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

If I Have Herpes, How Can I Tell the New Guy I'm Dating?

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. 91

    I was raped four years ago and contracted herpes type 1. Since then I have been married…I told him while we were still dating and way before we were sexually active. Later on in our marriage he began an affair with my so called best friend and told me he didn’t love me anymore. Now, I am not divorced from him yet but we are separated and I have begun a relationship with a great guy…right now we only talk and things like that…we talk seriously about having a future together…(we knew eachother before me and Chris were married…we know eachother well or we wouldn’t be talking marriage so soon…and won’t be getting married soon lol). He is a virgin…saving himself for marriage, as I had planned on as well….he knows that I was raped but I have never mentioned having herpes…and I am scared to. I am terrified to. I pray that telling him is not what brings him to a final decision. It’s already hard on him and me both that I have been married before and did not save myself for him. But we’ve decided we can get around that fact. But what if when I tell him I have herpes he turns away from me…even though I contracted it from a guy that raped me. How do I deal with this?!

  2. 92
    Karl R

    Sarah said: (#91)
    “what if when I tell him I have herpes he turns away from me even though I contracted it from a guy that raped me.”

    Then you know he’s an insensitive and uncompassionate bastard.

    “How do I deal with this?!”
    Explain the situation to him. HSV-1 is the type that causes cold sores. It can be transmitted by kissing. The vast majority of the population has it.

    So you explain the situation to him in as factual of a manner as you can.

    “It’s already hard on him and me both that I have been married before and did not save myself for him.”

    This raises all sorts of red flags for me. I can understand religious beliefs that state that you should save yourself for marriage. You did that (not counting circumstances outside your control).

    It seems extremely narcissistic if he has an issue with you not being a virgin for him. If that is the case, it seems like he is more focused on himself than you.

  3. 93

    It’s already hard on him and me both that I have been married before and did not save myself for him.
    Not too hard, otherwise he would not be with you.
    HSV-1 is the type that causes cold sores. It can be transmitted by kissing.
    So abstinence is not effective against preventing herpes.

  4. 94
    Anon Male

    I have had herpes for about 2.5 years now and cannot bring myself to tell anyone about it. I feel ashamed and scared at the thought of not being able to tell my girlfriend, who loves me wholeheartedly. I think I could have passed it on to her too. Emotionally I have become trapped. I’m torn between the two sides of good and evil. My future really does seem limited now, and I do not think I could ever sum up the courage to tell anyone. I thought I could carry on just sleeping around, protected of course, but soon realized that the need to be loved cannot be erased.

    When I first found out I had genital herpes I was thrown into complete disarray. I could not cope with all the stress it had suddenly brought me, and I ended up losing the job I loved as the signs of stress grew ever more visible. My boss at the time knew there was something bothering me and began probing me. I wanted to tell him, as things said would have been held confidentially, but I could not. The thought of my boss knowing this personal, shameful, embarrassing truth about me simply ate me up inside, and although he said everything would be confidential, how could I believe him? Thus he concluded I was just an unreliable employee and subsequently I was sacked.

    Since then I have coped relatively okay and am working again. The problem for me is that I am a good looking guy who attracts a lot of girls on a regular basis. There was a time when I felt I’d been blessed, but now with this condition it is hard to feel that way. The more attention from girls I receive, the more I am reminded of my fated truth and the more I feel a sense of loneliness. Until now I have not faced up properly to this condition, but i hope in the near future I can even more.

    I don’t want to be lonely and I don’t want to give this virus to anybody either. With that said, I do not know what life entails for me. I don’t think I can truly be happy anymore. Sometimes I think of retreating to the Lord for help but am afraid I will not get the solution to the problem I am looking for, thus taking away the little faith in God that I have left…

    1. 94.1

      If your girlfriend loves you wholeheartedly then why does it matter that other girls find you oh, so attractive? You’re lucky to have one who loves you. The fact that you are oddly focused on your attractiveness to other women and that you didn’t inform your current GF smells suspiciously like Narcissism to me. Just sayin.


      You should buck up, be a man, and tell the woman. Why do men find it so hard to be straight forward and honest? When did men become such cowards?

  5. 95
    Tired of This

    Anon: yes, you should tell your girlfriend. Now. And she has a right to be pissed off and hurt because you didn’t tell her sooner but rather chose to expose her to H without her consent.

