Telling Someone

Telling Someone That You Have Herpes: The Talk

  • Telling someone that you have genital herpes may seem scary at first. You might want to practice a bit with someone you trust or with a friend from your herpes support or social group.  Everyone who is sexually active *should* be talking to their partners about their sexual histories, and STD status, BEFORE they become sexually intimate.  There are many other STDs out there, and most are a more serious health risk than herpes, if undiagnosed.  Having *The Talk* is about mutual disclosure and having an open and honest discussion about how to proceed in your relationship, while protecting both you and your partner, and reducing the risk of spreading anything to each other.  If you are not ready to have an open and honest discussion about STDs with someone, or if you don’t think that you can trust them with your private, personal information, then you are NOT ready to have any kind of sex with them.
  • Always tell your partner(s) about herpes BEFORE you  have any sexual contact with them.  Give them enough time to read up on herpes and  become better informed before deciding whether or not to have intimate contact  with you.  Do NOT wait until you are about to jump on each other and throw  caution to the wind.  And do not wait until AFTER you sleep with them!  Honesty  is always the best policy. Even if you are only interested in a casual  relationship, your partner deserves to know the facts before making the decision  to become intimate with you.  If you do not feel comfortable enough to talk to a  potential partner about herpes and other STDs, then you are NOT ready to have  sexual contact with them.  Wait until you feel ready to have “the  talk.”
  • When Should I Tell Someone That I Have Herpes?  For most people, this is an individual decision based on getting to know the other person first, and figuring out if they are someone you can trust and are really interested in.  If you go out on one or two dates with someone, and find out that you really don’t have the same interests or values – and you are not interested in sleeping with them, then why should they know your personal health information?   Also, if you decide that you really DO like someone and you develop a strong friendship and bond with them first, they are likely to respond more favorably you when you decide to have The Talk.
  •  Stay calm when discussing genital herpes.  If you appear to be ashamed and traumatized by your diagnosis, don’t expect them to want to risk feeling the same way themselves.  They will take their cues from YOU.  If you have learned the facts about herpes and accepted yourself and are taking good care of yourself and know how to reduce your risk of spreading herpes to your partners, you can confidently present the situation as it is to your potential partner(s).   They can make a decision to proceed or not, based on learning the facts and not seeing you become emotional and upset.  Remember that herpes can be caused by a very common virus that most adults in the US already have  in their system (especially HSV-1). For most people who have genital herpes, symptoms are absent, infrequent  or mild or mistaken for something else.  Even doctors, who try to diagnose via visual inspection rather than a lab culture or blood test,  often misdiagnose genital herpes as vaginal infections, jock itch, and ingrown hairs.  Therefore, 80-90% of the people  who have it, don’t even know it. You’re a normal person who just happens to have herpes. Your friend will take their cues from you. If you make herpes sound like a  bigger deal than it is, they’ll be more concerned.
  • Instead of telling someone that “I have herpes” – you might say “I carry the virus for herpes.”  Think about it.  If you say “I have herpes,” it may sound like you are currently or always having an outbreak and that you are always contagious.  But if you say “I carry the virus for herpes,” and something about how often you do or do not get symptoms, it sounds like a very manageable virus, which it is for most people.  For instance, up to 80% of people carry the virus HSV-1, which can cause occasional cold sores around the mouth, and can also be transmitted to the genitals via oral sex.  But you don’t hear most people saying that they “have herpes” just because they carry the virus HSV-1 and occasionally get cold sores.  The symptoms are the same, just in a different location.
  • Use the term “STI” or “sexually transmitted infection” instead of “STD” or “sexually transmitted disease.”  They mean the same thing, except that “disease” sounds like you are currently or always having symptoms or outbreaks, whereas “infection” sounds like something that can be managed.  It’s interesting how choosing certain words may make a big difference in how something is perceived.
  • Explain  that there are many types of herpes, and  that one of the most common is HSV-1, which often causes “cold sores” around the mouth but can also cause genital herpes. Up to 80% of the  US population already has HSV-1 and got it sometime during their childhood from  being kissed by a parent, friend or relative. HSV-1 can also be spread to the genitals during oral sex.  “Shingles” are caused by yet another strain of herpes – herpes zoster – same  virus that causes Chicken Pox.  Epstein-Barr and Mononucleosis are also  different strains of the herpes virus.  HSV-2 is just a different strain of this  same common virus.
  • Tell them that 80-90% of people who  have genital herpes have NOT been properly diagnosed – and it is possible that they might already have the virus and not know it.  And even if they don’t have it, odds  are very high that many of their previous sexual partners carried the virus for genital herpes, even if  they didn’t know it and were not showing any symptoms. You might recommend that  he/she get one of the new, very reliable type-specific herpes blood tests for both HSV-1 and HSV-2. Click here for information on  herpes blood tests.
  • Sleeping with someone who has genital herpes does NOT  mean that you are automatically going to get it, too. Most people with genital herpes are shedding the virus only a small percent of the time.  There are many couples in  which one partner has genital herpes and the other partner does not. Although there are no  absolute guarantees, there are many things you can do to greatly reduce the risk  of transmission. Click here to learn how to reduce  the risk of transmission. Also, since you already know that you have herpes  and are taking precautions to reduce the risk of spreading it, he/she has a  bigger risk of getting herpes from any of the other 30% people with herpes  who don’t KNOW that they have it and are taking NO precautions.
  • Herpes does not define who you are. You are so much more than your herpes diagnosis  Everyone has “stuff” to deal with  in their lives, and this is just one of the cards that you were dealt. In the  scheme of things, there are so many worse problems to have in a relationship –  lying, cheating, poor communication, values differences, anger management  problems, drug or alcohol abuse, lack of time, low self-esteem, or more serious  health problems. If Herpes is your biggest issue, you’re a true catch!
  • Give your friend time to do some research on herpes – but also tell him/her  where to find that info. For instance, there are some links to great herpes info on this website.  You might want to print out some pages on this website and give them to him/her as a starting point. Ask  him/her to take whatever time they need to go over the information and to feel free ask you any questions if they want. If they care about you enough, they will take the time to learn the facts about herpes.
  • Remember that you are doing a service by educating them about herpes. Even if they decide not  to move forward in the relationship, they are only deciding to reject the  herpes – not you personally. But you also might be pleasantly surprised at  their reaction. They may so impressed by your honesty and ability to discuss a difficult topic – that they are more attracted to you than ever.
  • Warning about unprotected sex: If you tell someone that you have genital herpes – and they don’t care or want to learn more about it – and they want to sleep with you anyway without using protection – – don’t sleep with them! Always use protection 100% of the time with new partners.  Many people have other STDs but show no symptoms, and don’t bother to get tested for STDs between partners. They think they are “clean” when in fact, they are not.  There are many other STDs besides herpes. If you sleep with someone without using protection, you may get another STD on top of herpes. Or if the other person later has a herpes outbreak, they may blame you – even though it was their decision not to use protection. Be responsible – always use protection!
  • No matter what happens, by having the talk, you are displaying that you are an honest and open person who respects and cares about the health of your partners.  They may think more highly of you for having the talk.  It will also show that you are a responsible, ethical person who  is willing and able to discuss “difficult” issues. These qualities will set you  apart from the many people out there who might  not disclose such things – just  so that they can sleep with someone. You’re not like those people. So unless he  or she is only looking for casual sex, they will recognize that you’re someone  they should not discard simply because of a silly and very manageable virus.
  • Should you tell your previous partners that you have genital herpes?  The answer to this question depends on the individual.  If you think you acquired HSV relatively recently – for instance, in the past year – then it may make sense to contact those more recent partners to let them know that it’s possible that they were *exposed* to herpes, and suggest that they get tested.  Remember, even if they test positive, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they got herpes from you.  They may have already had herpes and didn’t know it.  And it’s possible that you got herpes from one of those previous partners.  It doesn’t matter anymore who gave herpes to whom.  What does matter is that anyone who is sexually active should get tested for herpes, and learn how to reduce their risk of getting or spreading herpes and other STD’s.  If you would like to notify your previous partners anonymously, there is an online service called that will allow you to send an anonymous email for free.  But this service is not for getting replies.  There’s a sample letter or email message that you might use as a guideline to tell former lovers that you have herpes at Dear Former Lover – Herpes Letter or Email.
  • Some people with herpes, especially those who have more frequent outbreaks, prefer to date other people who already know that they have herpes.  To meet other people with herpes, you can join your local herpes social group or herpes support group.  These herpes groups are in most major cities in the US and Canada and around the world.  You can also find many herpes singles at herpes dating sites on the web.  Click here for a list and reviews for the top Herpes Dating Sites.

Good  luck!

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In time, you will learn to accept that you have herpes and if you learn to accept and take care of youself, your symptoms will be fewer and fewer and less painful. For many people, symptoms are few and short or even non-existent. You should definitely join your local Herpes Social and Support Group to learn more about how other nice people just like you learn to deal with this surprisingly common situation. Also, there is a group called National HELP, a secret Facebook group, where you can ask your questions to a group of Herpes Support Group Leaders from all over the US. To find out how to join these local and national groups, go to our page about Herpes Social and Support Groups.


I found out I have HSV-2 about. 5 months finding out this news was life changing I had contracted this form a boyfriend of 2 yrs I felt so betrayed and disgusted. The pain of the breakout was nothing compared to the pain my heart felt we all think this would never happen to us the most disgusting part Is when I told him he said he knew I couldn’t fathem words now I’ve gotten over the heart ache I’m taking the next step lm interested in this guy he’s been a great friend throughout this whole transition in my life he just dosent know I have HSV 2 I want to tell him I just don’t know when is the right time I just want to withdraw I don’t want to have to explain and face rejection Id rather be alone but I deserve love as well I feel so alone I feel like my life was snatched away form me I contracted this form someone I loved and I thought loved me I need help I want to tell him I would never have sex with him because I’m scared of exposing the virus I take my medcation I’ve only had one intaiJoey I love you I’m tired of this I tried. To move on I can’t my heart is stubborn it won’t do what my mind tells it I know you have so much going on I can’t stop thinking about you that’s all. I’ve only had one breakout the worst pain in my life.


Thank you for your comments especially this one I have cut it off and stopped calling him. I feel good just knowing that you guys give me support. Thank you!!!


Someone who is afraid of foot fungus or won’t stay in hotels because he’s afraid of catching something – has more problems than YOU do! Seriously! 60-80% of adults in the US already have HSV-1 orally, and most don’t even know it. He probably already has HSV-1 already too, and just doesn’t know it. And if he doesn’t have HSV-1 yet, then who is he gonna kiss if 60-80% of women he’ll ever meet will already have it? This guy sounds like a very poor fit for anyone, including YOU. It’s probably only *safe* for him to date someone he’ll never meet in person! I’d break things off before he buys his plane ticket. Maybe tell him you have HSV-1, HSV-2 and HPV before he makes any plans, because if he’s so paranoid, this is really going to scare him off. Funny thing is – he may already have any and all of these viruses already and just doesn’t know it. But that’s NOT YOUR PROBLEM. You need to get out and find your LOCAL herpes social and support group, and make some new friends with whom you can talk about herpes and be accepted just as you are. Your local group will also have members who have successfully “had the talk” with non-H partners and figured out how to navigate the dating world now that they know their diagnosis. Click here to learn how to find your local herpes social and support group.


I have had HSV1, HSV2 and HPV for four years. I have had the initial outbreak. Then 3 years later I had a “sore” in the genital area that I could only feel, but not really see. I don’t take the suppressive medication because I never get sores. I have never had blisters on my lips. I occasionally get a pimple on the corner of my mouth or on the top of my lip. However, I have adult acne (my mom had it too and I’m constantly touching my lips) so I’m not sure if that is oral HSV because most of the time it doesn’t hurt. I haven’t ever had the talk with anyone about it except for my mom and even that was hard for me to do. For the past three months I have been talking to this guy online. Who now considers himself as my bf. He lives 2,500 miles away from me. He wants to come visit me soon. I don’t want to have sex with him upon the first time meeting with him. He said he understands that and is fine with that. However, I’m sure I’ll want to kiss him should I tell him about possibly having oral HSV before I do? He has sent me gifts in the mail and spends so much of his time talking to me. I’m not sure when is the best time to tell him about this. I wanted to do it in person, but now I’m thinking maybe I should tell him before he spends all that effort coming to see me. Also, he has admitted to me that he is afraid of “catching” something (even something as minimal and curable as foot fungus). He refuses to stay at hotels because he thinks of them as dirty and doesn’t want to catch anything. Should I even bother with this relationship? I feel that it may be doomed already. What should I do? If I should at least tell him how should I go about it? Before he comes, before he leaves to go back or before we decide we should start being more intimate (have sex)?


You should join your local/regional herpes social and support group and meet other people with herpes. Many of them have successfully “had the talk” with non-herpes partners and can give you tips about how they talk about herpes to prospective partners. You are not alone! The herpes community has thousands of nice, normal people just like you! Please find your local herpes social and support group on our page about this. Make friends with other people with herpes and you’ll learn so much! Good luck!


I have been stressing so hard since my break up a month ago from the person that infected me. Last night I had an opportunity to tell someone I really cared for that I have a condition and totally understood if they decided that they didn’t want to be with me because of it. I just wanted to let them know the situation before we started to get closer and walking away would be harder to do. He said he was more concerned about me and that sex isn’t the only thing important in a relationship. This is a true man to me, it not only helped me realize what a great partner he will be but that he will always accept me for who I am not what I have. If you are at the point of taking the next step with somebody, tell them, talk to them, inform them. Regardless you will have the respect and dignity.


This article helped me greatly just today and I can’t thank the writer enough. I am recently divorced, living on my own and have met a woman with whom I’ve been getting very friendly with. I care about her and knew I could never simply infect her without her knowledge. We sat down and I explained my situation – how it happened, how often I get an outbreak, etc. I was afraid that she would just say “I’m sorry, but I don’t want to be involved with that”.and just take off. But instead she saw my fear and took my hand and just listened. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do, but she cared enough not to judge me or freak out. She is going to do her own research on it (I told her she should as well). At the end of our visit, she told me she realized how difficult it must have been for me to tell her and then she told me she thought I was more sexy than ever for telling her 🙂

To everyone with the big H – tell your partner before you have sex and before you’re ripping each other’s clothes off. It may not always end up as good as my conversation did, but everyone deserves to know before you have sex, whether it be a one night fling or your future wife. No matter their response, you will know you did the right thing and I can’t tell you how good that feels to me today.


Nobody here takes genital herpes lightly. We totally recommend that you always disclose your status to potential partners prior to any sexual contact AND that you not only ALWAYS use condoms, but take suppressive therapy such as Valtrex or Acyclovir.

