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Would you date someone with herpes?


NorthDallas40

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I don't have herpes, but six years ago I had sex (twice) with someone who was infected, but she disclosed in advance, we used condoms, and to my knowledge I'm clear.

 

I'd like to keep it that way, but I just got a message from an online dating prospect who admitted that she has herpes. And she seems promising enough that I'd hate to dismiss her for that reason alone.

 

If you've had experience with herpes - either yourself or with a partner - what advice do you have on how to proceed?

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FWIW, she also wrote " I've had herpes since I was 18. I take proper medication to prevent outbreaks and its never served as a problem in any casual or serious relationship."

 

My personal view is that when treated properly as she claims to be doing, that herpes is really just a nuisance, not a serious health threat. Except maybe for the woman, and potentially for the child if she is pregnant.

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You know what my first thought was no....

 

But really what's one date? If she happens to be the one would you be okay with the risks going forward? the worst that could happen is you could get it someday and have a nuisance of your own and be on medication in definitely.....but really if she is "the one" you have to decide if that is worth it.

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I take it you have not met her yet? I would think you could go on a few dates and see if your interested and decide from that. Always be safe when you don't know the person, even if they don't disclose anything.

 

One other thing and this is just the cynic in me-- do you think this is a real woman? I just find it odd she would disclose that without even one meeting. There are people out there that have nothing better to do than screw with someone for their own sick enjoyment

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I do not have herpes. I have dated someone who did. I have two good friends who have it as well. When I think of someone rejecting them for something that's essentially sores that have a *huge* stigma, that breaks my heart a little bit. They're awesome people.

 

I think you should meet with her. You are not risking anything by doing that.

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Wellllll...... About 25% of the population has herpes, so I'm sure that 1/4 of the women you have dated already had it. And maybe some weren't as honest as this woman. You know, I might give it a chance, get to know her. See if it makes sense to progress. If she is on meds and you don't have sex during an outbreak, you might not get it. Ps- I'm a microbiologist.

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About 25% of the population has herpes

 

EXACTLY.

 

I can't really side with those posters who are so ready to bash people just because they are infected. These days it seems more of a social stigma issue than a real health problem:

 

link removed

 

And I think it's admirable that this girl disclosed so early, especially in light of some of the harsh attitudes shown in this thread. It shows that she has integrity, honesty, courage... and respect for a stranger who *might* become a potential partner.

 

If our messaging continues, I'm definitely going to ask her out.

 

Am I thrilled about the herpes issue? Of course not. But is it worth rejecting someone on that basis alone? I don't think so.

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Even with condoms theres still a risk of catching it (i think 50% chance which is high. Have you been tested to make sure you don't have it? Herpes can lay dormant without any symptoms and you could be spreading it..

 

if it were me, i wouldn't go near her. I dont think its just a nuisance-likely feels like youve got razer blades scratching you down there every few months.. no thanks!

 

You do know that its multiple blisters/colesores that burst, weep, ooze. Its supposed to be terribly painful and you could get frequent attacks for the rest of your life

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Maybe I'm shallow but I personally wouldn't do it. There would always be a risk there, you would always have to work your sex life around her outbreaks, and if you catch it and you break up then your the guy with herpes thats explaining to perspective dates how you have herpes.

A friend of my husband's caught it years ago, from a girl he was interested in. He knew she had herpes, he really liked her, he decided to give it a go and just be "real real careful". Well, for whatever reason, whether they weren't being all that careful or there was an accident, he caught it. They only lasted maybe 8 months. 8 months of a relationship and now he has a lifetime of herpes, he is in his mid-30's now and is trying to find a girl to settle down with and having to explain to potential mates that he has herpes makes things difficult. Its a shame because he is a real sweet guy and unfortunately one of the things you need to tell them early on in a relationship is how you have that virus, and most good girls won't take a chance. I know I wouldn't. Plus he has them on his mouth too (outbreaks) could you imagine your kid wanting to kiss you but you can't because you don't want to spread it to your children? Maybe you have a drink and when your not looking your kid takes a sip from your glass..... I think there is a lot more to consider then just "oh gee I like her". You need to consider what your willing to risk.

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I say get to know her well and see how promising it is before turning things sexual.

There is a lot of bias agains people with std's but I don't think it should be the end all and be all. There is a chance you might get infected, yes, but then you'd just have the same issue as her. It was brave of her to be upfront with you. As someone said, what could a date or two hurt?

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You've already said you have your own opinion on this OP, and a plan to go forward in meeting her, so I'm not sure what else people can contribute.

 

But if I were to give my 2 cents' worth -- don't take this the wrong way, but I would not recommend it to YOU, ND. Because of the fact that you have sex casually and soon with your dates. For another person, who takes their time getting to know someone, falling in love, getting exclusive, and feeling that the relationship is getting really serious before they sleep together, I think it may be worth the gamble. I don't think personally I'd do it even if I thought this was a serious LTR possibility, but it sure would make the difference between a risk that could be worth it and a risk that is not.

 

So since you sleep with women so soon, and are dating multiple women, I think for you it's not a good idea. To make such a thing worthwhile imo, you should be pretty sure you're going to be exclusive, not just because that is more likely to ensure longevity of the relationship even if you contract the herpes and then share the stigma -- but because if you don't have much connection after all (as has been the case with all these women you've been dating), you will be back out in the dating pool putting more women at risk, should you become infected.