    BUT (and this is a big but!) Herpes is NOT a death sentence; it is not even a serious medical condition in the vast majority of people who have it. It is basically a glorified skin rash and I wish people would stop blowing it out of proportion. Also, genital herpes is no worse than oral herpes, but many in the Western world make it out to be simply because of outdated puritanical sexual mores that view anything “genital” as bad.

    If you tell someone you have it and they don’t want to take the mild chance of contracting a skin rash while sleeping with you, they are doing you a favor. You deserve to be with people who value everything you have to offer and who don’t view all that as outweighed by a freaking rash!

    The brits tend to view this more rationally than the yanks: http://www.herpes.org.uk/

  6. 96

    Virgins can get herpes.

  7. 97

    My experience as a person who does not have Herpes but who went on two dates with a person who has Herpes, he, from date one, was pushing the physical attraction. At date two, he was talking all about the kind of sex he liked. He did extend me the courtesy of telling me he had Herpes and this was because he felt we might have sex soon. He really could have cared less about me, it was more about him wanting to do it. So he attempted to sell the idea of the great sex we would be having and when he thought he had me almost where he wanted me, he informed me he had Herpes. To me this is unethical and scary. After I rejected him, he was kind enough to tell me in very vulgar terms what he feels is wrong with my physical appearance. My opinion, tell the person from the very beginning.

  8. 98

    Janey, nothing he did sounds “unethical”. He told you he had Herpes prior to becoming sexually involved. That is ethical. You weren’t interested in having sex with him, you thought he was creepy, fine. But he did his duty by you in telling you. In fact, while you are slamming him, you should take a moment and give him *credit* for honorably telling you.
    Also think about the people you have dated that you didn’t end up wanting to sleep with, and in fact ended up being repelled by. I’m sure they had some characteristics that stand out in your mind. Maybe one was very tall, or had freckles, or was pursuing a law degree. That doesn’t mean that those characteristics *caused* those people to act in ways that you found unappealing. Neither did your date’s having Herpes *cause* him to treat you the way he did. There’s really no relationship at all between the behavior you didn’t like and his having Herpes. Plenty of people who have it do not move as fast as he does. Plenty of people who have it look at their potential sexual partner as a full human being rather than just a sexual outlet. Please do not erroneously connect the fact that he had Herpes with the way he treated you. Things are hard enough with people who have H as it is without additional unwarranted bad press. Don’t become prejudiced! that would be your flaw, not his.

  9. 99
    Karl R

    Janey said: (#97)
    “when he thought he had me almost where he wanted me, he informed me he had Herpes. To me this is unethical and scary. […] My opinion, tell the person from the very beginning.”

    Let’s imagine for a moment that you had herpes (perhaps you caught it from someone who didn’t tell you at all .. or didn’t even know they had it.)

    There are people that you don’t want to know that you have herpes: coworkers, family members, people at your church. You are ethically obligated to tell anyone who might run the risk of catching it from you, however.

    The more people you tell about your STD, the more people who could potentially blab it to your coworkers, your family, etc.

    Are you going to put the information in your Match.com profile? Of course not. You have no idea who might be reading it. Are you going to tell someone on the first date? Why would you? 90% of the first dates go nowhere.

    The logical decision is to wait until there’s a chance that the relationship might go somewhere / get physical. That’s what Janey’s date did.

    “After I rejected him, he was kind enough to tell me in very vulgar terms what he feels is wrong with my physical appearance.”

    He shouldn’t have insulted you.

    On the other hand, I have no idea what you said when you rejected him. He may have been reacting to the manner in which he had been rejected. Even if you did insult him, he still shouldn’t have insulted you … but few people will remain polite under those circumstances.

  10. 100

    I’ve had genital herpes for over 16 years! I contracted it through oral from a girl I was on and off with through my early teen years.
    Seriously not a big deal, and reading through this thread I’ve larfed at the overreactions some folk have!
    Eczema is a bigger pain in the arse!(not that I have it! I would honestly not date someone with a skin condition like that..:P)
    In short, if you understand the full implications and are aware how and when it can be spread and take the proper steps to informing potential partners, your life won’t end.

    Peace out kids.

    1. 100.1

      I have HSV2 and Psoriasis. The Psoriasis is, by far, the bigger nuisance.

