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2019 Best Herpes Forums on the Internet

Are you looking for the best herpes forums? We’ve got you covered.

Why would anyone join a herpes forum? What’s the purpose?

Well, struggling with anything – an STD, a terminal illness, the loss of a loved one – can make you feel like you’re split in two. It can make you feel like you never want to leave your room.

Sometimes it isn’t easy to talk to the people who are closest to you; sometimes there isn’t anyone close to you to talk to.

Internet communities and online forums give you a chance to connect with others who are going through the same problem as you.

Whether you’ve been recently diagnosed with herpes or you’re a veteran, a herpes forum will give you a supportive environment in which to express yourself.

And, no matter how supportive your friends and family might be, the internet is there 24/7, always ready to listen and lend a helping hand.

Here are the 3 best forums for people struggling with oral herpes and/or genital herpes:

The 3 Best Herpes Forums

1. Honeycomb forum

Honeycomb Forum
Honeycomb Forum

With almost ~70k followers, ~500k posts, ~71k topics and growing, the Honeycomb forum is the world’s largest herpes support group.

New members to Honeycomb herpes forum are invited to post in a number of different subforums:

  • Just Signed Up. Introduce Yourself.
  • Newly Diagnosed.
  • Herpes Veterans.
  • Personal Experiences with Herpes.
  • Connect with Other Herpsters.

You Can Use Honeycomb to Connect with People Close to You

Of those subforums, the one that stands out the most – to us, at least – is “Connect with Other Herpsters.” As the world’s largest community of people struggling with either genital herpes or oral herpes, Honeycomb offers people around the world the opportunity to connect locally. If you live in a big city, there’s a chance that someone near you is on Honeycomb, and sometimes, when you’re discussing serious personal problems, you want the intimacy of in-person conversation, not a glowing screen – and that can only be achieved through a local meetup.

The sub-subforums of “Connect with Other Herpsters” also break people down into different age groups. A 14-year-old struggling with a recent herpes diagnosis probably isn’t going through the same problems as a 59-year-old herpes veteran who’s been diagnosed for thirty years. That doesn’t mean those people don’t have the opportunity to connect in other parts of the forum, but it’s nice that Honeycomb understands that sometimes you want to talk to someone like you.

Tip for using Honeycomb

With a herpes forum like Honeycomb, you get a good mix of anonymity and closeness.

Tip: Before you start an account, check out Honeycomb’s privacy policy.

Their privacy policy expertly lays out everything you need to know about keeping your identity safe and your personal information private. It’s clear that, even though Honeycomb is a public forum that is regularly indexed by search engines, they deeply care about your anonymity.

2. Pink Tent Support Forum

Pink Tent Support Forum
Pink Tent Support Forum

The Pink Tent Herpes Support Forum is an online support group on the website for Dr. Kelly Voshell Martin Schuh, an Amazon bestselling author of the book, Live, Love, and Thrive with Herpes. She was diagnosed with genital herpes at 23 and, since then, she’s been helping women all around the world come to terms with their own highly stigmatized STDs – whether herpes or something else.

Naturally, with a name like “Pink Tent,” this is one of those herpes forums that are specifically for females. If you’re a man with herpes, you aren’t barred from the forum, but you might not find very many other men to relate to.

Still, the Pink Tent herpes support forum offers a more intimate, targeted community than what you might find on either Honeycomb or our next herpes support forum, Herpes Opportunity Community.

And, if you’re a fan of Dr. Kelly Voshell Martin Schuh’s work, then you’ll be even happier to join a herpes forum in which she occasionally posts herself.

3. Herpes Opportunity Support Forum

Herpes Opportunity Support Forum
Herpes Opportunity Support Forum

“It’s not a dealbreaker. It’s an opportunity,” reads the banner of the Herpes Opportunity Community’s – (h)Opportunity’s – website. It’s an uplifting and motivating statement, a refreshing take on genital herpes and oral herpes.

(h)Opportunity flips the traditional STD script on its head. Instead of letting you wallow in self-pity, (h)Opportunity challenges you to view your diagnosis as a chance to embrace deeper vulnerability and openness with others.

If that sounds like something you’re interested in, (h)Opportunity might just be the place for you.

It has a thriving community of almost 70k posts and 10k topics, making it a strong contender for the title of the world’s largest online support group for people with herpes.

What about an Oral Herpes Forum for People with HSV-1?

