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Hello! I am very new to this community and am reaching out for some advice and guidance. I am 22 years old and was recently diagnosed about six months ago with genital herpes. The twist is, I was in a serious relationship and we were both tested for STD's at the beginning of the relationship and we both came back with no STD's. The crazy thing is, you don't get tested for herpes during a regular screening. About six months into our relationship, I had a bump on my private area and just thought it was an ingrown hair. I went to the doctor and within a second of looking, the doctor said "genital herpes". I wanted to throw up, this couldn't be right. So many things rushed through my head. Did my partner cheat? Did he have it and not tell me? I just couldn't help but feel so disgusted because I just couldn't believe this could happen, especially when you are in a relationship. Long story short, my partner never had any outbreaks and it happened to be one of those rare chances that he possibly had oral herpes and never showed any symptoms and gave me genital herpes by giving me oral sex. Still to this day, I have a hard time wrapping my head around the science behind all of this. The scariest part is, no one ever really thinks of HSV1 AND HSV2 being the same thing. We ended up breaking up because I just always felt resentful and devastated. I am now seeing someone new and am planning to disclose. This is my first time having to actually tell someone about it and I am so scared. I just wouldn't know what I would say if someone told me this because I would never think of herpes as something that isn't a big deal. This is the first time I have to force myself into becoming comfortable with talking about it. Any advice would be so helpful.

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Well, first of all, definitely disclose. Failing to disclose before getting physical leads to a heaping pile of guilt and pain. More than just some anxiety and rejection can threaten.


Next, before you seek a relationship or set out to date, it might be a good idea to do some introspection. It is common to suffer a loss of identity and feel like you have somehow become less valuable as a person when diagnosed.

While neither of those things are true, and are certainly temporary feelings they can take a lot of work to iron out.

I personally am the type that has to re-earn my own respect daily. I have to help other people, I have to make progress toward a goal, and I have to arrive at the end of the day with a feeling of accomplishment. Otherwise, I crush myself with negativity.

Herpes can bring this kind of need down on people who have never really had a problem with self-image before. But the good news is that it is often temporary.

For people like me, identifying things to make ourselves feel valuable migjt be a little more comfortable territory, but the way you do it is similar.

When you can look at what makes you feel pride, what makes you feel accomplished, and what makes you feel positive about tje future, you will have identified what will help you to gain the confidence, honesty and courage you need to do things like disclosure.


It might seem hard now, but if you look at how your actions impact your self-image, you'll see it's not too difficult. You've already been doing things that make you like yourself. Keep doing those things. Observe how you haven't gotten any better or worse at them.

When you see that, you'll know that herpes isn't that big a deal. You'll be able to go about dating yhe same way you always had (maybe better, if you struggled to find self-respect in the past). You'll just find it easier to pick up on it when someone isn't vthat intovyou and plans tobwaste your time. When you disclose, only people who genuinely appreciate you will stick around.


Personally, I often feel like I should have just told people I was dating in the past that I had ghsv-1 all along. I could have saved myaelf years of dating liars who were just being agreeable, haha!

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"Long story short, my partner never had any outbreaks and it happened to be one of those rare chances that he possibly had oral herpes and never showed any symptoms..."


That's actually not rare at all. In fact 80% of people with HSV have no noticeable symptoms and don't know they have it. Those who experience symptoms are much more rare.

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