Dating Someone With Herpes?

Are you dating someone with herpes? If you have been dating someone for any length of time and she has told you that she has the herpes simplex virus, then you probably have many questions lingering from your conversation.

The most common information that most people are trying to find is learning how to reduce your chances of getting this little virus. There are many facts about the transmission rates but keep one important thing in mind, everybody is different.

There are several variables that must be taken into consideration such as:

How long has your friend had herpes? Often the longer a person has the virus the less frequent and less severe their outbreaks will be. Also, it’s been proven that viral shedding is drastically reduced after the first year after becoming infected thus reducing the chances of spreading the virus to you.

Does your friend take anti-viral medications such as Valtrex for suppressive therapy? The FDA has approved Valtrex as a medication for reducing viral shedding and dramatically reducing the transmission rates.

What type of herpes virus does your friend have? This is important to know because often a person who has HSV-1 on their genitals or genital region, will not experience as many outbreaks as a person who has HSV-2 or genital herpes. And again, this reduces your chances of getting it.

How Did My Partner Get It?

If you have been dating someone with herpes for a significant amount of time and just found out that they have HSV, then you may have suspected that they were unfaithful in your relationship.

Whether or not this is true remains to be seen but just because your friend was diagnosed while in a relationship with you does not necessarily mean that they have been unfaithful.

Because as many as 90% of people who are infected with the virus show no signs or symptoms.  Another thing to think about is perhaps their symptoms have been so mild that they were overlooked in the past. It is likely that they may have become infected years before ever meeting you. It is also possible that the virus remained hidden in their body and this was the first time that it has caused any symptoms.

The bottom line (pun intended) is that maybe your partner didn't cheat and is totally innocent and has been simply victimized by the virus.

Could You Have Given Her Herpes?

Another thing to consider is that your friend may have caught the herpes simplex virus from YOU!

This crazy virus affects everybody differently and you may have been one of the 90% who has the virus and didn’t know it until you unknowingly passed it on to your partner. The virus may have been totally invisible to you but caused severe outbreaks in your friend.

The point of all of this is with the herpes simplex virus nothing is as simple as it appears.  This virus is extremely individualized and affects each one of us differently.  I can only cite my own experiences and those that are common but in the end, we all don't experience the same symptoms or outbreaks.

Dating Someone With Herpes Tips

The herpes stigma is very powerful in today’s society and it has probably taken your friend a great deal of courage to discuss this very personal and sensitive subject with you. This should show you that your friend has a great deal of integrity. And remember that integrity is the foundation of a truly meaningful relationship and dating someone with herpes is no different.

Here are a few simple tips while moving forward in your relationship:

  • Get tested for herpes before you become sexually active with your friend. Remember that a typical STD testing panel does not include a herpes test. You will have to specifically ask for a herpes panel test. And if you have not had sex with your partner, then you'll both have a frame of reference later on.
  • Know the risks, the transmission rates and protect yourself by wearing condoms, refrain from having sex during active outbreaks and make sure that your partner begins a daily anti-viral drug suppressive therapy.  It's also important to note that recently more and more doctors are reluctant to prescribe anti-viral medications for daily use.  If this is the case with your friend's doctor you have three choices...take the other precautions and accept the risks, Change doctors or buy the medicine online.  But in the end the decision must be made by both of you.
  • Don’t treat your friend differently just because she has herpes. She knows that she has it and the last thing that your friend needs is to be treated as though she is infected with an incurable disease.  She's probably hyper-sensitive and over protective about having sex and spreading the virus to you.  Heed her warnings even if they do seem unreasonable to you.
  • Don’t place demands on your friend that you wouldn’t normally place on someone else. If you are going to demand that she wears a rubber suit before touching you, then it’s best that you move on.
  • Once you accept the risk of being sexually active with her don’t place all of the responsibility on her shoulders to protect you. This burden is just too much for anyone to carry. She is probably very hyper-sensitive to any abnormal itch, pimple, or ingrown hair and will abstain from sex to protect you.  But it is ultimately your decision to continue having a relationship with her so you need to man up and hold yourself responsible for your health too.  If something dreadful happens and you end up catching the virus then under normal circumstances it would be totally unreasonable for you to hold her responsible. 
  • Above all…if you don’t want to assume the risk then stop dating her.
  • There's no magic bullet here! Don't continue the relationship if the risk is more than you can tolerate. You'll just end up making things worse.

Final Thoughts on Dating Someone With Herpes

The risk of becoming infected with the herpes simplex virus is relatively high when dating within the general population. With as many as 90% of the 50 million people in the United States not knowing that they have herpes and the ability to transmit it, you are probably at a much lesser risk of contracting it from dating someone with herpes, who already knows they have it and recognizes their symptoms and manages their outbreaks effectively.

I'd strongly recommend that you never stop dating someone with herpes or break off a relationship based solely on a herpes infection especially if you think you’ve found that 1 in 100 exceptional person.

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