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Handle This: He Has Herpes

After almost six months of trying to get your crush's attention, he finally seems to be returning the sentiment. You’re overjoyed when he asks you out. You feel like the date goes exceedingly well, but afterwards you don’t hear from him for a week. You decide to call him and make the next move. He responds positively to your request for another date, but after another perfect night together, he starts acting strange. At your door he won’t kiss you and he tries to hurry away.

You decide to confront him about the way he’s acting. He looks down as he tells you that he has herpes, and he hasn’t kissed anyone since he was diagnosed. He didn’t know when was an appropriate time to say anything so he's been feeling really awkward. Now that the cat's out of the bag, he wants to know what you’re thinking. How would you handle this?


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Natalie-Love Natalie-Love 8 years
My boyfriend gets cold sores, so that's type I. I can handle that, and I don't kiss him when he gets them, as I don't have the virus, and hope to never get it! Now type II (genitalia) sounds even less pleasant, and I really wouldn't like that. If I'm not even inlove yet, I wouldn't risk my health for this man. I barely even know him...
Janine22 Janine22 8 years
I would respect the man for his honesty and integrity. Several of my friends have dated men with herpes and NEVER got it, because the men took precautions (medication) and used condoms and didn't have sex when they felt an outbreak. They both dated these men for years by the way. One of my friends got herpes from a man who never even knew he had it and they HAD used a condom but she still go it. So, all of those women who say that they would turn this man down: 25% of the population has genital herpes. Many of those people who have it do not even know they have it, and may be passing it along without even knowing it. In all honesty, you would probably be less likely to get it from being in a monogamous relationship with a man who knows he has it and is responsible than from a string of affairs or casual sexual relationships. And NO, condoms do not protect you from herpes entirely. It is skin to skin contact, and the condom does not cover all of his skin. If I were dating this man, I would be pleased that he had the courage to be honest. That says a lot about a person's character and shows he is responsible and cares about your health, as well as being responsible with his own health.
kedawen kedawen 9 years
I know this is a pretty old post, but I was looking through the archives and felt compelled to comment. Up until last week I would have probably been in the "Thanks for your honesty, see you around" camp. I would like to think that maybe I would have given it some time, to get to know him and see if it was worth the risk. But everything changes when the situation is reversed. It's hard not to get upset, thinking about the general reaction to this sort of thing. And how hard it would be to find someone who would be willing to look past it. I feel so SO lucky that my partner of 2 years didn't even blink when I told him what I thought was a really (really) bad yeast infection was in fact HSV. I don't yet know if its type I or II, or have any idea when I may have been infected. I have always been in long term, committed relationships, and taken great care to be safe. Despite my disappointment about becoming a statistic (the ONE in five), I am confident in my ability to deal with it. As much as it feels like it, its not the end of the world. My partner, my mom, and my best friend are all supportive, and don't act like its gross or unacceptable. My advice to everyone would be to get tested, since it isn't on the standard panel of tests. I may have known a lot sooner that way, and hopefully avoided the misery I was in for a week and a half.
AshleyMay84 AshleyMay84 9 years
points for honesty. Super, power points for honesty. Because once i had that peice of information, I'm outta there.
CoMMember13630786602261 CoMMember13630786602261 9 years
I dont understand how some of you are saying "herpes is not that big of a deal" this just really boggles my mind...My answer would have been totally different if I was in, say, kiddys, situation where I was with someone for a long time and then found out they had it. But after two dates with a guy, Im really shocked that some of you would be willing to put yourselves at risk..
kiddylnd kiddylnd 9 years
It seems that some folks here are under the impression that if someone doesn't have an outbreak, they can't spread it. THIS COULD NOT BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH. The truth is that Herpes II CAN be transmitted from a carrier to someone IN ABSENCE of an outbreak. That's one of the reasons this gets spread so fast and without detection. As I said before, you can be a carrier and not even know it and thus pass it on.
shalee55 shalee55 9 years
cereal_please cereal_please 9 years
I'd thank him for telling me.. and then that would end all interest. Herpes is DEFINITELY a deal breaker.. then I'd send him to an STD dating website. Okay maybe not. But that would suck.
