I held off on sex for as long as I could, but it got more and more difficult.One day, my new beau reassured me, "I'm disease-free, I just got tested.I had always insisted on using condoms, which can reduce the risk of transmission.My selling point, however, was telling him that approximately one in four people has herpes and, statistically speaking, he undoubtedly had slept with someone who had herpes. He thought about that for a minute and then realized he might not know.The whole experience made me more comfortable with the fact that I have herpes and gave me the confidence to begin dating again.It was as if I had just re-entered mainstream society.
Genital herpes is a contagious viral infection that remains permanently in the nerve cells.
I met dozens of electronic pen pals and eventually went on several dates.
It was a relief not to worry about when to bring up my medical history, and to bond with a guy over asymptomatic shedding instead of having to explain it.
Since he was disease-free, he refused to wear condoms, instead choosing the scrub-down -- something that would do nothing to prevent herpes transmission.
That relationship eventually came to an end, leaving me worried yet again about getting back in the dating game.