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Avatar universal

Herpes & dating

I just met this guy, and I really like him. The unfortunate thing is that I have hsv2. I've done research about how to prevent transmission to a partner but it is so unclear, and the information I read is different. I want to go on suppressive therapy, thinking this will cut down on outbreaks and shedding, but I've read that it doesn't cut down on shedding. The more I read the more frustrated and depressed I become. I get my hopes up thinking I can have a sexual relationship and then I read something negative and I get knocked down again. I don't know what to do. Of course I know to wear condoms for intercourse but I want to know if I have to wear one when I receive oral sex. I hear hsv2 is rarely transmitted from genital to oral, even though I got from oral to genital. Can someone please help me? I don't want to disclose that I have herpes, that's why I want to know what it is that I can do to prevent transmitting it. Or am I just fooling myself and I should lock myself in my room and forget about a sex life altogether?
24 Responses
101028 tn?1419606604
I'm not sure what isn't clear?  Daily suppressive therapy significantly reduces transmission of hsv2 to a partner, it also significantly reduces viral shedding and recurrences.   Unfortunately we don't have the same research in gay males as we do hetero couples but it's assumed that the risk would be similar which is as little as 1% risk/year of transmission to a male partner regardless of the sex act.

you really should discuss your herpes status prior to sex Don't do so and you transmit it to a partner and you can be sued. just not worth it!

Avatar universal
Hi grace, even though I've only been on one date with this guy, I'm going to tell him tomorrow. I'd rather get over with sooner or later. I'm expecting the worst, rejection, but its probably best because I don't want to put more emotion in it than I already have. I guess this disease is going to take over my sex life. I know there are dating websites for people with std's, but I don't want to limit myself to a certain geographic. This sucks but I guess it is what it is.
101028 tn?1419606604
I certainly don't limit myself to only dating fellows with hsv2!  My dating pool is limited enough as it is  so narrowing it down even more to just guys with hsv2 would leave me sitting at home alone even more than usual.  
Avatar universal
Hi grace, I just don't want to deal with the rejection. I've been rejected my whole life, which has lead to low self esteem. Just when I thought I actually found a guy I really liked, the reality of having hsv2 sinked in and ruining it. I just hope he let's me down easy. I'm still thinking about how I am going to word it to him. Hopefully he's not mean about it.
101028 tn?1419606604
I've been turned down twice because of my herpes. I've been turned down lots of times because I have kids, I work nights and I like big dogs.  It really isn't the issue you assume it is going to be. In gay males in fact, 60% of males have genital herpes - it's very common and part of the reason why hiv infection rates are higher in gay males. it's something everyone should be getting tested for and talking about with potential partners!
Avatar universal
Hi Grace, I'm definitely going to tell him today because I'm falling for him and before my emotions get deeper into it, I need to know from him how he feels. Whether he wants to continue with me or not. Things are going great right now, but once I tell him what it is I have, I'm sure things are going to go south fast. Unfortunately, I prepared myself for the worst and dreading the time leading up to when I'm going to tell him. Wish me luck, and if you like, I'll let you know what happened.
101028 tn?1419606604
when you have your "talk", don't say things like "you'll probably want to end things with me" or " what I'm about to tell you will change your mind about me", just be open and honest about it - it is what it is, you can't change it and it's a part of you. You can take precautions to keep the risk of infection to a partner minimal and it's about being sexually responsible with a partner, not trying to scare them off!!
Avatar universal
Hi Grace, Thank you for the advice. I'm been playing the scenario in my head over and over about how I'm going to tell him and I just can't seem to find which way is the best way. I tell my friends how I want to approach it and they tell me not to go in my direction, which is to tell him in text, but they've convinced me to tell him in person. I think this is one of the hardest things I have ever have to dealt with. If only all the millions of dollars in research can find a cure for this virus that causes so much emotional harm, and physical to some.
101028 tn?1419606604
I think talking about this should be done face to face. there's a lot to cover - their std testing status and yours and easier to do it face to face than by texting. I also think it says you care about them to do it face to face rather than by texting to - don't you?
Avatar universal
Hi Grace, so I told him over the phone. I just wanted to get it over with. Maybe it wasn't the right way, but at least I did it and I am just waiting for him to process it. I'm already prepared for him to say that he doesn't want to have anything to do with me, and I don't blame him.
Avatar universal
Hi citylife! I just want to give you some words of hope. I have been seeing a guy for a month. We both got the full STD tests to make sure we were clean, and I came up HSV2 positive.

