that I’m a slut.  

        1. GMG

          I got it like you did. .quite a big deal for me. Was 40 when I got it…very very painful and lots of awful sores all over my crotch. Nightmare! Diagnosed as Type 1. Got it from receiving oral sex. Just once! Don’t even like oral sex. Didn’t have intercourse for years after that…because any friction caused flare-up. And frequent recurrences even without sex. Menstruation, missing sleep, anything…prodrome, terrible fatigue, lesions. Eat a pretzel, eat some crackers, crunchy cereal, any cut in my gums…mouth flare-up. Aches in the teeth and the hips. Even gentle masturbation caused flare-up, lasted for a full week. At 57, finally in relationship with a man who already had it—only way I’d consider intimacy. Minor skin rash? Little red bump? I wish. We seldom have sex because I STILL get relatively frequent flares. No insurance, can’t afford suppressive meds. Minor skin problem? Not for some of us. Major quality of life problem. Not dramatizing—just the truth here.

    5. 3.5

      I agree Ron, 100% If my ex gave it to me she has had it!!!

      I know, bull crap   it is a very big deal. I’m gonna freak if she gave it to me. Results come back next week! I will not sleep until then.

    6. 3.6

      Actually, outside of the discomfort in telling a potential partner, I would prefer the herpes virus to to the cold virus any day.   At least with medication, the herpes virus can be kept totally at bay, whereas with a cold, when it enters your body, you are screwed.   I would also prefer the herpes virus to a TON of other debilitating, life-changing medical conditions!

  4. 4

    Given that 1/6 th. of the population has herpes, I wonder if anyone has actually sued a partner and won. How about the other 70+ STD’s? Since so many of them can remain dormant indefinetly, if someone has had more than one partner in their lifetime, how would you even know who to sue?

    Can herpes, chlamydia, HPV be detected by a blood test like HIV, hepatitis, and syphyllis? It’s a bit scary to think no matter healthy you may think you, or a partner are, there may be something lurking, ready to pop out.

    Also, the commercials say medication doesn’t prevent passing herpes to a partner. Condoms don’t claim 100% effectivness against the spread either.

    Big deal I suppose is defined by one’s own perception. The common cold can kill people with a weak immune system. That could be considered a big deal to those affected. While having a herpes sore could be considered more of an annoyance.

    1. 4.1

      Yes, herpes can be detested in a blood test and is the only way to confirm infection if there is no active outbreak. But I doubt it can be “tracked” like HIV sometimes can be. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a lawsuit involving someone suing over getting it, because I don’t think there is a way to prove who you got it from (even though certain tests can give an estimated time on how long you’ve had it, but not specific enough to hold up in court).

    2. 4.2

      Yes, there is a blood test for all of the above, though the HPV test is oddly not available for men, just women, even though they are half responsible for spreading it. You CAN have someone charged with a misdemeanor or sue but it may not be easy or worthwhile.


      And you are correct that even wearing a condom does not protect you 100% from catching herpes because it can be in the skin around the genitals or in the mouth.

    3. 4.3

      I don’t think you can actually sue another partner. When you get tested for herpes, 1st you have to request that specific test. Herpes is so common doctors only test the importsnt dangerous ones ex. Hiv,aids clymedia etc. No request no test.

      2. When you do get tested it shows its in your system. It does not show how long its been there.

      One year you get a test.   The second year your gf or bf says they have it.   U get tested.   U ask for that particular. U Have it. Now think the first test u got dine. Did u ask for it.

      Ur grandmother with hsv 1 kissing the baby all the time can even transmit it with out even knowing.

  5. 5

    I’ve had herpes for many years and have had to have the conversation. Not one time was it a deal breaker and each time I was thanked for letting him know in advance.

    Having herpes is personal information and you are not required to tell anyone until you know that you want to take that next step into the wonderland. If you know that soon, then tell soon. Absolutely.

    I have never given it to anyone. I have always been careful and respectful of my partners. I was very unhappy to get it but I have a lot to offer and what I have to offer by far supersedes herpes.

    I have told my partners with a face to face convo, letter or email titled disclosure. The usual response is–not an issue–if he knows something about it or he may ask questions to know what he can expect.

