Afraid to Get Herpes: Here’s What to Do

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Before getting herpes or a STD/STI I was terrified of getting one, especially herpes. I mean look at what the stigma says about people who have herpes. They are disgusting, they have slept around, they are whores that got this because they did something wrong and now they are paying for it and it can go on and on. Obviously I don’t beige this stigma and neither should you. 

In case you didn’t know I was actually a sexual educator back in high school. I went through training organized by Planned Parenthood and I’d go out into the local schools and give sexual education to my peers. So with that being said, I knew about sexual anatomy and physiology, I knew about birth control and I new about STDs. I mean, I was the sex educator, for goodness sake. 

With all that being said, I still never thought I’d get herpes because I believed the stigmas. I thought to myself that I’d never sleep with someone like that had herpes because I’d never be attracted to someone who had herpes. And I believed the “stigma” about people who had herpes so I was never going to get it. 

Well…as we all know, I got it. Could I have avoided it? Probably and here’s how. 

We don’t practice safe sex. We all think the we do and we all think that what we’re doing will protect us but- we don’t. We don't know or we don't do safe sex. We think that if we just use a condom then we won’t get anything. And we also think that just by having the “convo” then we won’t get it. And we think that as long as we are in a committed relationship then we won’t get it. 

There are 2 things that you can do to lessen your chances of winding up with herpes. 

  1. Both of you need to get tested for all STI’s and most importantly herpes. Herpes is not included in the STI panel. So if you ask your doctor to test you for everything most likely herpes is not on there. When you both are tested and you both then talk about your results you can come to the table knowing everything. If your partner has herpes then you both know and then you both can decide how you want to proceed

  2. Talk about your relationship. Now that you know one another’s STI results you can have the question about your relationship. Are you both monogamous, are you sleeping with other people, is your partner sleeping with other people and so on. When that conversation happens you and your partner can proceed how you want to with the information that feels comfortable to you

What ends up happening is most of the time we think that we’ve been tested for herpes and we haven’t. Most of us have herpes and don’t know about it so when we get tested we can start off on the same page opposed to pointing fingers. And then communication is allows the best thing because everyone knows what the plan is and can make his or her own decisions. 

Will this completely remove the possibility of getting herpes? No but it will definitely lower your risks. 

If you have more questions about herpes and wonder how people live and avoid getting herpes to their partners, we have a great community where you can ask, share and join our calls we have. You will hear how other people navigate and talk about herpes in their relationships, when it's time to disclose, etc.

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