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Jack Granger

Disclosing HSV1 - basically cold sores

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Hi everyone,

I'm 22 and I caught HSV1 on my penis, just on the skin around the shaft, approximately 18 months ago. My girlfriend at the time turned out to be cheating on me so I assume I caught it from her, although I know that herpes can lay dormant for a long time and could have come from anyone I had been with previously. That relationship ended about a year ago and I've only slept with one other person since, who was a friend who I disclosed to before we had sex but we had been seeing each other for a couple of months so were really into each other. I think the reason I haven't slept with anyone since has a lot to do with my confidence having dipped and not knowing when, how or even if to tell people I want to sleep with that I have herpes.

My real question is, am I going to be able to have spontaneous sex with anyone new ever again without bringing up herpes? It seems to me that having an awkward conversation about herpes every time I want to sleep with someone new will put people off me instantly. What's most annoying is that HSV1 is actually just the cold sore virus which is universally accepted but when its on the genitals there's a massive stigma. You don't find people who have had cold sores disclose to everyone they kiss that they have herpes.

I'm at an age when all my friends are having fun. They're having casual flings and one night stands. I on the other hand haven't had sex in 6 months. My friends think I'm weird that I don't 'just get a friend with benefits' but I can't tell them about the herpes because they would think its gross. I am depressed about the situation and don't know what to do.

Any thoughts?

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