    It is unfortunate thing to have, no doubt, but, as time goes on it lessens. I have an outbreak every 2 years or more. So, look at it this way: you have coldsores in an unfortunate place that puts you out of sexual contact for a week or so once a year, or two years, more. geez. And, if you care to, there are certainly other adventures you can provide that your partner can enjoy during that week.

    Be strong, be sure. The guys who would not see beyond this and care for you anyway, in fact, appreciate what it says about who you are as a responsible woman, aren’t the guys you want anyway. Who wants to be with someone who can’t be rational about his fears?

    1. 5.1

      Thank you. I just told someone and I have not heard back from him since and am very sad about it. I really appreciate what you said. It helped me a lot.

      1. 5.1.1
        not jane

        Well according to Jane that guy “can’t be rational about his fears” whatever that means in her sugar coated world. The same world this author is in who thinks you simply take medication and are suddenly not contagious. Great advice. Facts: it sucks, I’m in the angry stage, and I’m really sorry you’re bumbed.  

        1. Mary Doe Rae Me

          I agree with you “not Jane”. It completely sucks. Without sounding like I’m full of myself, guys ask me out all the time. I’m good looking, have a great body and am full of energy, drive and ambition. I’m very successful in my career. I’m also 55 and was given this “great gift” when I was sexually assaulted two years ago. I’ve been with 3 men my whole life. One, my ex-husband and two after my divorce – count that 3 in my lifetime. Whenever I have gotten close enough to wanting/having sex and have told my “boyfriend”, I get rejected. That’s the REAL facts about this disease! JANE and anyone else out there…..there is not much hope in having a “normal” sex life after you get this MONSTER of a DIS-EASE. Because being DISEASED is all you are! It doesn’t matter about anything else you have to offer. WHO wants to ever take the risk of getting it from you…..I wouldn’t. If I guy had told me before I got it, would I have had sex with him?….HELL NO!!! It ruins….absolutely ruins your life. I’m tormented by the fact everyday.

        2. Al

          Mary, I am so sorry you have been treated  this way by  men. I can tell you that I have not experienced the same reactions AT ALL. So far almost everyone I have told (and it was a lot at first to get over the fear) has wanted to continue seeing me. Only one took a pass on dating, but he still messages me every now and then as a friend. Everyone has been really decent about it. If I ever got a nasty reaction I’m sure it would sting, but I’d know that guy was a grade a prick who  was best avoided anyway.

      2. 5.1.2

        Jane is correct. I am H- and have been seeing a guy a few months. We have been using condoms and decided to do an STD screening so we could clear ourselves and go condom free. He was surprised by an H+ (type 2) result. I didn’t freak out, but he did. I told him we just needed information. Turns out that in discordant couples (one positive, one negative), without taking any precautions–such as condoms or suppressive medication–just avoiding sex during obvious outbreaks), the transmission rate is between 8.5 to 10% PER YEAR with an average of 2 sex acts per week. Add a correctly and consistently used condom, and you cut that rate in half–to 4-5% PER YEAR. Add suppressive meds and you cut that rate in half to 2% PER YEAR. This is the same rate as pregnancy risk with condoms, that people take ALL THE TIME. And it’s better than the HIV protection rates–which at their highest are 95% protection. Anytime you have sex with someone using a condom without an STD screening (and know that the screening won’t show recent infections–so even that isn’t perfect), you put yourself at all these risks. The only way to have no risk is to not have sex at all. And even with a “monogamous” “disease-free” partner–you’re assuming they’re not going to cheat–because, nobody in a committed relationship ever cheats, right?

        If a partner agrees to this low risk of transmission, and does end up infected, they will have a viral infection that is so benign that 90% of the time people don’t even realize they have it. So, a 5% chance of catching a disease that only causes noticeable symptoms in 10% of the people who contract it. And even then the symptoms aren’t usually severe. In most cases–by a country mile–it poses no serious health risks to anyone who contracts it.