That said, it sounds like you are one of the unlucky 10% or less of people with genital herpes who have serious or severe outbreaks. For most people, genital herpes has few or no symptoms. Each person’s immune system is different. Most people have no idea that they even have genital herpes and pass it unknowingly to their partners. Because so few people have noticeable symptoms, don’t even know that have herpes, and take NO precautions when they sleep with someone, that’s why this STD is spreading to so many people. But if you (the person who knows they have herpes) is taking the following steps, then it is much less likely (not impossible) for you to spread genital herpes to a partner:

1) Tell your partner that you have genital herpes well in advance of having sexual contact.
2) Ask your potential partners to get a type-specific herpes blood test so that they know whether or not they have HSV-1 and/or HSV-2. If they already have what you have, then it’s a totally different situation than if only one of you has something.
3) Ask your potential partners to do their own research on genital herpes and become educated on the symptoms and health issues. You apparently are not very well educated about herpes, or else you would already know that most people who have genital herpes do NOT have the same level of symptoms that you have. It’s your own personal immune system, not just the herpes, that is making symptoms worse for you than for other people.
4) Let your partner make an educated choice whether or not to have sexual contact with you. Don’t make the decision for them. Because you assume that everyone will experience the same bad symptoms that you have, you are understandably reluctant to potentially pass the herpes virus to anyone else. That’s your choice. But for most other people, who have few or no symptoms – allow that they can let their potential partners become educated on the virus and decide for themselves whether or not they are willing to take the risk.
5) Always use condoms AND take daily suppressive therapy (Valtrex, Acyclovir), to reduce the chance of spreading herpes to your partner.
6) Once you are in a committed relationship, many couples decide not to use condoms. They may be trying to get pregnant, or they may just decide that herpes is not a big deal for them. Sometimes, people spread herpes to their partners, and their partners test positive – but still have no symptoms. Also, there are many happy couples out there, where one person has herpes, and the other person never gets herpes, and they have kids and families and normal lives.

So even though you, unfortunately, are one of the minority of people who have bad symptoms due to herpes, please understand that majority of people with herpes experience few or no symptoms. For most people, the stigma of herpes is the problem, not the herpes itself.



This sounds so stupid I have herpes and I choose not to sleep with other women because I don’t want them to experience this horrible dreadful disease. Why would you dress this disease up? If you have Herpes there’s no way to make it innocent. It’s not and it can be passed on! Regardless if you have an outbreak skin to skin contact, shedding etc. This is why so many are infected because people try an make it appear to be harmless its not! Why would anyone tell a person to protect your self use a condom when the CDC clearly says that any portion of the skin can infect a person. You do not always show visible signs of an outbreak. Condoms don’t stop nor slow it down.


Most adults (up to 80%) will test positive for HSV-1 which they usually acquire as children through being kissed by family and friends. Most people do NOT have visible symptoms of cold sores. However, they can still spread HSV-1 via kissing, even when no symptoms are present. Just because you tested positive for HSV-1 doesn’t mean that you have a genital infection. It’s more likely that you have HSV-1 orally. And since up to 80% of adults already have HSV-1 orally, it’s very possible that your boyfriend also got HSV-1 as a child through kissing. The only way to know if you have HSV-1 orally or HSV-1 genitally is if you have an active outbreak sometime and get it tested right away. A blood test only tells you that the virus is present in your body. It does not tell you where you may potentially shed the virus – you cannot tell if it’s oral or genital just from the blood test.

However, it’s also very common for people to pass HSV-1 orally to their partner’s genitals during oral sex. Up to 50% of new cases of genital herpes are due to HSV-1 transmitted via oral sex. How do you know if you have HSV-1 genitally? You don’t – unless you have an active outbreak that you get tested right away.

Should you talk about this with your boyfriend? Yes, of course. He should become educated too. He should get tested too. It’s very likely that even before he met you, he had HSV-1 as well – via being kissed as a child. Can you pass it to each other via oral sex? Yes, it’s possible. But just about everyone is having unprotected oral sex, and most of them have HSV-1 orally that they can potentially pass to a partner. And if neither of you have symptoms – that’s they way it is for most people with herpes (orally or genitally). Most of the time, they have no idea that they even have any variety of herpes.

So don’t beat yourself up about a virus that most of your family and friends already have – but don’t know they have. You got tested. They didn’t. You are aware you have a very common virus. Most people are not aware and have not been tested.

The whole stigma around herpes is way out of proportion to the seriousness of a virus that for most people causes few or no symptoms and for others is a minor and infrequent annoyance. Less than 10% of the people with herpes have oral or genital symptoms that cause them more frequent problems.

So talk about it to your boyfriend. Ask him to get tested. He’ll likely already have HSV-1 as well. And you probably didn’t give it to him – he probably acquired it as a child – just like you and most other people. Then you guys can relax and go about living your lives.

Should you tell anyone you date in the future? If up to 80% of people already have HSV-1 and most of them don’t even know it, then it might be a better idea to ask your future partners to get tested for everything before you do anything. Make sure they specifically request to get tested for HSV-1 AND HSV-2. Then, compare notes. In most cases, they’ll already have HSV-1. If you ask them to get tested, and they decline, then probably you should not be having sex with them. They might have something else! Or they might be ignorant or judgmental regarding STD’s. Casual sex is never safe. STD’s are way more common than people like to believe.

Good luck! DWH


I’m 28. I’ve been in a long term relationship for 8 years and we never use condoms. Recently, I got tested for all STD’s. I was negative for all except HSV1. I’m extremely surprised. I do remember, having some blister like things on my hands when I was about six years old and had to use some creme or something. Besides this one incident, I have never had “cold sores” and anything.

My question is, should I tell my bf?
I have always felt great about myself knowing I was clean and only been w two guys…but now I’m have mixed feelings about being able to consider myself “clean”. Like I said before, nothing has happened to me beside that one event as a child. Any opinions?
Should I tell anyone who I might date in the future? Should I tell my longtime bf?
I may be wrong but…personally, I don’t think it’s a big deal since I got it as a child and never had “outbreaks/cold sores”. I would have never known I even had it had I not taken that random test a few months ago.


Genital HSV-1 may be somewhat less transmissible than HSV-2, but it all depends on the individuals. Some people with genital HSV-1 have as many or more genital outbreaks than people with HSV-2. Some of their sexual partners are more or less susceptible to becoming infected, based on their own immune systems. There is no way of knowing exactly how much virus you are shedding at any given time, unless you are involved in a clinical study that requires daily swab samples orally and genitally. And you probably have no idea about your potential partners’ immune systems. Most people who have Genital HSV-1 probably got it through oral sex (as the receiver), but some of them get it from regular genital to genital sex, or anal sex. Genital HSV-1 is now as common and in some places may be more common than Genital HSV-2. The real question is – if Genital HSV-1 and Genital HSV-2 are so common, and so many people already have it, and if herpes causes few or no obvious symptoms for the great majority of people who have it – then why does Genital Herpes continue to have such a “stigma” – more-so than HPV or other STD’s? If so many people carry this virus without knowing it, and are unknowingly passing it to their partners, with few or no symptoms, then why aren’t people just accepting that this happens to a lot of people, treat it, and stop “judging” the people who have it? Why is it that if you have “cold sores” on your lips – you are normal, but if you get “cold sores” on your private parts, you are dirty? Until people start getting demanding that their doctors give them a herpes blood test, and start using protection if they want to avoid or reduce the chances of transmission, a lot of very nice, honest, caring, normal people are going to end up getting some form of genital herpes and face the possibility of being “judged” for getting a very common virus, that their “judgers” may already have and not even know it.


What about GHSV1? I have this and it seems that research shows it has the lowest transmission rate (0% – 5%) I was wondering what everyone thought about “the talk” concerning this…Its kind of overtaken my life, further depression, anxiety, feeling of an eternity of loneliness, etc… and though ive read that chances of me ever having other breakouts except the initial one is extremely rare. however i feel obligated to notify anyone I may be sexual with…though my argument to this is that people dont go around saying “hey, i get cold sores”, if so everyone would be saying this, and since that is technically what i have, I do not know how to go about this…


Since about 60-80% of adults already have HSV-V-1, it’s pretty fair to say that your new guy probably already has oral HSV-1 or has already kissed other people with HSV-1 before he even met you. Most people don’t realize they have it, unless they get cold sores. Most doctors do not even bother to test for HSV-1. So have a talk with him, but get the facts before you do because this is really really common and he probably already has it. Kissing should not be a problem. However, any type of unprotected sex, regular, oral or anal – is not a good idea. DWH


Hi! I am 28 years old. I recently found out that I have oral HSV1. I don’t get symptoms very often. Recently, I met someone. We kissed a couple of times and I don’t know how to tell this person that he may have been exposed to the virus. I know is very common and he may already have it, But, I like this person and would eventually want to get more intimate with him. I feel bad because I feel like I have been dishonest by not disclosing to him that I carry the virus. I am not sure how to proceed. I am afraid that if I tell him now, he might not want to speak to me and think I did it out of malice. I just don’t know how to have this conversation and I need advice. Thanks.


Wow, Just found this website and love it. So many great advices and not just so darn clinical like many others. Thanks for putting this together.

I feel compelled to reply to two of the most recent comments, but first just a little context: I’m a 46 year old guy who’s had HSV1 since I was a kid and just recently got HSV2 from my now ex-girlfriend, although I knew from the start she had it and it was totally my call to live our sexual life unprotected and damn if I get it. Which I did and I assume completely. She’s still one of my very best friends and I still love her in many respects.

To Rebecca: Come on Rebecca! I don’t mean to minimize how you feel about this, but please read on. Maybe it’ll put your concerns to rest. I’ve had HSV1 since I was a kid, just like you. My dad probably gave it to me because he had it, was a loving dad and yes was kissing me like normal dads kiss their kids. It never even occured to me that I should disclose to my eventual partners I have cold sores (that’s just what it is). Like admin says in his reply to you, let’s get real, everybody has HSV1. You only have a few years worth of love affairs behind you. Ask anyone in this forum who’s over 40 and is not an ermit and you will hear this: Soon enough, if you have occasional outbreaks of HSV1 (like you seem to have), any serious partner you have will get to find out. And none will really care. Really! If you haven’t already tuned in your body, just know that it’s possible to feel the outbreaks before they’re out. I use “Abreva” and apply it right then and the outbreak usually never occurs or is very limited. Don’t get ongoing medication for that. Also, pay attention to your stress level and immune system. Besides making for a more pleasant life, in my experience it also significantly reduces the odds of having outbreaks. That’s for HSV1

Now for HSV2. Really, is that any more serious a condition than HSV1? My experience is recent and I’ve only had one outbreak. My ex-gf (who gave it to me, I know for sure) would have 3-4 a year and besides a tiny itch would have no other consequence. If only it wasn’t for the stigma that’s associated with it because it concerns our genitals, it would be no more serious than a benign allergy. If the entire human race had it there would be no stigma and really, we’d all be perfectly functional, loving and happy humans.

To livingwiththis: yeah, I think that guy had a good sense of proportions and knew not to make a big fuss with something that doesn’t deserve it. I was there once. You don’t know if he now has it? He should really get tested. I hope for him he doesn’t, but if he does, I hope for you (and for him) he just assumes. He seems to be that kind of guy. And you should definitely not bash yourself on this. You were upfront. He made a call. He’s a grown-up. You two have got to move on. I’m fully entitled to give this bit of advice as I’m exactly in this situation. And like you, I’m now faced with this new reality of having to disclose my condition so others, who care more about the stigma, won’t have to pay consequences for sleeping with me. I choose to think we’re a select cast, as opposed to outcasts. 🙂

Thanks admin for reminding us it’s herpes they reject, not us.
Thanks admin for reminding us our future partners have a lesser chance of getting it from us than any other partners (I find this ironical and funny 🙂
May I add that the past is the past? I’m not going to ruin my future for this but I do learn along the way and I think this has the potential to make me a better human, be it only for the introspection if forces me to do. In french we have this term: “lâcher prise”. Google it if you can read a bit of french. In a few words, it’s about loving what is and moving on with life. So liberating!

And thank you Rebecca and livingwiththis and everybody else for sharing. You got me into writing this and it was fun.


I’m glad that I found this site. Thank you for the information and i’ll try not to beat myself up for bad choices and mistakes that I’ve made. forgive & love me completely. I contracted HSV2 in college after not being responsible and being permiscuious. I’ve been married now divorced but disclosed to my now ex-husband when we first started dating. He had no problems with me. I know how I felt when I found out in college by accident this sore showed up.I went to the doctor to find what it was. I was embarrassed, shocked, angry & hurt that someone would knowingly had this and not tell me. so I could make the decision to of being intimate with them or not. Fast forward, I’m living with HSV2, take my meds and i normally am responsible with disclosing even though it’s embarrassing & the shame is there. Outbreaks are minimal if I control my stress levels and I know that I may not always show symptoms. Well a few years ago, I had a casual intimate experience with someone. Hormones where high&there was alcohol involved and for the first time I didn’t disclose. I felt horrible and disclosed the next day. I felt danmed if do disclose & damned if don’t disclose. I don’t wish this on anyone even my worst enemy.The person did get tested and is negative but was hurt and angry. I’ve apologized and wanted so badly this person not to dispise me. to this day i still feel horrible because I didn’t set out to be malicious, purposely hurt or pass this on to anyone. I made a huge mistake that I can never make right.i fully understand the persons feelings. I swore that I would not put any in that position sober or not where they weren’t able to make the decision to pursue or not and it happened. Although the person & i have no contact, i’ve been made aware the person is bitter towards me & will never look at me any different no matter how much I’ve apologized. I try not to beat myself up, move on & learn from the experience & not repeat it.i’ve had relationships since that horrible experience. I dislose and have had men not wish to pursue. it doesn’t feel good to be rejected but i respect their decision. My doctor & i discussed that men who are educated about the disease will not have a problem with it. when I disclose those who decide to pursue have the most respect for me & if we become intimate we are safe. If I go back in time, I know I would make better choices.


More than 60% of adults 18+ in the USA already have what you have – which is HSV-1, the cause of most cases of cold sores around the mouth and face. So you are hardly alone in having this! Even though most people you want to date will already have HSV-1, just like you, they probably don’t know it because they may not have noticeable outbreaks like you do. You cannot spread HSV-1 to people who already have it. And most people already have it. But for your own self-confidence and piece of mind, you should probably ask your doctor to prescribe you Acyclovir for suppressive therapy. A twice daily pill, this should help control your outbreaks and make them less frequent and less severe. This can help you with your self-confidence. But really, since most people already have HSV-1, you should worry less about spreading it! Please read our page about this topic. Good luck!


I’m 24 years old and I’ve had the virus since I was 11 years old. I have no idea how I contracted herpes and I continue to struggle with this. I have the utmost fear of spreading it to others. I have it on my nose and in my mouth so it can be easily spread from simple contact. I can’t help but cry when I think of having an outbreak and not wanting to touch my family or my future children in fear of giving it to them. I don’t know how to tell myself its ok. My biggest problem at the moment is trying to figure out how to tell someone I went on a date with(not yet in a relationship) that he has probably been exposed because I noticed an outbreak the next day. How do I tell him that I like him but probably infected him as well? I’m beyond stressed out and any advice will be helpful!


Glad you have had real-life experience seeing that there are many people out there who are not afraid to date people with herpes. Seriously, there are many happy couples out there, where one person has herpes and the other person does not. And you also have the experience of having NO SYMPTOMS, yet testing positive for herpes. So many people who have herpes, don’t even know it, because they have no symptoms and most doctors do NOT test their patients for herpes. Many doctors don’t even know that there are accurate blood tests available.