I am doing a Western Blot to be doubly sure, cuz I have never had a herpes outbreak or symptoms.

Anyway I was so nervous about telling my guy, but he handled it great!! It was not how I expected it to go at all. You just never know.

Yknow what, for all you know, your guy has it too. I'd ask him if he's ever been tested.

If it's true that 60% of all gay males have it..the odds are, your guy has already slept w someome who has it and doesn't know it!  At least with you, he knows what your status is!

You are one of the responsible few who actually had the courage to check your status! He should be grateful for  that, and that you're such an honest, considerate person.
Avatar universal
Hi Terafrank! Thank you so much. I am happy that I told him, but I just don't know exactly what direction he wants to take. He told me that he still likes me a lot and that he doesn't see me any different, but I kind of find that hard to believe. He seemed really supportive, but that was yesterday. I have not heard from him today, so I am thinking he might have had a change in heart, which I don't blame him.

These past two days have been the hardest for me. I have been a closeted gay guy for 30 years, and I actually came out to two people because of this guy I am seeing. I did not want to be ashamed of how I felt anymore, and I did not want to be ashamed when I am with him. With all that said and done, I feel like eventhough I have been pouring myself out their and actually being 100% me, I am still not going to be accepted for who I am what I have.

I have been getting words of encouragement from from my friends, of course, but it's hard to see the good side of anything right now.  
101028 tn?1419606604
good for you!!!  talking over the phone is certainly preferred to texting  when it comes to talking about std's and testing. did you talk about all std's or did you just talk about your herpes?

you've had a lot going on in your life lately from the sounds of it all!  Have you considered talking to a professional at all for some  support with all the changes in your life?  Even though I don't know you at all, I'm glad that you are finally accepting your sexual preferences and moving forward with your life :)  Life is too short to not be who you want to be and to not be able to find a partner you can be happy with!  regardless of how this turns out, take care of yourself - nothing is more unattractive than someone who has low self esteem and this is a time in your life when keeping your self esteem healthy is important for moving forward :)  Just keep reminding yourself, herpes is what you have, it's not what you are.  there is so much more to you than just a pesky virus!
Avatar universal
Hi Grace, These past two days have been emotionally draining. I came out of the closet, I found someone I am starting to care about, and I had my first experience telling someone outside of my circle of friends an family that I have herpes. I have felt vulnerable and strong all at the same time. The guy seems to understand me and is taking pretty well, and he was texting all morning, telling me that he doesn't see me any different.

Yes, we spoke about all other STD's. I am happy to say that I am negative for HIV and everything else, and so is he.

The sad thing is that for some reason I feel like I am still not worth anyone's time or deserve to be loved because of this virus. If he decides to continue seeing me and we both agree to take things to another level, intimately, I will be so afraid that I will be putting him in harms way.

For some reason, I have been getting this little bump on my gum, right beneath my lower k-9 (?) tooth and there is another location on my lower gum that feels a little sensitive. I know I'm probably just paranoid, but if the guy that gave me hsv2 by performing oral sex on me, can he have possibly have given it to me in the mouth by kissing me? I have never really had any sort of outbreak on my mouth, other than this little bump on my gum, that doesn't hurt, and that has come and gone three times within a month time span. I think it usually goes away in two days.

I just don't want to put him at risk of transmitting herpes to him if I kiss him and perform oral on him. If anything like that would happen, that would diffenitely crush me.  
101028 tn?1419606604
not likely you contracted hsv2 from receiving oral sex. same as not likely you have it orally either.  also hsv2 orally rarely reoccurs so as often as your symptoms are, it's likely something else. you can get things like that from food stuck in your teeth , toothpastes and even chewing gums if you are sensitive to some of the ingredients in them.

have you started daily suppressive therapy yet?
Avatar universal
Hi grace! When I was diagnosed with herpes, back in march, the only sex that I had for a year was receiving oral sex. Before that year I did have intercourse with a condom. My herpes was positive from a culture that was taken from a blister and blood test. Since oral sex was the only sex I was having, I'm guessing this is the way I contracted it. The bump on my gum is totally different than the blister that I had on my genitals.