        I have zero fear about continuing my relationship with my new partner as long as we continue to properly use condoms. And in some studies, couples who reported consistent and correct use of condoms had zero increase in transmission rates connected to each protected sex act (whereas every unprotected act came with significant increase in risk). I think people are highly irrational about HSV, and it’s mainly due to ignorance and prejudice and just the fact that many people are emotionally, rather than reasonably led. Fear is hard to overcome for some people–it simply controls them. They are OK taking this risk if it’s unknown to them–every time they have sex, even with a condom–but tell them their partner has HSV, and suddenly they’re not “willing to take that risk.” Newsflash, if you ever had sex with ANYONE with a condom that didn’t show you an STD screening after a few months of abstinence with any other partner–you DID agree to take the risk.

        1. Al

          Brilliant! You summed that up perfectly.


          “If you ever had sex with ANYONE with a condom that didn’t show you an STD screening after a few months of abstinence with any other partner—you DID agree to take the risk.”


          How many people do ALL of the above before they sleep with someone? Very, very few I’m sure!

        2. Marin

          What do you do about oral sex?

        3. Jules

          The one thing I’ve noticed is if you can find someone to accept you, that oral sex is out of the question for a woman.   They don’t have the problem put their penis inside of you   but they don’t want to give you oral sex. Yet they are ok with asking you to do it to them. Another question I have found to be equally annoying is the assumption that anal sex is safe. There are just a lot of uneducated people who even when you give them information to read are still not wanting to take the risk. And that’s their choice. But sadly people with “the gift” will be passed over by people who claim they do not have it

      3. 5.1.3

        That’s the response I got. …click!   Scared to tell the new guy but I know I have   to!   Scared to fall in love because of the possibility of rejection. But I am more than herpes.   It sucks when guys don’t see that.  

      4. 5.1.4

        Kate, I’m sorry you hadn’t heard back from him. I have to tell someone today, it’s always scary because you don’t know how they will react. And I got it from my cheating ex-husband. Hopefully he will be ok with it, I’ve only had to tell a few guys in the last 20 years I’ve had it, they were all ok with it.

  6. 6

    Well, I’ll tell you about one experience I had. I went out with this guy, things started to get hot & heavy, and he says “before we do this, I have to tell you something.” Let me say, I was GRATEFUL that he had said something, but it also was NOT the right moment! At that moment, it was a deal-breaker for me because I was not able to find out anything about it before I took that step with him.

    When I did do some research, I found out that it *can* be transmitted, even while properly medicated. The chances are slim, but still there. I decided I didn’t want to risk it, with him. The perfect guy out there for me may have herpes, and I may see things differently. But for now, and with that one particular guy, I’m not willing to risk it. That’s just my opinion.

    1. 6.1

      Yes, women tend to be complete cowards about the issue and run away at full speed.

      1. 6.1.1


        Yes, SOME of them do; but in fairness, so do SOME   men. Let’s not act like women have some monopoly on fear and ignorance…because they don’t. This is just a viral skin infection, for heaven’s sake. It’s not something any of us who don’t have it would WANT to contract; but let’s not make it a bigger deal than getting cold sores (yeah, you keep that forever too), because frankly, it isn’t. Incidentally, unless you’ve been tested for it, AND haven’t had sex with a new partner since, you can’t be sure YOU don’t have it, no matter which gender you are.

        Incidentally, you did know that any woman who has sex with a man runs the risk of contracting HPV (Human Papilloma Virus), right? That is something that has far more serious consequences for them (as in potentially, cervical cancer) than a nuisance skin rash. HPV can be and often is asymptomatic in males, and as of now, there’s no test for it in men, so for all you or I know, WE might be exposing every female partner we have to something far more consequential than HSV-2, even if we test negative for everything else.

        Moral of story: get tested! Ignorance is NOT bliss, anyone CAN have it and be asymptomatic, and the easiest way to give HSV-2 to your partner is to not know you have it in the first place. And if you do test positive, know that it’s not the end of the world; just inform any potential partners before you have sexual contact, and do your part to protect them; it’s not foolproof, but it beats doing nothing. Ignorance and unwarranted hysteria are far worse, and do a lot more real damage to both men and women, than HSV-2.

