Marie Claire: How has having a STI affected your dating life?
One in every six people between the ages of 14-49 have it, and the majority don't even know (! To help us demystify the experience, we spoke with herpes-positive blogger Ella Dawson, 23, to tell us about what really happens when you date with the STI.
Q: I've been seeing this girl and we've really been hitting it off. But my gut reaction is to ghost and never look back—I don't want herpes! – Jason, San Antonio A: Finding out your partner has herpes can be a bombshell at any point in the relationship. But it is not nearly as unique or earth-shattering as you think it is. I know there a lot of thoughts and anxieties swirling in your head—about your partner’s health, about your health, about your partner’s fidelity, about your future (or lack thereof) with your partner—and we’ll get to all that.
Are you stupid to continue a relationship with someone who has herpes? There are two viruses that people talk about when they talk about herpes: Herpes Simplex Virus 1 and Herpes Simplex Virus 2, or HSV-1 and HSV-2.
Ella Dawson: Now, when I date, I have to have a conversation about the fact that I have an STI.
That used to really freak me out, especially in the beginning when I was newly diagnosed and still learning about the virus and very self-conscious about it.
There is no known cure for herpes, but it is more than possible to live a full, well-rounded life with HSV. Information on this site is general in nature and cannot take the place of medical evaluation, diagnoses, and treatment by a health care provider.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.