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    I hope this is a safe space to share my story. I am a female, who is dating a female. We have been dating 6 months and she is just now telling me that she has genital herpes. She has basically had it since she was a teen (we are in our 40s). I casually asked if she has ever had an STD and was surprised when she told me. I feel betrayed that she waited so long to tell me and that I had to ask. I know it is not an easy conversation to have. Am I overreacting for feeling so betrayed?


    My story…I’m a supervisor and had to recently terminate one of my employees. This employee in return was able to log into company email and send out mass email stating I have herpes. Hurt, confused, and embarrassed was an understatement. I set up an appointment with my doctor. He asked the normal questions as to why I wanted to get tested. I lied and said he missed my yearly testing when I went for check up. Results came back and everything was negative but for HSV1 and HSV2. My igg numbers were 50.8 for HSV1 and 18.1 for HSV2. No comments or nothing from my doctor. I’ve been doing my own research and I’m guessing I have genital herpes. But the question I couldn’t keep asking myself was how did this employee know my status before I did. I investigated a little more and found out she has a friend that’s a nurse that works at the hospital I got tested at several years ago. She stated that she had her friend look into my medical records. I was dating a guy who was also seeing someone else. He called me up one day and said I needed to go get tested because he thought he had something. I went and got tested and the nurse that took my bloodwork told me that they would call if my test came back abnormal. I never got a call so I went on like with my life like nothing was wrong. Now I feel like my life is over and don’t want to leave my bed. How do I suppose to handle the nurse that violated my rights? How do I suppose to live a normal life although I feel dirty and damaged? My head has been hurting since getting the news, I barely eat, and haven’t talked to my boyfriend since I got the news, actually thinking about breaking up with him because I feel like he will look at me differently now. Just need answers


    I just received the phone call today to tell me the news that I already knew. I have HSV 2. I had a mild outbreak for the first time about two weeks ago that had me questioning what was going on so I went to get tested for all STIs. I had heard no news for a week but today I got the call from a NoCallerID and I already knew what was going to be said on the other end. I feel depressed and ashamed. All I can keep thinking is how will this change my future. I know how I would feel if someone I was about to be intimate with told me they had herpes. It has such a negative stigma and I can already feel that regardless of how common it is, I am going to struggle in the dating scene. My friends and family are trying to comfort me but I feel like none of them understand. I am thankful that other women are sharing their stories on this site to help newly diagnosed women like me. Any advice is appreciated.


    In reply to: Newly Diagnosed


    Hey AshleyJ,

    I know how you’re feeling. My ex gave me herpes and it was such a major blow to my self-esteem. He lied about having the disease and I trusted him. Our relationship recently ended and I’m back on the dating scene but like you I’m afraid of the process of having to tell potential future partners. There is hope though! Some guys I’ve told don’t seem to be afraid of the idea if a condom is used and others don’t want to give it a shot at all. Just remember that you are worth it and not defined by your disease. If someone does want to date you despite knowing that you have herpes, than you know he is a good catch and really cares.The first outbreak is the worst and then they aren’t as painful. I use Valtrex on a daily basis to keep it under control. Good luck and don’t let it stress you!


    Hello everyone!
    So I am newly diagnosed I found out about 3 weeks ago. I am 23 years old and a single mom. I’ve been separated from her father for about a year & 1/2 now. Since the separation I’ve had sex with one other person which I used protection with and got tested after. Recently I’ve started dating again but it had been a really long time since I’d had sex and I’m not one to feel comfortable sleeping with someone I don’t feel a connection of some sort to. My daughters father came to visit her for Christmas so I ended up sleeping with him. A couple of days later I had my first outbreak and I was mortified. I was in full swing denial and panic. When I slept with him I felt good for allowing myself to have sex with him and not feel that emotional attachment I thought I had deserved to let loose and do what felt right to me. When I went to my OB and got my positive results I felt like I was being punished for sleeping with him when I had been going on dates with other guys. Even though none of the dates had progressed to anything serious.
    Fast forward to present day I have gone on several dates with a new partner and things are starting to get more serious so I know I have to tell him about my condition soon but I feel so lost as to how to even start. There’s already so many complications when it comes to dating a single mom and now I’m adding herpes to that list. I feel lost.


    In reply to: How did it happen?


