How Can I Tell My Boyfriend That I Have Herpes?

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How do i tell a guy, that i really have feelings for, that befreo we move on and our relationship progress, that i have HSV?

I’m sure you probably know this, but almost 90% of the human population has been infected with HSV-1 by the time they’re 50 years old, the virus that causes oral herpes. I am assuming, however, that you’re writing about HSV-2, the “hush-hush” virus that causes genital herpes. Now, that’s just hogwash that two viruses can cause herpes, and the only difference is which part of the body is infected, and that folks think of “good” and “bad” herpes. Baloney. Herpes is herpes.

Getting up on my soapbox for a moment-No one wears lip-shields to prevent the spread of oral herpes. No one feels incredible angst when they need to tell a partner that they’ve had a “cold sore”, our polite euphemism for HSV-1. But let someone discover that they have HSV-2, and suddenly – they become a leper, an outcast, a pariah. I say again, HOGWASH!!

Thanks for allowing Granny to vent. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s just face the fact that there is an unreasonable prejudice against HSV-2. Frankly speaking, I believe the difficulty lies in that the word “genital” is usually used in context with HSV-2, and some folks just keep on perpetuating the idea that anything having to do with the genitals is wrong, bad, or nasty. And that just ain’t so.

However, since the virus is communicable whether or not you are currently experiencing an outbreak, you are wise to let your guy friend know that you have HSV-2. Is there ever an easy way to tell someone that you have a permanent condition like this? No. But I am so very proud of you for wishing to do so before the two of you become intimate! And you have absolutely no reason to feel ashamed; if someone had been as honest with you as you’re trying to be with this fella, your condition would not have occurred in the first place.

I am assuming that you are receiving adequate medical care. Studies have shown that long-term anti-viral therapies substantially reduce the amount of virus that is shed in the mucosa, and thus reduces the risk of contracting HSV-2 during sexual intercourse. Along similar lines, it would make sense to use a condom during an outbreak. That’s just polite.

But you were asking about telling your partner. Actually, the worrying about telling him is probably going to be worse than the actual admission. You’re most likely concerned about rejection, but rejection in relationships is something we all face every day. And his reaction might just surprise you.

So–Just be honest and upfront. Pick a time where you are alone together (a dinner party probably wouldn’t be the best time), and just calmly look him in the eye and say, “You are becoming a very important person in my life. Before we become any closer, I need to tell you that I have HSV-2. I just thought you should know.” And see where the conversation goes from there.

Yes, this takes courage. But you should not have to hang your head because of a virus. You would not be embarrassed if it were a cold sore. If that young man has half the grace that you have, he’ll be fine.

Please write back and let me know how “the talk” went. Granny’s always glad to see you!

Love, Granny

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The answer to "How Can I Tell My Boyfriend That I Have Herpes?"

Question asked on July 14, 2008at 6:40 am:: Comments (0)
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