Just because you don’t have any symptoms does NOT mean that you should not take daily suppressive therapy such as Valacyclovir or Acyclovir, which have been shown to dramatically reduce the frequency of asymptomatic shedding of the virus – which helps reduce the risk of spreading herpes to your partner(s). If you use condoms regularly, AND take daily suppressive therapy, you have an extremely low chance of spreading herpes to a partner – although it’s not 100% risk free. Sex with ANYONE is never 100% risk free. And since 25% or more of adult women in the US have genital herpes, and MOST of them don’t even know it, a guy would have a higher chance of getting herpes from some other woman they date, than from you – someone who knows what she has and is taking precautions to reduce the risk of spreading it.

Just think – you have herpes but no symptoms. Most people with herpes have no symptoms. More than 25% of adults in the US have herpes and most of them don’t even know it. More people have HPV than HSV. Some strains of HPV can cause cancer that might kill you. Herpes does not cause cancer and cannot kill you. Why should herpes have a stigma, while HPV does not? It’s ridiculous. You get all STD’s the same way – from sexual contact. Don’t sell yourself short just because you have an STD. You’ve got one that’s pretty benign for most people. So get the facts, and meet other people with herpes in your local city and hear their stories about how they have successfully told new partners about herpes, and about how they have protected their partners from getting herpes. For more info, see:
Reducing Herpes Risk
Herpes Social and Support Groups

Good luck! DWH


I found out I had herpes after being intimate with a guy three times, I went in because I was sore (after three years of celibacy) and wanted to get tested for everything. When I found out I thought it was “new” but the doctor said “NOT possible” I have had this for over a year based on the blood test results…well I had been celibate for three years after my 14year marriage and I was tested when I was pregnant with my oldest child? so who gave it to me? my cheating ex-husband. Lucky for him he was in a relationship for a few years when I told him we had it… bad news for me I was wasn’t so I find out and I’m single. Now I have to tell everyone I want to be with I have herpes… but worse than that my partner was amazing! He was so kind, because I was freaking out about it, he helped me through the shock, and refused to wear protection. I was not going to be with him again after I found out I didn’t want him to catch it, but after me saying no, he said, “shouldn’t I get a choice in this” and he didn’t want to use anything. I have never had an outbreak ever! and I have had it for at least four years if not more. My doctor said, “some people don’t ever get outbreaks and I’m one.” So no medicine to reduce outbreaks?0 I had no clue I had it? My partner’s reaction was so loving it made me feel like I wasn’t all messed up… I will never forget how wonderful he was I love him to death for that. bad news we broke up after nine months,(other reasons) Now I worry he has it because of me, I love him he was one of my best friends and I hope to god he doesn’t have it. I don’t want him to have to deal with this it’s horrible. I’m trying to see a guy I’m like now what how do I date ? how do I tell people? when do I tell them, guys always want to move so fast, I’m sort of afraid of their reactions…but I will not give this “gift” away like it was given to me. this info helped me a bit ill try “the virus that causes herpes” but I’m not good with rejection so hearing they are rejecting the herps not me was good to remember. Thanks guys for the post!


A lot of people waste time trying to place blame on their current partner for supposedly being the one who they got herpes from, when it’s totally possible that they got it from a previous partner. It can take up to 4 months for the herpes virus to show up in a blood test. Many people with herpes never have any noticeable symptoms and most doctors don’t include a herpes blood test when they are testing patients for other STD’s. Most people just ASSUME that their doctor tests them for EVERYTHING – when this is usually not the case!

So if your partner was not given a blood test about 4 months after leaving her “cheating husband” – then it’s possible that she had acquired the virus before she met you. She should ask her doctor for her previous test results and make sure she really was tested. It’s possible that she just “thinks” she was tested for herpes – but maybe she was not. She should ask her doctor to see the actual test results to make sure.

Also, just because you test “equivocal” does not mean that you do not have herpes or that you did not have herpes before you starting seeing your most recent partner. Some people have higher or lower numbers – based on their own body’s response to the virus. You should definitely get tested again in a few months to see if there is any change.

About 90% of people who carry the herpes virus – HSV1 and/or HSV2 – have no idea that they have it and most doctors do NOT test for it, even when they tell their patients that they are testing them for the most common STD’s. So about 1 in 4 people out there in the dating pool have HSV and most of them DON’T KNOW IT! People are have unprotected oral sex, and unprotected other sex, and if you didn’t get it from your most recent partner, you could have easily gotten it from a previous partner who had no clue they had an STD.

Trying to assign blame is a huge waste of time. You have what you have. Herpes is not going to kill you. Most people don’t have noticeable outbreaks and don’t even know they have it. Some people have noticeable outbreaks that subside over time and are easily managed. Now that you know what you have, get the facts about how to reduce your risk of spreading herpes to future partners. Good luck!


The above information has been very helpful. Question how does one determine who infected who ? My partner after our first encounter called me several days later and told me that she had a herpes outbreak and was quite upset since she gets herself tested regularly (former husband was a cheater) when I got tested several days later it was determined that my stage was in the Equivocal. She has an outbreak later I’m in the equivocal stage she blames me ?


Give yourself and your ex-husband a break. 27 years ago, there were no accurate blood tests for herpes, and doctors routinely told their patients that unless they were having an active outbreak, that it was not possible to transmit herpes to their partners. In 1999, accurate herpes blood tests became available but even today (2013) many doctors still don’t know this and still tell their patients that they cannot transmit the virus unless they are having an active outbreak. Most people with genital herpes have few or mild outbreaks and do not even know that they are potentially shedding the virus some of the time. Please carefully read our page on How Did I Get Herpes? to understand why herpes is so easy to get, but so hard to figure out who you got it from.

Next, please know that over 50% of single women over 50 already have herpes (HSV1 or HSV2) and you should not feel ashamed or less desirable just because you have herpes. Pretty much every sexually active woman your age has either HSV1 or HSV2, both of which can be transmitted to a partner via oral, genital or anal sex. Since many people past child-bearing age are having unprotected sex, it’s pretty common for older people dating to get an STD. Some statistics suggest that over 70% of single women who are 50+ have herpes. So if your gentleman is trying to avoid dating someone with herpes – good luck! Even if he tries to date only Non-H women, all he can do is “ask” them if they have herpes, and most of them will actually “have it but NOT KNOW IT”!

So educate yourself and get comfortable with the facts. Ask him to get a herpes blood test, since chances are, he might have it too, without knowing it. And then read out section about How to Reduce Risk of Herpes Transmission and then finally re-read our page about How to Tell a Partner that You Have Herpes. Good Luck! DWH


27 years ago when dating my husband, he didn’t tell me he had herpes. I was 19 and found out he had it when the medicine in his cabinet matched what my doc gave me. I was hurt by it. He insisted I could of gotten it from someone else. I wasn’t a virgin but not too active. Fast forward 27 years later, 3 kids later and am in the process of divorce. Up against being single and dating.
I’m interested in a man I met 30 years ago. He wants to travel 3,000 miles to see me. I need to tell him before he comes out here – We’ve only talked about being intimate and am so scared he will reject me. But after reading everyones posts – I know I’m doing the right thing before he takes a trip out here. Better he reject me now than when he comes out here. Pray it goes well for me.


Dear Sunny – Most people acquire HSV-1 orally during childhood, usually without symptoms, from kissing non-symptomatic relatives and friends. By the time people reach adulthood, 60-80% of them have oral HSV-1, usually without symptoms. Your daughter cannot get genital HSV-1 from you unless you have sexual contact with her! She is much more likely (60-80%) to get HSV-1 orally – without symptoms – just from kissing relatives and friends in everyday life. Most people have HSV-1 orally and just don’t know it. People don’t realize how incredibly common it is! And now, with the great popularity of oral sex, more and more people are getting HSV-1 genitally too. You are not going to give your daughter HSV-1 in the genital tract! But she is almost certain of getting HSV-1 orally before age 21, and she may get it genitally if she engages in unprotected oral sex (someone going down on her) like many teenagers do. The best thing you can do is relax, and when she is old enough, tell her how you got genital HSV-1 so she knows that she needs to use protection even for oral sex in order to avoid it. Good luck.



i was dating my boyfriend for about three years then we decided to take a break, one time a friend(girl) of mine and i had oral sex, and about a week later i started getting a tingling sensation. i brushed it off as a razor burn but as soon as the bumps turned into painful ulcers i knew i had to tell them both. i had a feeling my friend had gave it to me but i had to tell my boyfriend first and living with the burden of possible spreading it to my 5 year old girl. i didnt know how to confront him so i chose to call him. as soon as i started crying he told me to come over, i was very comforted by his support as he said we would get through it together. i was devastated to think i might spread it to him, a day later i knew ihad to tell my friend about it too, i had texted telling her what was going on w me, by the time i got off work i has 36 messages from her telling me i was brave an courageous of telling her because she knew it could be either my bf or her who gave it to me, although she then had to carry the burden of having the chance of carrying the virus i told her we will always be friends no matter what, three weeks later i get my results back postive and having them both by my side, after taking medication im back to normal. i know eventually i will have to tell my little girl about the facts of life and having her tested for it and car fully monitoring for any signs on her body, i know i have to be extra careful around everyone i love. but life goes on no matter who decides to be by your side, <3 thank you so much for your stories.

-the sunny girl


I have had the talk with all of my past partners and none of them had a problem with it. I have not dated, or been sexually active, in 5 years. I recently joined and told someone too soon about it. He said he would have to research it which I understand but out of curiosity I researched it as well online. The CDC and other respected sites make it sound like we should never have sex again and make the symptoms sound much worse than anything I have ever experienced. I am happy to have found this site because I was starting to think I would just be alone forever because of the stigma of herpes.


Congrats on having your first “talk” with someone. Every time you have the “talk” it gets a little easier. Remember, not everyone you date is going to be someone that “sticks” in your life. Most of us date a lot of people before we find “the one” or at least the “next one.” You did a great job helping educate him about HSV, and I’m sure he respects you for telling him about your situation. Whether or not he is interested in a sexual relationship is yet to be seen, but whatever happens, you did the responsible thing. Be proud of yourself for getting through this first talk. There will be other men and other talks. You will get through those too. Good luck. DWH


I recently told the guy i had been seeing for about five months i had hsv2. We waited four months until we finally had sex, i didnt plan on ever getting serious, but having sex with him knowing i had herpes killed me inside. so i finally had to tell me, he freaked on me, but instantly apologized after. he didnt talk to me for about a month but after he was tested and came up negative for hsv2 he began talking to me again.. and i am freaking out!!! Does this mean he wants to eventually get serious? he said he learned alot about herpes, i dont think he would do this to hurt me and get my hope up.. i dont know it is stressing me out very much because he is the first guy ive told and had feelings for since getting herpes last december!


I want to share a story for those who are feeling like no one will ever want to be with them again. I was diagnosed with hsv-2 in July of 2012. After telling my partner at the time, I found out that he had had hsv-2 for years and and had decided no to tell me because he “didn’t think anything would happen to me”. I was devastated, and have never felt so sick and alone and terrified in my life. I stayed with this person much longer than I should have, because I felt that my romantic life was over, and that if I didn’t stay with him I would be alone forever. Eventually I realized that I ha trapped myself, and that no amount of security was worth being with someone who didn’t respect me. No one who knowingly exposes someone to this without giving them the chance to decide respects their partner. Last week I had to tell someone that I cared about for the first time. It was the hardest thing I have ever had to do. I practiced my speech, making sure that i stayed positive and non dramatic. I had mentally prepared for every reaction except the one I got. He told me that it didn’t change anything, he knew the statistics on how common it is, and shared the story of an std scare that he had had himself. The best thing that this wonderful man said though, was that “telling me that was much worse for you then for me hearing it”. We need to remember that we are the brave ones, the strong ones, and that there will be others who recognize that.

Be strong


I did find this helpful. Its been a yr since I tested positive for HSV2 and I have yet to have the talk. I found out during my yearly exam in addition to being diagnosed with cervical cancer. Now that I’ve returned to dating I’ve found someone I’d like to spend time with & be intimate with…. And know I must have this conversation within the next week or two. I wanted to thank everyone for their input as its beneficial to see so many other lives & how they’ve dealt.


I recently found out I had HSV1. I don’t know who I got it from except the dude I was dating did get cold sores and I ended up with BV and HSV1 after about a month of dating. He freaked out, blew me off, and now I trying to pick up the pieces. Going on my first date since tonight. I am a little nervous. I figure the first time I tell someone(although I know it wont be tonight) is going to be the hardest. And I don’t want to be that person who doesn’t say anything and have the same thing happen to someone else. What is hard is I didn’t know it was herpes because according to the doctor I had the midlest ourbreak they had ever since and apparently I have a huge pain tolerance because it didn’t hurt. Now I am constantly wondering am I having an outbreak… will I, what happens next. It nice to read peoples comments and know I am not alone.


I found out 8 years ago that I had it. My boyfriend of a year and I went to the ER thinking I had gotten poison ivy while gardening. Needless to say he was not a man at all because when I got the diagnosis he didn’t say a word to me, dropped me off at my apartment that night and disappeared from my life. He left me in a terrible state of shock and I felt absolutely disgusting and unwanted. This is not true-I have had a boyfriend for 8 years now that picked me up from my depression and told me about how common it actually is. He read up on it and he was the one explaining things to me. I have realized that the one who disappeared is most likely who gave it to me, and it was never me who was disgusting-it was him-because who could be so heartless as to just disappear from someone when they need you the most? Unfortunately there are heartless people out there. I am going to soon be dating again and I am beyond nervous about it. I have told 2 people about this, and they both have not spoke to me since. The only bright side is that this will filter out who is and isn’t worth it. This is the first place I have felt comfortable enough to tell my story. It’s nice to know I’m not alone.

thank you to all of you

I want to add my voice because your voices help me. Maybe adding mine will help you. Either way, I think it will help me. I need to say to someone that I have herpes. I HAVE HERPES. I would like to be able to scream it to the world. Have all of us scream it, so many that others will have to recognize it is not worth the stigma. The ONLY effect herpes has ever had on my life is the stigma. I have never had a symptom. Never a negative physical presence, but the emotional impact is severe given pop culture’s general misconception and penchant for herpes jokes.

Now I have met someone who I truly want to be with. I didn’t want to or expect to meet someone. Now I am forced to begin dealing with this. Today is the first time I have gone online to seek some greater understanding of the experience of others, and I should have done this so long ago. I need to know your stories and I need to share mine. I need to heal. We all need to heal. Heal our hearts and souls, accepting that the stigma does not define us. We do not need to be alone.

It is time to create a plan for telling my new partner. First, I think I must be okay with him walking away. I must value the time and connection that has been shared without expecting more. Then I must trust him, and do, not to share this. I once had someone I was dating tell me they had herpes and I decided not to continue the relationship, but I never told anyone. This was in a tight knit community where his risk of sharing was very high. That I kept his secret in close confidence and respected that he gave me the choice, makes me hope that what I share will also be held in confidence. If he does walk away, I would like to have a resolve that I do not need to be alone and telling him is just the first step in finding a partner in this world. The person who once told me is now married and they have a child.

For what it’s worth (and some may find it cheesy), here’s a quote from Rocky that I find true:

“Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It is a very mean and nasty place and I don’t care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life.