  11. 101

    Hello all, I have had herpes since I was 20. (I’m 24 almost 25 now) The man that gave it to me didnt inform me before and convinced me to have sex without a condom because it “feels better”. After three months of dating I finally decided it was the right time to lose my virginity to him. I thought I was in love with him and the whole nine yards. About three months into my sexual life I got my first outbreak. I was heartboken and my world just crumbled aroud me. I told my two best friends and my mother! And of course the guy who I got it from and he denied knowing anything…anyway, I have been dealing and living with this since then and really havent had any problems with it. I have only had the one really bad initial break out so i consider myself one of the lucky ones!

    Then reason I am writing today is that I recently told the man I have fallen in love with that I have herpes. I was s terrified that for sure he would say ok I dont want to deal with this and that would be the end of that!
    I read a post of your on how to tell someone you have herpes, and I followed your recommendations to a “t”.

    IT WORKED! I sat him down in a non sexual atmosphere, before anything sexual happend…I told him very casually “like it was no big deal” and he just looked at me and said dont worry im not going anywhere…I feel like the luckiest woman on the planet and and so thankful that I read your page before this happend. Made me feel very confident and reassured that it would all be ok! IF THERE THE RIGHT PERSON…THEY WILL MAKE IT WORK AND LOVE YOU FOR YOU! To anyone who has yet to tell the person there inteested in I suggest wait untill you know they are in it for you and actually have feelings for you! choose your partners carefully and respect yourself….nothing is wrong with you and I am leading normal and healthy life and now after crossing this milestone…I have never been more in love then I am today and I hope to continue falling in love everyday from here on out!


  12. 102


    My advise to you is think of your reaction when you started to date that man who had it that you where wit for 2 years. im sory you didnt get out without the simplex however you understood and cared for this man for a long time. why wouldnt someone do the same thing for you….please remember that herpes is soooo common and the people who say terrible things about anyone who has it are just insecure bullies…an dont listen to anyones BS! Oh and there ignorant! keep you head up and stay positive and confident and you will DRAW the right one too you! thats what i did! Good Luck!

  13. 103

    I have had herpes for 18 years now ,I am 32 and married twice with two children. I have told every single person I have ever had sex with and no one ever seem to mind. Now I am getting a divorce and I will eventually have to tell someone again. Except know since I have been with the same person for 8 years and starting fresh I don’t really know how to break the news anymore. So I just don’t date and im getting pretty lonely,so I would like to thank all of you for helping me with your comments and now I feel that I am ready to give it another shot. Thank You, Sandy M.

  14. 104

    i was just diagnosed with hsv2. i dont know how long i’ve had it or who i got it from. i dont think i’ve even had an outbreak. i always got tested for std’s but i guess this was never included. i actually asked for the herpes test this time. how is this gonna effect me? is it bad not to have outbreaks? does this mean i am going to get worse outbreaks later on? does this affect the rest of my health?
    i am dating a guy, we live together, how do i tell him? Can i still have children? will it affect them? is there anyway to tell how long i’ve actually had the disease?

    1. 104.1

      OK. First off, you are exactly the same person you were before you took that test. Nothing has changed except that you now have some information you didn’t before. Secondly, absolutely, you can still have children. If you are in an active outbreak at the time of the birth they will opt to do a c-section to protect the baby. Easy Peasy. Third, you live with this man so he obviously cares for you. Besides, how do you know HE didn’t give it to YOU? It could have come from either direction so there’s no need to freak out.

