Asymptomatic HSV1 & HSV2 for 20+ years

I gave up on dating twenty years ago when antidepressant medication and job stress destroyed my libido. While less inhibiting medications eventually were prescribed, the habit of celibacy was so ingrained that despite an awakened libido I did not seek a partner. Then I retired from my very stressful job. Two years later, pretty much de-stressed, I started to have thoughts about finding romance. At age 65, first I worried that I was too old, but to my delight soon after joining an online dating site, I met a lovely man. We've been proceeding slowly and have not yet been intimate. After twenty years of celibacy I've been a bit nervous. But realizing that the time would come sometime soon, I asked my doctor for STI and Herpes tests when I had a routine CBC. To my shock, the tests revealed that I have antibodies for both HSV1 and HSV2. That means I've had herpes for over 20 years and never knew it. I have never observed a cold sore or a genital outbreak. I have intermittently had a crusty rash on my buttocks, which I now realize must be Herpes. Although I have showed the rash at various times to my GP, GYN, and Dermatologist, it was never suggested that it might be Herpes, nor was a swab culture ever done. I'm furious at these doctors for not having the diagnostic instinct to at least suspect Herpes!

The outbreaks have never been a big deal to me. I have had other skin conditions: rosacea, seborrhea, seborrheic keratosis, contact dermatitis, shingles, etc. The crusty rash on my bottom has been just another minor annoyance that pops up about every 90 days or so. Itchy before the rash appears and for a day or two later, it fully heals within a week to ten days. Now I know the itchy sensation is prodrome. I'm not ashamed or horrified knowing that I have Herpes. I've unknowingly dealt with it for 20+ years and can continue to deal with it.

But now I have to have The Talk with my new SO. I know he had a wild youth, as did I, so I only hope that he will smile and say, "No problem, I've got Herpes too". I don't want to think about the possibility that he'll be horrified and run away.

Thank you for sharing your story with our community! Oh and by the way...Welcome to Our Community!

Listen...I know that being face with having "The Talk" is scary. But whatever you do, this fear must not dictate the paths that you take in life and it certainly should not let it send you back into a more scary life of celibacy.

Having success with telling someone that you have herpes all boils down to mastering 4 simple things:

1. Your knowledge of herpes - Based on the information that you provided, you seem to have a pretty good handle on this. Although, you might want to study up on transmission rates. This seems to be one of the first things that people want to know. If you can convey them in a positive light then half you battle is over.

2. Self-Confidence - This too is a biggie! You're going to have to make sure that you have super high self confidence. There are a lot of techniques out there to help you raise it quickly. However, if your self confidence is lacking...your new man has probably already picked up on it. If your self confidence is in the tank then my advice is that you work on raising it before having the talk.

3. Attraction - This is also a critical element that I've found that will cause people to overlook just about ANY flaw that you might have...including herpes. So, while you're working on building your self-confidence also begin increasing his level of attraction for you. Usually this will take care of itself...especially at the beginning of a relationship when both of you are felling "Giddy".

4. Using The Correct Language to Convey Your Message - The words you use to have the talk will dramatically affect the way your new partner will receive your message. Avoid using negative words like disease and incurable. Instead use words like "the virus that causes herpes"...and my personal favorite..."cooties". I know using the word "cooties" sounds stupid and immature but it is supposed to. In most people, the word "cooties" takes them back to their childhood where everything was innocent and filled with fun. This is the mindset that you want your partner to be when you decide to have the talk. I told my wife when we were at an amusement park!

Once you've mastered...or at the very least gained a higher level of understanding...of the things that I've listed, you'll find out that you have taken back the control of your success. It will no longer be the all encompassing task that it seems like right now.

And that in itself is such a great feeling!

Wishing You Success and Much Happiness!

