My friend said I was too much like a sister, and he couldn't continue.
I worried about how that incident would affect our friendship. Little did I know my worries would extend far beyond that concern. Less than a week later, I found myself in excruciating pain. It hurt to walk, and I couldn't use soap anywhere near my genital area. I knew enough about sexually transmitted diseases to know that I had herpesbut I didn't know exactly what to do. The Diagnosis As I sat in the college health center waiting to see a doctor, I watched my very short-lived social life drift by.
I was thinking that I'd probably never go on another date, or get a boyfriend for that matter, and I'd certainly never have sex again. The nurse who examined me revealed that she had herpes and said it was no big deal.
She had been free of outbreaks for 12 years, and the same might be the case for me, she said. Genital herpes is a contagious viral infection that remains permanently in the nerve cells. Many people are unaware they have it, because they don't experience symptoms or because they attribute the symptoms to something else. During an outbreak, blisters or sores appear on or around the genital area. Some people never experience a second outbreak. The nurse taught me how to manage the virus, but managing my personal life was another story.
The Encounter When I confronted my friend about the situation, I asked if he knew that he had herpes. Years later, I've come to the realization that he knew he had herpes, and that is the reason he stopped in the midst of our sexual adventure. Our friendship, unfortunately, ended as quickly as the act. It was hard enough to face the fact that we'd had sexor tried to, and it was much harder to cope with the fact that I had caught an incurable sexually transmitted disease.
Continued The Silent Approach Inwhen I got herpes, the nurse told me I couldn't transmit the virus unless I was having an outbreak. At the time, many doctors and other health care providers believed this to be the case, although a number of research studies had already suggested otherwise. So, I decided to keep quiet. For three years, I had a boyfriend who never knew I had herpes. Each time I had an outbreak, which for me consisted of a very small cluster of blisters that lasted two or three days, I'd pretend I had a yeast infection and say I couldn't have sex until it was gone.
By the time I finished college inthe possibility of spreading the virus even when you didn't have an outbreak had become more widely accepted by health care providers. I was still uncomfortable about bringing up the subject, but now I didn't have much of a choice.
I didn't date for awhile, but inevitably, I met someone. Telling All I held off on sex for as long as I could, but it got more and more difficult. One day, my new beau reassured me, "I'm disease-free, I just got tested.
You have nothing to worry about. Soon, my secret was out. I explained that I had herpes, and that was why I was being so cautious. I told him that to my knowledge I had never spread the virus to anyone else, and that I was very careful.
I had always insisted on using condomswhich can reduce the risk of transmission. My selling point, however, was telling him that approximately one in four people has herpes and, statistically speaking, he undoubtedly had slept with someone who had herpes.
He said he would know if he had been with someone who had herpes.
He thought about that for a minute and then realized he might not know. In the end, instead of rejecting me, he chose to continue our relationship. But after we had sex, he would always wash himself like a doctor scrubbing down for an operation.
I could hardly blame him, but it wreaked havoc on my self-esteem. Since he was disease-free, he refused to wear condomsinstead choosing the scrub-down -- something that would do nothing to prevent herpes transmission. That relationship eventually came to an end, leaving me worried yet again about getting back in the dating game. Then, while surfing the Web for information on the latest herpes medicationI stumbled across a web site for people with herpes.
Continued Finding Help and Support There are dozens of web sites that provide online support and information for people with herpes. Many feature chat rooms, bulletin boards, treatment information, personal ads, and social groups around the world.
A friend of mine had recently married a guy she met on the Web -- proving that not every Internet date is a psycho -- so I gave it a try. I met dozens of electronic pen pals and eventually went on several dates. It was a relief not to worry about when to bring up my medical history, and to bond with a guy over asymptomatic shedding instead of having to explain it. The whole experience made me more comfortable with the fact that I have herpes and gave me the confidence to begin dating again.
It was as if I had just re-entered mainstream society. Not everyone with herpes has to date someone infected with the virus to find true love, but in my case, it worked. Right Online Eventually, I met a man online who lived only three miles from me. We discovered we had numerous mutual friends. Given the circumstances, it was surprising that we hooked up on the Web and not at a neighborhood barbecue.
Soon we will be married, and more than family members and friends are invited to join our celebration. Most have no idea how we really met, but it's not important. Herpes brought us together, but it's the love, laughter, and good times that keep us close. Ann Smith is a pseudonym for a journalist living in California.
If You're Carrying This STI, These Dating Sites Will Make Your Life Way Easier
There's no reason to stop looking for love and fun. Genital herpes doesn't detract from your many desirable qualities, which have drawn people to you in the past and will continue to make you a great catch. Broaching the Topic of Genital Herpes The first date after a genital herpes diagnosis may seem a little strange, however. If you hope to be sexually intimate with your date at some point, you may feel like you're keeping a secret. If you are one to be candid with people, you'll want to blurt it out.
There are some things you should reveal about yourself right away -- for example, that you're married, or that you're just in town for the week -- but some things are better left for the appropriate moment. It's up to you to decide the right time to tell a date that you have genital herpes. First, don't wait until after having sex. Second, don't wait until you're just about to have sex -- in which case the attraction may be too strong for either of you to think rationally and act responsibly.
If in the past you tended to start a new relationship with sex, you now might want to change your approach. It might be better to break the news about herpes to someone who has already grown attached to you. Kissingcuddling, and fondling are safe, so you don't have to tell before you do that. But use your best judgment as to how physically intimate you want to get before telling. One thing could lead to another, and you might find yourself in an awkward situation.
Dealing With Rejection Anyone who dates should be prepared for rejection. The person you're seeing may beat a hasty retreat when he or she finds out you have genital herpes. If you get the "I just want to be friends" talk after telling your sweetheart you have herpes, consider this: He or she may have already been looking for a way out, and herpes was as good an excuse as any.
What's more, anyone who disdains or humiliates you for having herpes was never worth your while. Continued Keep datingand you will find someone who wants to be with you regardless of your condition. There are certainly some who wouldn't mind keeping the intimacy level just short of doing things that could transmit the virus.
And of those people, it's likely that at least one will come around, and say, "Hey, I understand there's a risk, but I'm crazy about you, so I'm willing to take it. If you already use dating services or personal ads, you can also use any of those specifically for people with genital herpes.
A search on the Internet for "herpes dating" will turn up several. However, things have changed or rather improved since then. The society has become more acceptable and understanding towards people having an STD. While you might find a bit of support, people are still skeptical about dating a person having an sexually transmitted infection. There continues to be a stigma in the society that prohibits them from dating a person having an sexually transmitted disease. Hope is a revolutionary dating and support community for people infected with the Human Papillomavirus or the Herpes Simplex Virus.
Both these infections are incurable but medical science has succeeded in helping people deal with symptoms caused as a result of these infections. People gifted with STDs are special.
Their needs, preferences and tastes are very different too. Hope aims to provide unconditional support and a feature — packed STD Dating platform for all these special people. Gone are the days when you had to quit dating just because you'd been diagnosed with an sexually transmitted disease. Hope is certainly a ray of hope for all those who are under the impression that STDs could mark an end to their love life.
Regardless of your dating preferences, tastes and other requirements, we promise of giving the best services to our users. The services available on our website are absolutely free to use.
Some of the features on Hope include: Drag and Drop Profile Builder: Profile building is now easier than ever before. Find like— minded members in your area. An automated search algorithm that shows potential dates based on your profile information.