Smile5 Smile5 9 years
Hi there, Herpes is a VIRAL infection, as you may know and there are 2 types of herpes viruses; type 1 is extremely common ( it's what people call a "cold sore" ), many people have this, but few are symptomatic. It is no big deal, only if you DO have a cold sore, give up on oral sex until it's completely gone. Now type 2 herpes is less common, it is tramsmitted through sexual intercourse, and many people that have this infection don't show any symptoms. The few that DO may have mild symptoms: they may experience itching or burning at first,then a small cold sore-like lesion may appear on any part of their genital organ and this usually lasts a few days. Unfortunately, a minority of people experience severe symptoms, such as pain, acute burning etc... They may even have fever, nausea and abdominal pain. These people need to treat the infection everytime it reccurs. Now even though this may sound unpleasant, herpes infection is NOT dangerous or fatal and if your friend DOES have type 2 and you do want to start a relationship with him, it's something you have to discuss. Since he's been upfront about it, he probably won't mind discussing the problem and especially finding a solution: if he's got symptoms, don't have sex until the lesions are completely gone, and if you can't wait, use a CONDOM. The last thing you should know is that one STD increases your chances of catching another one (yes AIDS also), so be sure that before you guys get down to more serious business, get tested both. Now if you tell him that you want to get tested also, it will make it easier for him to take that step and as for as you're concerned, a check up is always a good idea, especially if you have nothing to fear ;) And I'm sure that you'll find the rights words with this guy if you really want him. Good luck
AujahAcorn AujahAcorn 9 years
no biggy. just make sure you know the facts.
geebers geebers 9 years
I am so surprised at how many posters are so against dating this poor guy who has the number one criteria everyone who wants to be in a healthy relationship should look for: honesty. I also do not see herpes as a deal breaker. It is a manageable STI and newsflash- MANY people have STDs and STIs. Chances are you have one and don't know it. Chances are your loved one or someone you know has it.
snarkypants snarkypants 9 years
my boyfriend has HSV-1. he's on valtrex and we are careful. he got it from one of his high school girlfriends. no big deal. if i would have dumped him when he told me he had it, i would have missed out on one of the best things that has ever happened to me.
shelleybaby32 shelleybaby32 9 years
So much information here- i don't know who is right and who is wrong!!??!! I am glad i don't have to worry about this stuff anymore. BUT if it was me and the guy i only had two dates with said he had herpes i don't think i could deal. The whole time we were doing it-that's all i would be thinking about! Good luck to all you ladies and be careful!
kiwitwist kiwitwist 9 years
sorry but I would be very proud of him for being honest, would remain friends but nothing more. I have to protect myself first, not his feelings.
RobinSparkles RobinSparkles 9 years
Thank you ella for clearing up the facts!! You made some really good points. I think emphasis really needs to be placed on two things: 1. Herpes is not divided between "oral" and "genital". It is HSV-1 (most usually known as cold sores) and HSV-2 (most usually thought of as genital), and you can get EITHER virus orally or genitally. That means you can contract HSV-1 genitally by receiving oral sex from someone who gets cold sores. 2. Herpes is not a part of the typical STI screening from your doctor, so you need to specifically request the test. Just because you've been tested for other STI's doesn't mean you've been tested for herpes. Being informed is the best way to protect yourself! :)
sweetnshy5282 sweetnshy5282 9 years
herpes does sound very scary...but in reality it is very manageable, and more common than you may think! the guy you are sleeping w/ right now may have it w/ out knowing he has it (or w/ out letting you know..) at least this guy has the decency to be upfront and tell you and you can weigh the risks from there. seems like a great guy if for nothing else but his honesty. don't let a good thing pass you by w/ out at least giving it a fighting chance!