But it ain’t about how hard you hit; it’s about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward. . It’s How much you can take, and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done.

Now, if you know what you’re worth, then go out and get what you’re worth. But you gotta be willing to take the hits, and not point fingers and blame other people. Cowards do that and that ain’t you. You’re better than that!”

Thank you to the person who wrote this article and all who commented.


I suggest you join the National HELP secret Facebook Group for people with genital herpes. There are several experienced Support Group Leaders there who can steer you towards other members who have successfully “had the talk” with non-H partners. For more information on how to join the National HELP secret Facebook Group, please see our webpage on this site that has links to Herpes Social and Support Groups. Good luck.



I discovered that I have HSV 2 in the summer of 2011. Its hard to deal with I felt ashamed and totally disgusted with myself I felt like no one would want me, I am still working on that within myself. I think that a lot of us get a bad name because so many people are ignorant to the fact and what HSV2 really is and what it involves and it makes me nervous the whole sterotype of it all I dont want anyone to look at me and say oh she was a hoe when in reality that wasnt the case at all. Ive recently found someone that I really like but I am so nervous and scared of telling him I am afraid of rejection and how he will take it or look at me once he finds out I know I should probably think positive but at the same time I want to brace my heart. I was wondering if anyone could share when they told someone that they were interest in that they had HSV2. Please help.


So glad I found this site! I acquired hsv2 in 2008. I had been dating g a guy for about 2 & 1/2 months when we decided to have sex & I foolishly let him talk me into unprotected sec at that(he’d had a vasectomy & was “clean”). And I had very recently had my yearly lap & std testing (including hsv, I’m a nurse). The very next day he told me he had H, & within 3 days I had my first outbreak. I was devastated( exposed to much worse as a nurse but always taken appropriate precautions to protect myself). I married him because I felt ruined & unclean. It failed miserably to say the least after I found out his preview wife had it & he knew all along. It never gets easier telling someone you truly care about that you have a special circumstance. Ive had 1 relationship since that marriage & he was very accepting. We were together almost 2 yrs & ended up going our separate ways. Ive been on my ow. For almost a yr now (nothing serious in this yr) & recently had an old friend that there has always been a mutual attraction contact me. I still feel strongly about this guy, he was married & off limits til recently but we’ve kept in contact over the last 4 yrs. He lives about 5 hours from me so most of our contact is via the telephone. We talk everyday, sometimes for hours on end. I feel our connection has grown very strong very quickly. No sexual contact at this point, but we have talked about sex. We are now discussing meeting up…alone this time, & I know I have to tell him before that ever happens. Tonight. I have decided to tell him when I talk to him tonight. Its not fair to either of us the longer I drag it out, Hate that it has to be on the phone but we just don’t live close enough & I’m not sure what his reaction will be. I am prepared for any reaction but am still scared to death. I don’t think that will ever change, but he deserves the respect of being given the choice, unlike when I contracted the virus. I will say, H can definitely weed through the bad apples! Lol People who are just looking for sexton that is. I hope this 1 is strong enough to handle it, but life goes on if not! For those who are struggling, keep your heads up! This does not define you or you’d self worth! And when you find someone who accepts you as you are you will know they are worth your love!


I was diagnosed with HSV2 just last week and I’ve told two of my partners. One was very supportive. The other hung up on me and I felt terrible. But then I thought about this site and what I read here and I knew that I did the right thing, regardless. I wouldn’t ever put anyone in jeopardy and had I known it prior, I would have told them before. I’m still dealing with the immense level of stress of having to explain this to people before carrying on an intimate relationship but I take comfort in that I’m doing what I would want someone to do for me. Which is to give an option. It hurts, but I can sleep well at night knowing I’m taking responsibility for myself.


I’d like to take a moment to thank all that are responsible for this site, and especially the contributing writers with this comment.

I have recently come to suspect I carry HSV-2. I’ve read much of the same information over and over on many sites which means I’ve been told countless times not to feel bad if I am a carrier. Countless times, but not once did I ever feel comforted by the words. I’m not sure any other article pointed out such an obvious fact; if you’re stressed knowing this unpleasant talk now precedes every sexual relationship to come, you’re among those that are both honest, considerate and strong enough to do so in the first place.

Its easy to overlook that this talk is a choice. For me, it was an automatic assumption; if I have the virus I’m always going to have this talk to look forward too. I was shocked by the sudden and overwhelming comfort I felt when I reached 2nd to last paragraph of the article and realized I was not only making a choice, but an admirable one. It’s something that I can value myself for…

If it turns out I will need to have this talk throughout my life, I may never look forward to it, but thanks to this article I can at least feel some sense of confidence going into it.

I sincerely thank you for that.


Did you have an initial genital outbreak? Or have you never had any genital outbreaks? Were you diagnosed with HSV-1 via a culture test or a blood test? If you never had an outbreak, and were diagnosed for HSV-1 via a blood test, then you may have oral vs. genital herpes. 60-80% of adults – including most virgins over 12 years old – will test positive for HSV-1 via a blood test. This doesn’t mean that they don’t have herpes – but the most likely location of their latent infection is probably their mouth and not their genitals. But if someone performed oral sex on you – and if you later had a genital outbreak – then it’s quite possible that you have HSV-1 of the genital variety. Oral sex is sex. People do get STD’s from oral sex. Please check out the information here on Herpes Diagnosis and How to Reduce Your Risk of Spreading Herpes and also the page on Herpes Dating Services.


I just got diagnosed with “h” on boyfriend didn’t know he had it because he never had an outbreak; myself on the other hand, miserable. I have a compromised immune system bc I also have lupus so I am experiencing severe symptoms. Feeling alone, hurt and confused this has helped me realize that there are many of us that carry the virus. Thankfully him and I are going through this together and he is being great but in the event things don’t work out, I know I have these resources on how to talk to a future partner.


In June I was diagnosed with HSV Type 1 virus. The worst part about this diagnosis was not that I was immediately diagnosed in the ER alone at 19 years old, but rather the fact that I was too ignorant to think I couldn’t contract an STD through any physical contact, thinking the virgin status was enough. Needless to say this diagnosis was heartbreaking and depressing in every thinkable manner. There are still times when I think why me, but this is only a minor part of the picture. I continually remind myself “may the past be the sound of your footsteps on the ground… carry on.”

The time is now four months after my diagnosis, and I am thankful to say that I am outbreak free. I still shutter at the thought of that night in the hospital alone. Words cannot explain how rough it is to tell your parents or loved ones about your diagnosis for the first time. Explaining you have a sexually transmitted disease without ever having sexual intercourse is not an easy task. However, as embarrassing and demeaning as it may make you feel , it is of negligible value in comparison to the actual diagnosis, for NO ONE else should feel as I did June 16th. If they are not willing to accept you as a carrier of the HSV, whomever it may be is simply not worth your time.

All I can ask of everyone that may read this is to not hide the truth. Honesty is the only policy!


Obviously, this guy was a loser if he didn’t take the time to at least get educated about genital herpes and get tested himself before just walking away. He wasn’t as smart as you thought. Remember, any guy who really cares for you will take the time to learn about genital herpes and get tested for it, before making a decision about whether or not to keep seeing you. Having the talk will help weed out the people whom you don’t belong with anyhow. Don’t dwell on the people who walk away. They’re not worth your time. Instead, move on and meet the right person. Just say “next”!



You’ve just summed up what a lot of other people feel. You think you’re somehow “dirty” because you have HSV-2, as if HSV-2 is somehow “worse” than HSV-1. The fact is that a whole lot of people are having unprotected sex. They are having unprotected oral sex and unprotected genital sex. Through unprotected oral sex, a lot of people are getting genital herpes of the HSV-1 variety. Very few people use protection for oral sex, and as many as 30% of new cases of genital herpes are from HSV-1. Approximately 1-in-4 women have HSV-2 and most of them don’t even know it – because they have never been tested, like you have. So 1-in-4 of your current guy’s dates had HSV-2 and he probably didn’t realize it. Using protection is something that is the responsibility of both partners. It’s his responsibility too. I’d guess that if he had unprotected sex with you, that he’s had unprotected sex with other women before you. And one in four of them probably had HSV-2. So he may already have HSV-2 and not know it. Like most people, he probably already has HSV-1, but has been participating in oral sex without using protection.

Bottom line is that you are one of millions of people who carry the virus for genital herpes – and you were smart enough to get tested so you know what you have and don’t have. Know that you know what you have, you can take the recommended precautions to prevent spreading it to your partners. You can always use condoms, and you can take daily Acyclovir or Valtrex. By doing these things, you dramatically reduce your risk of spreading herpes to a partner – so much so that someone might be at much less risk sleeping with you than with someone else who just “thinks” they are clean for herpes – when they might have it and just not know it.

If your new friend is smart, and cares for you, he will take the time to learn about herpes and get tested, like you did. If he claims that he was “already tested for everything” and doesn’t bother to get tested again using one of the newer, very accurate herpes blood tests, then that would be a sign that he’s not as nice and responsible a guy as you thought. Whether or not he tests positive for HSV-2, this is an opportunity for both of you to become educated about STD’s including herpes, and to start taking precautions to prevent spreading herpes to your partner(s).

Good luck! DWH

Just found out

I just found out yesterday that I have HSV 1 & HSV 2. I can deal with HSV 1 but I am having a terrible time coming to terms with HSV2. I did not have an outbreak or anything like that. I was completely unaware that I had any type of STD. I am recently divorced and went back out on to the dating scene. I stupidly had a one night stand a few months ago. I didnt think anything of it to be honest. But about a month and a half ago I started dating an amazing guy. I genuinely like him a lot. I know he he has had a couple of sexual partners after his split with his girlfriend at the beginning of the year. I decided on my own to go get a full STD test panel done just because I wanted to be on the safe side as these days STD’s are so common. I got my results yesterday and was completely devastated by them. I have to see the guy i’m dating on Saturday and I am trying to figure out a way to let him know without him thinking i’m some kind of freak. Obviously there may be the chance he has it. I could have caught it from him. If he has it too though, he could have very well caught it from me. Like I said though, I have never had an outbreak and honestly had no clue I had this. I havent even had coldsores and tested positive for HSV1! I guess I just need advice on the best way to bring the subject up to it. This website has been great in helping me come to terms with the fact its really not such a horrible thing that I have. I have to realize too that if this guy really truly cares then he will stand by me. If he doesnt want to be with me after this, then he just isnt worth my time or effort in the first place. Just really freaking out about telling him as we’ve already had sex before I found out and before I even went and got tested. The sex was unprotected as well. Now I am dealing with the guilt of being so stupid to have unprotected sex! HELP!

Shari Jones

I feel so frustrated that genital herpies has so much grater stigma than non genital. I didn’t ask for this, yet now I’m living with something that will change my life forever. I was dating someone I really liked and when I told him, he hardly spoke, then left and we’re never seeing each other again. Wow. Seriously, over a cold sore…


Yeah, it can be scary to tell someone. But remember – herpes is extremely common and he might already have it too. Telling someone before you have sex is the right thing to do. You will feel better after you have the talk – no matter what the response. Statistics show that about 1 in every 4 women have genital herpes – whether or not they know it. So if he’s had more than 4 sexual partners (seems likely!) then he has already slept with 1 or more women who had genital herpes. So he should be tested. When you have the talk, refer him to this site for more information about how the two of you can use Safer Sex practices to reduce the risk of transmitting herpes, and also ask him to read the page about Herpes Diagnosis so he can get a herpes blood test.


1) Make sure that what you have is really herpes. Self-Diagnosis is often wrong. Even doctors get it wrong sometimes when they just do a visual inspection. Get tested ASAP for both HSV-1 and HSV-2 using one of the accurate herpes blood tests listed on our page about Herpes Diagnosis. If this outbreak is from an “old” infection, then the virus antibodies should show up in a blood test. If this is a “new” infection, then the antibodies may not have had enough time to replicate to show up, and you may need to be retested in 3-4 months.

2) Tell your girlfriend that you had some sort of outbreak and are going to get a herpes blood test and other tests to see what it is. Ask her to get tested as well, and make sure she asks for a herpes blood test. For all you know, she may already have herpes and may not even know it. Hopefully, she’ll agree to get tested too. Even if she “thinks” she is clean, tell her that most doctors do NOT include a herpes blood test in the normal STD test panels. You have to ASK specifically to be tested for herpes. So she was probably never tested for herpes before. If she tests positive for herpes, and if you both have herpes, then you don’t need to take any special precautions. If she tests negative, and you test positive, then you should start using the recommended ways to Reduce Your Risk of Spreading Herpes to a partner.

3) If your girlfriend decides NOT to get tested or retested, and would rather be in the dark about her own herpes status, then maybe she’s not someone you want to be in a relationship with.

Good luck! DWH


need some advice:
i’m 36. been sexually active for 18 years. i have been in a relationship for 5 months now with a woman i truly love. never cheated but recently on a trip without her, i got a blister on my penis. pretty sure i know what it is. and the last time we had sex was 2 days before the itching and bump/blister appeared. so now the question is…what next? i’ve never been tested. never had an outbreak. didn’t know i had it until now.


Hello, I am 25 years old and found out in July of 2007 that I have herpes. Since the first outbreak i have not had another one. I take suppressive medication everyday since i found out. I was at the time married to my soon to be ex husband. I found out that he was cheating on me when I was Dx. I ended up leaving him but decided to make it work after a month of being separated. I know I wanted to make it work mainly because I figured that know one would want to be with me. Well everything was going ok with us for a few years ended up giving birth to are first child in 2010. Then I found out he was still cheating again. I finally put my foot down and left for good because i rather be alone then to keep on being cheated on. We have been separated since Aug 2010 since then i have dated many people. Also had sex with a couple of them without telling them. I feel so bad but cant change the past. Last year I did tell my ex boyfriend before we had sex. It was the scariest thing i ever had to say but was the best because he was ok with it. Well we had some issues happen in are relationship and he is not the one for me. Well now i meet this guy that i think i like. I am sill trying to figure this out. I want to tell him before anything happens. I have stayed the night with him a few times and was glad that he did not try anything but in my head i wanted him to but i know that he shouldnt until i let him know. The problem is i am scared of being rejected. I am trying to work up the nerve but i know he is getting a little upset because i keep avoiding him. Reading some of these posts still dont give me the courage. I am so scared.


No, you interpreted the article in your own way. While it is true that HSV-1 is extremely common, it does not mean that one does not need to discuss it with potential partners. Even if most people already havs HSV-1, plenty of other people do NOT have it. But because it IS so common, this should help other people realize just how easy it is to acquire viruses and STD’s, and why always talking about these things and always using protection is a good idea.


The article seems to imply that people with HSV-1 needn’t tell their partner because HSV-1 is so common(60-80%).

Am I interpreting that right?