  15. 105

    Hey everyone,
    This website has made me feel a little better.
    I was diagnosed at 25 after I had been dating the same guy for a year (long-distance). I knew he had cold sores and didn’t really know much about them, other than the fact that I shouldn’t kiss him with one.
    Before we became intimate, I asked him to get tested. He did, and we didn’t use protection. (He was the first person I had ever not used protection with.) About a year into the relationship, we’re on vacation and I start to get a terrible itch down there and I knew something was up. The first doctor said it was just a UTI, but the second doctor saw a tiny dot and decided to take a culture and test for herpes. I freaked!
    About 5 weeks later she called me in to her office, and told me I had HSV II. My world as I had known it seemed to come crashing down. For months and months I cried about it and didn’t want to really tell anyone but, since the boy was long-distance, I needed to tell my closest girlfriends. They helped me through so much and I don’t know what I would have done without them.
    Even though he and I are still together (I am 26 and he is 29) how am I to know if this is going to last? It turned out that he had HSV II as well (he went and got tested) so now we are both in the same boat. I’m taking tons of olive leaf extract (stops viral replication) and trying to be as healthy as possible, and so far I’ve only had on little dot since then…and what I have to tell people that don’t have it is that this is much more a psychological disease for most of us, than a physical one. It’s the fact that media has made this thing out to be so much more than what it really is. And what really makes me mad are the people with cold sores who refuse to believe that they could transmit this. My bf could have had HSV II on his mouth (rare but poss) and given it to me. Why do we stigmatize this thing in one area and not the other? Herpes is herpes, people. The stats are 1/4 women has it, and 1/5 has it. That means you’ve probably come into contact with someone who has it.
    Don’t you think that if it was life-threatening or even serious, it would be included in STD screenings?
    Still working on my loss of self-esteem from this. Please someone tell me the psychological aspect of it goes away with time!

  16. 106

    Also- about having children. Think about it- 25-30% of women have this, but only about 2-3% of them know they have it. Neonatal herpes is extremely rare, and those women with known cases of herpes before they get pregnant are 0.01% likely to pass it on to their offspring. Considering all the other mishaps that can happen during pregnancy, I think that’s pretty rare. If you know you have it, you can #1 : take precautions (eating right, taking acyclovir during the last trimester) and #2 – your body will produce antibodies that protect the baby. The problem occurs when you get herpes for the first time during your pregnancy- a lot of women don’t realize what they have is herpes and unknowingly, have a vaginal birth and in turn can pass the herpes onto the baby.

  17. 107

    This forum is very interesting to me. I am happy that I stumbled upon it. I am 22 years old, and I found out about 9 months ago that I have genital herpes. I initially thought it was because I had cut myself while shaving… I know, you may be thinking “huh?” lol, well it’s true. I actually went to two different emergency rooms, because I could barely walk. The first doctor I went to told me it was an infected liason from me shaving, and wrote me a topical prescribtion for it. IT MADE IT WORSE. When I went to the second hospital, the doctor examined me and immediately told me it was genital herpes. I had never had any STD, and catching one has always been my biggest fear. I was in a relationship for 2 years with my -ex and we decided to have unprotected sex to take it to the next level which was the turning moment in my life.

    Since I have learned of my infection, I had not been in a relationship until recently. I am so in love with this man, but I have no idea how I am going to tell him. We have been discussing marriage and children. We have not been sexually active in any form, but it is something that I know he is growing impatient with. I am afraid to have sex because I am afraid to infect him, or anyone else. I have had an outbreak ecery month and I am on suppressive therapy (Valtrex). My immune system has always been weak, and if my research is correct, it is almost impossible for me to NOT spread the virus.

    Please someone help me. What else can I do to make the outbreaks occur less frequently? How do I tell the man that I love that I am infected with an incurable disease?

  18. 108
    AZ L

    Robyn and all. This has been an informative read. there are Lots of moral issues in dealing with spreading diseases. Most people, to
    my knowledge, have discomfort with genital herpes and is an inconvienance which is dealt with through medication which is fairly effective symptom suppression. But some people are sensitive to medications and cannot take them. In honesty, it’s not always easy or convienient to be open and honest. I unknowingly gave my ex herpes. I was suspicious but was in denial. I have perfect health otherwise. She forgave me which was great since we were both deeply in love. It made little differance to her at the time, but she could not take medication for it and I am sure she is upset with me for it. We no longer speak although because of our desire to get back together not out of anger. It didn’t work so we avoid the hardships and don’t speak. But I often wonder how that effects her now. Now I have found some one else I want to be serious with, I will reveal this imperfection. I hope that she has it too so I don’t go through the moral Delima again. Love is irresistible, I hope, that my honesty will be rewarded. Not scorned.
    AZ L.

