Dating With Herpes

Herpes Dating Tips, Herpes Support and Social Groups, HSV-1 and HSV-2, Herpes Diagnosis and Treatment, How to Tell Someone, How to Protect Your Partners

Dating With Herpes

Dating With Herpes? – You Are Not Alone!

Dating With Herpes.org provides up-to-date, trustworthy information about genital herpes and dating with herpes.  If you have been recently diagnosed with genital herpes, you may be upset and confused and think your sex life is over.  However, once you settle down and learn the facts, you will realize  that having genital herpes is not the end of the world, and herpes is not the end of  your sex life or your social life. About 45-60 million Americans have genital herpes. You are not alone!   If you do not have genital herpes, but are dating someone with genital herpes, you will find out how to reduce your risk of getting herpes.

You may wonder – How Did I Get Herpes?  Herpes (HSV-1 and/or HSV-2) is extremely common.  Statistics estimate that in the USA, between 60-80% of adults carry the HSV-1 virus, and approximately 20% of people over 12 carry the HSV2 virus. Percentages may be higher in major metro areas.  Both HSV-1 and HSV-2 can cause genital herpes.  Most people with genital herpes have infrequent, mild, or no noticeable symptoms, and 90% of them are totally unaware that they even have it.  Other people may display symptoms occasionally or regularly.

HSV-1 is most often associated with cold-sores around the mouth, but can also be transmitted to the genitals via oral sex and is the cause of many new cases of genital herpes.  HSV-2 is most often associated with the genital region and very rarely occurs near the mouth.  Sometimes people have herpes outbreaks on their backs, buttocks, anus or thighs, and not around the genitals.  Herpes can be spread even when there are no noticeable sores or symptoms.  Surprisingly, most doctors do NOT include a blood test for herpes even when they are testing their patients for other common STD’s.  Therefore, 90% of people who carry the virus for herpes – don’t even know it!   Unless you specifically request a type-specific herpes blood test, you may not know if you have herpes HSV-1 or HSV-2 or both.  Ask your doctor for the type-specific herpes blood test!

Because genital herpes is the most common sexually transmitted disease, there are Herpes Support Groups and Herpes Social Groups in most metro areas in the US and Canada and also around the world!  These Herpes Support Groups and Herpes Social Groups are usually FREE and run by members who volunteer their time to run support groups and organize social events.  Your local or regional Herpes Support Group and Herpes Social Group are one of the best places for you to go to make friends with other people with Genital Herpes, learn how others successfully manage herpes and date with herpes. Who knows – you might even meet someone you want to date.

There are many online dating services for people with herpes and other STDs.  You’ll find a chart comparing these services at Herpes Dating Online.  If you  are dating people who do not have herpes, you should learn how to tell someone  that you have herpes, and how to reduce your risk of transmitting herpes to your partner(s) or reduce your risk of getting herpes from someone.   The more you know about genital  herpes, the more confident you will be about the choices you make.  For more  information about herpes transmission, diagnosis and  treatment, see our Herpes Links page.

Unfortunately, there are various people and companies out there who try to take advantage of people with herpes, with bogus herpes cures or bogus herpes treatments, herpes hoaxesdeceptive and misleading advertising and spam for STD dating services.  For more info, see Herpes Scams.

If you have other questions about dating with herpes, please click on Herpes Questions,  and see if your question can be answered there.  You are welcome to submit your own questions, and if we think they are relevant to the larger group, we may post an answer to this site.  Please note, because we are unpaid volunteers with our own busy lives, we cannot and will  not be able to answer each question personally.

This site is a work in progress.  We appreciate your feedback and suggestions and links.  We especially appreciate it if you tell us about broken links or give us links to new articles or research studies or anything else that can help us improve this site and provide better and more recent information to people seeking the most up-to-date, reputable, useful information for people dating with genital herpes.  Thank you for your help!

Good luck and happy herpes dating!

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  • Liz says:

    Hi thank you for the response. Sorry if it sounded confusing. My culture was positive for hsv 1 pcr and negative hsv 2 pcr for which the swab was taken from the sore in my vaginal area. I only had a few sores and barely noticed them until I thought I had a yeast infection and looked with a mirror and saw the sores and panicked. But the blood tests for hsv 1 and 2 came out negative. Those were the IgG and the IGM, EIA hsv screen was also negative. So the only positive screen was my culture. Hope this clarifies the results.

