Dating a person with genital herpes

Around two-thirds of people worldwide under age 50 have herpes simplex 1, according to the World Health Organization, and around one in every six Americans between ages 14 and 49 has genital herpes, usually caused by herpes simplex 2, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.Both Davis and Carlson eventually moved past their initial panic and saw herpes for what it is: an infection many people have that happens to usually get passed through sexual contact.It’s much harder to tell someone if they just found out they’re infected with herpes.For most people, the anxiety over not telling your partner you have herpes is worse than the telling itself.This strategy may have more disadvantages than advantages.

"No good deed goes unpunished" is often a harsh fact of life. But instead of declaring the sexual part of your relationship over or out of the question, think of ways you can be intimate without risking infection.

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Jenelle Marie Davis, 34, of Grand Rapids, Michigan, will gladly explain why having herpes isn’t the end of the world. It took years for Davis, founder of The STD Project, which encourages awareness and acceptance of various sexually transmitted diseases, and spokesperson for Positive Singles, a dating site for people with STDs, to come to terms with the diagnosis she got at age 16.“My mom says the entire way home from my appointment, I cried and said no one would ever love me, no one would ever want me, and I’d never get married,” Davis tells SELF.

When she was diagnosed with herpes almost three years ago, Whitney Carlson, 29, a social media editor in Chicago, had a similar reaction.

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