I asked my doctor about suppressive therapy and he told me that he doesn't recommend it for me because I don't have breakouts that often.

The reason that I really want to take suppressive therapy is so I can prevent transmission to the guy I'm talking to, which by the way, he says that he doesn't see me differently and that he really likes me still, but that he's scared. I'm assuming he's scared about contracted herpes.

I like him so much, I hope he can see past this disease that I have and see me for me. Do you have any other suggestions on how I can handle all this?

I think I can handle herpes in the genital region but not in my mouth too. Just thinking about it gets me depressed.
101028 tn?1419606604
find a different provider if your regular one won't prescribe daily suppressive therapy for you to protect your partner.

101028 tn?1419606604
so your lesion culture was hsv1+ and so was your blood test?  I tried to find more details in a few of your prior posts but didn't see them.
Avatar universal
The culture was hsv positive and blood work was hsv2 positive. Is there a way to make sure that I don't have it orally? That little bump that I have on my gum is worrying me. I want to see a dentist today hoping its something that's other than herpes.

The guy im seeing is actually sticking around and I want to know if I have oral herpes. The bump in my mouth isn't consistent with the lesions I've had on my genitals. It bothers me that it's recurrent in the same location.

I don't want to give this guy another reason to possibly not want to see me anymore because I have oral herpes, too.
101028 tn?1419606604
oral hsv2 hardly sheds at all so there isn't any easy or cheap way to determine if you have it orally. your genital hsv2 is the real issue anyways even if you did have it orally, not an oral hsv2 infection due to its low rate of shedding.

still far more likely you had hsv2 and never knew it and this was just your first obvious recurrence that made you take notice and go and get tested than you contracted it from oral sex.  contracting hsv2 from receiving oral is like the odds of being the big powerball winner this week.

I get lesions in my mouth all the time in the same area that have nothing to do with my oral or my genital herpes. too many chemicals out there that we are exposed to that can cause us issues :(  
Avatar universal
Hi Grace! I finished my acyclovir about a week ago and tonight I had some itching on the head of my penis. I went to the bathroom and noticed little red bumps, I can't believe I'm having another breakout. I also forgot to mention that I have a yeast infection that causes the head of my penis to peel. So I'm not sure if it's another breakout or if it's the yeast infection. I've tried monostat, lotrimin, and the doctor even prescribed me diflucan, nothing seems to clear it up and I've had the yeast infection for months.

If its not one thing, it's another. Having all this crazy stuff happening to my genitals is driving me bonkers. As soon as I feel better and think I'm in control of my body, this damn viral disease definitely reminds me that I'm not in control.

I'm going to call my doctors office tomorrow morning and see if he can see me to double check what is going on downstairs with me. I'm also going to try to convince or for him to put me on suppressive therapy.

I want to get close to the guy I started dating but with everything that is going on with, I feel like I never will.  
101028 tn?1419606604
sounds more like yeast than herpes. it can be a booger to get rid of yeast sometimes.
Avatar universal
I hopes it's a yeast infection. I'm back at the doctors office. I hope they can help me. Wish me luck, please! I can't handle anymore bad news. I also hope that I only have herpes genitally. I want to be able to kiss without fearing I'm transmitting something to anyone.
Avatar universal
I am very confused...I had a sore so I went to the Dr and got tested cause I just found out my x had gotten herpes they say with in the last 6 months and I have not been with him in the last 2 years... It turned out the sore was B-vaginosis or something, but. I was told I have been exposed to the virus at some point on both tests and my scores were in the 300s.... I have no idea what this means, and I have no idea how to move forward dating as I have recently become single... I feel like this is a death sentence as far as me ever starting a new relationship... WHat does it all mean, help please.
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