    06/18/2014 at 3:50 pm
  • admin says:

    Genital herpes is extremely common. Almost everyone who has genital herpes is just a good and generally careful person, like you. Half or more of the new cases of genital herpes infections are from HSV-1 being transmitted orally to the genitals. Very few people use protection for oral sex, and that’s why so many people get HSV-1 genitally. And it’s possible to have it for years, and not know it. Some statistics show that 60-80% of adults in the USA have HSV-1 which they acquired as children from being kissed on the face by adults. It is so common, that most doctors don’t even test for it. And most people *think* their doctors tested them for herpes, but it’s possible that they are mistaken. Unless they have actually SEEN their test results, it’s possible that they were not tested for herpes, or only tested for HSV-2 (since most people will test positive for HSV-1 anyhow and doctors may consider the HSV-1 test a waste of time and money.) The way you describe your diagnosis is confusing. You say your blood tests were negative. Did your doctor do a swab culture of your genitals? And it was positive for HSV-1? Swab tests are usually very accurate. The herpes blood tests, however, are inaccurate a small percent of the time. Your test results may be inaccurate. The best herpes blood test is the Western Blot from University of Washington. It’s over 99% accurate. It has to be requested by special order – since the regular labs don’t carry this test. You may have to insist that your doctor order this test from University of Washington Virology Department to confirm your results, since they don’t make sense. Read our page about Herpes Diagnosis again for more details. Good luck.

    06/18/2014 at 3:28 pm
  • Lizzie says:

    I was devastated when I found out I had it. I had been in a 3 year committed relationship with my bf and he broke up with me in march this year. I then met a guy who we talked and hung out for a while and then had sex. Before anything even happened he had been tested and was negative for both strains and had no visible sores or anything. I know that people can still have it without symptoms but his results were negative. We had protected sex but he did go down on me. Well sure enough 4 days later I noticed sores and went to my doctor to get tested and was positive for HSV-1 genital herpes and who knows if I have oral too now. I have not seen any sores. And blood tests were both negative for the blood test, including the IGm which, if positive would say I was just exposed. So I am now confused and the guy got tested again after we got together and tested negative for everything. My concern now is that my ex of 3 years may have given it to me. After we broke up we hooked up one time about a week or two after the break up. I noticed he shaved down there and asked him if he hooked up with anyone and he said no. I am just confused because this recent guy was negative and it was only because of my culture that told me I was positive. I just feel betrayed cause he didn’t know and if my ex gave it to me I will be hurt. I am thinking of talking to my ex because I feel if he does have it he should know so he doesn’t pass it to someone else. I no longer talk to the guy I recently was with because he was immature about the whole thing. I am a good person and I don’t sleep around. He was tested and I was in a 5 year relationship before the 3 year one. And I was tested during both relationships. I am just scared because people stereotype these people who have herpes and I am a loving person who wants to get married and have kids and be happy. Clearly I had no clue and I took precautions. And now I have to live with this the rest of my life. I also do take care of myself and eat well and doing everything I can to relax and move on.

    06/17/2014 at 10:40 am
  • admin says:

    Honesty is the best policy. How can you expect someone to really love you if you are deliberately lying to them? Not telling someone up front indicates a lack of caring for the other person – on your part. Lying is disrespectful, and certainly not the behavior of a loving person. Start your relationships right by always disclosing your herpes status before having intimate contact with someone. Also, how does your boyfriend know that he doesn’t have herpes? Did he get a blood test or ? Absence of symptoms does NOT mean absence of STD’s or herpes. Good luck in the future and please be honest.

    06/02/2014 at 10:04 am
  • Rosetta Law says:

    I just told my boyfriend of 7 months I have it in a heated argument, he stayed for a month but now feel he don’t have and its over. That’s why I would rather not tell. He told me he loved me and no matter what he would stay with me. I’m so hurt but I know I can only blame myself. Now, he feel if he had it he would’ve stayed. I feel like my whole world has came down on me. This wasn’t my first time going through this with a guy so that’s why I was hesitant to tell him. I can’t do nothing but deal with it now. Dont know if I will ever date again.

    05/30/2014 at 5:40 am
  • admin says:

    Mononucleosis is also known as Epstein-Barr virus, a member of the herpes family of viruses. However, Mononucleosis is not usually associated oral or genital outbreaks. It may show up in some herpes blood tests, especially older herpes blood tests that are not type-specific. Since most people acquire HSV-1 usually orally as a child, and since this can be transferred to genitals via oral sex when someone becomes sexually active, genital herpes outbreaks can be either HSV-1 or HSV-2. Did they tell you whether your swab culture test was type-specific for HSV-1 or HSV-2? You should ask. Also, make sure to get one of the newer, more accurate type-specific herpes blood tests listed on our site and ask your partner to get the same test and find out the results before you engage in oral, genital, anal, or any type of skin-to-skin sexual contact. Very few people realize that STD’s can be transmitted without symptoms present and via oral, anal or genital contact. Many people are having sexual contact with multiple partners, with or without protection, and don’t realize that they may unknowingly acquire or transmit an STD without symptoms. These commonly asymptomatic and undiagnosed STD’s are more than just herpes. HPV and many other STD’s do not present noticeable outbreaks or symptoms in most people and are hard to diagnose, especially in males. Most doctors do not test their patients for herpes unless they are asked specifically to include a blood test when they are testing you for other STD’s. In fact, many out-of-date doctors tell their patients that they cannot be tested for herpes unless they are having an active outbreak. Please refer to our page about herpes testing and get one of the newer, accurate type specific herpes blood tests to be sure what you and your partner(s) have. It takes 12-16 weeks after exposure for the blood tests to detect the herpes antibodies. A swab-culture test from an active outbreak can detect herpes earlier than a blood test.

    Good luck!
    DWH

    12/04/2013 at 7:19 pm
  • S says:

    Who knew things could get any worse… not only did i get hit by a car while biking home from school but i got diagnosed with herpes the SAME week! I am continually humbled by the power that stress has on our bodies. After 8 hours in the ER and cheating death by surviving a bike accident its no wonder my body reacted so intensely.

    Now i just have no clue if i’ve been a carrier for awhile or if its from my recent partner. Became sexually active with a new partner a week prior to my first notice of a red sore on my labia. Called in for a doctor appointment and had a culture taken. Came back positive. Informed new partner immediately. Went in again for a full screening. Waiting on the blood test now. He had one done last week and was “apparently” negative.

    Wondering, if I show a negative blood test AND had a positive culture, when does the 12-16 week period apply? Since he had a negative test could his results not be showing his carrier state?

    Felt like my life was/is over the first few days, super shock, broke down. now trying to piece it all together as i get more information. Weird thing is, he still wants to see me. Not sure if he’s known he’s had it or is just really into me. For now I’ve told him no b/c I am waiting for full recovery, plus emotionally it’s been a rough two and a half weeks for me. Almost thought about dropping out of grad school post-bike accident/herpes combo hell week.

    Also, anyone have viral susceptibility info? I’ve had mononucleosis and HPV in the last five years, didn’t think things could get any worse as far as immune system goes. Any preventative measures for outbreaks? Besides exercise, healthy eating, multi-vit and low stress….? Blisters formed a few days before my period started, wondering if outbreaks coincide with menstrual cycle? Ladies?

    11/30/2013 at 11:08 pm
  • Kev says:

    I married a non-infected woman for… lasted 23 years; had two wonderful children that I taught to respect my privacy – later they were told why, at age’s 18 and 16, I taught them NOT to share soap, soda’s and all personal importance of hygiene…My wife then knew of my predicament which I recieved as a valentines present from a viciouse woman that was out to destroy the men that hurt HER in the past. I loved her… She was older, I was young… I learned. I thought my life was over too. I thought of suicide too. I met a non-infected woman, explained my troubles, and was married 23 years = two children…. now divorcing. Religious reasons.
    People… your decisions in life have given you an unwanted present… most of the people we have met over the years are hiding SOMETHING or may not even KNOW they have a STD!
    You are just as worthy as anyone that has not been “Diagnosed” with a STD and do not kid yourself, most can have herpes yet not understand the symptoms; whether on the surface or internally.
    Love who you are; date normally and when you meet that man or woman that catches your heart in that moment of heart palpatations, just go somewhere quite and say, ” I see something specal developing between us… and I have to know if you are the type of gal/guy that put’s a mistake or unlucky event in one’s life as a problem that can’t ever be overcome? This worked for me and life was fine and dandy. Now I am divorcing based on religion and other issues.
    Society has changed since twenty-three years ago.
    Now I am seeking a woman WITH herpes that has been alone too long in her struggle with this very issue.
    I am a happy man. No drugs, smoking or religious feaks allowed. I enjoy Whiskey, music (karaoke), and sex. Yeah I know… go figure, right?
    Let’s ahve a good time with what;s left of this life, without the need to solve ALL our friends/ relatives problems! Sex every-night sounds good, but there ARE times I am just NOT here… can you respect that?

    06/15/2013 at 10:10 pm
  • admin says:

    Genital Herpes is extremely common and you should not feel ashamed just because you have it. 60-80% of adults in the US have HVS-1 and @ 20% of women in the US have HSV-2. If you are having suicidal thoughts, then you should call the Suicide Hotline or Herpes Support Hotline asap, or join one of the many Herpes Support Groups that are all over the USA For more information, see our page on Herpes Support.