All of these herpes support forums – Honeycomb, Pink Tent, and (h)Opportunity – offer assistance for people struggling with both genital herpes and oral herpes. If you’re someone who’s struggling with oral herpes (like anywhere from 50-80% of America according to Johns Hopkins), every one of these forums will be happy to answer any questions you have about dealing with it. What better place to go to learn about how to prevent oral herpes from developing into genital herpes? A lot of these people have been through the same issues, and they’re more than happy to give advice.

In fact, there are often sections (like in Honeycomb), where people are encouraged to ask if they could have herpes or cold sores – so it isn’t even restricted to people who know that they have HSV-1.

Conclusion: The 3 Best Herpes Forums

  • Honeycomb is the world’s largest online support group for people with herpes. You can even use it to connect with people locally and by age group. It has a little bit of something for everyone.
  • Pink Tent, on the other hand, is targeted more toward women. Even though men aren’t necessarily discouraged from posting, it might be hard to find other men to connect with on their forum. If you’re a fan of Live, Love, and Thrive with Herpes, the best-selling book from Dr. Kelly Voshell Martin Schuh, this might just be the place for you.
  • And, finally, there’s the herpes opportunity support forum, (h)Opportunity, which aims to flip your herpes diagnosis on its head: it isn’t a deal-breaker, it’s an opportunity for you to embrace vulnerability and openness. If you’re a positive thinker, (h)Opportunity is a great forum for you to engage with other people with herpes.

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How to Have a Fulfilling Sex Life with Herpes

If you’re wondering whether you can still have a fulfilling sex life with herpes, the answer is, yes. Getting diagnosed with genital herpes can seem like a harsh reality for many people since there is no cure for this sexually transmitted disease (STD). The other devastating factors are the risk of transmission through skin-to-skin contact and being forced to deal with recurrent breakouts of herpes sores or blisters throughout your lifetime. While there is no cure for oral or genital herpes, avoiding unprotected sex and taking an anti-viral drug are effective ways to lower the risk of transmitting the herpes virus and control recurrent flare-ups.

Sex Life with Herpes
Photo credit: rawpixel

4 Tips for Having Sex with Herpes

Genital herpes or HSV-2 is caused by the herpes simplex virus type 2. It is also common in the US, affecting more than one in every six people between the ages of 14 to 49. Once the infection occurs, the virus enters the body and remains in the nerve cell for life. It can then be transmitted through oral, vaginal, or anal sex or even mere contact with infected skin. However, having sex with herpes is not as complicated as it may seem. The best things you can do is follow safe practices like telling your partner, tracking your symptoms, and knowing when to avoid sex. More importantly, taking the following precautions can protect you and your partner without sacrificing sexual pleasures.

1. Take a Herpes Drug to Control Outbreaks

Focusing on getting treated should be your top priority in controlling the herpes symptoms and maintaining your health. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), HSV-2 causes an average of four further outbreaks a year after the initial infection. Although they become less severe and occur less frequently with time, antiviral drugs can be prescribed to suppress the symptoms or reduce the number of yearly outbreaks. Certain drugs are designed to be taken as soon as you feel the symptoms coming on. If you already have a prescription filled, it is important to take the medication as prescribed by your doctor.

2. Always Use a Latex Condom

You should consider using a condom once you’re ready to resume your sex life or after taking a relationship break to understand the impact of herpes on your future romance. You should also avoid having sex during the initial outbreak of symptoms. In fact, unprotected sex, whether or not herpes symptoms are present, places your partner at risk of getting the infection. Having an enjoyable sex life with herpes therefore means always using a latex condom for vaginal, anal and oral sex. Oral or tongue condoms are also available for performing oral sex. Note, however, that condoms do not guarantee 100% protection. The virus can still infect areas around the mouth and genital not protected by the condom.

3. Get It On with Mutual Masturbation

Having sex with herpes can be as erotic and exciting when you and your partner perform mutual masturbation. There is almost a zero percent chance of transmitting the virus this way. You can masturbate each other simultaneously, one after the other, or masturbate yourselves alongside each other. Masturbation can be done using the hands, dildo or vibrator based on your preference. One of the most important things to do is to wash your hands, and sex toys, thoroughly with warm soapy water before and after mutual masturbation. Also, do not touch your bodily fluids or sores before touching your partner.

4. Keep a Watchful Eye for Signs of an Outbreak

Not everyone experiences recurrent herpes flare-ups. If you’re not that fortunate, that’s okay. Paying attention to your body can help you take the necessary precautions. For example, you may feel a burning, itching, or tingling sensation at the site of the initial infection. This is usually followed by blisters that will turn to sores then scab and heal. The risk of infecting a partner with oral or genital herpes is high throughout this period.