    I totally understand your confusion and frustration. I was recently diagnosed 3 weeks ago with hsv-1 genital and literally felt like my life was over. I’ve recently started dating this amazing guy and after receiving oral sex, I had an OB 7 days later. He didn’t have a cold sore, but with the timing of it all by doctor said that’s most likely when it occurred. When I spoke with the nurse she said that people are often confused when they develop cold sores. They can be so minor that someone may confuse it with chapped lips or a canker sore because you can get small clear sores on the inside of your mouth. I know how scared you are feeling. I did nothing but cry and torture myself for a week. Now I’m just trying to stay mentally healthy and strengthen my immune system to hopefully eliminate future outbreaks. Stress is a huge trigger and I refuse to let this take over my life. Talking about has helped me a ton. I’ve confided in a few closes people and even have a coworker who has it as well that i can talk to. The numbers are crazy 1/4 women have genital herpes and 85% are unaware… so we aren’t alone <3


    So I am the 59 year old. Married my second highschool sweetheart at 18 and my first highschool sweetheart at 45 with no dating in between. After being widowed I was naive with dating. After getting herpes a year ago I felt skanky. I made the decision to take Valacyclovir daily because I didn’t want the stress of wondering if I was going to have a breakout. My counselor taught me that skanky or any other negative self titling was forbidden and unnecessary. To think of my medication as part of my wellbeing. I now mix the pill in with my vitamins. My new guy is still digesting my disclosure. We know that if the shoe was on the other foot I would need time to think as well. Everything will be okay just not the way you thought it would always be. XO


    In reply to: Time to date again


    I think we are all amazing being open and supportive. I just wrote my story 59 and Dating. Just keep believing in yourself. The timeline for talking with a new guy about having herpes is a fine line between sharing too soon but soon enough to where you aren’t caught up in the moment. Some men might be scared off. Just remember your self worth and that when it is the right partner they will want to work through the details with you. XO



    I was widowed at 51 and started dating a couple years later. Last year this time I met a nice guy online. He lived 3 hours away and we got to know each other over the phone first. Before we were ever intimate we had a serious talk about finances, significant personal history, and STD. I needed to share that I had HPV. He accepted the news gracefully and said he had been tested recently. Two months into our relationship I had a major outbreak and was diagnosed with herpes. He had been tested immediately after a breakup where his girlfriend had been unfaithful. It turns out that the herpes hadn’t had time to incubate. Well, my outbreak was plenty miserable. I can’t imagine it being any worse. I also ended up with a scar on my vaginal opening that made penetration painful. I never blamed my boyfriend. He honestly didn’t know he was a carrier. I did have a problem with him seemingly forgetting that he gave it to me. Based on other reasons I ended the relationship.

    I talked to a couple men friends (who I was not sexually active with) about having Herpes and they seemed to think that it wasn’t a big deal as long as I was upfront with any new partner. I also talked with a few of my girlfriends who gave me support.

    Enter my new guy this past December. I work in a bank and had seen “Theo” on and off as a customer for the past 2 years. His last breakup had been painful (3 years ago). He wanted to date and take it slow. He is retired and I am getting close. At our age we are looking for someone to grow old with. I shared with him early on that I have Herpes. He appreciated my honesty. I totally forgot to share that I have HPV (I still need to do that). He is afraid. He is worried that if we are intimate and it doesn’t work out that he will be in my situation with his next lady friend. We have talked openly about having safe sex. At this point it is still dating with a kiss now and then.

    So it isn’t like he is “shaming” me but it kind of feels like it.



    I just got blood test results back a few hours ago and feel like my life is over. Dating is already so hard and now this…. I don’t think I ever want to date again. I know there are dating sites and such for people with herpes, but I feel like I’m broken/damaged. I spoke to the guy that I got it from, we had known he had it, and he was like it’s not that bad, at least it’s not a death sentence, but I feel like I’d rather it be one so that I wouldn’t have to live with this. I recently went in a date with someone that I really really liked and now I feel like I can’t see him again. I’d rather not see him than have to tell him and see his face when I do. I can’t stop crying. I’m absolutely devastated.


    Hi Everyone,

    While browsing through the forum, I noticed that many people who have posted are new users. Maybe it will bring a bit of relief to hear from a somewhat veteran who was diagnosed about 14 years ago.

    I was in my early twenties when it showed up (35 now). I know that around the time I was in a women’s studies class and we were reading, The Ethical Slut and other books. I was toying with the idea of casual relationships because a long-term one just didn’t seem in the cards for me. Regardless of this notion, I was always on the look out for a keeper and I really thought I found that one in the person who, I believe (but honestly can’t be sure) gave me herpes. Enter the university campus bartender.

    He was older, from a small town near where I grew up, gave people warm hugs, and when that yelling-profanities-at-no-one-in-particular man dropped his gloves, he was the friendly guy who gave them back to him. He was charming.

    He was also uncannily neglectful. He’d forget dates, leave me waiting for long periods of time, appear that he was trying to let me loose, and when I would confront him directly about it he would hotly deny it all and assure me he had no intention of blowing me off. I couldn’t make heads or tails out of his strange behavior.

