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Hi everyone,

I'm just looking for some advice/reassurance really. I have recently started dating a girl, she is absolutely amazing. We haven't done anything sexual yet and she has just opened up to me that she has HSV2 from an abusive ex. I'm not going to lie, it initially took me by shock because I've never had anything like that. The thing is I really like the girl. Realistically if things get serious then I'm likely to get it eventually. If I know that we'll be together Indefinitely then it doesn't really matter. What I'm concerned about is catching it then us splitting up and I'm left trying to come to tearms with dating with herpes. What I have suggested is that we take things real slow. We make sure that we are really sure about the future before committing to anything.  


I'd like to hear from anybody who has a partner with herpes or has it themselves and their partner doesn't. How does this effect the relationship. How effective is medication to prevent transmission? 


I have infrequent recouring HSV1 on my mouth from childhood so I can sympathise. Does this give me any kind of resistance to HSV2? 


I think I have already decided how I want to proceed, going slow to gauge our longevity. this girl is like no one I have met before. I guess I'm just after reassurance that I'm doing the right thing and it's not going to be as bad as I think it could be.


Sorry for the long post but I apreciate any input

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I hope you and your new partner are well. 

Don't apologize for the length of your post!! All questions and such are 110% welcomed. 

As a woman who also has their herpes from a abusive ex (although I have genital HSV-1), I understand that she must feel very very hurt and embarrassed to have to live with a permanent virus that was caused by someone who was so cruel. You did a very kind thing to say you would need to just move slower until you learn more about it. That is appreciated more than you know, as so many people outrightly reject those with herpes. So, yay for your kindness and understanding! 

In terms of HSV-2, here are some fast facts about it:

-- Herpes is VERY common! According to the WHO, 67% of the world's population has HSV-2, whether they know it or not. Even more people have HSV-1! 

-- HSV-2 typically affects vaginas more than penises, and is usually outbreaks are more intense and recurrent for those with vaginas than those with penises. 

-- HSV-2 affects everyone differently. It is important to understand how often her outbreaks are, if she's on antiviral suppressent medication, or if she knows her prodrome symptoms. 

-- Even on antivirals, the risk of transmitting HSV-2 is always there.

-- Herpes can spread asymptomatically, so if you do get herpes from your partner, and she says she didn't have an outbreak when you had sex, it is very likely that the virus was shedding without producing symptoms. This is often why people choose to take antiviral medication, however it cannot prevent all possible transmissions of the virus. 

-- 🌄 HSV-2 does NOT make someone bad, unworthy of love, or unwanted. 

TO ADDRESS YOUR WORRY OF DATING IN THE FUTURE: If you do get HSV-2 from her, and you end up splitting up, you won't be any different from who you were before, just with a very common virus. Will it impact your dating life? I will not lie, of course it will. But, you can explain it as: "I was with someone I really cared about and I valued her personality and her overall self more than her virus, and was understanding of it, so I took that risk. As a result I now have herpes, but, I know in the moment I made a choice based off my feelings for that person. I know that being a good person and having herpes are NOT mutually exclusive!" Or something like that 🙂

TALKING POINTS TO PRACTICE: Remember, it isn't her fault she has it, and she would probably feel terrible if she gave it to you. She told you about it and was honest, and that is so hard to do! So, when she does talk about it or you ask a question about it, be calm, open, and patient. Don't interrupt of she's talking. If you have questions, ask them, but if she doesn't know an answer that is okay. Bring those questions here to this forum or to you doctor. 

BOTTOM LINE: Obviously, you care about this person, enough to say you want to be with her but you want to take it slow (which honestly is better, in my experience!!). If you realize that she is someone you really want to take that risk for, and you see a long term future, or you see it as a risk worth taking, etc, just make sure you have a plan in case you get herpes. Don't be mad at her, she told you she had it. It isn't her fault. She may feel extremely bad about it, so she will need some reassurance, too. Just have a plan to go to the doctor, etc. Breathe and remember it will all be okay!!

If you are still unsure or are worried about things, take it slow. Express your worries, and accept any information or helpful websites or resources she may offer. Do your research, think about things, ask her questions if she's on medicine, regularity of outbreaks, etc. It may be a sensitive topic since she got it from someone abusive, so make sure you're in a safe space before you ask, and ask "can I ask you some questions regarding your HSV right now? If not, let me know when I can, it's totally ok!"

I hope this all helps! I really wish you the best 🍀. Remember that love is the strongest force on the planet. It really is. And if you need to wait until you have love with this person, before having sex, that is totally okay. Just remember that she is not her herpes. She is, I am sure, a wonderful, beautiful, blessing of a human ❤️. Remind her of that! 🙂





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Thanks for your detailed reply. I believe she has been infected from somewhere between 6 months to a year. She is looking at going onto suppressing medication. Finding out has bothered me a bit, I can't lie but i have done my best to reassure her that I still like her and want to see where things go. I'm working on it because she is such a lovely girl and I really feal for her. Your input really helps me. I honestly didn't realise just how wide spread it is!

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Of course, I'm happy to help. 

Yes, being honest is so important. It's okay to say you aren't sure while still being sensitive of her feelings. 

So it seems her herpes is fairly new. If she has regular outbreaks, supressive medication could really help her. If she has only had one outbreak and doesn't feel she needs the medication, that's totally okay too. Wearing a condom can help reduce risk of transmission, or she can use an internal condom (super cool but not very well known). 

Before she starts any medication, explain to her that this is her choice. If she wants to be on the supressive medication that is ultimately up to her. She shouldn't feel pressured to do so. So, tell her she should take her time and think about things (and consult with her OBGYN/doctor) too! If she is afraid you'll walk away if she isn't on the medication, then that may not be a healthy reason for her to go on it. People who have been abused and people who have herpes didn't choose to be in their situations, so they should 110% be encouraged to choose what THEY want and need in regards to their body.

Again, waiting a while before having any intimacy could really help both of you see what is best for you as individual... And then if things progress, you can see what is best for your relationship 🙂

I hope this helps!! 



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