ella1978 ella1978 9 years
Ah the inevitable HSV question comes up. I also say kudos to you ladies that came forward, very brave. I have HPV & did a lot of reading on all STIs when diagnosed, so I am full of info & love sharing it, so that all people out there can start to get rid of the stigma that exists. I mean, did anyone read the CDC article about how 1 in every 4 girls under the age of 19 has an STI. How many boys do you think have them & by the time these girls are women, how many do you think will have it. In fact, by age 50, 80% of all women have had HPV. Only about 10% of them have ever known about it. On the topic of HSV, I thank everyone who corrected all the misnomers out there. It is FAR from deadly. In fact only about 10% of those infected with HSVII even know they have it. That being said, the other 90% can easily write it off as something else (jock itch, yeast infection, rash, etc) or they have absolutely no symptoms at all. So all of you who are saying it's a deal breaker, have you ever been tested for it? It's not part of a traditional STD testing kit, you have to ask for it directly. HSVI. "oral herpes". 60-80% of people at age 30 have this virus. Only 20-40% of these people know they have it (ie, cold sores). And to whomever said that you can't get type I genitally, you are horribly wrong. In fact up to 50% of all recent diagnosis' are Type I genitally. It is so common, and most people wouldn't mention that they had it before entering a relationship. HSVII. "genital herpes". 25-30% of all people at age 30 have this virus. Only 10% of them know it. This stays mainly in the genital region, but can be transmitted orally in very unique circumstances. The infected person has to have a genital sore, when the uninfected person gives them oral pleasure, and not always does it pass. Onlyl 2% of all oral infections are type II, and almost all of those people that contract it will only have one outbreak in their life orally. BIG IMPORTANT FINISH. MOST DOCTORS ARE NOT UP TO DATE ON THIS KNOWLEDGE!!!! Don't always trust what your doctors have to say about HSV, do the research yourself. I hope this helped someone!
PJ-PJ-PJ PJ-PJ-PJ 9 years
kiddy & nikki, How very brave of both of you. Not a lot of people would be so open, even under the safety of internet anonymity. Good luck to you both. I would give the guy a chance. You don't have to have sex with him. You may end up with a great friend, at the least.
nikkiblue nikkiblue 9 years
I can understand where most of you are coming from. The way herpes is dealt with in the media makes it sound so very scary. I have had herpes for five years and yes it can be a nuisance sometimes (though so very rarely for me) I have had way worse health issues. The only reason I'm ashamed of my herpes is because of the stigma it has with it. I'd have to give that guy props for being so honest and upfront.
beachrunner beachrunner 9 years
Kiddy, I def understand where you're coming from. Six months ago my boyfriend of over 3 years had his first outbreak. I was devastated, especially considering we had just moved in together. I basically threw my trust in him out the window, despite the fact that he swore he has always been faithful. The past couple of months have been a roller coaster of emotions but I am finally coming to terms with the fact that you can't change someone's past, all you can do is trust them and love them for who they are.
bellydancinmary bellydancinmary 9 years
Honestly, I wouldn't know what to do. It would depend on how much I liked the guy, the way he treats me, etc. It is a manageable disease, I always use condoms anyways, but I still don't know what would be the best thing to do. I would have to measure my risks and decide if they are worth taking or not. I don't want to potentially catch an STD, but I wouldn't want to miss out on a great person who could bring some light into my life either. I honestly don't know what I would do! Lol. This is a toughie.
kiddylnd kiddylnd 9 years
My BF got it from a former partner who did not disclose this info to him. He didn't know until over two years later when he had sores. He went to the doc and was diagnosed and given meds for it. Since he didn't even know about it I got it from him. I didn't show symptoms at all and we thought I might just be lucky. Until another year passed and I got my sores. I would say in the 8 years together, I have had like three outbreaks. His were more frequent, but are now almost non-existent. Mine, oddly enough traveled to my LEG and I now have an outbreak site (not active currently) just above my ankle. Moral of the story is you NEVER KNOW who has it, and in this case I would say you would be lucky to get the heads up. Most people that have the virus never have symptoms. You CAN spread it with or without an outbreak. Some people are just carriers and will never have an outbreak. Those folks can be transmitting it left and right and not even know it. The Herpes virus travels too; you CAN get the genital variety orally as well AND spread it that way. Once you have type II you can have an outbreak anywhere on your body, so don't just assume that your cold sores are type I. I would suggest that you all evaluate what is right for you, but don't discount someone based on a statement like this. It may very well be you one day that has to break this news to a new partner. Think how you would feel to be rejected because of this very manageable disease.
beachgrl313 beachgrl313 9 years
rpenner- It is possible to spread oral (type I/cold sores) herpes to the genital region if you have an active legion and engage in oral sex. There IS such a thing as genital herpes type I. Also, those who have type I do have a built-up resistance to type II because they already have antibodies in their system. However, it won't always be enough and you shouldn't depend on that to protect you.
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