Therefore, it is best to avoid kissing, vaginal, anal, and oral sex altogether during this time even if there are no visible symptoms. You should also take your medication right away if you’re being treated with an antiviral drug, such as valacyclovir that suppresses the oncoming symptoms. Suppressive valacyclovir therapy has proven to significantly reduce the risk of HSV-2 transmission and shorten the length of the outbreaks.


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The Takeaway

There is a negative stigma attached to genital herpes that may make you believe that having a sex life with herpes is impossible. But there is no need to panic or give up on romance. In reality, you can have an enjoyable sexual relationship regardless if you have HSV-1 oral herpes or HSV-2. The most important thing is to control the outbreaks, never have unprotected sex, and find other safe ways to enjoy intimacy.

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How to Manage a Herpes Infection in a Long-term Relationship

Herpes is a virus that can infect the mouth or genitals and can be transmitted through oral to oral, genital to genital, and oral to genital contact. There is also no cure for herpes infection which can make it difficult for you to date or have a long-term relationship. Your main concern may be the possibility of transmission to your partner when kissing or having sexual or skin-to-skin contact. However, contracting herpes does not disqualify you from having sex or enjoying the benefits of a long-term relationship.

5 Tips to Help You Control Herpes in a Long-Term Relationship

How to Manage a Herpes Infection in a Long-term Relationship

You can still have a normal and happy long-term relationship by managing the herpes infection. Perhaps the two most important things are getting the herpes facts and having the courage to tell your partner. In some cases, the partners may discover that they both have the infection. Once you’ve declared your health status, taking steps to decrease the number of outbreaks and lower the risk of passing the virus are essential ways to control the herpes infection.

1. Get the Facts About Herpes

You and your partner getting factual information about herpes is a primary and essential way to manage a herpes infection in your relationship. Millions of American adults contracted either or both the Herpes Simplex Virus 1 (HSV-1) which causes oral herpes or HSV-2 which causes genital herpes. Herpes type 2 is considered a sexually transmitted disease (STD). HSV-1 occurs on, in, or near the mouth and results in cold sores or fever blisters while HSV-2 happens on or near the sex organs, buttocks, or anus and causes blisters or sores to develop at the site of the infection. Once the infection occurs, the virus goes to “sleep” in the body and later reactivates causing what is called a herpes outbreak of sores or other symptoms. Knowing these and other important herpes facts will empower you to do what’s best to avoid transmission.

Additional resources:

2. Tell Your Partner

Genital herpes, especially, carries a certain stigma because it is considered an STD or sexually transmitted infection (STI). Although more than 1 in every 6 people ages 14 to 49 have herpes, it can still be difficult for you to let anyone know you have HSV-2 or even HSV-1. Chances are, you were unaware of the infection until you had an outbreak while in the relationship. But telling your partner could make you appear promiscuous or unfaithful. There is also a possibility that your partner may reject or leave you. Although telling your partner is risky, full disclosure at the beginning of the relationship or at the time you discover the infection can make it easier for both of you to control herpes infection while pursuing a long-term relationship.

3. Have Protected Sex

Whether or not you get outbreaks or herpes symptoms, it is still possible to pass the virus. Therefore, you or your partner should always wear a condom to lower the risk of transmission and protect each other’s health. A condom should be worn during oral, vaginal, and anal sex. Doctors recommend that you avoid sex altogether during an outbreak or when you see signs of an imminent flare-up. Staying in your long-term relationship means there will always be a risk of transmission, but having safe sex is one of the best ways to minimize the risk.

4. Take Your Medication

FDA-approved antiviral drugs are usually prescribed to treat and control HSV-1 and 2. Treatment helps to significantly reduce the recurrent outbreaks or flare-ups as well as the possibility of transmission. If you haven’t started treatment, you should do so right away. Your doctor will prescribe antiviral drugs that suit your needs. You should take your medication as prescribed as part of herpes infection management. There is episodic therapy that allows you to take medication at the first sign of a flare-up. Your doctor could also prescribe drugs to suppress the virus if you get frequent recurrent symptoms (suppressive therapy). Taking your medication as directed can help to reduce the number of outbreaks and shorten the time the symptoms persist. 