Founder and Moderator and

Comments for Asymptomatic HSV1 & HSV2 for 20+ years

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Jan 06, 2016
I just found out I have genital herpes. How can I prevent my partner from getting it?
by: Annabelletaylor

There are definitely steps you can take that will significantly reduce the risk of transmission. However, both you and your partner should also be aware that there is no way to absolutely guarantee that transmission won’t take place (short of total abstinence from all sexual contact). Here is a four-fold strategy that you can use that will definitely reduce the risk:

Your partner should avoid direct contact with your genital, anal and pelvic area while you are having an outbreak. Skin-to-skin contact is how transmission takes place during times when you’re contagious. You are most contagious when you have symptoms present (although you are sometimes contagious even when there are no symptoms). Also, for maximum protection, it’s a good idea to avoid sexual contact when you have "prodrome" or sensory warning symptoms that often precede an outbreak, like itching, tingling, burning, swelling, pain and other discomfort in a specific location within the "boxer shorts" area, especially if you have had an outbreak in that location before. One last caution – be sure to wash your hands well after touching your outbreak sores, before touching your partner or another part of your body (e.g., rubbing your eyes or scratching). The risk is minimal but there is still a small chance you might have the active virus on your hands for several minutes (before the virus dies from being exposed to the air). Be positive to take treatment. And attend social live belongs to you just like in

Apr 02, 2013
He's positive too
by: Anonymous

This is a belated follow up, but I want to let you know what happened. My friend had the HSV blood test and discovered that he is also positive for HSV2. It was great news for me, but not so great for him. Since they were monogamous throughout their 25 year marriage and celebate afterwards, he's obviously had herpes since his single days. It's boggling that neither of us knew. He now has the onerous task of having the talk with his ex-wife.

Feb 24, 2013
Asymptomatic HSV1 & HSV2 for 20+ years
by: OxygenLynne

I am amazed that anyone could have herpes for 20+ years and not know it. This is new information for me.

I am glad your 'talk' went so well and just continue to hold your head high and don't let anyone tell you this is anything to be ashamed of.

It is actually easier today to meet someone who already has HSV2 than someone who doesn't.

It is important to be aware that there are things that your partner can do to protect himself.

Please share those therapies with him so that when you two lovebirds finally get together, all will be well.

I wish you the best!

Feb 23, 2013
We've had The Talk
by: Anonymous

Thanks, Ed. I did read your Talk download as well as a plethora of data in order to be prepared. Since we live in different parts of the state, our conversation was over the telephone.

He was complimenting me on being more self sufficient than many women he knows. I thanked him and said that over the years I have learned how to "bounce". From that I segued into saying, "I've had to do some bouncing this week", and told him about getting my routine blood tests results and then the second report on the STI and herpes tests.

I went on to tell him that I was stunned but not horrified, since the symptoms I've experienced had been just one more mildly annoying skin condition, and that my only concern was for infecting anyone else, i.e., HIM.

I laid out a lot of facts about herpes that dispell the mythology that we've believed since our hippie days in the '70s when first learning of genital herpes.

He took it very well, much better than I had expected. He did not react with shock, and listened very calmly. We had two long conversations, with a six hour break between, giving him time to absorb my bombshell news. Our second conversation (which lasted almost three hours) covered a lot of unrelated subjects, giving us a chance to talk and laugh as we usually do. I even got to use your Cootie tease when he described an allergic rash. While the conversation was light and rambling, we returned to the subject of herpes several times. I convinced him to get a blood test. Once he's done that we will figure out what to do.

I may still end up Friend Zoned (my fear from first meeting), but at least he hasn't run away screaming into the night. I'll keep you posted.

Thank you for sharing your wonderful experience!

Honestly..if you got my program and applied all the principles (or even a few)your chances of success are greatly enhanced.

I love the way you "segmented" the talk into your conversation! This keeps the mood relaxed and your partner doesn't get all stressed out.

Another thing that you did was give him time to think about what you told him. Giving him time to digest the news and do his own research.

I really doubt that you're going to need it, but you can give him my personal email address ( or and I'll be glad to answer any further questions that he might have!



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