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New to dating someone with herpes

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I met a man on line, he is a great guy, we have great chemistry. We talk on the phone all the time, we are a really good match (met him thru EHarmony, they really know what they are doing!). We have gone on two dates, had a great time each date, then he told me he has herpes 2. Now I am not sure if I want to continue to date him for fear of catching it. I will still be friends with him if I don't continue to date him but I am unsure what I want to do. I am afraid if I walk away, I will lose out on what could be a great and long lasting maybe permanent relationship. I have done a lot of research, have seen the positive and negative of the disease and dating someone with it. Any advice would be much appreciated.

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No one can make that decision for you. And in my opinion, no one can blame you for being cautious. I think that it's really great that you are actively seeking information. My thoughts? Herpes does not change who a person is, not one bit. If you thought he was amazing before, then he is still the same amazing person you clicked so well with in the beginning. I also commend his honesty about having the virus, not everyone is so forthcoming. But like I said, no one can make this decision for you. You've done the reading and you know the risks. Condoms, no sexual contact during outbreaks, and suppressive treatments can reduce the risk of tranmission by a lot, but it will never be risk-free. But then, is anything risk-free in this life? I suppose it's a matter of chosing your battles. I wish you the best of luck.

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If you've only had 2 dates, it's way too early in the relationship to have any realistic idea what the future holds. Right now, of course you're uncertain. You have no way to judge what you'd lose if you walked a way, or risk if you stay. Give it time.

If someone had told me, years ago, that one day I would willingly risk getting herpes just to be with someone, I'd have said they were crazy. But here I am, 10 years into a relationship with the greatest guy in the world, who also gave me herpes. Does it bother me? No. He's worth it. Could I have known that after 2 dates? Not a chance. As it turned out, we were close friends for several years before we admitted to one another that we were attracted romantically.

I'm not suggesting you wait years, but what's the rush? Give yourself a chance to see where your feelings are going before you commit to anything, including sex. You may find out that your feelings for him as a person grow to the extent that the risk becomes a non-issue. Or, you may decide he's not the one you're looking for. Either way, you've lost nothing by waiting to see what develops before you take that next step. Time is on your side. Give it a chance to play out a little.

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Is there a pressing urge to decide right away? Why don't you date some more for now? Take your time, get to know each other. Could you imagine if you dumped the potential love of your life for something so minor as a tiny little virus that causes a few bumps and itching?

The chances of transmission if you protect yourself are really low: 2% from a man to a woman on an annual basis using suppressive treatment and condoms, 4% using condoms or suppressive therapy (based on a 2001 study down by GSK). These figures are less from a woman to a man, if any other curious people are reading, by the way. To put this in perspective, the birth control pill is about 92-99% effective, condoms are 98% effective in preventing pregnancy.

What I'm trying to say is that it's not automatically certain that by being in a relationship with someone with herpes, you are condemned to get it (check out this link: http://racoon.com/dcforum/support/23467.html)

Thousands of people have sex on a daily basis without transmitting it. The main reason for this is because those people KNOW that they are infected and act accordingly. Basically we can protect you. The majority of people who contract herpes contract it from those who are unaware that they are infected (that would be 90% of the infected population, which is 20% of the whole US population). In the next five years or so (maybe less) there may hopefully be a suppressive that staves off all outbreaks and eliminates all shedding.

And this, more than anything else, should show you that this guy is honest as it gets!!! Disclosure, while recommended, is not a given. He could have not told you and hoped for the best but yet he has chosen to be honest on this really hard subject. That's a pretty hard quality to find these days.

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A lot of people with herpes like to tell right away, because they don't want to get attached to someone and then get dumped for having herpes. I tell guys pretty early on as well, for that reason.

I would have dated someone with herpes if I didn't have it, because I know it is very common, and if he is honest with me, he is a better bet than a guy who wouldn't know or wouldn't tell me.

It usually isn't a big deal physically. The problem is that if you get it and then break up with him, dating will be more difficult for you. I think the stigma is decreasing a lot, but it is still going to be there for a while.

You getting herpes from him is an uncertainty, you remaining in a permanent relationship with him is an uncertainty, but the fact that herpes will change your life IF you get it IS a certainty. Weigh those options.

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  • The Hive is Thriving!

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    • MikeHerp
      The prophylactic vaccine trial by GSK took 8 years and they were still not done with it.  That's because it takes time to see whether it works--it's a matter of many people having sex over time and that just takes a lot of time.   A shedding study is quicker, so therapeutic vaccines are quicker to test.  5-6 years I think.  Note that there was a study conducted last year that showed that there's a high correlation between shedding and outbreaks, suggesting that it might not even be necessary to track outbreaks, measuring shedding may be enough. It's unclear what they would be proving in case of a gene editing technique.  I think shedding would be a part of it.  But what else, if anything, I don't know. Anyway, it doesn't necessarily have to take a long time like the GSK prophylactic trials.  
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