5. Know Your Body

There is no one specific thing that triggers herpes symptoms, although studies find that stress, eating certain foods, and even sex can cause the virus to act up. However, knowing when an outbreak is coming on is a guide to avoiding intimacy during this time and until after the symptoms go away completely. Itching or tingling at the site of the infection, e.g., the lips, vagina, or penis, are common signs of an oncoming flare up. If you do decide to have sexual intercourse, remember to always use a condom. However, bear in mind that herpes can still transmit to areas around the genitals not protected by the condom.

[READ MORE: Best Dating Sites For People With Herpes]

The Takeaway

Contracting herpes 1 or 2 does not mean you can’t kiss, have sex or a long-term relationship, get married, or even have children. You can continue to enjoy all of these relationship benefits. If both of you contracted the virus, this can provide a better understanding and opportunity for you to manage herpes infection as a couple. Just remember that you can keep the herpes virus in check by taking your medication, having safe sex, and keeping a watchful eye for the onset of symptoms.

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Can I Spread Herpes to My Family?

There are two types of Herpes Simplex viruses, HSV–1 that causes oral herpes and HSV-2 which causes genital herpes, a common sexually transmitted disease (STD). While it is true that there is currently no cure for herpes, there are also many myths, misconceptions, and frequently asked questions (FAQs) about herpes transmission. A question that keeps popping up is, “Can I spread herpes to my family?”.

Here, you’ll to get answers to common questions on herpes transmission in the family and herpes precautions you can take to avoid spreading the disease.

Can I Spread Herpes to My Family?
Photo credit: Anna Pruzhevskaya

What is Herpes?

Herpes is a highly contagious viral infection that causes oral and genital herpes. The body cannot get rid of it once the infection occurs. The initial outbreak is usually the worst leading to itchy, painful cold sores or fever blisters at the site where the virus entered the body. Other symptoms are fever, headaches, chills, and swollen glands. The sores usually dry and scab on their own and disappear within days. But it doesn’t mean that the virus is gone.

Who Can Get Herpes?

Anyone can get infected with herpes including your family members. This is because it could take mere skin-to-skin contact with an infected body part to contract the infection. In fact, most people who contracted the disease don’t even know they have it and can share it without knowing it.

Can I spread herpes to my family when I don’t have sores?

Yes. The virus is actually rather sneaky as it can hide in the nerve cells and remain there for years without causing an outbreak. In other cases, it may be more active or cause multiple breakouts a year. Unlike what some people think, the virus can also transmit even when there is no herpes sores, fever blisters, or other symptoms present. All it takes is contact with infected skin, saliva, mucous membranes, or other fluids.

Can I pass herpes to my child by kissing?

Yes. Many people think that it’s impossible to pass oral herpes to their child from kissing because it does not involve the exchange of saliva as is the case between French kissing adults. However, most people got oral herpes as a child by simply getting a non-sexual kiss or peck on the lips by an infected family member, relative, or friend. Furthermore, the herpes simplex virus is highly contagious and cold sores or blisters are not always present when the virus reactivates. This means you can still give the virus to your child or anyone else from skin-to-skin contact with the lips or mouth.

Can I spread herpes to my family from indirect contact?

Some people fear they’ll catch herpes from toilet seats, bath towels, eating utensils, or even a swimming pool used by someone who has HSV 1 or 2. The herpes virus is not typically passed from indirect contact, except when the virus is still alive outside the body. For instance, sharing your lip balm with your spouse or child can spread this viral infection. However, the virus dies quickly outside of the body making it nearly impossible to transmit this way. It is also not usual for you to get or give herpes from non-sexual acts such as hugging or holding family members.

Can I give genital herpes to my child?

Yes, even though genital herpes is usually transmitted through direct sexual contact with the vagina, anus, buttock, thighs, penis, or scrotum of an infected person. Although rare, you can spread genital herpes to your child during pregnancy or delivery or if you touch an infected area of your genitals and then touch your child’s genitals, e.g., when doing a diaper change, before washing your hands.

Can I give my family oral herpes from genital herpes?

The herpes virus can also transmit from the genitals to the mouth and cause oral herpes. For example, if you touch your genitals and then touch your child’s or another family member’s mouth with a hand that has the live virus. This is called genital HSV-1 transmission. You can also spread it to other parts of your or their body the same way, e.g., touching the eyes.

Herpes Precautions to Prevent Transmission

Taking the following herpes precautions may help keep your family members safe from both herpes 1 and 2:

  • Avoid touching herpes sores, infected skin, saliva, or mucous membranes, e.g., the mouth.
  • Do not share unwashed eating/drinking utensils with family members.
  • Always wash your hands before touching or caring for family members.
  • Don’t kiss or peck anyone, especially babies, infants, children, or other family members.
  • Take your herpes medication as prescribed to lower the chance of spreading herpes.
  • Do not share your razor, lipstick, or lip balm with others.

