That virus can (but may not) be transmitted to any surface of someone else’s body, via physical contact.If it does transmit, there’s an ~80% chance that they won’t recognize any symptoms from the infection.) less risky than sex with a partner who may or may not know their status.” A herpes prodrome are signs that an outbreak is about to happen. If nothing else, dating someone with herpes can seem like an inconvenience.
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Bottom-line: Is a long term relationship with someone with herpes a life sentence for protected sex?
Or is contracting herpes from your partner going to be an inevitability—not a matter of if, but when? I'm not going to sit here and guarantee that you'll never get herpes, either from your long term girlfriend or from a random hookup.
When prodrome is present, it means the virus is active and the chances of transmission are high. But on the grand scale of things, herpes might be less of a challenge than celiac’s disease or severe nut allergies or even a monthly menstrual cycle.
Is the risk higher than being in a relationship with someone who is confirmed negative? But is it realistic to only be in relationships with people who have been recently tested for herpes? For most people, herpes outbreaks happen less and less frequently as time goes on.
We have a long tradition of shaming, ridicule, and misconception to thank for that. According to the CDC, most herpes transmissions occur when the infected person shows no symptoms and may not even know they are infected. After all, isn’t this essentially what just happened to you? “Unless you actually have reason to suspect they're cheating, a herpes diagnosis in the middle of a relationship does not mean they have been cheating.” Jenelle Marie Davis, the founder of The STD Project, explained to Primer.
From Shakespeare and South Park to sex ed and parodies of Valtrex commercials, herpes has been treated unfairly by mass society. “Most STI panels do not test for herpes, most people are asymptomatic (meaning they do not have signs or symptoms or experience outbreaks), and even the tests that are out there often return false negatives if someone was recently exposed or does not have a high enough concentration of the virus or the antibodies for the virus (depending on the type of test).” Dwelling on how someone got herpes is wasted mental and emotional energy, when really, you should be focusing on the next steps for your relationship in the here and now.
Both HSV-1 and HSV-2 can cause infections anywhere on your body, and both HSV-1 and HSV-2 are more common than you think. The prevalent statistics you encounter in drug commercials, sex ed, and PSAs are inconsistent and often confusing.
That’s because herpes infections are much more complicated than we paint them in our SNL sketches and stand-up routines. It’s from Project Accept.org: Around 75% of Americans carry HSV 1 or HSV 2 somewhere on their body.
1 in 6 means that if you’ve had three sexual partners in your life, then there’s a chance that one of them has had herpes and an even greater chance that one of them has had a partner with herpes.
So, when I tell you that your partner disclosing to you that she—and therefore maybe you—have herpes, I really mean that it’s not that earth-shattering.
Staying in a relationship where you are negative and they are positive seems like playing with fire.