 

So if your dating habits and MO were different, I'd be advising you differently.

 

Get tested for the HSV's now, to at least know your status. This would be your baseline (you may be surprised that you already have it, and that would be a game-changer in a variety of ways, including what you are then obligated to tell YOUR future dates).

 

And consider the fact that even if you think it's an overblown stigma, the stigma still does exist and YOU will then be obligated to disclose that you have herpes early in the game. Do you think you could be as honest and open as this woman has been with you, if you re-enter the dating pool? Ask yourself that, and ask yourself if you can easily handle many would-be partners turning you down for having herpes (because it would happen), and if the answer is no to either of those questions, then you need to turn this down.

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Given what Annie has shared, probably a lot of us have gone on dates with someone with herpes and not even known it.

 

Maybe coming soon we will be able to simply scan someone for their medical details and not have to guess.

 

Till then, when it begins with coffee and getting to know you, we can only go off what someone chooses to tell us.

 

I'm going to be honest here and say, I'm more ignorant about herpes than I would care to admit. I know the basics; but I wouldn't know enough not to be simply scared witless if someone told me before coffee even that "oh by the way, I have herpes".

 

I have never faced the situation of knowing someone has it, and would I continue or pursue dating them.

 

It would scare me though to meet someone and find out they think "herpes is no big deal". It would scare me to find out someone had slept with someone with herpes and used a condom and "as far as I know, I'm clear". I mean, I would not want to go there. And I'm leery of promiscuity in general, or cavalier attitudes about sex. Sex is fun and wonderful; but it's also my life we are talking about here. I'm pretty risk adverse when it comes to anything pregnancy or STD or sexual health related! So ...I find this whole initial post pretty striking and frightening really.

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As far as STDs go, herpes is one of the more harmless ones. I'm sure an outbreak is painful and not fun, but it won't kill you or hospitalize you, and some people only have 1 outbreak and then never again. Some people are carriers but never have an outbreak. Like I said, 25% of people have it, so it's very very common. You may even be carrying it yourself.

 

There are other, much worse STDs. Chlamydia causes no symptoms in the majority of people who have it, but it is the leading cause if infertility worldwide. Gonorrhoeae has, in the past, been treated by antibiotics, but drug resistant strains are emerging. And of course, there is HIV. There are treatments to keep the viral loads down, it is no longer the death sentence it was 20 years ago, but it is a very difficult and expensive disease to treat. Except for 1 case, it is not curable.

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It was a combination of very unique circumstances. Look up "The Berlin Patient." In short, a man with HIV was exceptionally unlucky (or lucky in hindsight) and came down with leukemia. The treatment for luekemia is a bone marrow donation. All of your immune cells are killed with chemotherapy, before getting fresh none marrow cells from a healthy matched donor. They act as the seeds for a healthy immune system. It so happens that HIV lives in immune cells known as T cells, so chemotherapy would kill the HIV also.

 

Well, the doctors found a compatible donor who happened to carry a mutation in CCR5, the "door knocker" that HIV uses to get into a cell. It's found in about 4% of Nordic people which makes them immune to HIV. The doctors performed a bone marrow transplant using the cells from the healthy donor with the CCR5 mutation. Leukemia was cured, and the HIV hasn't returned either.

 

this is a highly customized procedure, and was a stunning success but given that it's so personalized, it won't be a mass treatment.

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FWIW, she also wrote " I've had herpes since I was 18. I take proper medication to prevent outbreaks and its never served as a problem in any casual or serious relationship."

 

My personal view is that when treated properly as she claims to be doing, that herpes is really just a nuisance, not a serious health threat. Except maybe for the woman, and potentially for the child if she is pregnant.

 

The medication reduces the incidence of asymptomatic shedding. That is when someone can actively spread the virus but is not suffering an outbreak. I believe it's called Valtrex. That's the product name, not the generic name. If taken regularly it has been shown to reduce the risk of spreading to a partner. When used in combination with a condom the chances are very low.

 

There is a wealth of information on it on the Internet. Arm yourself with knowledge and just not opinion.

 

It is more of a social problem than a serious medical problem. It's basically a cold sore on your genitals. Google it. It's an important decision. The risk is low, but the downside could be disastrous.

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wow. that is amazing. amazing and fascinating.

I didn't know that. And I didn't know there were some people who could be immune to HIV, either.

 

Sorry OP to take it slightly off topic with following up Annie's mention of the 1 case - but you have to admit, that was too good to leave alone.

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It would scare me to find out someone had slept with someone with herpes and used a condom and "as far as I know, I'm clear".

 

FWIW, I asked my doctor about getting a herpes test and he said that it produced so many false positives that it wasn't worth doing unless I had symptoms, which I haven't had.

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FWIW, I asked my doctor about getting a herpes test and he said that it produced so many false positives that it wasn't worth doing unless I had symptoms, which I haven't had.

 

Maybe somebody can explain this??

 

Are we talking about herpes simplex? Pardon my ignorance. I'm not familiar with too much of the various strains and was this lady specific about it?

 

Would it being one strain or another impact your decision at all?

 

Or..how she got it?

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