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6 HSV-1 Transmission Facts You Should Know

The herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) is a common virus that infects most people in the United States by age 20 and causes oral herpes. But mouth herpes can also develop from infection by the herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2). However, 80% of oral herpes infection is caused by herpes-1 and can occur through non-sexual and sexual contact. Due to the high HSV-1 transmission rates, it is important for you to know how the virus passes from one person to another and other HSV-1 transmission facts.

What is HSV-1?

HSV-1 is a highly contagious virus that mainly causes oral herpes or mouth herpes. It is transmitted through saliva or infected skin and can affect the mouth, gums, lips, throat, or inside the cheeks. When this happens, painful blisters called fever blisters or cold cores develop. The initial infection causes an outbreak of cold sores and symptoms such as fever and muscle aches. The virus then goes to sleep or becomes inactive.

At this stage, HSV-1 is still present in the body but is asymptomatic. Nevertheless, the virus can reactivate thus increasing the risk of transmission. Herpes-1 is more commonly found in females than in males. This may be an indication that the female to male HSV-1 transmission rate is higher than male to female.

6 Important HSV-1 Transmission Facts

HSV-1 Transmission Facts

These 6 HSV-1 transmission facts will bust some of the myths surrounding the virus, how it is transmitted, and who can be infected. They can also help you take precautionary steps to avoid getting the virus or passing it on to others.

Fact #1: The Virus Can Infect Anyone

Anyone can become infected with the herpes simplex virus 1. This includes infants and children. Similarly, anyone can transmit the virus which is most contagious during an outbreak, especially when the sores are wet or open. However, transmission can occur even when the sores are dried or scabbing. The virus can pass through kissing or skin-to-skin contact. For example, a parent can infect their infant or child from kissing them or the cheek or lips. Sharing silverware, lip balm, or razors are other ways the virus can pass.

Fact #2: The Virus is Commonly Passed Through Kissing

When it comes to HSV-1 transmission rates, it is believed that most people contract the virus from kissing. This includes lip kissing or deep kissing (French kiss) which involves the exchange of saliva. Most adults who have the virus caught it while they were kids. It is possible that they got it from someone who didn’t know they were infected and innocently passed it on. This can easily happen because the virus goes dormant and can stay in the body for years without causing a breakout.

Fact #3: HSV-1 Can Transmit When No Symptoms are Present

Many people think that someone who has HSV-1 oral herpes can pass it to others only if sores are present on or in the mouth. When the virus goes to sleep in the body, it remains there until something, e.g., emotional or physical stress, triggers it causing an outbreak of blisters or sores. Although the virus is highly contagious during an outbreak, it can still pass to someone else when there are no visible symptoms.

Fact #4: HSV-1 Also Causes Genital Herpes

Genital HSV-1 transmission is possible and can occur through mouth-to-genital contact such as during oral sex. But the virus can be transmitted from mere skin-to-skin contact with the genitals. Similarly, HSV-2 or genital herpes can infect the mouth during oral sex. A 6-year study from 1994-1999 found a growing trend of genital HSV-1 transmission. It also found that genital HSV-1 transmission was higher in women than in men. The risk of mouth-to-genital transmission may be higher if the infected person has herpes sore on or in the mouth during the time of oral contact with the penis, vagina, anus, buttock, or inner thighs.

Fact #5: Most People Who Have the Virus Don’t Know It

Most people with herpes do not know they have it. This is regardless whether the HSV-1 virus infected the mouth or the genitals. The reason for this is the herpes-1 virus is quite sneaky. For one, it can be transmitted even when the virus is inactive and no sores are present. Furthermore, the virus can wake up (reactivate) and cause no symptoms. Therefore, a person is still at risk of catching or transmitting the infection from kissing, oral sex, or skin-to-skin contact.

Fact #6: There is No Cure Once the Virus is Transmitted

HSV-1 causes a lifelong infection once it is transmitted. There is currently no known cure for the infection. It will continue to live in the nerves even without causing any symptoms. However, it can be treated with antiviral medication during flare-ups. Antiviral drugs are also available to suppress the virus to help reduce the number of breakouts and overall HSV-1 transmission rate.