    05/11/2013 at 2:48 pm
  • Ciara says:

    I was diagnosed with HSV2 1week ago & I feel like my life is over.Im always having suicidal thoughts because I feel like this is the end for me. I cut alot of people off. I just feel like I can’t trust no one. The guy who gave it to me I’m not sure if he knew he had it or not but I haven’t said anything to him yet because I’m afraid. I just don’t kno what to do anymore. I just lost my job before finding out, my father just passed & now I get a STD where there’s no cure

    04/06/2013 at 8:42 am
  • Sasha says:

    I was diagnosed last year w/ HSV-2 and take my medication WITHOUT fail daily. I’ve had two MILD breakouts since my diagnosis and that was when I was stressed beyond belief. Like someone said in a previous post, it sucks but it won’t kill you.

    11/15/2012 at 2:56 am
  • admin says:

    A lot of medical professionals are not at all knowledgeable or up-to-date about herpes diagnosis or treatment. And some of these medical professionals tell patients that they were “exposed” to HSV-1 or HSV-2, as if that’s somehow different from having herpes. If you have antibodies for HSV-1 and/or HSV-2, then you have it. Period. This does NOT mean that you are always contagious and there are a lot of things that you can do to prevent spreading herpes to your partner(s). It does no good to keep on trying to contact anyone who obviously doesn’t want to communicate. Move on and look forward, not backward. You will meet some great people in the herpes community, who won’t judge you based on a silly virus. Good luck! DWH

    10/22/2012 at 11:58 am
  • admin says:

    Even when you previously asked your doctor to test you for EVERYTHING, they probably did NOT test you then for herpes. You have to ask SPECIFICALLY to be tested for herpes or else they will not include that test. So call your last doctor and request a copy of your records, including your STD test results. You’l probably see that you NEVER got tested for herpes then. Because you probably were never previously tested for herpes, it’s possible that you got it before meeting your current partner. But it’s also possible that he might have herpes and NOT KNOW IT, because his doctor didn’t test him for herpes either. So BOTH of you need to get a type-specific herpes blood test, so that you know which one you have (HSV1 and/or HSV2). It’s possible to have herpes but NOT have any noticeable outbreaks, so it’s possible that whoever you got herpes from – did not know they even had it. Even if he tests positive, it doesn’t mean he is the one you got herpes from – because it might have been someone you slept with before him. Time to get yourself educated about herpes diagnosis and transmission. For more info, go to our page on Herpes Diagnosis.

    10/19/2012 at 3:00 pm
  • LSD says:

    So I just found out that I have herpes. I’m freaking out and pissed and outraged. Mostly because he says it’s impossible for him to have passed it along to me, even though he’s THE ONLY PERSON I’ve slept with since my last PAPS and physical that came up clean. I asked them to test me for EVERYTHING because my insurance was going to run out and they found nothing. Then a month after my PAPS I had cuts that just seemed to not go away in places they shouldn’t be and I’m going into the clinic only to find out that I’ve got an STD. He says he doesn’t have it, how is that possible?

    10/18/2012 at 10:01 am
  • Elle says:

    I was told that I was “exposed” to HSV1 and HSV2 in July 2011. I was floored! My complaint was a yeast infection EVERY SINGLE MONTH before my cycle;or what I thought was a yeast infection. I don’t have a discharge, just burning, itching, and inflammation. There’s no blisters or sores of any kind. I’m even tempted to get retested. My biggest issue is rejection. That is never good. I try to be honest about my HSV. Aside from not answering their phones and not responding to my texts or emails, some have gone to the extreme of “blocking” me from communicating with them on other sites. This is one of the things that I am dealing with in therapy. At 44 years of age, I’m ready for a long-term/permanent relationship. I am ready to settle down and grow with my mate. I’m hoping that HWERKS works for me.

    10/12/2012 at 4:07 am
  • Adriana says:

    So… Now I know I have herpes, what do i need to be careful? if i am with a guy and want to have sex can i just have a condom and dont tell him? i do not have blisters or anything active, the doctor told me is just in my blood… i am just really not comfortable with telling guys i have herpes but also i want to be careful and not spread. thank you!

    09/18/2012 at 6:44 pm
  • admin says:

    A “tingling” feeling can be a sign of a “prodrome” and possibly asymptomatic shedding of the herpes virus. However, there is no way to know if you are truly “actively shedding” the virus on any given day unless you are participating in a clinical medical study where they take a swab from the surface of your skin in various parts of your body (i.e. genitalia, mouth) and see if they find any active virus. For most of us, this isn’t an option.