  19. 109

    Hi All
    Wow what a lively discussion. I think it is safe to say there will always be judgemental people , people that need to put others down and always be right and make others feel small or stupid for their apparent “disabilities” or “differences” – it doesn’t matter what they say what matters is how you respond. Most of the time these people want a reaction from you don’t give it to them.
    I discovered recently after a period of terrible stress during which my mother was dying of lung cancer and I was looking after her that i had herpes II – I have not had sex with anyone for 18mths and at this stage have no idea who I have contracted it from. I have been in two long term relationhsips in the last 12 years. I too cried and cried when i first found out and it affected me terribly mentally and emotionally which resulted in 3 consecutive outbreaks over 4mths. It has been terrible. But I have vowed to be honest because I agree you need to be honest and I have told the man I am dating ( for only 3mths and then we have had 3mths apart because of my mum being ill and dying) and he has been great. It is true that someone who loves you will not care about this. Love really is the answer here and also to love yourself through this. You can get through it surrounded by people you love and just know that people will always have some crazy awful attitudes about it – you just have to find a way for your own sanity to rise above that and see it as what it is – a virus that Yes can cause some painful skin condition but nothing is the end of the world. To see what my mum went through as she was dying really gave me some perspective on this. Honesty will be rewarded with love and love is what we are – people that act out as something else will ultimately hurt themselves rather than you and do you know what if someone wanted to sue me or something equally ridiculous I would let them and just know that as spiritual beings we are all perfect and nothing can really hurt us unless we allow it to – their own selfish need to pump up their ego will ultimately destroy them and their chance of happiness. Just continue to BE the love and peace you want to see in the world and you will be just fine.
    ps it is possible that LED light therapy can also help breakouts and may seriiuosly reduce the psosibility of future breakouts – the blue light mayb reduce the virus and the red will promote healing – i have the omnilux hand held light.

  20. 110

    well yes. people who do love you will not dump you because of this. but if you are single then it is quite a problem to get a person YOU like to fall in love with you. and even if you date someone who loves you, there would be questions where did you get this std, or if you havent cheated on this person i bet he would like to know why did you hid this from him this way putting him at risk.

  21. 111

    There is one more thing i would like to add. It is only right to tell a new person that you have just met about your herpes problem on the FIRST date before this person makes any big expectations and especially before you both make any physical contact, because you are putting him at risk. But then again who speaks of stds and his own genitals (infected with a nasty contagious disease, in fact) on the first date? if you do not want to be a jerk who deliberately spreads diseases you have to be a nasty (honest though) creep and hope that there is someone who is desperate enough to go on with a complete stranger who enjoys sharing descriptions of his infectious genitals to a date. Yes it sounds awful but you know it is true. If a girl that gave me this disease would have told me this when i first met her, i would not have it in the first place.
    Also I get annoyed of this “he will respect me for who i am, and i am worth it” talk. not every person on the world is that great that contracting incurable diseases just to hang out for a while is totally worth it. Also you should consider the other person also as good as yourself, and this means he can and deserves to be with someone who is great (as you are i suppose) and also healthy.
    All in all, i want to say that people being dishonest and me being honest has made me a terribly lonely person and i am not going let anyone close to me as long as this person doesnt know my herpes statuss. also, i will not date everyone who is ready to date me if i do not like them. that is just low. So please, for healthy humankind sake, get tested regulary and if you are infected-please inform anyone whi might be at risk.

  22. 112
    Karl R

    ewan said: (#111)
    “It is only right to tell a new person that you have just met about your herpes problem on the FIRST date before this person makes any big expectations and especially before you both make any physical contact, because you are putting him at risk.”

    I agree that the person with an STD needs to communicate this before there is physical contact which puts the other person at risk. I disagree that this discussion needs to occur on the first date, or before the other person makes any big expectations. (How is the other person supposed to know if/when you are forming big expectations?)

    I had a girlfriend who had Hepatitis C (which can be communicated as an STD). She told me about it when it appeared likely that we would become physically intimate. That was sufficiently early to allow me to investigate what my risk was, and how best to minimize my risk.

    For this woman, very few of her relationships went past a few casual dates. Most began and ended without her ever needing to tell the man that she had an STD. If she told every guy on the first date, she would unnecessarily be sharing embarrassing private information (often to men she didn’t know well enough to know whether they could keep a confidence).

    ewan said: (#111)
    “If a girl that gave me this disease would have told me this when i first met her, i would not have it in the first place.”

    I’m a little confused.