Additional Resources:


Conclusion

It can be challenging to lower the HSV-1 transmission rate, especially since this viral infection can be transmitted from people who do not know they have it and when the virus is inactive. However, getting tested along with your partner prior to kissing or engaging in oral sex may be one of the most effective ways of avoiding the infection. Using a condom can help prevent the virus from passing during oral sex. However, unprotected genital areas such as the anus, buttock, or testicles can still get infected.

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7 HSV-2 Transmission Facts You Should Know

The herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV-2) is a very common sexually transmitted disease but most people don’t know they have it. It is one of two herpes viruses that can cause genital herpes, but genital herpes is most commonly caused by HSV-2. According to the World Health Organization, approximately 417 million people between 15 – 49 years of age have HSV-2. The latest numbers from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimate that 11.9% of Americans between 14 – 49 have HSV-2. This jumps to 12.1% when adjusted for age. This article explores and explains some HSV-2 transmission facts.

Basic information about the virus

Before exploring some HSV-2 transmission facts, it’s important to understand some basic information about the virus. HSV-2 is often asymptomatic. When a person is experiencing symptoms, this is called an outbreak. Those symptoms include burning when urinating, pain around genital areas, and blisters on genitals that turn into sores. While there is no cure for HSV-2, the virus can be managed with antivirals, which helps with the probability of transmission along with safe sex practices.

The first outbreak is usually the most severe. An outbreak can last 2 to 4 weeks. After the initial outbreak, recurring episodes are usually shorter and less painful. A person may also experience flu-like symptoms during the first outbreak. Symptoms may include fever, headache, chills, and swollen glands in the pelvic area and underarms.

The below outlines some ways HSV 2 is and is not transmitted.

7 HSV-2 Transmission Facts

HSV-2 Transmission Facts

Fact #1: It is spread by skin to skin contact

Some areas of the body have mucous membranes where mucous is secreted. These areas include the mouth, anus, and vagina. When a person with HSV-2 infected area(s) comes into contact with an uninfected person’s mucous membranes or an open area on the skin, HSV-2 can be transmitted.

Fact #2: HSV-2 is unlikely to be transmitted outside of the body

The HSV-2 virus has a very short life outside of the body. As a result, it is highly unlikely to get HSV-2 from using a towel of an infected person or using the same toilet as an infected person.

Fact #3: It can be transmitted from mother to child during pregnancy and childbirth, although it’s rare

A mother who has an outbreak with visible herpes lesions during the birth of a baby can pass the virus on to the child through a vaginal delivery. There may be a recommendation for a cesarean section if lesions are present at the time of birth. Although very rare, it is also possible for a baby to contract HSV-2 while in the uterus.

A more likely way of transmitting HSV-2 from mother to child is if the mother contracted HSV-2 during her third trimester. The risk of a mother transmitting HSV-2 to her baby is greater in women who have their first or primary outbreak during pregnancy than a woman who had HSV-2 prior to pregnancy and experiences a recurrence during pregnancy.

Fact #4: HSV-2 can be transmitted through oral sex

As noted above, the mouth contains mucous membranes. Although it is rare to contract HSV-2 via oral sex, it is still possible. If a non-infected person’s mouth comes into contact with a person’s infected genital area, HSV-2 can be passed orally. Conversely, a person who has an oral HSV-2 can pass the infection to an uninfected person via oral sex.

Fact #5: It can be spread when no symptoms are apparent

Some may be under the impression that if symptoms are not present, HSV-2 cannot be spread. However, HSV-2 is a latent disease. It lies dormant for long periods of time but is still present in the body. While the risk of transmission is greatest during outbreaks, the disease can still be spread when a person does not have physical symptoms.

Fact #6: Transmission is a greater risk for those with compromised immune systems

Naturally, when the immune system, the body’s defense system, is compromised, there is a greater probability of contracting HSV-2. When a person has HIV, AIDS, lupus and other auto-immune diseases, HSV-2 is more of a risk. In addition, those undergoing chemotherapy also have a higher risk because their immune systems are weakened by their treatments.

Fact #7: HSV-2 is more easily transmitted to women

According to the CDC’s latest statistics, the rate of HSV-2 for Americans is almost twice as great for women than men between the ages of 14 – 49. The reason is just the natural way female and male bodies function and interact. Transmission is easier from a man to a woman.

HSV-2 is a common STD that can be transmitted in a number of ways. It is best to be educated on the causes to help with prevention or management of the virus.

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How to Date With Herpes

How do you date with genital herpes? Dating with herpes — genital herpes, or HSV-2 — can be emotionally painful, and you might feel isolated from the outside world as a result, but you don’t have to feel that way.