    I did have sex with him without protection. I had asked him about whether he was clean. He proudly declared that he was clean stating that he does check-ups regularly and so I trusted him and I trusted that piece of knowledge (my doctor had later informed me that they don’t test for herpes – perhaps you need the actual symptoms present to be diagnosed?)

    TO be fair, maybe it wasn’t him. But there weren’t many others, and it was after seeing him that I had my first outbreak.

    My friend accompanied me to the doctor. I had a ready shoulder to cry on. I was scared of not being able to have a child. That was my one big fear.

    I don’t want to go on too long, but just to say that, yes, things do get better. Having herpes has guided me to taking better care of myself. I eat well, I aim to sleep well, I have been working on prioritizing soothing myself during stressful situations. I got married and have been together with my spouse for 12 years now.

    I should say to those of you worried about your future in dating, that even though I found my long-term partner pretty quickly (we actually got married at the 10-year mark) that I had told 2 other men that I had the diagnosis who still chose to sleep with me and wanted to be in a relationship with me. There was one bad situation where I hastily slept with someone and disclosed after the fact. I am not proud of that one, and honestly I don’t know what happened after – whether or not he contracted the virus. He was not angry at me surprisingly. Even though, in shame, I deleted him as a Facebook friend. Recently, while still holding onto guilt, I spied on his account and saw him smiling with a baby, so I figured things turned out alright for him.

    As far as disclosure goes: My parents know, both my sister know, my husband knows and two friends know. I did not tell them all at once and I did hesitate to tell my one sister who I felt would be the most judgmental. I like to think that with every person I tell I help break the stigma. At the moment I am careful with whom I disclose, but wouldn’t it be great when the day arises when people can disclose with 0 shame? I sometimes like to imagine that if people with herpes all wore a certain color of shirt all on the same day, we’d all breathe a sigh of relief to see the sheer number of people who have it. Its a bit of a shame really that people keep quiet. It really does perpetuate the stigma. I have been thinking of including one more friend now in the loop. It can take a while to disclose. I think that is 100% ok.

    What as brought me to writing here and why I have turned to Kelly’s book is because I’ve had a long spell of outbreaks only recently which has turned me into a paranoid person thinking I will continue to keep getting them. To make matters worse, its a time when I am trying to conceive. I can see that my past fears about herpes and pregnancy has been stressing me out as well as my growing age (I am 35). I am trying my best to surrender to whatever may be, while in turn making some adjustments to my demanding work schedule and my diet.

    I want to encourage people who have been recently diagnosed to keep your chin up and to work towards a peaceful relationship with your herpes. You have to live with each other to some extent (even when its dormant!) so why not agree to get along? I know that may seem radical to some, but honestly, herpes is not the disgrace it is presented as in sex ed classes in grade 6. I personally find the imagination that others have to be stronger than reality. After the first outbreak and with subsequent ones, it does calm down quite a bit. It can lead you to live a healthier life and to make better choices.

    To all suffering out there, know that there are many many others who have been walking your path and it is not a sentence, there is a lot of room for things to get a lot better. Courage my friends. 🙂


    My ex-boyfriend gave me HSV-1 last year and at first I was devastated. After talking to my doctor about it and finding out people who I’ve known for years have it made me feel better and realize it’s not going to take over or completely consume my life. At the end of this past October I started talking to this guy I met off tinder. He was super sweet, definitely my type, and we had great chemistry, I thought for sure we were going to date. We had hooked up a few times but never had sex. About a month ago he asked if I was ready and before anything started I told him about my diagnosis. I said it in the best way possible, I told him I have it under control (which I do, I’ve only had one outbreak and that was the initial one) and I told him how common it is. He was obviously taken aback, which scared me. After that the week went on and I heard nothing from him and he unmatched with me on tinder. I decided to message him and long story short the stigma and how people perceive herpes kind of caused him to distance himself, he didn’t want to put himself at risk because he’s nervous of what people would think. Now I’m back to feeling like damaged goods and I’m still hung up on this guy because I genuinely cared about him 🙁 any advice, had anyone ever had an experience like this?


    I was diagnosed with herpes yesterday and I’m not sure how to start dealing with the issue at hand. All I can think about is how my dating was hard enough before this and how it’s going to be a million times harder or how my health will be affected. My doctor was very vague and rushed my appointment so now I’m stuck reading things online trying to figure out how to prevent having outbreaks constantly. Obviously this is so new to me I don’t know how to convince myself I will be ok in the end. If anyone can offer advice on anything it would be appreciated, especially advice mostly on how to feel normal again.


    Precious woman… dear, Kaylee.