    Most people who have genital or oral herpes don’t even know it because they don’t have any noticeable symptoms like bumps, blister or sores, even when they might be shedding the virus asymptomatically and are potentially contagious.

    The fact that you are aware of this “tingling” feeling could be a sign that you are currently shedding the herpes virus, but there really is no way of knowing this for sure unless you are participating in a study. You might want to check our page on herpes research and the herpes links sections and see where there are studies happening.

    Sorry we could not have been more help. DWH

    07/04/2012 at 6:31 pm
  • DENISE says:

    I have a question, so I was just recently diagnosed in March but I don’t get like any blisters or any bumps or anything. I just have a “tingly” feeling ALL the time. Like every single day, it doesn’t even itch, I just feel so weird all the time. Is it possible to be active at all times? Or am I doing something that activates it every day? I really want to know because I am trying to cope with it but I can’t get better mentally if I’m consistly reminded every single day of my life. I would do a better job at accepting myself if it was a little more tamed, if I must say lol

    07/03/2012 at 10:00 pm
  • admin says:

    There are already some H social groups in Virginia that you should check out before starting a new group. See how other H groups operate and maybe participate in their events before deciding if you want to start a new group in your area. To see the Virgina H Social Group links, go to: http://wp.me/P1ALpQ-d

    DWH

    05/18/2012 at 4:37 pm
  • Christine says:

    I am interested in starting a support group for Herpes in Hampton Roads. I’ve tried the dating scene through Herpes dating sites and had a few dates but not much luck. I would love to find guys that I don’t have to have the talk with and understand what I am going through instead of hitting the door once it’s mentioned.
    What would be the requirements in starting a group for atleast talking and getting the frustration out.

    05/10/2012 at 7:07 pm
  • admin says:

    Where did you hear that “per current stats, 85% of sexually active people have it”??? What do you mean by “it”??? HSV1? HSV2? Either HSV1 or HSV2? Which statistics are you citing and can you provide a link? Different herpes studies have different parameters and can be very confusing to most people. So it would really help to know where you are getting your information so that we can check it out.

    As for your suggestion that people DEMAND that doctors include the herpes test in their routine STD panels – we agree. Most people don’t realize that when they are getting tested for STD’s – that most doctors currently do NOT include the blood tests for herpes. You have to ASK SPECIFICALLY for a type-specific herpes blood test or else you won’t be tested at all for herpes. If EVERYONE started ASKING for a type-specific herpes blood test, then we might get some really valid statistics about the prevalence of HSV1 and HSV2 among sexually active adults. Unfortunately, current herpes statistics are merely estimates based on various sample populations with differing parameters.

    DWH

    03/14/2012 at 9:58 am
  • Mike says:

    Believe it or not, it is possible that you have dodged the bullet. Herpes is not always in an “active” state but will spread when it is. Sadly it may not be possible to know if you are active. It’s now easy for me to know when an onset is coming as I get a “tingling” in my left leg then very mild and at times very hard to see symptoms come within hours.
    I have had herpes (1 and 2) since 1981. I have been married twice and gave neither of them the disease and have four children.
    As said the only true way to know is by getting tested. The blood draw can tell them within minutes provided they have a lab right there as my Doctor did.
    Also as mentioned..DEMAND The herpes test be added to the battery! This is not usually done to save them time and money as per current stats, 75% of sexually active people have it. Most doctors or speciality facilities get well under 200 for the full test. I think my last one cost 125 not because I thought it would go away but because they had to prescribe new meds for another issue and wanted to know everything. Hang in…it stinks but won’t kill you

    03/13/2012 at 1:37 pm
  • admin says:

    Since most people have few or no noticeable symptoms, the best way to find out if you have herpes is to get a type-specific herpes blood test. To find whether or not you may have gotten genital herpes from anyone, see our page on Herpes Diagnosis at http://www.datingwithherpes.org/herpesdiagnosis/

    Remember, unless your doctor previously gave you a type-specific herpes blood test, which is highly unlikely, and if you test positive now, you may have gotten herpes from a previous partner, not this last one. The only way to know for sure if you have HSV2 is to always specifically request a herpes blood test whenever you go in for check-ups and your doctor is testing you for other STDs. Remember – you have to ASK specifically to be tested for herpes or else most doctors will not include that test. Good luck.

    01/20/2012 at 2:58 pm
  • Thomas Cole says:

    How would I know if I have herpes? She never told me anything about it until it was too late. Now I’m affraid I’m infected.

    01/20/2012 at 1:45 pm

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