I got the “H” when I was 22.. I’m now 31. I got it from an ex, who I soon realized was a pathological liar. I can’t remember the last time I had a break out, but its still so hard to think about telling a potential partner. For me, the biggest fear is that he will tell someone else and it will get around town. I know A LOT of people in this city and thinking about everyone finding out is terrifying. I would think about moving. I never want to date anyone that knows a lot of the same people. You never know what people will do when they are drunk or mad at you and want revenge. The “H” doesn’t effect me physically, just emotionally. I was with a guy for 5 years, we never used protection, I never took meds, and he never got it. I told him in the beginning of the relationship but it was the hardest thing I ever did. We had sex before I told him and I will never do that again. He threw that in my face throughout the whole relationship. But he was right, I should of told him. We just broke up a couple months ago, and now I’m back on the dating scene. When I go on dates, I find myself trying to not flirt as much or put myself in the position where we could start getting physical. I’m still terrified after all these years. I still feel like damaged goods. How long is too long to withhold sex from someone your dating as a 31 year old before he thinks something is weird? haha.. I don’t know.. but I will definitely take the advice from these comments.


If you decide to believe the stigma, that’s unfortunate because herpes is only a big deal for the people who “believe” that it is. For most people who have genital herpes, the symptoms are few and far between, often very mild or non-existent. Certainly some people have more noticeable symptoms – but it’s definitely different for every person. A whole lot of people have herpes who don’t know it- like up to 90% – because they don’t notice any symptoms or their symptoms are misdiagnosed for something else.
Millions of people have genital herpes, and there are social groups all over the USA and the rest of the world for people who have genital herpes so that people can meet and make friends with each other and learn about how to live and date with genital herpes. There are also several online dating services for people with genital herpes.

So why in the world would you decide that your love life if over? There are tons of attractive people in your same situation who are easy to meet if you join your local H social group or one of the online H dating services. I suggest joining your local H social group first so you can make friends with other men and women with genital herpes and gain some perspective which you currently seem to lack!

Here are the links on this site for regional H social and support groups and H dating services:
Herpes Social and Support Groups
Herpes Online Dating Services

Good Luck!

Scorned fella

I was diagnosed positive(for H) earlier this year. It really threw me for a loop. After doing some research, I recalled the first noticeable symptoms. I met a young lady from Scandanavia & we hooked up in Europe. We were madly in love, but it seems that she was dropping clues without just coming forward. As time wore on, we moved to the States. After a while, I had my first outbreak. I showed her, for I had no idea what was going on, but she dismissed it as rough sex. My stupid self bought it. We later had a horrid split-up where I discovered she been talking to/ seeing others. A month or two after we split, I had another outbreak. Now alarms go off, for I haven’t even jerked off or anything since we split. After going to a clinic, I got my bad news. She moved back to Europe, but I informed her. Of course, its everyone else’s fault, or karma, but her’s. I am severely depressed about it. I’m an attractive 35 year old, athletic male with alot going for myself, but I wonder how alone I will live now. Lots of women hit on me, but I don’t need to get my hopes up that another will either understand, or willing to take that type of risk for me. If my ex had given me a choice, who knows, we may still be with one another. Mutual friends tell me how many men she goes through & so on. I find it so unfair at times that I actually care enough not to go spreading H, while she does whatever she wants with no concious. I have never been a male whore or anything of the like, so I felt pissed that this happened like this. Somedays, I feel like sticking my hands in the earth & ripping it in two. You know, “let the world burn” type of attitude. However, I have been getting deeper into Zen, & reading positive articles like this one. I doubt that I will find meaningful companionship. I have severe trust issues now, I don’t talk or socialize much, & who wants a ruined person. I remember the way people criticize & shun folks with H when I was coming up. Maybe things have changed some, but there is still a hard stigma about H. I’m starting to give up on that aspect of my life. I almost feel like a forced celebate. I don’t know, but will keep moving forward.


It’s up to you to decide the right time to tell a prospective lover about you medical condition. Obviously, having sexual contact with someone you just met is a very bad idea – for both parties. How do you know whether or not this person that you are meeting for the first time already has an STD, maybe even herpes? Also, this person may have other issues that might not be apparent until you get to know them for a while. Are they trust-worthy? Do they gossip? Do they have money-management issues? Do they have anger-management issues? Do they have empathy towards other people? How do you know that you want to even bother to sleep with them before you get to know them better and make sure that they’ve *really* been tested for herpes and other STD’s? So many people mistakenly *think* they are *clean* – because they don’t notice any symptoms and they *assume* incorrectly that their doctor already tested them for herpes (not likely) – when in fact, they might have something and just don’t know it. Is this person someone that you would trust with knowing about your medical condition without *judging* you for something you cannot help? Is this someone who would value your other qualities enough to take the precautions necessary to reduce their risk of getting herpes from you? Believe it or not, YOU are in the position of power here. Stop thinking about whether or not this guy will accept YOU. Instead, get to know this guy well enough to know whether or not YOU accept HIM and think he’s someone worthy of knowing your medical history. Take your time. If he’s looking for a real relationship, and not just casual sex, you’ll figure that out only if you don’t rush into anything and realize that you also have a choice to decide if he is or is not right for you. Good luck!


I’m so glad I found this site, I am dealing with this issue for years and to say this to your partner is very hard , Sometimes I think is the end of the world . Now I have a new date and I don’t know when is the time to say it.. I haven’t met the guy yet in person, I don’t want to say this right away but I don’t want to waste his time neither . What should I do ?


Firstly, this article and reading all the comments beneath has made me feel like so much less of an outsider so thank you. After years of tormenting myself over it and having nobody to speak to about it, I feel like a weights been lifted. I contracted “H” when I was 16 – I am now 21. All this time I have felt like it’s the worse thing ever and I tried my best to ignore the fact, so much so that I’ve put other people in danger of catching it too. Telling someone special was the hardest conversation I have ever had to have. Fortunately, although he obviously wasn’t happy about it, he got over the fact and stayed with me. I am now in a new relationship with someone I finally see myself having a future with and I am so scared it will lessen his opinion of me, but I know it has to be done soon. No matter how scary it is, you must remember that if the person you’re telling doesn’t want to be with you because of “H” then that person was not meant for you. Lets just hope my opinion of him isn’t changed by his reaction and that we can live happily ever after! Thank you for posting this article – it’s really helped put my mind at ease.


I too have had herpes for 30 years due to an unfaithful husband. We divorced many years and and I too thought my “love life” was over. I’m glad I found your comment page and know that if other people can survive, so can I. Just needed to know how to tell someone. Like what I saw. Another thing that is most disturbing, is to hear how the entertainment industry talks about it. A certain daytime “TALK” show recently had a discussion where one of the co-hosts referred to people with herpes being (as she put it) covered in sores. Nice image! And certainly not true of everyone if any at all. I think the henna hair color got to her brain. If everyone believes that, we’re all i trouble. I’ve also heard some stand up comics give a bad take on the desease as well. Someone should educate the Hollywood crowd.

Successfully Dating with "H"

I was diagnosed with “H” three years ago, about a year after my divorce. I had gone through a slightly promiscuous phase, as I tried to find myself again. I didn’t practice safe sex and this phase quickly came to a halt when I was diagnosed. I was devastated! I felt like a leper, like who would ever want to be with me again? It halted my promiscuity, but it increased my awareness of people. I began to make better decisions about the men I chose to be in a relationship with, making sure I got to know them better before pursuing a sexual relationship with them. I was pleasantly surprised to find two wonderful men over the past three years, who didn’t have herpes, and who didn’t run away from me. They were men who genuinely liked me for me (and I them), who did their research, and made an educated decision about pursuing a relationship with me. One of those men ended up carrying herpes (never an outbreak); the one I dated for 18 months never did get it. Neither relationship turned into marriage, and I left each relationship with a feeling of responsibility for the outcome of their std test, but also proud of myself because I know I did the right thing by telling them and educating them. With every new potential sexual partner, I get very nervous about having the talk. One thing I tell them is that other than having to have this talk with people, herpes really is not a big deal, and it’s not! The stigma behind it and having to tell other people is the worst part! These two relationships have given me the confidence to believe that I am still worthy of a fulfilling relationship. Herpes hasn’t stopped me from having that; it’s just helped me make better choices.


it all depends on the mentality and maturity of the person you are telling…some ppeople are mean…some people are rude …but some people are nice and honest and sweet…i was diagnosed in 09…and i was devasted cause i was diagnosed with lupus that same month…i though the world was ending…but time past…and i learned that the guy who rejected me…were the jerks …WHY WOULD I WANNA BE WITH A JUDGMENTAL JERK?? but yea anyways…ive met a few guys and told them…and actually it was da opposite…it wasnt working out so i left them…and i remember one of my ex cried was crying 🙁 …but moral of the story….ur not the FREAK…some people will love you for who you are…and some people will fall in love with ur honesty…since i have been diagnosed i have had 0 outbreaks…and the doctor said i would have many many manyyyyy outbreaks cause of the lupus…BUT GOD IS GOOD …0 outbreaks with a chronic disease…LIFE GOES ON!!


I’ve been crying for the past few days after finding out I have the virus. My ex boyfriend gave it to me, and of course, he had no idea. For awhile I felt obliged to be with him because of it. The word HERPES in it’s self is scary for anyone to grasp. After reading the article and a few of the comments, I know that my life aint over. Everything happens for a reason and at least I’m at an advantage for not spreading it.


When I found out I got “H” I cried so much. Clearly I was poorly informed! My Doctor did not explain to me much about anything and brushed my emotions away by saying “why are you crying?”and on top of that when I went for testing there was a trainee there… I felt like a guinea pig. In my head I was confused, felt depressed for months. It has been several months since I found out. It has given me lots of time to research, talk to another more empathetic doctor! I have come to the realization that when I do find a man (which is hard period and now ever more because I’m terrified to “have the talk”)if he does not look past this and after helping him learn a bit about genital herpes type 1, and if he thinks of me as dirty, or gross than he is not worth my time and stress because there is so much more to a person than this virus and it is not the worse virus in the first place. I appreciate this website!


As we mention frequently on this website – most doctors do NOT include a herpes blood test when they are screening their patients for other STD’s. If you want to get tested for herpes, you have to SPECIFICALLY REQUEST that your doctor give you a “type-specific herpes blood test” and it’s a good idea for you to also give them the list of good, highly accurate herpes blood tests so that they don’t accidentally order one of the older, less accurate tests that are still on the market. Most doctors are not up to date about herpes diagnosis and treatment. Here’s the list of good herpes blood tests:


My doctor (that doesn’t practice anymore) said i had shingles 8 yrs ago. I decided to go to my new doctor to ask about the shingle vaccine. My results said i have herpes 2.I can’t believe this because i have been with my now fiance for four years. I have also been tested yearly at my OBGYN for other std’s.How come i am now just being told.


Why don’t you try one of the many online dating services for people who already have herpes? Find out about how they are able to date other people with and without HSV. Stop living in your own bubble. Get out and meet other people with HSV and learn something from other people who have successfully dealt with similar issues. For the list of H dating services, go to:
Good luck!

Geri Browne

I have herpes as a result f a lng term relatinship. My partner passed away recently. I have been tryng t get a date through internet dating recently.
I have been very honest and upfront about my condition, but I now CANNOT get a date. Why would anyone want t have sex with a person who has herpes, when they can find someone who doesn’t have it?
I was already interested in spiritual enlightenment, but now I am beginning to think that I should become a nun or a monk, because no ne wants to have sex with me.


I understand that the DECEPTION is the first issue. They lose their credibility. What else are they lying or covering up right? The same thing happened to me. 6 months, never told – no condom. Yes, I have it now. A series of emotions are still with me for 2 years now. I felt violated. He has lied to numerous women and I am sure has spread it. Let’s face it. Men lie. I have in turn told men before sex and they run!!! They don’t want to be with someone for the rest of their lives – committed wearing a condom or also taking a risk with someone and ultimately contracting it and then it breaks off. . . I actually prefer condoms and the one time I trusted a guy and look what happens. The stigma to hsv2 is bad. Valtrex makes my hair fall out. Acyclovir is better. The guy who lied to me is happy go lucky and unscathed. He seems to feel that 90 percent of the population has it and its no big deal and all he could do is say “sorry” and then break up with me. Good Luck, I HOPE you don’t have it.


Michelle. I dated a guy for 7 months…it was serious..but the relationship came to an end. I came to find out after that he had H. He never told me. I decided to be tested and I contacted him and basically asked him if he had the herpes virus. He denied it. I told him that I had some concerns and that I felt I should be tested. He turned it around on me and asked me if he should get checked out. I feel he did that because he did not want to admit that he had the virus. I basically told him that I was going to be honest with him. I appreciated the fact that we always used condoms. Always. At least he did the right thing in that respect. But I knew that he had a perscription for Valtrex…and he does not get cold sores. All he could say was that he didn’t appreciate me going through his things. No admitting that he had apology for dating me for 7 months and never telling me. In retrospect I feel bad about how I handled the situation in asking him. But I have a hard time accepting the fact that this person who said he loved me…could be with me and never tell me he had the virus. I would have accepted him as he was because I cared about him and still do. But he felt it was ok to start a relationship and never tell me. Just curious as to your opinion..or anyone’s opinion. He isn’t speaking to me now..period…yet here I am …not holding a grudge because I truly cared about him….trying to make ammends as friends…and he is angry with me. I feel I have the right to be angry with him. And…I was tested today…so…I guess I will find out soon.


I decided to share my story on here to hopefully help those who still need that last push to tell their partner they have H. Like many others, I’m sure… I researched and read other stories of people who had told their partners they had H. I drove myself crazy but reading the success stories helped a lot. I also have 2 females friends who have H and they have had so many success stories as well. One of my friends told 3 men and both were willing to work through it and make it work. My other friend, who has had it for over 10 years, has told numerous men (probably around 50) she had it and 99% of them were OK with it and continued to date/sleep with her. Amazing! Even with my friends’ own personal and great experiences, I was scared. But I finally told a guy I was super into that I had H. So… here’s my story, I hope it helps someone out there 🙂

I received H from my ex who cheated on me. He told me he didn’t know he had it but deep down, I don’t believe him. They night he gave it to me… he decided to use a condom. We hadn’t used a condom since our first few times of having sex so using one over a year later was bizarre and I knew then and there he gave it to me then. I had my first breakout 2 days later. He admitted to the cheating and continued to cheat (and I’m sure he did not disclose to other females he had H.) I finally got the courage to end it with him because of his excessive cheating. He was the 2nd man I ever slept with at the age of 24. So to say the least, I was absolutely devastated.

I was depressed for a few months. I didn’t have the desire to go out and I didn’t tell anyone I had it. I was embarrassed and ashamed. Even though I should not have been, but the media has such a negative stigma on H. I finally started researching about H and realized how common it truly is. I finally learned I was NOT alone and there were websites for dating others with H and support groups. I even worked up the courage to tell a few friends I had it and they were so understanding. They even told me they wished I told them sooner so I wouldn’t have had to go through this alone. My friends are awesome, I know 🙂 And I tried out the websites for dating other people with H and that was OK. I met a few people but no spark with any and never dated any of them seriously.

Three years after being diagnosed, I started dating a guy I met through mutual friends. He was great and I wanted to tell him. However, I never got the courage to and things ended before we got intimate. I think things ended because he could sense I was holding back and he didn’t want to wait around for me. I just couldn’t get the words out to tell him and I guess I was not 100% comfortable with him.