    2. 6.2

      Well, OK, but like HLT said above: “If you ever have sex with ANYONE (even) with a condom that doesn’t show you an STD screening after a few months of abstinence with any other partner—you DO agree to take the risk.”


      Keep that in mind for your future sexual decisions.

  7. 7

    I think the most critical phrase mentioned in this post is that of “staggering ignorace.” I am relatively symptom-free “carrier” of herpes and was unknowingly infected by my ex-husband, to whom I was married and faithful for 20 years. He was also unknowingly infected, because he was symptom-free when he met me. This was in the early 1970’s when not as much was known about herpes. If you didn’t have symptoms, you were told by vd clinics that you were not infected and therefore could not infect others.

    But I’m always amazed by what many people think herpes is, with some even thinking it’s a life-threatening, “flesh-eating” disease. Even more amazing is the hypocrisy — singles will have non-safe sex, trusting a new partner’s word on being HIV negative, and yet launch into a victimization freak-fest if they later find out their new partner may have herpes. This ignorance of facts makes the most rational people become very judgmental about the ethics, morals, and even hygene of those with herpes. It’s ridiculous, it’s demeaning, and I’m tired of it.

    I do disclose early on if I think the relationship has any potential in moving into sexual intimacy. I’m ready with accurate information but also advise that the man not take my word for it and that he gather independent information, on-line or through a doctor, if he feels at all ambivalent; however, be aware that there is contradicting and mis-information out there.

    I would like some clarity, though, on this issue of whether I can infect someone else if I am symptom-free and on medication. According to my own physician, if I plan to be sexually intimate, I should start medication; otherwise, I would take medication only if I am symptomatic. I have read differing opinions on this.

    And to Ron — who posted earlier — and anyone else who follows his line of indignant, self-righteous thinking: Get over yourself. Good luck trying to sue anyone for possibly spreading herpes symplex to you. And before you do, get yourself tested just in case (horror of horrors!) you, yourself are infected and unwittingly spreading it to others. The majority of people with herpes have no idea where they got it, and you can be pretty sure they didn’t choose to be infected.

    Fortunately, I have only had one negative reaction from a man I’ve disclosed to, but it was so extremely negative and shaming that it stopped me from dating for quite a while because I feared a similar reaction from the next guy I might get close to. But I’m heartened by what I read here, and I believe that if a man refuses to seek a relationship with me based on my disclosure of herpes, it’s certainly his right, but it’s also his loss, because judging anyone based solely on factors out of their control (like color of hair, height, ethnic background, etc.) is going to eliminate someone who may potentially be a very good partner for you. But if you do decide against an intimate relationship with someone you’ve met, based upon their having herpes, at least do as a result of having all the correct information and without condemning or being judgmental.

    Thanks to all who’ve shared their experiences.

    1. 7.1

      Antivirals do cut down on shedding to a very large degree, but they do not eliminate the risk of infecting someone completely. However, Condoms, avoiding contact during outbreaks and taking antivirals cuts the chances down to almost nil. I know three couples where one partner is infected and the other isn’t even after ten years together.

  8. 8

    You make a very good case for getting to know someone at least fairly well before being intimate with them. Conditions of any kind, sexual or otherwise, are more easily accepted with someone you’ve come to care for, rather than just barely know.

  9. 9

    I would have to agree with the guys ….herpes IS a big deal. This is information I would want to know by the third or fouth date…b/c if you’ve made it that far you probably have good chemistry and want to take it to the next level. Even if you can’t catch it when on medictaion you have to disclose it!

  10. 10


    there was nothing in my post that made a moralistic judgment about those who have herpes. Obviously, you are projecting onto others by calling me self-righteous.

    Perhaps you have some issues you are dealing with. If you want a self-righteous post, I’ll be happy to give you one. But that comment by me earlier was not self-righteous.

  11. 11

    What are the risks to a man who is performing oral sex on a woman? If the woman does not have a visible outbreak in the vagina, is it OK?

    1. 11.1

      There is a small risk, but there haven’t been any studies done, so there are no numbers/ stats on it. So we don’t know how possible it is compared to sex with a condom vs sex without a condom, etc. Just be aware, and use a dental dam is the safest option.

