I have a friend who is single. She just happens to have genital herpes which can make dating a tad more complicated. Last week, she met a match on a well known dating website. After making an online connection, but before heading out on her first date, she very politely let him know that she is herpes positive so that he could make an informed decision before things got too out of hand.
I would like to hope that most would take the opportunity to get educated, or simply bow out gracefully. But this particular “Jack” exploded and called her every name in the book from slut to whore to everything in between. When I heard about his simple minded response, I was disgusted.
It’s no wonder that so many people are ashamed to talk about and deal with this issue. It’s no wonder that so many choose to simply ignore their situation and continue to contribute to the spread of herpes. It’s a wonder that my friend doesn’t just keep her mouth shut and take her chances in the future.
My friend should be commended! She is incredibly brave and is blazing the trail in open sexual communication. Herpes is one of many STIs out there and people need to talk about the facts in order to stop the spread of this disease and others like it.
Facts about Herpes
• At least one in four Americans will contract an STD at some point in their lives.
• One in five Americans has genital herpes (at least 80% are not aware they have it)
• Many people who have genital herpes are unaware that they have the virus because they have no symptoms, mild symptoms, or mistake the symptoms for other conditions such as jock itch, yeast infections, razor burn or allergic reactions to detergents.
• Genital herpes can be transmitted during vaginal, anal or oral sex even if the infected person has no open sores or any other symptoms of infection.
• Condom use reduces the risk of getting genital herpes and other STIs. However, when using a condom, remember that the exposed areas of skin are still unprotected. To prevent spread of the virus during oral sex use a condom on the penis and a condom cut lengthwise or a dental dam over the female genital area
I don’t know why I continue to be surprised at how ignorant and judgmental people can be when it comes to sexuality and sexual health. Stop judging and get educated. When it comes to sex, ignorance is only bliss until that morning you wake up with open sores on your naughty bits.
And for those of you living with STDs, there is still hope of finding your match. Check out positive singles – The best, largest, completely anonymous and most trusted personals network for STD singles and friends in the world. (More than blog worthy)
You’re not alone!