First, how can you even find a partner? How do you stay motivated?

Then, what’s the best way to break the news? How do you tell your partner that you’ve contracted genital herpes?

In this article, we’ve gathered data from the world’s top psychologists to answer all of your questions about how to successfully date with herpes.

How to Date With Herpes

Dating with Herpes: A Word of Advice

When it comes to dating, everyone, in some way, has some form of handicap.

Whether it’s mental (like depression or some other psychiatric disorder) or physical (like an STI), no one is perfect. If you’ve just contracted herpes, going back into the dating world can be daunting. It’s like this one event split your whole dating experience into two halves: pre-herpes and post-herpes.

Now, not only do you have to deal with all of your regular, run-of-the-mill insecurities, but you also have to tell your partner that you have genital herpes.

When it Comes to Dating With Herpes, You Don’t Have to Be Alone

But that doesn’t mean you should be alone the rest of your life. You’re right to get back into the dating world. Just by looking this article up online, you’re on the right path.

Everyone – whether if it’s because they’re too fat, too short, too ugly, or too nice – has something that’s holding them back from being the perfect partner. No one is 100%, but we all make do with what we have. And, often, that’s enough.

Maybe being too fat takes 10% off your dating potential. Maybe being too short takes 20% off your dating potential.

And maybe having herpes hurts your dating potential as well.

But no matter what your handicap is, whether it’s real or imagined, keep this in mind: It’s not 100%. You’ll always have potential. You’ll always have something to work with, even if it’s just 10%. There will always be someone out there for you, no matter who you are or what problems you have.

Someone out there has done better with worse circumstances.

So, when it comes to finding a partner — and not just communicating your predicament, keep in mind that no one is perfect, and many people are willing to accept you exactly as you are.

When Should I Tell My Partner I Have Genital Herpes?

When it comes to dating with herpes, the first question you might ask yourself is, “When is it a good time to tell my partner?”

Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide exactly when you want to tell your partner that you have an STI, but one thing’s for certain: Tell him or her before you two have any sexual contact. It’s just common sense. If you think you might have an STI, it’s absolutely your responsibility to tell your partner (who has no idea you have an STI, and therefore no reason to worry about contracting one), prior to being intimate, in order to reduce the chances that you’ll spread it. You might be dreading telling your partner that you have herpes, but it’s much better than telling your partner that he or she might have herpes.

Why You Need to Tell Someone You Have HSV-2

And this is especially important for herpes, since herpes is an STI that can be spread while having safe sex. Not all herpes sores are covered by latex condoms, and physical contact with an open sore is exactly how herpes spreads. It’s entirely possible to do everything “the right way,” to take your herpes medication, to wait until your symptoms clear up, to wear a condom, and still give your partner genital herpes.

With that said, nobody’s perfect. In the heat of the moment, it can be twice as difficult to admit something like this. Maybe you have herpes and you’ve been having sexual contact with your partner anyway. Just because there haven’t had any problems yet doesn’t mean that there won’t be any problems in the future. It’s best not to wait any longer to tell him or her.

And with that said, what’s the best way to deliver the news?

[READ MORE: How to Have a Fulfilling Sex Life with Herpes]

A Scientifically Backed Way to Deliver Bad News: How to Tell Someone You Have HSV-2 While Minimizing the Pain

Obviously, people are more willing to share good news than bad news. You’re more eager to tell your parents about a job promotion than a lay-off.

In fact, it’s a behavior so common that researchers have a name for it: the “MUM effect,” (keeping “mum” about bad news).

And, luckily, a particular research study can show you how to best break the bad news that you have herpes to your partner. According to Psychology Today, “Igier and her fellow researchers asked 140 adults and about 50 nurses and nurse’s aides to indicate how acceptable it was for physicians to reveal the truth, and under what circumstances.” From this, they determined five principles for breaking bad news:

5 Tips for Telling Someone You Have Genital Herpes

  1. Tell at least part of the truth if you think the person needs to hear it. You don’t need to break the news all at once. If you refuse sex one day, for example, tell your partner that it isn’t them, that there’s something you want to tell them but you don’t think you currently have the strength to do it. Honesty, even when it comes to being reluctant about telling your partner that you have genital herpes, is the best policy.
  2. Sugarcoat it if you think the person can’t handle it. “It’s me, not you,” is a good place to start. Make sure that your partner knows it has nothing to do with him or her.
  3. Operate according to politeness theory. This advice is for both of you: You might not want the outside world to know that you have genital herpes, and your partner might not want the outside world to know that he or she is dating someone with genital herpes. According to politeness theory, you both want to “save face,” so to speak, so just make sure to keep the conversation between the two of you.
  4. Take your time to prepare your message. Once you say something, you can’t take it back. To your brain, giving bad news is more cognitively demanding than giving good news. Make sure to seriously think about and maybe even practice what you’re about to say. It could mean the difference between keeping your relationship and losing it.
  5. Rely on others. If you trust a friend enough to bring them into the situation (while still “saving face” according to politeness theory), do it. There’s no reason you should go at it alone if you don’t have to.