    2. 11.2

      Dental dams are generally prescribed to stop HSV-1 spread to genitals. In HSV-2, the instance of transmission orally is so rare we don’t even have reliable stats on it. In researching this, I found some clinics reporting patients presenting this in the single digits, and some doctors who called HSV-2 oral infection a myth. While I might not go as far as to agree it’s myth, HSV-2 is simply not well suited to oral transmission, and is nearly unheard of. And this goes for both ways–people with HSV-2 passing it to a partner orally or giving it to a partner through the H- partner performing oral sex. I mean, I’d avoid it during an outbreak–when a person is most contagious–but I’d avoid any sexual contact during that time. Still, it’s exceedingly rare to even see an HSV-2 oral infection at all. And in one study of college populations, they found no instances of it at all, even though oral sex was prevalent and both HSV-1 and 2 were in the population. Google “Lack of oral HSV-2 in a college student population.” And don’t take anecdotal stories as “evidence.” I have seen several online forums where people posted to claim they had HSV-2 oral infections, and when questioned or tested further, discovered it was type 1, not type-2–which makes FAR more sense. So, to answer your question, it’s theoretically possible (and RARE at best), but HIGHLY unlikely there would be an HSV-2 oral transmission.

    3. 11.3

      Well, let’s just say you need a LOT of friction to spread herpes. And oral sex does not meet the standard, at least in MY case. Not only has nobody contracted from performing oral on me, but in my own masturbation, which can include genital to mouth contact for lubrication, I have never gotten a canker sore. And I’ve had this ten years maybe. So….again, men are considered more potent transmitters because of their plumbing. I’d say it’s safe. I’d say it’s even safer with antivirals. I think oral sex with a dental dam is …well unrealistic. Again, just me. If you care for this person, let that be the deciding factor. Again, it’s just a skin infection. Responsible monitoring and abstinence can make the disease entirely manageable between even discordant partners.

  12. 12

    “He will not catch it since you take drugs ….” Evan can you confirm whether someone with herpes on medication CANNOT infect a partner? There seems to be some confusion over this, esp given that this is a public site.

    Also, does anyone know the ratio or men to women who contract herpes? I heard that women have more frequent outbreaks and/or have a greater chance of being infected than men because of our physiology but men are more frequently carriers. I know this is true with genital warts… not that this will change anything but I’m just curious.

    1. 12.1

      Actually, the medication helps to prevent another person from catching it, but it is not 100% and they could still get it, and anyone with Herpes should make your possible partner aware of this, too.

  13. 13

    For the great majority of people, Herpes is as big or as little a deal as you want to make it. Technically its a skin condition that often, but not always, is spread sexually. I found out that I was infected w/ type 1 & 2 herpes many years ago, no idea for how long because although I had taken batteries of STD tests several times over the years, these had not previously included the herpes test.
    Never had an outbreak, so for me its not a problem. Never had a lover reject me because of it either. And to my knowledge I’ve never infected anyone else either.
    To T and anyone else that wants to know what the risks are, what is the % chance you can catch it from a particular sex act, the truth is no one can tell you. I’ve gotten greatly different answers from different doctors (some have even told me that since I don’t have symptoms I don’t really have herpes, I’ve just been exposed to it, whatever that means), so even the experts aren’t clear on it. Any skin to skin contact with friction can potentially spread herpes; do a Google search for “Herpes Gladiatorum” if you are curious.
    For most people sex is important enough to take some risks; if you really care about the person you’d be a fool to let an annoying skin condition come between you.

    1. 13.1
      paula quinn

      This is the most balanced, truthful and realistic reply here.   Thanks..   Paulaq

  14. 14

    Great question. You are not alone. I also have genital HSVII. Since testing positive I have told 3 men. All 3 were fine with it. Despite my anxiety, the conversations took a few minutes. I found some advice on telling at the website http://www.racoon.com/herpes/. Evan got it right. It’s about your attitude while telling and about having accurate facts.

