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It was very hard to tell a guy I liked that I had herpes, hoping that they would still want to date me.’ Alexandra also admits that she has used the ‘herpes card’ to her advantage if there was someone she didn’t want to have sex with.On the day she received a call from her doctor with the results of her test: ‘I was mad, crushed, confused, angry, depressed and it goes on and on.‘Fast forward to when we began dating, I initiated the conversation about having herpes and asked him if he remembered. He loves me and that’s all that matters.’ When is the best time to let a potential partner know that you’re carrying the herpes virus?Alexandra says that it depends on who you are and what you want from the relationship.It takes a lot of self-reflection and self-worth to begin the dating process.‘After my diagnosis, I stayed in a relationship for much longer than I should have because I was too scared to go out and date.It took years of work to get me to the point where I’m now. If I get an outbreak I know how to treat it and help the outbreak heal as fast as possible.I know that it’s just a skin disease and it doesn’t play any role in my life.’ Herpes is split into the HSV-1 virus, also known as herpes simplex or oral herpes, that causes cold sores and mouth ulcers, and HSV-2, the genital herpes virus characterised by painful red blisters around the genital region. The virus can remain dominant for months or years at a time, and it’s estimated that most people with either condition don’t even know they have it.
According to the NHS, you can reduce the risk of passing on herpes by using a condom for vaginal, anal and oral sex, avoiding sex if an outbreak (blisters and sores) is occurring, and not sharing sex toys unless they are washed and covered with a condom.It’s totally up to you and there is no time limit on when you have to tell them.However, you do have to tell them if you are going to expose them to it.‘Some people disclose ASAP and some disclose months down the road, it’s totally up to you and every personality is different.If you really don’t give a f*** about the outcome then you will most likely tell them early and get that out of the way.
Condom use doesn’t guarantee protection from herpes, as they don’t always cover the entire affected area of the sufferer and there can still be skin to skin contact around the exposed region.