Fast forward another year. Now 4 years celibate with H. I meet a new guy and right away we have this amazing chemistry. Felt like I’ve known him my whole life. He is super into me and so sweet and kind…. he’s perfect. And I am just so comfortable with him, I cannot believe it. I can’t really explain it but it felt… right. I was so in-like with him. I realize right away I will have to tell this one. There is no way around it. So, after a month of dating… I decided it’s time. I practiced my “speech” so many times with friends and by myself, I was confident it would go so smoothly. At first I’d practice and I’d cry. But eventually I got so good at it, I never cried during my practicing. I was ready to tell him.

Like the last guy, he could tell I was holding back and he didn’t understand why. I told him on the phone, the next time we hung out I would explain why I had walls up and such. A few days later I went over to his house. He cooked an amazing dinner and we laughed and had a great time as usual. He then asked if I was ready to have “that talk” with him. I didn’t think he’d bring it up but he did. I was nervous. I downed my wine and said to myself “it’s time.” So we laid on his bed, he got 2 inches in front of my face and waited for me to speak. I started off well but then just staring into his eyes, I started crying. (Yes, I know… all the help sites say do NOT cry when telling your partner. I am sorry I am human but I cannot help it. I cry when I’m really happy and I cry at the smallest things. I cry when others cry. I’m emotional…sue me! =P) I didn’t even get to the part about having H yet! But I was scared. When he saw the tears fall, he immediately hugged me and didn’t say a word. He just comforted me and waited until I was ready to speak again. And I literally had to FORCE myself to get the words out. “I have H.” Before I could say another word (I wanted to say it was his decision on how he wanted to move forward), he grabbed my face, looked into my eyes and said, “I accept you for who you are.” As you can imagine, I started crying again and he just held me. I cried for a few minutes and he told me again that he accepts me and he still thinks I am amazing. And that this does not change how he feels about me. He even asked if he could go kick my ex’s butt. (hehe). He was so sweet and comforting. It truly could not have gone better. I just wish I didn’t cry so damn much but being that this was the first guy I ever told and I that I was so into him… I couldn’t help it. I am only human and this took so much courage for me.

The next day he asked some questions about it and said he was familiar with H. This really did not surprise me since he is quite educated. I answered his questions and things stayed how they were with him…amazing. A week later he told me he had H, type I and that he only gets it on/in his nose. Very rare but he does have it. Of course this did not change how I felt about him either.

That same night we were intimate (I felt like I lost my virginity again, hehe) and things are still now going very well with him now. We are getting very serious and I am so glad I told him about H. A weight has been lifted off my shoulders and I haven’t been this happy in years. I definitely recommend telling your partner because you never know that he or she could be “the one.” It was definitely the hardest thing I ever had to do but it also had the greatest reward… I have an amazing man who accepts me for who I am. Please please… if you are reading this and debating on telling the new person you are dating… tell them! Either way you won’t regret it. It will either turn into something even more wonderful or you know NOW that this person isn’t meant for you. Honesty is the best policy. YOU CAN DO IT. I PROMISE.


I visited this website, and loved the advice given on the words to use when telling someone you have herpes. I contracted the virus at the young age of 19 (I had a very painful initial outbreak). He did not tell me he had it, and it was extremely difficult for me to deal with the diagnosis. I am now 25, so I have had to deal with this issue for pretty much all of my sexually active life. I am now an attractive, funny, college-educated female and it still terrifies me when I have to disclose to a potential partner. Yes, I have had 1-night stands who I did not disclose to (condoms were always used). Other than that, I have disclosed my diagnosis to about 9 men thus far. It is always scary. I have never had someone reject me because of it though! I am currently dating a great guy (we haven’t yet had the talk or intercourse). The scariest part for me is trying to create the conversation. But this website helped me a lot.


A lot of people are having unprotected sex these days – without discussing STD’s or getting tested for STD’s on a regular basis. That’s why STDs like genital herpes are so common. You certainly should have told her if you suspected that you had herpes. But it doesn’t sound like you have ever been properly diagnosed by a medical professional. It’s possible that your partner is also overdue for getting tested for STD’s and may even have an STD without knowing it. So read up on herpes and other STD’s, and then have a talk with her. You must tell her that you suspect that you have herpes and suggest that both of you go get tested for herpes and other STD’s asap. Tell your ex-wife to get tested too. Make sure that all of you get one of the “good” type-specific herpes IgG blood tests listed on this Herpes Blood Test Guide from ASHA (American Social Health Association).


I’m pretty sure I contracted herpes from my wife about two years ago. Obviously I cant be sure but we split up for about a half a year and she admitted to being a little “promiscious” during our split. Within 3 months of coming back I got an outbreak and they became pretty regular for the first year. ITs become more manageable now and I think I probably only have about 2-3 outbreaks a year now and they barely last a day or two. Obvioulsy I havent forgetten about the virus but I really dont think of it much.

Well here’s my dilemma my wife and I split permanently about 6 months ago and I started dating very recently. The problem is I had unprotected sex after a few drinks with someone and then after I had already done that couldnt get myself to tell her. I foolishly just kept going with it and unfortunately have begun to really like her and really need to tell her. I did start using protection but we’d already slept together unprotected maybe 5 or 6 times. I’m about 99% sure I’ve already blown it but I just couldnt get myself to say anything. I know that sounds horrible andI’m feeling a crazy amount of stress over it now. SO any advise on how I could possibly save this one would be appreciated, but I’m thinking I’m probably looking at a minimum of a slap in the face and being dumped here.

I just didnt think and honestly really dont know much about it to begin with. I guess I was going with the idea that since I’m not having outbreaks I’m not able to spread the virus…but the more I’ve read apparently that isnt true.


You really need to see a doctor and get a type-specific herpes IgG blood test for both HSV1 and HSV2. You should expect to test positive at least for HSV1, since you say you have occasional cold sores. If you also have HSV2, then you for sure have genital herpes. But you might not be able to determine with certainty how long you’ve had it or who you might have gotten it from, if you have never take the herpes blood test before now. Valtrex can be prescribed for both HSV1 and HSV2. It is often prescribed for cold sores around the mouth, not just genital herpes. Since you are not talking to him, you cannot ask him if he was taking Valtrex for cold sores or for genital herpes, or if he was taking Valtrex daily as suppressive therapy (preventative) or only occasionally for episodic therapy (to treat an active outbreak). That information might have helped. In the meantime, get yourself properly diagnosed and ask the rest of your questions to a doctor and join a herpes support group or herpes social group where you can talk specifically about your own case. This site cannot diagnose you or your ex-boyfriend or answer questions specific to your own case. Each person is different.


Millions of people in the USA have genital herpes and you need to get out and meet other people with herpes and see for yourself the many success stories about how to live and love with herpes. Herpes is not the end of your love life – it can be a new beginning. But you have to learn more about herpes, how to manage herpes, and how to best protect your partners against getting herpes. There are herpes social and support groups all over the USA where you can meet people, make friends, even find love and romance. For info on where to find the closest herpes social or support group near you, go to:

Also read about how to tell someone that you have herpes:

Good luck!


He’s a dishonest jerk, plain and simple. Dump him and move on. Unfortunately, herpes happens to both honest and dishonest people. @60 million Americans have genital herpes and there are herpes social and support groups all over the place where you can meet people, make friends, even find love and romance. No need to spend any more time with a lying jerk. For info on where to find the closest herpes social or support group near you, go to:


I have been reading all of your postings on this site. I wanted to write in and get your feedback on my situation. Someone I knew for a long time was interested in me and asked me out for along time and I never went. I moved away and he still contacted me after being gone for 2 years. He told me he has always been so interested in me and liked me and couldnt get me out of his mind. Well we had sex (unprotected). I didn’t have protection with me and told him that and I also stated that I didn’t have anything. He said ok, he didn’t either. (when we were leaving I looked in his toiletry kit and he had alot of condoms) So, I thought that was wierd because we had sex all weekedn with out them. Then we continued to see eachother long distance. Continually had sex without protection. Actually at one point I said I was late for my period and told him that we have to use something like condoms or pill etc. and he told me to get on the pill or patch. So, I went on the patch. Six months later he came down to see me. No keep in mind we are serious and committed and “in Love” or so he told me. He told me that he never felt this way before and he loved me . He came down to visit and cried and said that there is something he had to tell me. He said he couldn’t tell me because he was afraid he would lose me. He told me he had HSV2. I was so shocked because he LIED to me for such a long time and NEVER attempted to use protection. Then I asked him if he took anything for it and he said he took acyclovir. Well, I had HSV1 and I had the same medication. I suddenly didn’t trust him because I thought if he could like this long to me and put my health at risk then is he a liar? Well within the next week, he broke up with me and told me that if we didn’t have trust we didn’t have anything. He told me this!! I went and had a test and sure enough I had HSV2. I think I contracted it the first time I was with him because I felt sick, nauseous and achy and I broke out on my lips 2 days after and I had pain below. I loved the guy and forgave him for lying to me and told him that we will have to work and rebuild the trust and then he breaks up with me. Wild huh? Also, he had this since he was 22 years old and he is 46 yo. He said he has never told anyone and I also found out from other woman that he never used a condom with them. So, he has been going around passing this from woman to woman. And then to top it off, he says to me – you didn’t tell me about your HSV1 and that I put his health in danger. So, looking for your opinion here. I am devistated, so many guys have not wanted to be with me because of this STD.


Your story sounds very familiar! Most people who carry the virus for genital herpes think they are “clean” because they assume that their doctor included a blood test for herpes when they were tested for other STD’s. But MOST doctors still do not include a blood test for herpes when they are drawing blood and testing their patients for other STD’s. You have to SPECIFICALLY REQUEST a herpes blood test, or else you probably have never been tested for herpes.

If you were never tested for herpes prior to your latest partner, and you have your first herpes outbreak a week after you first had sex with him, and if the specimen that was “culture tested” (not a blood test) and came out positve specific for HSV2 (the test needs to be able to specify HSV1 or HSV2, not just generic HSV), then if you get a type-specific herpes blood test right now, and your HSV2 antibody levels are too low to be detected, then this is a new HSV2 infection. It’s also possible that you might have an HSV1 infection – usually the result of oral sex, since 60-80% of adults int he US have HSV1, and about 30% of new genital herpes outbreaks are a result of HSV1. This is a real possibility – if your “culture” test was not type-specific. You need to find out what kind of “culture” test was done and if it was type-specific or not.

Whatever happens, please know that you are very normal and what you described is a very typical way for someone to get herpes and find out about it. Most people who have genital herpes are never properly tested or diagnosed, so they continue to think they are “clean” and may accidentally spread the virus to other partners – some of whom may have noticeable outbreaks while others do not. Just because someone “thinks” they are “clean” and “have no STD symptoms” does not mean that they don’t have an STD. They have to know exactly which STD’s their doctor tested them for – and when – and which tests – to really know their actual STD status. Most people don’t get into this level of detail with their doctors or their sexual partners. This has to change, because if people know that they have genital herpes, it can be easily managed and steps can be taken to greatly reduce transmission to other partners. But you’ve got to KNOW that you have herpes before you learn what the best precautions to take to protect your partners.


I was diagniosed with H yesterday after many trips to the emergency room where I was told it was an infected hair follicle or contact dermatitis. I had to beg for a culture even though I had sores and all the other symptoms. I never felt so ill in my life.
So I had to tell my new partner. We had just had sex for the first time the week before so I assume I got it from him, but know that is not necessarily the case. He had just been tested for all STD’s recently and was baffled becasue he said he was clean. During research today I have read that herpes blood testing is not routine if no symptoms are present. He is going to go get tested now just to see of he was a carrier and did not know. It could of been me, I am not blaming him. He has said we can get through this together, so my fear of telling him was unfounded. It is why I told him so quickly, I did not want to make myself anymore miserable by putting it off. My question is; is he the most likely source of infection since he was a brand new partner or was that just highly coincidental that I had my first outbreak the same week I slept with him for the first time?


Sounds like you did everything possible to prevent transmitting herpes to your partner. Unfortunately, there is still always a small chance of transmitting herpes even if you are taking daily Valtrex and using condoms properly. It does seem a little unusual that he would get herpes after having sex with you just once, using condoms and Valtrex. Unless he was previously tested for herpes via a type-specific blood test, it’s possible that he had herpes even before he met you. Sometimes people have herpes for years – but no outbreaks – until one day when they are a bit stressed out and their immune system is down – and THEN they finally have an outbreak. So let him go to the doctor, and he should get a blood test. That should be able to tell him if he had herpes before he met you, or if this is a new infection. And don’t beat yourself up about this. You were very honest and very responsible and did everything you could. Take Care.


@ admin…. He told me he had a blister on his penis and he has never had that before and he tried to squeeze it and was unsuccessful. We did not have oral sex and the blister came within 5-6 days since we had intercourse, we used a condom, the condom did come off at the end however he did not enter me and there was some rubbing but no entrance…

I have been taking many vitamins such as lysine, aloe, magnesium, and a few more for the past few years to help keep my immune system strong. After him and I had the talk about my herpes he was very understanding and called the next day to say it was a hurdle not a deal breaker BUT he did request I start taking my valtrex daily since we would be intimate. I totally agreed that I should take the valtrex and started immediately, the problem is that I had only been taking it for 3 days before we had intercourse. He also did tell me the day after our herpes convo that he did do research the night after we talked but while on the phone telling me about the blisters he told me he wished he would of done more research and he was mad at himself more then me. I feel responsible, but I know I did the right thing by being mature and honest. I also sent him detailed info on my health over the past few years including herpes meds, outbreak info, valtrex info, when I had outbreaks, diagnosis, intial outbreak etc… so he was prepared when the doctor asked him about his partner.

Since our initial conversation I do not know if he has been to the doctor or the diagnosis… I want to give him space to think about his feelings but I also feel he should tell me if he has gone to the doctor and how it went. Right now I am completely in the dark and I have no clue whats going on with his health and mind… I fully understand if he needs time mentally to think about everything and he needs space as that is his comping method BUT I also feel he should inform me on his current diagnosis status. Not to sound selfish because I know this isnt about me but I feel like he should tell me whats going on with him.

I dont know what to say or do…. I feel like apologizing and saying sorry isnt appropriate because I didnt do anything wrong. I know after over a year this isnt the end of the world but in the beginning I felt like it was… I am so confused I wish I knew what he was thinking or diagnosis info… These have been the longest days ever! 🙁


Hope your diagnosis is negative. But even if it’s not, herpes is definitely not the end of the world. Always use condoms 100% of the time, and take Acyclovir or Valcyclovir daily as suppressive therapy, and you’ll greatly reduce your likelihood of spreading herpes to any new partners. A lot of people your age have herpes and don’t know it – and since they don’t know it – they are not taking any precautions and someone is more likely to spread it that way. Fortunately for you, most guys your age are ruled by hormones and will probably be OK with sleeping with you as long as you are using the recommended precautions. Your biggest problem may be convincing them that they should get tested and that you always need to use condoms, etc. Read up on herpes diagnosis and reducing your risk ( ) and make sure to educate your future partners so they can hopefully make an informed decision. Getting down on yourself is a common phase when you are first diagnosed, but really, herpes is such as small deal in the scheme of things and you can be a very safe partner if you take the right precautions. You’ll get past this and find the love you deserve. Really!