    Since others have asked, below is some basic herpes info. There is a lot of misinformation out there and many doctors are not up to date. (Bernie you have herpes—there is no such thing as being a “carrier”)

    There are 2 different viruses. HSV1 and HSV2. As Evan wrote 50-80% of the population has HSV1. HSV1 most commonly presents itself orally as a cold sore. It is possible to have HSV1 genitally.

    1 in 5 people have HSV2. 80% of those infected do NOT know!! When you ask your doctor for STD screening, you will NOT be checked for Herpes. This is because it’s so common the medical community has decided to not routinely screen. (if you want to be tested ask for a type specific herpes test- this tests for type 1 and 2)

    Transmission Summary:
    Female to male Transmission
    No condoms, No antiviral 4% chance of transmission.
    Condoms, no antiviral 2% chance of transmission
    Condoms + antiviral

    1. 14.1

      Such nonsense. Men don’t care, and women do… In general.

    2. 14.2

      I have disclosed to several men after receiving HSVII from my serious ex boyfriend 5 years ago.   None have had an issue with it.   I generally wait til the 3rd or 4th date because that is the point at which I will usually know if a man is even worthy of disclosure.

      I explain the statistics, and how my immune system is currently keeping the virus at bay without drugs, and that I know my “triggers” which may cause an outbreak (drinking too much alcohol over multiple days is the big one).   I explain that I would be happy to go on an antiviral drug (Valtrex) to reduce the risk of transmission, if our relationship moved to the physical level.

      There is a good website called the H Opportunity (Google it) which provides a forum for discussion and information on statistics, and support.

  15. 15


    Condoms + antiviral

  16. 16


    You ask a great question, one that I have dealt with myself. I am a 43-year-old woman that has had herpes for over 15 years. I *always* told my partners about my “gift that keeps on giving”. Evan is right… the bigger deal you make of it, the more likely you will freak out the person you are talking to.

    Most of my partners were very grateful to hear what they would be exposed to, and there were no adverse side effects. Only one man was hesitant – to the point of breaking it off with me – but he still thanked me for letting him know before we got physical.

    It all comes down to this… we both have a disease for which there is no cure. It isn’t an ideal situation, but it could be so much worse – and you are deifinitely not alone. Above all else, please know that it is your absolute responsibility to let potential partners know about your condition, and let them make that final choice without judgement.


  17. 17
    Kat Wilder

    When it comes to any kind of STD, you have to let a potential partner know. Period. He/she needs to have the right to decide what’s OK and what’s not for him/her (and any sexually active person should already know all about STDs and HIV so there are no “how do I handle this?” moments that’s just being smart and safe.)

    If it’s a deal-breaker, so be it.

    But this speaks to the bigger issue of getting to know someone before getting intimate. Sharing something as complicated as “I have herpes” involves a level of trust and honesty, and that takes time.

  18. 18

    Thank you to Jen, Evan, & all of the fellow herpes carriers who were brave enough to share their experiences and advice. I found out that I had herpes over a year & a half ago. I told my ex-boyfriend, who did not react well, but was also tested & did not have it. I have finally met someone who I like & need to tell, but it is not easy. After reading Jen’s letter & all the responses, I am prepared to tell this guy at our next date and not make such a big deal out of it. Thanks again & happy new year to all of you!

  19. 19

    I have had herpes for over 20 years. My ex-husband transmitted it to me early in our marriage. He was unaware he had it. As noted above, the most reliable information does not come from the medical community who I have found to not be up to date.

    For those of you who were confused about the “antiviral”, there is an antiviral gel that has been developed for use with a condom and can protect areas not covered by a condom for both men and women. Please see the following website:

    This can also protect against other STD’s not just herpes. Also, herpes can be transmitted even when on appropriate medication.

  20. 20

    Telling is what you make it. I’ve had this over 25 years and always had a positive results.

    Herpes is NOT part of the standard STD tests…Many that have it don’t realize they have it. The idea of suing is ridiculous as one would need to PROVE they never had sex with anyone else and show for a fact they did not have it. Herpes can lay dormant for years.

    To me it is NOT a big deal and only a minor irritation. It is INCORRECT to say there is NO chance of spreading it while on anti-virals. There is ALWAYS the risk.

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