Dating Someone with Herpes

If you’ve found yourself dating someone with herpes then you probably have many questions lingering from the conversation.

Two of the most common questions are:

  • What are the chances that you will contract herpes? And
  • How to reduce the chance of getting herpes?

There are many facts about herpes transmission rates and many different ways to reduce the chances of contracting the virus but remember that everybody is different and the virus affects nearly everyone in a unique way.  However, before deciding if you would date someone with herpes there are several variables that you should consider…

How long has your friend had herpes? Often the longer a person has herpes the less frequent and less severe their outbreaks will be. Also, it’s been proven that viral shedding is drastically reduced after the first year after becoming infected.

Does your friend take anti-viral herpes medications such as Valtrex for suppressive therapy? The FDA has approved Valtrex as a medication for reducing viral shedding and dramatically reducing the transmission rates of herpes.

What type of herpes does your friend have?  Does she have HSV-1 or HSV-2?   This is important to know because often a person who has HSV-1 (Oral Herpes or Fever Blisters) on their genitals or genital region, will not experience as many outbreaks as a person with HSV-2 or genital herpes.

How Did Your Partner Get Herpes?

If you have been dating your friend for a significant amount of time and have just found out that they have herpes you may have suspected that they were unfaithful in your relationship.   On the surface it may appear that was the case but it does not necessarily mean that they have been unfaithful.

The reason is that as many as 90% of the people who have herpes show no signs or symptoms of herpes.  This may seem difficult to realize but for a lot of people the signs and symptoms are so mild that they are often overlooked or dismissed as another condition.   It could be they may have become infected years before meeting you. It is also possible that the virus remained hidden in their body and this was the first time that it has caused any symptoms.

 Could You Have Given Her Herpes?

Another thing to consider is that your friend may have caught the herpes simplex virus from YOU!  That’s right!  The herpes simplex virus affects everybody differently and you may have been one of the 90% that had the virus and didn’t know it until it was unknowingly passed on to your partner. The virus may have been totally invisible to you but caused severe blistering in your friend.

Dating Someone With Herpes Tips

The herpes stigma is very powerful in today’s society and it has probably taken your friend a great deal of courage to discuss this very personal and sensitive subject with you. This should show you that your friend has a great deal of integrity. Integrity is the foundation of a truly meaningful relationship.

Here are some simple tips for dating someone with herpes:

  • Get tested for herpes before you become sexually active with your friend. Remember that a typical STD testing panel does not include a herpes test. You will have to specifically ask for a herpes panel test.
  • Know the risks, the herpes transmission rates and protect yourself by wearing condoms, refrain from having sex during active herpes outbreaks and begin an anti-viral drug suppressive therapy.
  • Don’t treat your friend differently just because she has herpes. She knows that she has herpes and the last thing that your friend needs is to be treated as though she is infected with an incurable disease.
  • Don’t place demands on your friend that you wouldn’t normally place on someone else. If you are going to demand that she wears a rubber suit before touching you, then it’s best that you move on.

Once you accept the risk of being sexually active with her don’t place all of the responsibility on her shoulders to protect you. This burden is just too much for anyone to carry. She is probably very hyper-sensitive to any abnormal itch, pimple, or ingrown hair and will abstain from sex to protect you.

Above all….if you don’t want to assume the risk then stop dating someone with herpes.

Final Thoughts on Herpes Dating and Dating Someone With Herpes

The risk of becoming infected with the herpes simplex virus is relatively high when dating. With as many as 90% of the 50 million people in the United States not knowing that they have herpes and the ability to transmit it, you are probably at a much lesser risk of contracting it from someone who is already living with herpes, recognizes their symptoms and manages their outbreaks effectively.

I’d strongly recommend that you never stop dating someone with herpes or break off a relationship based solely on a herpes infection especially if you think you’ve found that 1 in 100 exceptional person.

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