    First, breathe. You will be OK.
    Second, breathe again, YOU WILL BE OK>

    Honesty is always the best policy even when it’s difficult. It sounds like this fella that is coming to your town to explore the possibility of a relationship with you is totally on your team. On your side, right? Relocating for love is a big deal. That must feel really good.

    What I hear in your message above is your need to appease and offer what is yours to him in a seemingly ‘rushed’ way. Slow down, sister… and breathe.

    Ask yourself a few questions:
    1. How do you feel about wanting to be in a relationship with him?
    2. Do you trust him with your heart and your body?
    3. Do you want to have sex with him today?

    So often, when we as women get diagnosed we abandon our truth in order to appease men, to not be lonely and we apologize for who we are or who we THINK we have become since getting diagnosed with herpes. Nothing about you has changed, except now you have a virus that shows up as a rash from time to time. You are not alone. In fact, 1 in 4 or 25% of American women has HSV2 genital herpes.

    You have the freedom to tell him when and if you feel ready before you have sex and you also have the freedom to decide when you are ready to sleep with him again.

    As far as him expressing his ‘disgust’ for HSV. Sweet woman, breathe through that… because, let’s be honest — before getting the diagnosis and researching like crazy all there is to know about herpes ( I know you have because you, like me and the rest of us on this forum, have landed on this site !:), didn’t you also think herpes was disgusting? Breathe, and try your best to understand that that is a simple human response to any sti … and while herpes is annoying and can make us feel yucky, it’s simply put… a part of the human experience for many of us.

    If I may, I’d love to tell you about my experience telling my now partner that I am a member of the H club:
    He and I fooled around prior to me telling him. When I told him he was hurt, but he was caring, too. He was more upset with the fact that dating a woman with herpes or any sti was a deal-breaker than the fact that I had not told him before we fooled around.
    Because I have a lot of knowledge about herpes, I knew that what we did was not going to pass herpes to him. So, I justified not telling him. That was not cool of me. But, I am human and our chemistry was insatiable.
    Anyway, after the dust settled we talked again. I offered to answer any questions he had and I suggested that he get a blood test to determine if he was for sure, not a herpes carrier. He agreed that it was a good idea and a week later, he called me to tell me that he has the same type that I have. I didn’t know how or when he contracted it, but the proof was in his lab test results. He expressed to me later that my honesty and willingness to own my side-step in telling him earlier and also how willing I was to share my knowledge with him and encourage him to get a full screening was what made him fall for me.

    In a way, I feel my herpes diagnosis has made me a better partner than I have been with other lovers. The reason being… I have body awareness and compassion like I have not had before. I listen to my instincts. When I was dating and deciding if I was going to disclose my status to someone, I took my time to feel into how my gut guided me. There were some men that I decided were not worthy to learn my story and we stayed friends or we parted ways.

    You have landed in a wonderful place (this site) to get a lot of accurate information about herpes. I would suggest going to the RESOURCE tab and reading THE FACTS before talking with him. Also read the DATING stuff, as well.

    Breathe, girl… you will be OK.

    I call herpes my ‘stud finder’…. if a man is not OK with my rash then he is simply not for me.

    Take your time. You have just as much say when it comes to when you two have sex that he does. Of course, he is going to want to have sex right away… he is moving there to be with you. You have the right to navigate that it away that feels right, good, comfortable and in alignment with your desires.

    Sending you love!

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 1 week ago by Happyhopeful.

    I was diagnosed July 30th, 2019. My story… I divorced im 2015 after 12 years. I didn’t feel ready to date until this year. I dated a guy over the summer who I think gave it to me. I was diagnosed with bith HSV1 and HSV 2.. Yay me! I was devastated with my diagnosis! I felt and still feel ashamed, dirty, embarrassed and depressed. Although I have not had an outbreak every bump, itch or weird feeling i have i think its one its exhausting. I wash my hands all day long, i don’t kiss my kids except on the top of their heads.. We don’t share food anymore.. Makes me feel like an awful dirty mom÷😞 the guy that i think gave it to me ghosted me after telling me he was ok with trying to see past my diagnosis which hurt more than he just telling me up front he wasn’t ok with it.. He is HSV1 positive. I think im done dating and having sex.. It’s just not the risk anymore. I don’t want to spread it and im scared of getting something else! I tried taking antiviral meds as a preventative measure but they made me crazy.. Headaches.. Mood swings.. So i stopped taking them. Then I was on line reading about people that describe how awful and painful having herpes is and how it can cause neurological issues.. Scares me to how my body will react to the virus in the long run! Im so scared.. Ashamed.. Hurt..mad.. So many emotions!!! Sorry to be such a downer but how I feel!!!

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