    Are you saying that she told you after you started dating her, but before you had sex with her? If that was the case, did you make an informed decision to accept the risk of having sex with her, despite the possible consequences? And if that is the case, are you suggesting that it’s her fault that she didn’t tell you on your first date (when it would have been easier to dump her) instead of waiting until there was a greater degree of emotional involvement?

    If that’s the case, you’re blaming her for a decision that you made.

    If she told you that she had HSV 2 before you were physically intimate, then she did the ethical thing.

  23. 113

    “Are you saying that she told you after you started dating her, but before you had sex with her?”
    I did not want to confuse you. I knew this girl just a little, i did not date her (did not intend to do it either), just had two intimate evenings.
    the problem is that people look up sites like this and read that herpes is not a big deal. so they forget about it, and when it comes to having sex or kiss with someone they do not feel the need to inform the other person, they just think “it probably gonna be fine, so many people have it so it is nothing special”. i know a few people who have had herpes and they have dated my other friends etc and as far as i know none of them have been informed. but when they see that their partner (who had herpes) have an outbreak they do not mind much. and not because they are ok with it but because they do not know anything about herpes. most of them thought that herpes cures all by themselves and never returns, many thought that herpes are not an infection (they thought it is just a cracked lip or a pimple on the lip). when i revealed the facts to some of my friends they all got afraid to kiss a girl at a party and even to share a glass with someone.
    so i disagree with people here saying that educated people will accept this. people who accept someone elses herpes just do not know the facts.
    “I disagree that this discussion needs to occur on the first date, or before the other person makes any big expectations. (How is the other person supposed to know if/when you are forming big expectations?)”
    Well hypothetically the difference between hiv and herpes in this situation is non existent. why should someone be wasting his time with someone who has something that might make him not want to proceed this relationship. perhaps the person is not affected by this information, maybe he is, but he deserves to know it and make this decision asap. if infected people deserve a chance then what makes you think a healthy person does not deserve to know that he is involving in to something hazardous and unreversable.  it is his health, his life, his precious time and his choice. respect that first, and THEN wait others to respect you, because he is the one who is at risk not you.only thing you loose is another could-have-been relationship which most probably would have ended at some point anyway.

  24. 114

    As I understand them, the facts are:
    1) Sores or no sores, you can transmit herpes at any time, once you get it;
    2) Each time a non-infected person has sex, they double their risk (if it’s a 1% chance, and they have sex with an infected partner twice, then they have a 2% chance of getting it — if they have sex with an infected partner 100 times, it is closer to a likelihood of 100% — basic statistics);
    3) There is no cure;
    4) The symptoms vary from mild to severe;
    5) Get it, you have it for life;
    6) You then become the person who has to disclose.
    7) The big risk is pregnancy/birth, which can be handled by Caesarean section.
    Herpes can be no more outrageous than a cold sore, and is often not much more than that.  So usually the problem is NOT the medical condition, though that is real.  It’s the social stigma, which is also real.  If you have sex with someone who has it, then you run the risk of getting it yourself.  When you get it, you spend the rest of your life on blogs like this one trying to rationalize the terrible feelings of rejection that you feel, Valtrex commercials or not.  Now I can see taking the risk and even getting the disease from a partner you plan to spend the rest of your life with, if that infected oerson is able to step up to the plate in a committed long term relationship and you are too.  But I find it hard to understand why anyone looking for casual sex, or even anyone in a vulnerable, short term, or even starting relationship — why such people would be willing to walk away with a lifelong stigma just to have a short term affair.  Of course I don’t know the actual infection risks, but I can guess the future rejection risk — my guess is that 70% of people will refuse to have sex with a new partner who discloses herpes, if they fully understand the condition, the social stigma, and the fact that it is contagious at all times.  I wish it were not the case, and I would love to be corrected in what I write.  So this is not a small deal. Medically the effects may be small, socially the effects are enormous.  Really we’re talking about becoming a sexual outcast, or a sexual castaway.  If it has happened to you and you can carry on a sex life, kudos.  You are extremely good looking, extremely charming, or a wonderful wonderful person.

  25. 115

    I really just wanted to express my experience.  I’ve learned so much and seen many different opinions just from reading these posts… thank you all. 

