When a person is newly diagnosed of herpes, they can become overwhelmed with misleading information. There are plenty of misinformation about herpes circulating through the media and the internet. In addition, we also have our own misconceptions that affect how we feel about living with herpes. But did you know that most of these terrible things we tell ourselves are simply untrue?
Arming yourself with knowledge and a general understanding of what herpes is, how it spreads and steps you can take to minimize the risks involved, can help you banish these thoughts from your mind and can keep you in the game of love and life.
This article aims to clear some of the misconceptions surrounding herpes and to help you reach a better understanding of life with herpes.
If you’re recently diagnosed with any type of herpes, it’s only natural to feel devastated and heartbroken. No one wants to hear that they’ve contracted an STI, especially a socially debilitating STI like herpes.
You may think that your love life is over, but the truth is; it doesn’t have to be. If you’re aware of the facts and steps you can take to minimize the risks involved, there’s really no reason to stop looking for love and fun just because you’ve contracted herpes.
While this initial reaction is exceedingly common, it is also inaccurate. It’s a reaction based on an emotional response stemming from shock rather than actual facts.
Here’s the low-down on your situation: there’s a virus in your body. The virus isn’t fatal and is harmless for the most part. The virus is not life threatening and produces no symptoms at times. In addition, you’re not the only one living with this virus. It’s important to understand that this disease is very common. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that, annually, 776,000 people in the United States get new herpes infections. So it’s very common.
So you see, your love is life is still very much alive. And it will continue to live so long as you don’t allow this virus to kill it. That’s all there is to it!
As you have drawn people to you before you contracted herpes, your many desirable traits will continue to draw people to you. You just have to make some minor adjustments to your life, that’s all.
Dating With Herpes
Dating after a genital herpes diagnosis may take some getting used to. If you’re planning on getting sexually intimate with your date at some point, you have a moral obligation to let your date know about your condition prior to sex.
It’s up to you to determine the right time to tell your date that you have herpes. However, don’t wait until after having sex to tell your date about your condition. That would be very irresponsible.
Also it’s better for you to reveal your condition to your date as soon as there’s a hint that sex is in your immediate future. Waiting until you’re just about to have sex might prevent both you and your date to make rational and responsible decision due to the strong attraction involved.
Kissing, cuddling, 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.
Sex with herpes
You can have a fulfilling sex life if you have genital herpes, even though it may be more complicated than it was before your diagnosis. Naturally, you’d want to be careful on how and when you do it.
If in the past your approach to relationships revolved around ‘no-strings-attached’ sex and one-night-stands, you might want to change your approach. Instead of rushing into sex, you might want to invest some time and effort to get to know your date better and in turn, they’ll get to know you better as well. It’s a good idea to break the news about herpes to someone who already has an emotional connection with you or has already grown attached to you.
After everything is out in the open and your partner is willing to take that next step, remember the following:
- If you’re experiencing an outbreak or when you feel an outbreak is fast approaching, avoid vaginal sex, anal sex and receiving oral sex.
- It’s relatively safe to have sex between outbreaks, provided you and your partner understand the risks involved and have taken the necessary precautions. Keep in mind that transmissions can occur even when you don’t have symptoms or sores, so exercise caution.
- To help prevent infecting your partner, always use a latex condom. Although condoms may not guarantee prevention, they do provide some protection.
So if you’re currently living with herpes, instead of adopting the ‘victim mentality’ it’s really better for you to empower yourself with knowledge and find a renewed resolve to go on living.