Did he have a herpes outbreak soon after sleeping with you? Or was he diagnosed via a blood test? Does he know if he has HSV1 or HSV2? Because if he only slept with you once and did not have an outbreak, but instead took a herpes blood test, then his herpes may have been a pre-existing condition. Or if his genital outbreaks are HSV1, then he may have gotten genital herpes from oral sex – which can happen to anyone. In any case, let him have his space if he needs it. You may want to send him a link to this site,, and some of the support sites listed on this site, so that he can find the resources and answers he may need to better deal with his diagnosis.

If he did get herpes from you, you may need to take more precautions to prevent herpes transmission to future partners. For instance, always use condoms, and take Acyclovir or Valcyclovir daily as suppressive therapy – which can greatly reduce the the likelihood of asymptomatic shedding, and is very effective protection against spreading herpes (although nothing is 100% foolproof).


I was diagnosed with Herpes 6 years ago. I got it from my boyfriend at the time who denied knowing he had it (I later found out he was completely aware of his condition). He was only my 3rd parter so naturally, I was devastated when I tested positive for hsv2. After this I avoided relationships for years. I was convinced that no one would want me, I was convinced I was dirty and unworthy. Finally, after talking to my doctor and realizing how common this condition was, I began to date again. I have had two boyfriends since him and neither of them were bothered at all when I told them about my condition. We used condoms occasionally but not all the time. I took antiviral drugs when I suspected an outbreak and neither of them ever got it. I am currently seeing an amazing guy for a year solid. He was negative when we started dating and got tested again this week and was still negative. I just wanted people to know there is hope, this is not the end of the world and you WILL find people who understand and accept it. Anyone who is educated and cares about you will usual see it a minor inconvenience. Hope this helped someone out! 🙂


I went to the gynecologist for the first time last friday. I am 16. I went because I have recurring cuts in my perineum. She told me that I probably have HSV2. I’m only a junior in high school and I’m completely devastated. Most of the people commenting on this have already been married and are older adults. I haven’t even been to college yet. What if I find a boy that I really love in college and he won’t want to be intimate with me? I’ve only had sex with 2 people, one of them being an unfaithful boyfriend who I was completely in love with, I’m pretty sure he gave me the virus. I just don’t know what to do. I haven’t gotten my results back yet so I’m still hopeful but I think the chances are high that I have it. If i do, I’m not going to tell my parents or my friends. I think they’ll think differently of me and then rumors will go around my school and what not. Does anyone have any advice for when I go away to school or anything?


Yes, it is very possible to have genital herpes but never have a noticeable break-out. Since you say you always used condoms, and if he was taking Valtrex as suppressive therapy, then there is a very low chance that you got herpes from him. Taking Valtrex and using condoms is a really good way to reduce the risk of spreading herpes. Too bad that he didn’t also mention his herpes status to you. A little honesty would have been nice! But to be 100% sure that you don’t have herpes, you really should get a herpes blood test. If you never took a herpes blood test before now, it’s also possible that IF you test positive, that you may have gotten herpes from a past partner, not necessarily your most recent partner. Many people have herpes for years and DON’T KNOW IT.


I dated a guy for 7 months….I was totally in love with him..and he with me..or so I thought. We always used a condom. We never once had unprotected sex. He ended the relationship and I found out afterwards that he has Herpes. I found a prescription for Valtrex that he had….he has still not told me himself that he has herpes and I never told him that I knew since I found out after he ended the relationship.
Is it possible to have Herpes but not have a breakout? I see alot of people say you should be tested since many people carry the virus without even knowing about it. But I am wondering..if I dated him for 7 months but did not have unprotected sex…could I go for a no. of years never ever having a first outbreak..yet still carry the virus?


1) Your doctor is obviously out-of-date about herpes and what he thinks he “knows” is false. He doesn’t even bother to look for more recent information on herpes diagnosis. Definitely get a new doctor!

2) If you “love” your boyfriend so much, and don’t want to spread herpes to him, then why aren’t you using condoms? How can someone trust you in a relationship if you are not honest with them about herpes and protecting them by using condoms and maybe by taking suppressive therapy too? It’s possible but very unlikely that he already got herpes from you if you’ve only had sex twice. But if he’s had unprotected sex with other women in the past, and if one in 4 or 5 women has HSV2 and doesn’t know it, then it’s possible that he might already have herpes from someone else. But assuming that he doesn’t have herpes, it’s not too late to start using condoms now! Be more responsible. See our page about Reducing Herpes Risk for information on how to protect your partner!

Not telling

I am literally sitting at work right now trying not to burst into a million tears. Some of these stories help me, and others just make me even more terrified of my current situation as well as the future. I just found out today that I have H. It hurts to even say the word. I’m almost certain my ex gave it to me, when I was younger even before I became active I’d have a little bump but not as often I as I do now that im older. They started out just as one, and I don’t care how mild or small I went to my gyn for every last one of them and had him swab and perform an entire test for all the darn std’s no matter how many times he told me it wasn’t H, I refused to believe him. So finally I went against his orders and got the blood test, and BOOM. Here the heck I am with this. Im a little angry with myself for listening to him, I should’ve gotten tested the first time I had two at the same dang time. He said they are nothing like herpes. Even now that im diagnosed he refuses to connect my small bump to herpes. They are small and I may get one or two around my period time. He insist that they are inciste bumps or something like that. He says that in his opinion I’ve never had an outbreak or he would’ve been told me to take the blood test. Well now I cant stop the tears, as I am GOD fearing woman and I Love Jesus with all my heart, I know he wont put something on me that I cant handle, however I hope he forgives me for thinking that this is exactly what I get. I feel as though I asked for this the day I didn’t make my ex strap up after finding out he was cheating, or possibly before him. Now im in love again with my childhood sweetheart he’s 21 im 23. We are not in a relationship, but our families are very close, and we act almost like we are in one. We all just celebrated my uncles bday together. His uncle married my aunt. We have plans on being in a committed relationship soon, he claims he’s not ready because he cant provide for me the way he believes a man should. He wants to be able to be there for me no matter what, so he’s getting that in order. I’ve been hurt so I believe him to a certain extent, lets just say we’ll see. Or at least that’s what I thought before I found out about my H. We’ve already been active 2x without protection and I fear I may have passed it to him. I love him sooooo much but im not sure how he feels about me. I know he cares about me due to our families being so close, but I don’t know if he cares enough to still carry out our plan on being together after finding out I have something like this. Im scared, and I have a headache from crying so much. If I tell him, and he rejects me I still have to face him at functions and family outings. Even now he and I have darn near been living together over my aunts because me and my parents are in the middle of a move, and she is my closes relative near my job her son is his favorite cousin so he’s always there. Im so scared, and hurt. Others in my family have it, even one of my parents so it’s possible I was born with the virus. The others in my fam are happily married and says its not that serious. They say people with gohnorrea and chlamydia or H.I.V have more to worry about because those can kill you, but H is like chicken pocs it stays in your system and as long as you take your medicine it wont bother you. But im still scared my guy wont like me or want me romatically. **still crying**

A love that is LOST

I found out that I have H too,. I found out April 2010. I have been in abusive relationship since November 05′ I wanted to tell him but was in fear of him hurting me or breaking up all my things. I truly believe he gave it to me. I am 30 with no kids and depressed. He the now ex found out this year 2011 at some point I had the prescription in my drawer buried under stuff and he found it..WOW!!! He wanted for me to go to my family function and left it out for me to see when I got back.. I have been crying every since it was Christmas day damn……I wonder will he ever call me then I think hell I hope not he was unhealthy anyway.. My life is messed up and not sure what I am going to do with myself I’m tired and feel like dying………………


Googled “dating with Herpes” and stumbled across this site……
I have had H for over 20 years~ and now dating again after a divorce. Have told 5 men since my divorce(6 yrs ago) and 2 had H too! the other 2 did not care, and one did care~ he claimed he just did not have time to date, but I know better. I am dating again, and nervous once again~! lol
Going on a date soon with a new man, and scared to have the “talk” ….obviously I won’t tell him right away, and will wait a few weeks. But…..just hate this part. But, I like this article for how it says not to blurt out ” i have Herpes”……and to say it differently. The word virus does not sound as bad……and yes, MILLIONS have it in the US. It is just the darn stigma. My daughter is starting to date, and I warn her often about STD’s….she does not know I have it though. More and more young people are getting STD’s. I have been lucky, and have had only one man reject me after telling him. It hit my self esteem bad, but I do know that things could be much worse. I have loved and been loved~ and that is wonderful. And I have my kids…….no c-sections either. and they were both born fine! 🙂 Just make sure you are not having an outbreak while you are in labor.
Good luck to all~ it is NOT a death sentence and things will get better. Faith.


I found out I have HSV2 about 6 yrs ago and was completely devastated! I felt I got it from a boyfriend who was abusive to me because I only got symptoms during the relationship. I didn’t find out until I got away from him and moved out of state. I wish my dating life was as good as the ones I am reading about. I have only dated a few guys in the past 6 yrs…I have told most of them and a couple I didn’t because it got too physical too soon. The ones I told were okay with it but the relationship didn’t work for other reasons. I have really put up a wall trying not to get involved with men at all beyond a friendship. I truly want a boyfriend/husband who will love me for me and not just because they are sexually atrracted to me and then run off when they find out I carry the HSV2 virus. For the past 2 yrs, I have met many men who I dated without any physical involvement and did not pursue a relationship with any of them because of other reasons (no real connection, etc.). Well I did let my guard down to a casual friend who I never thought of me in that way and I didn’t want to get physical with him without telling him upfront that I carry the HSV2 virus. We ended up having sex (I tried so hard to keep it from happening but we were both so attracted to each other and I haven’t had sex in a long time). I felt so bad that after a few days I knew I had to tell him…he didn’t believe me at first. We talked about how often I have flareups (maybe once a year) and they are very mild. I take herbal supplements and apply a herbal oil every day. I don’t really think about it unless I feel like I want to take it to that level. This guy was saying everything I wanted to hear…how he wants to be in a relationship, to be married, etc. Now that I told him, I could tell he started acting differently…I knew in my heart he would not pursue the relationship with me and I broke down and asked him point blank…he said I was everything he was looking for in a woman but couldn’t mentally get past the fact that I have “H” virus. He feels this is a big decision to make unless we decide we are going to spend the rest of our lives together…he said it sucks because he really likes me and I was completely heartbroken!!! The 1 person I decide to let my guard down with & he cannot mentally deal with this! I told him many people have the virus and don’t know it unless they get the blood test. I told him you could have it from someone in your past unless you get tested. I think it scared him to think that he could still get it from me and then have it forever…I truly think he just wanted a casual sexual relationship until he found out my status…he didn’t really give me a chance. He hurts so much because he claims I have all the traits he is looking for…it just hurts to know that I am being rejected….I am so devastated right now and truly feel I will never find a man who loves me for me…I don’t have kids and at my age (42) probably won’t have any….just sad because I have so much love to offer and feel he is missing out because of this…now I don’t want to date anyone at all for fear of liking them and having to go thru telling them I carry the HSV2 virus and getting rejected all over again!! I truly feel I will be alone for the rest of my life 🙁


I met a guy a couple of months ago who I think is my soulmate. He is a Christian, single parent and the best the best thing that has happened to me in the past 11 years. We had unprotected sex once. I realized that I had to tell him about my having H for 30 years because he had a kidney transplant in the past. I wished I would have read this article before I told him. I expected the worse….like yelling, telling me to get out of his house and not ever wanting to see me again. He was very understanding and had a lot of questions. I have been crying a lot because I put him at risk and I am thinking that I should just walk away because I do not want to jeopardize his well being. I have been praying everyday because there seems to be distance growing between us. I am going to just have to give him time to digest this situation and whatever happens happens. I feel I did the right thing and told him but I still feel empty and alone. I am just going to continue to pray.


If you have bumps on your genitals, but not sores, then you may have genital warts (HPV), and not Herpes (HSV). Please check our website for the information on Herpes Diagnosis, and get a blood test for HSV1 and HSV2, so you know what you have. If the Blood Test shows that you have HSV2, then you have genital herpes. Most people will test positive for HSV1 because 60-80% of adults have occasional cold sores, which is caused by HSV1.
Here’s an article on genital warts in men. Genital Warts (HPV) and Herpes (HSV) are not the same thing and if you are not properly diagnosed, then you may be taking the wrong medication. You might want to see a DIFFERENT doctor who will give you a Herpes Blood Test and not just make a guess about what you have. Until you know what you have, and get the right treatment, you should hold off on having sex with anyone. I’m sure your girlfriend does not want to have sex while your immune system is down. Use this time to get to know your girlfriend better and show her what a great guy you are. Good luck!


I was told that I have one form or H but they don’t know which one. I was getting bumps on my genitals so I went to see a doctor and he told me more than likely I do have it. I never felt any of the symptoms except for the bumps. I started to get these bumps as soon as I met this girl who I am starting to fall in love with and Now I have to try and tell her. She’s really into me and is the type to try and help people, but I mean, how is she going to act when i tell her this. I feel so lost and alone. I have been postponing our having sex because she’s getting anxious already and it’s only been about two months. I was given a prescription for Famvir and I also have Sarcoidosis so I’m taking prednisone on top of this prescription. my symptoms have not gone aways becuase I shouldn’t take it while I have this auto-immune disorder. She has accepted my auto immune, but this H came out of nowhere since I haven’t had sex in about two years. all of a sudden, since my immune system is compromised because of the prednisone and I truly believe it brought on this outbreak. My outbreak isn’t so bad and I have taken the ten day regimen, but I’ve yet to see my bumps reduced…they’re not pus-y or anything, they’re just there…I wonder if I’ll have to take that drug again after I’m off of my prednisone since it’s not working from what I gather. it’s my first OBreak and I heard it takes about four weeks and they get weaker as time passes. I hope she’s understanding to this, but I do fear her reaction as she’s an actress who actually gets good roles and I’m not trying to infect her at all.


To the hopeless,
I found out that I had contracted herpes the day after my 21st birthday. I had been in a great deal of pain and I KNEW I had an STD. I went to the emergency room in the middle of the night because in addition to the fact that I was in so much pain, I started experiencing flu symptoms. Needless to say, i got really scared and broke down and went to the ER. There the doctor told me that I had contracted herpes. I knew immediately where I had gotten it from. Roughly two weeks earlier, I had slept with a guy after a night of drinking that I had been seeing. That next morning I deeply regretted it because it had been way too soon and I was not even sure I liked him that much. So, when I found out I had herpes, I felt like I had to make things work with him because who else was I going to get? I told him and he was supportive, which was great, but we were devastated. I laid in bed for three days and cried my eyes out. I remember I went to WalMart to pick up my prescription and I felt like I was in a bad dream. I felt like everyone else in that store was normal and I was an outsider with this disease. As time went on, I reluctantly started dating that guy although deep down I knew he was not the one. I tried to move forward the best I could but the herpes was always in the back of my mind. Even times when I was happy, I wasn’t completely happy because I knew that I had herpes and felt like I could never have the love or the life that I truly wanted. Things did not work out with my boyfriend and I got the courage to leave him. I was always a confident person and I still wanted to take my chances and possibly find the true love of my life. From that point forward, I prayed to God every night. Over Thanksgiving break, I ran into my old high school sweetheart. We quickly rekindled the amazing love we once had. I prayed to God saying “Please Lord, give me the courage to tell him about my herpes and please let him be loving and accepting and see me for the person I am and not my herpes.” I prayed this prayer every night for months. My old high school sweetheart and I feel deep in love all over again but it wasn’t perfect because deep down i felt like I was keeping a nasty secret from him. I couldn’t even think about our future because I didn’t know if there would be one. One day, I got the courage that I had prayed for and broke down and told him. I said, “I carry the virus that causes herpes,” because I thought it sounded better than “I have herpes.” I rambled on and on about it telling him how much I loved him and how much I hoped he would still want to be with me. Finally, when I stopped talking, he smiled. He said that he thought I was going to tell him something a lot worse than that. His exact words were, “Is it weird that it doesn’t bother me?” I instantly started crying with relief. He told me that he loves me for ME and that when you love someone you don’t just leave them over something little like that. I couldn’t believe that the thing i had been agonizing over for months was considered a “little thing” to him. That night I prayed to God to thank him for making my dreams come true. I am here to tell you that if you feel hopeless.. pray. God has someone out there for every single one of you. God has a plan for each of you. Please keep the faith and remember that you ARE worthy of the life you really want. Someone WILL love and accept you I promise!