    I’ve been at a loss here… trying to figure out how people in the “real” world handled this.  I’ve learned that everyone has a different way.  Some tell right away, some wait ’till about the 3-4th date, and others wait ’till there’s an emotional connection.  We’re all right… we know what’s right for ourselves, but I really needed to see what everyone else did too. 

    I get so pissed off and wish I could sue, but then would have to have gotten a previous test and go through court, etc…  I rarely even go out anymore, but I was stupid one night, went out ’cause my daughter was having a sleep over, my tolerance was WAY too low so I chose to trust someone on that night and believe he really liked me and wanted to date…  I hadn’t been with anyone for 4 years and before that, only 2 in the 6 years before that.  I know where this came from, who, and when (June 24th, 2009).  I just didn’t/don’t have the energy and time to deal with revenge, court, humiliation, etc…  I live in a VERY small town too.

    After a year I tried to move on and take what good I can get from it.  I now am trying to connect first…emotionally.  THis is something I should have been doing anyway, so it’s a good thing.  In June 2010 I was set up with a friend of a friend.  He was in Iraq when I began talking to him, but that didn’t stop us from talking every day on IM and a couple phone calls too.  He was very proactive about starting a relationship UNTIL… I wanted to give him the choice I didn’t get.  Now it’s fine and I respect that someone wouldn’t want to risk getting it.  I would have told that guy “no” if I’d known.  He just slipped away to a distance that’s not gone, but not there… he won’t just say that he doesn’t want to risk it.  Coward! 

    So, if someone tells you they have it, please be kind enough to reciprocate the honesty.  I’m all hung up.  He said it didn’t scare him away and that he was OK with it, but his actions don’t say that at all.  I’m so upset and it just makes me feel worse.  I am a decent looking girl, but feel like an Ogre (sp?) lol

    Thanks again for all the info… super helpful.

  26. 116

    Please remember the statistics! 1 in 5 people have this. 1 in 5…. stand in a room with 20 people and 4 of them will have it!

    This is so very common. If you don’t have it you know someone who does have, or many people who have it.

    I caught GHSV1 through oral sex. The guy did not tell me he suffered from cold sores. You are NEVER safe from catching this. Society needs to remember the facts… 1 in 5 people! A number of your friends would have it! its just not something we openly disclose. Yes it is embarassing and humiliating when you are first diagnosed… but rememeber (i say it again) 1 in 5 people have HERPES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    When i was first diagnosed i told one of my best friends and it turned out EXACTLY the same thing happened to her!

    For those who do not currently have it… each time you have sex (or oral for that matter) you come closer and closer to probably getting infected. This is just the danger of being sexually active. It is your decision who you chose to be sexually active with, but do not treat this virus like it is a death sentence. 1 in 5 people are walking around with it and you could never tell! hey… it may be you that has it but you are yet to be diagnosed!

    1. 116.1

      Well, actually, with HSV1 it’s closer to 8 out of every 10 people infected as the CDC estimates it’s 80% of the population. HSV2 is the one that’s one in five.

  27. 117
    Karl R

    Shell said: (#116)
    “Please remember the statistics! 1 in 5 people have this.”

    You might want to check your statistics. Approximately 1 in 5 adults have HSV-2 (genital herpes), though only 1/3 show symptoms.

    For HSV-1 (cold sores), about 50% of teens and young adults have it, about 80% to 90% of middle-aged adults test positive for exposure. Again, only 1/3 show symptoms.


    I haven’t heard of anyone having their dating cramped by HSV-1.

  28. 118

    I am 18 and lost my virginity to my ex-girlfriend of 2 years who gave me herpes….what a fucking joke
    so heres my expression. I used to think my life was ruined but its totally not. Matter of fact I am thankful that I have herpes…what a better person it has made me…In every single way, careing, being thoughtfull, appreciateing the little things…
    Common people, dont let it bring you down…Sure girls have turned me away because of it…good for them, I probably would have done the same.
    Some will, some wont, so what?
    God has given you this life. Make the most of it, and live everyday as if it were your last because you know what?
    Your beautiful.

  29. 119


    You have a really good attitude Dan, that will take you a very far way in life!

  30. 120
    Kurt S.

    I think that a girl with herpes or any other STD needs to let the guy know right away.  Some guys might not care, but some definitely will care.  If you make a guy spend money and effort taking you out on a few dates and then tell him that you have herpes, that seems to be deceitful.

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