Cindy – If this new guy you are dating thinks he “might” have Herpes, why doesn’t he go get the Herpes 1&2 blood tests done so that he knows for sure? Since condoms are not a foolproof way to prevent spreading herpes to a partner, he should be getting his doctor to prescribe Valacyclovir (aka Valtrex) which can significantly reduce the incidence of asymptomatic shedding and therefore reduce the risk of spreading herpes to you as well. If someday you want to have children, it is only a risk to your baby if you are having a breakout of a new herpes infection at the time of birth. In that case, you’d probably opt for a Caesarian Section. However, most women with herpes are able to have normal vaginal deliveries without incident (as long as they’re not having a breakout.) In any event, the best way to reduce your risk of getting herpes from this person is for him to get tested properly so he knows what he has, and then he can get a prescription for Valtrex so that you have a greatly reduced risk of getting it too. Good luck! DWH


Thanks for this helpful info. I met this guy and he just told me today that he might have the Herpes Virus. In my line of work I see people everyday that take Valtre, Acyclovir,and Zovirax. By him telling me this I gained so much respect for him. And I hope like to date him. My concern is what if this relationship goes farther ad decide we want kids. How will that work?


thanks! but this helped releave some fears, although i intend on telling someone im interested in about my condition tonight. very scared i am but it has to get said! i dont like the lies and deception. i didnt get a fair chance and was not careless in my choices. I was the type to go to the gyn every 6 months to a year, carry male and female condoms, tell me friends to get checked, and still… this happened to me. its hard being that i am still young and want more children, but its apart of who i am now and have to grow up and be adult about it. still its painfull never knowing who it came from or how long ive had it.


Thanks so much for this site! I’m re-entering the dating world after many years of marriage. I was so concerned about how to broach this subject with new people. this site is a big help. 🙂


This article is good but this is just the basic information you need to get started. To have consistent success or to ensure that when you tell someone you are not rejected you must go deeper and learn a lot more.

1. Your self confidence is critical. If you expect to be rejected then guess what…You will be. Build up your self-esteem and get rid of those limiting beliefs about herpes and yourself. Self-confidence is the sum of your behaviors and attitudes that demonstrate your independence, security and attractiveness. A lot of people associate self-confidence with self-esteem. Although they do feed and reinforce one another they are not quite the same. Self-esteem is your acceptance and comfort with yourself. Self-confidence is the observable portion of your self-esteem. Work hard to accept that HSV is a part of you and develop self-confidence and you’ll have success.

2. Practice having the Conversation. This is another critical factor that will greatly increase your chances of not being rejected. The language that you use to tell someone (as noted in the article) will drastically affect how your partner will react. Be positive and don’t be dramatic. You could say, “I have herpes which is an extremely painful and incurable sexually transmitted disease. If you decide that you want to continue to date me, it’s in your best interest to get tested” or your could say something like, “I just wanted to let you know that I have cooties! Not really cooties, they are a lot more serious than what I have. I carry the virus that causes herpes. It’s really not the monster that it’s made out to be. I watch my diet, get a reasonable amount of exercise and control the stress in my life. I also take medication that drastically reduces it’s physical effects and it reduces the chances of transmitting it. With just a reasonable amount of caution, I can have a safe and extremely fulfilling sex life too!” See the difference?

Another important tip to remember is…

No action works unless it comes from the proper belief system and mindset!

Again, this is just the beginning but if you practice having The Talk and build up your self-confidence you’ll do just fine.


I just recently told my boyfriend that I have been carrying the virus and it wasn’t a subtle conversation because were both laying in bed and I felt I couldn’t hold it in any longer. Especially after the first two times we slipped up and had sexual intercourse, both times, protection was used, and our misjudgement from having a few drinks led to it, he gave me a hug and told me not to cry. After I told him, my heart just sank to my stomach, I thought I was going to be sick 🙁 but after talking to him and telling him that it’s a manageable virus, things happen and he accepted me and told me that he wasn’t going to leave me. I was so happy to know that. He told me he was only mad because he knew something was wrong but I was making excuses not to talk about it. I went to his work today and visit with him for a few minutes, came home and he text me and said he was glad to see me (: I feel a lot of weight has been lifted off my shoulders now and I don’t have to worry about it anymore. I know I should have told him before we had sex but it is in the past and now that he knows, we both know the precautions and what we need to do to prevent him from getting it. I’m really happy he decided to accept me for what I have because this isn’t something you want to hold in forever until it’s too late and then you have that possibility of ruining your relationship with someone. I’m glad things are gonna be okay now for the both of us.


I have HSV and for the first time in my life may be the one explaining it to someone. I had received the talk and made the choice to stay in the relationship years ago and now I am on the verge of Divorce. I’m afraid of the stigma out there, it really isn’t a big deal, I have 1-2 outbreaks a year and it isn’t even painful. Most think it is a life ender.

Found out yesterday I have H

I found out yesterday I had H. The first thing I said to my doctor after he diagnosed me was….” Doc they aint got no cure for that right”. My doctor prescribed Valtrex for me. I had to tell my girlfriend this morning of my condition and told her to get checked. I have not had sex with her for over a month due to my travel so I hope she checks out ok. Im very scared and if my gf does leaves me, I thought I would be alone and never find love again. This web site and the responses have truely giving me hope in living with H and finding true love again if my gf does not stay. Thanks

Found out yesterday I have H


I’ve lived w/ “H” for over 9 years, thanks to a husband that cheated while I was pregnant. I’ve almost always been upfront and honest. Unfortunately, almost isn’t good enough. The one person that I actually let my walls down for I didn’t tell because our relationship started out too quickly. By too quickly I mean unprotected sex. After that I just wasn’t sure how to tell him. We live on opposite coasts and I didn’t know exactly what his expectations were. I finally told him and he’s understandbly hurt. We’ve had protected sex most of the time, but even using protection isn’t %100 effective. He’s right, I should have told him sooner.The question that hurts the most is “Why don’t you care enough about me to just be honest and let me choose for myself.” No matter what happens, I’ll never make this mistake again. I’d rather lose someone because I was honest than lose someone later because the truth was uncomfortable or embaressing.


This article and comments give me some form of hope. I to stayed in a bad relationship simply because I felt trapped. I am now interested in someone who is interested in me as well. I have to feel out the situation as far as when a good time to tell him would be. I honestly think he would except it from me. But would it be wrong to wait until we are close to having sex? What if he falls in love with me? Would it be wrong to tell him after I knew he was in love with me?


This article was much appreciated. I am in a polyamorous triad and have just been diagnosed with the “H”. I believed we were all very committed to each other, but last night my metamour told my lover that he had to make a choice, since they both are still testing negative, he has to choose me or her. I don’t know where or when I first contracted it, and at this point I don’t care. That of course is all my metamour can think about. I have yet to have any actual symptoms, it was just a random annual checkup that Dx’d it. Chances are I’ve had it for quite awhile. So now what.. I feel like a leper in the room now. The freak. On the plus side, my lover has tried to reassure me that if she truly pushes this choice, she will lose as he can’t respect her to just expect him to toss me aside after all we’ve been through and he loves me. But I keep thinking how I should gracefully just walk away and let them go on with their “clean” lives. Be the martyr here. I AM the freak now. It just frustrates me to no end, the social stigma attached to “H”. When you have cold sores on your lips, nobody places the same stigma as having cold sores on your genitals. It’s still a fracken cold sore! Heck, at least on your genitals it’s not on display for everyone to see! Ok I am babbling.. I have no idea where my relationship is going to go from here. The guilt I feel for bringing this into our circle, though not knowingly, will probably destroy us. But I do appreciate articles like this that help to reassure me that my life may not be totally over. I’m so scared now I am going to just end up old and alone.


I found out 2 and a half years ago that I have HSV2. I’m not sure if I contracted it from my then boyfriend (who frequently cheated with an old friend of his) or if it were from an older relationship. I was angry, hurt, and thought that my life was over. I stayed in that relationship until about 4 months ago (we were together 5yrs 8mos) and he still saw other women outside our relationship. He also has HSV2 and since our break up I have not dated anyone else. I’m terrified of telling the next guy I date. That fear is one of the reasons why I stayed in a bad relationship so long. I will eventually venture out to date again and have found a new friend that carries the same virus that I do to talk to and confide in. The dating websites out there help to ease the burden of having to have that discussion. I loved this article as well and now know that I don’t have to hit someone over the head with the news of my condition but, rather gently inform them on my status. The article was much appreciated!!



i think the information in this article was very uplifting for me..when i first found out about myself i was completely devastated. i couldn’t help but think “who would want someone like me?’ i was very depressed and angry..I’m not promiscuous either but I thought about all the people I know who sleep with any and everyone and are clean and I slipped up once and this was the result. I like this article because I have had such difficult times trying to tell someone I’m involved with about this virus. I just never seem to know when the best time is to tell them. This article really helped me piece that together.


Im SO thrilled to read this. Im 43 & contracted H back when I was about 26. I was dating someone new when I got dx (had gotten it from a previous guy, who when I thought back, DID have this tiny bump on his penis & I stupidly ignored it. It was a 1 nite stand). At the time the guy I was with was very supportive (I sobbed) & we were married 10 yrs. Since then Ive dated & slept with a few men. Some i told, some I didnt. The major relationship i told was pretty freaked out & we never had intercourse because of it. So the next relationship, my last one that ended 6 months ago, we’d dated 2 yrs & I never told him. I dont ever want THAT stress again. I know i should have told him. SO, Im in a new relationship with a very mature guy. Its only been a couple weeks but i know we are on the verge of sex. So ive GOT to tell him. This article helped SO much. Instead of “I have herpes” & am absolutely going to say “I carry the herpes virus”. Fingers crossed!


HSV-2 scares me not because of the biological condition (the itching is just as bad as getting a rash from anything else) but the stigma that surrounds it sexually.

There is a cure being worked on and is currently in research phase with some hopeful results, but a lack of funding.

Maybe this site and others could look into it and help donate? I’m not trying to spam. I’m just hoping to cure my sadness.
Professor Bryan Cullen
Duke University


This article is great. I have a friend with “H” and it seems everytime she tells a guy about it he runs for the hills. I sent her this article to see if she could get different results. She started dating a guy a month ago and was really nervous about telling him because she really liked him. I gave her this article and she loved it and used the advice from it and when she told him last weekend he told her thank you for being honest with me and he said that he still wanted to date her YAY!! I am happy for her. Thanks for this article.

annonymous 1

I feel the same way as most people here. This article made me smile, laugh and think yeah, that’s true! I’m not angry just sad that this has happened to me. I didn’t cry like I thought I would have. My doctor is great talked to me at length and told me it was manageable. Does it scare the crap out of me to even think about dating? Yes! But like I told the Dr., at least you’re not telling me I have HIV. I was careful in a commited relationship for the past year. He decided to break up with me July 2nd. Is it because he gave this to me? I don’t know and it wouldn’t change anything at this point anyway. I’ll deal with it the best I can and be informed. 🙂 It helps knowing I’m not the only one.

Accept Responsibility

It’s interesting to me that so many people like to “blame” somebody else for giving them herpes, as if a) they believe that the person from whom they contracted herpes “knew” that they had herpes, even though 90% of people who have herpes DON’T KNOW IT, and b) they themselves never asked their doctor for a herpes blood test the last time they were tested for STD’s, so they don’t know if they might have contracted herpes from a previous lover and not the one they were sleeping with before their diagnosis. I was married to a man for 3 years before I had my first genital herpes outbreak, and after we both took herpes blood tests, it turned out that he had HVS1 only and I had both HSV1 and HSV2. My genital outbreak was culture tested as HSV2. So I got genital herpes from a previous partner, who likely also didn’t know that he had HSV2 or could pass it to somebody else.

If you never took a herpes blood test for HSV1/HSV2 before your most recent lover, and then you happen to get your first genital herpes outbreak, it definitely does NOT mean you got it from your most recent lover! You might have gotten it from a former lover years before. Everyone should get tested regularly if you really want to know your herpes status. In any case, I’ve learned that having NO noticeable STD symptoms – does NOT mean that you do not have an STD.

Admin Insert: Get a Herpes Blood Test!


I was dating someone who turned out to be cheating on me. I had no idea he had hsv2 – never saw an outbreak on him or anything. Now I have hsv2 AND hsv1. LADIES: when you have your period, you are at a greater risk for having an outbreak. I had my first outbreak during my monthly cycle, and again on my next. Now I take acyclovir every day and haven’t had an outbreak since. It says you’re supposed to take one in the morning and one at night, but my doctor told me a lot of her patients just cut it down to one a day – so I did that to save me a little money on the meds and it works just fine.


I just found out I have “H” a few weeks ago from my boyfriend and he was so upset that he had given it to me becuase I was in so much pain and he didnt get a bad break out. Now things arent working out with him and I am scared to break up with him becuase I feel stuck and nobody would ever want to be with me because of the “H” but this makes me feel a little more confident in my decisions, I still feel very trapped though.


This is a very tough thing to deal with at first. I like the ideas expressed here. I was recently diagnosed with “H”. I’m pretty sure I got it from someone that was dishonest, and I never want to do that to someone else. It is their right to have a choice. I won’t lie. I’m scared to death of the whole dating scene right now. I know that I have quite a bit to offer someone in a relationship, and I will love like I have never loved before, but I am having a hard time seeing that people will look past this. While it is a very manageable condition, there is a lot of scary information out there. Unfortunately, I have not come to grips with myself yet and stopped looking at myself as being ruined because of what someone did to me even though I was never given the choice.


My new great looking friend who’s a lot of fun just told me he has Herpes, and I am impressed at his level of communication, responsibility, and maturity. I understand that Herpes is manageable, and that it doesn’t have to spread if common sense and maturity around sexual interactions are employed. I am even more impressed with him for telling me up front. It feels good to begin something with someone who is capable of honesty, even when it’s difficult for him to reveal his truths.


The information provided helped pick up my self-esteem and I want to give someone a choice, which was not given to me. Ineed to find a support group of people like me. Thank you