Additional Resources:


Closing Thoughts: Dating with Herpes

Before, you might have thought that dating with herpes, particularly genital herpes, is impossible.

However, you’d be surprised to find that you’re not alone. In fact, you’re far from it.

According to the World Health Organization, over 417 million people (11%) aged 15-49 have HSV-2, or genital herpes. With that in mind, you’re probably not quite as “damaged” as you would’ve thought. Literally 1-in-10 people across the globe have the exact same problem that you do, and they’re likely doing just fine.

In conclusion, it’s possible to date with herpes.

There are tons of stories of people successfully dating with genital herpes. For example, read one woman’s story about how she contracted (and dealt with) genital herpes in college.

It might set you back. It might limit your “dating potential,” but nobody’s perfect. Everyone has something that the opposite sex sees as undesirable — whether it’s because of their weight, height, or just general physical attractiveness.

Nevertheless, as long as you’re putting yourself out there, everyone finds someone eventually. If you follow this guide to help you date with herpes, your potential problems will be made that much easier.

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Herpes Dating NYC? Try These Two Great Ways

You may think that, as an individual with herpes, your dating life is over. This isn’t true, as there are plenty of other people with this condition that are out there going on all kinds of dates. You can be one of these people, especially if you live in New York City. With a large population, you are sure to find someone in NYC with your exact condition and desire to date. The rekindling of your dating life can start with a herpes dating site.

You may be immediately ready to date. In this case, you can sign up for a free membership on one of many different herpes dating sites available online. Then again, you may feel a little shy and hesitant to begin dating again. There are support groups on the internet specifically made for individuals like you with this condition. On these sites, you can meet others who are going through what you are going through. You can connect with others, make new friends, and build the confidence to go out there and mingle. If you feel uncomfortable joining a site that’s created for people with your condition, then there’s always the general dating sites.

Herpes Dating NYC

1. Start with those who Share Your Condition

Having something in common with someone can be a great start to connecting with them. That one similarity can be living with herpes. Meet and talk to people whom you can relate to in this regard. You may be introduced to all kinds of colorful individuals that you otherwise would not have met. NYC is filled with many people and a ton of places. It could be difficult to know where and how to search for a potential date. This is where dating sites come into play. A dating site that specifically focuses on singles with herpes can make it much easier to find a date in New York.

Sign Up on Herpes Dating Sites

As mentioned before, you can check out websites that are specially built for dating with herpes. Sites like these usually protect your privacy. This comes in handy if you are afraid that someone you know may find you on there. It’s also if you don’t feel you are ready to be open about your condition. You have access to all kinds of features that allow you to make new friends and find potential mates. One such dating site is Positive Singles. There’s a reason why this site is considered to be one of the best, if not the best, herpes dating site out there. It’s available to people with herpes all over the world, including people like you in New York. It has the feel of many different herpes support groups.

Join Herpes Support and Social Groups

You don’t have to sign up on a herpes dating site to join a herpes support group. There are already many different groups online you can check out. They help you meet people online with your condition and even schedule meet-ups. You could also search for a local support group in New York City. There are all kinds available. Doing research will help you determine which one is right for you. The goal of herpes support groups is to allow you to make new friends in a safe environment. You can connect with others through the understanding of having to live with herpes. Here, people can give you advice on everyday living and dating. There are probably also individuals who would be willing to share their success stories with you.

2. General Dating Sites will still welcome you

Living with herpes doesn’t mean that you are restricted to herpes dating sites. You don’t even have to join social groups for herpes dating. All or most of those dating sites you’ve seen on TV count as options for you. It’s true that the commercials don’t mention dating with herpes. That isn’t a barrier for dating on this site unless you aren’t 18 years of age or older. There are all kinds of people on these popular sites, including singles with herpes. They, of course, are not the only general dating sites available for you. There are also niche dating sites and local dating sites.

Dating Sites for People in New York

New York City already has a large population. It would make sense to have a dating site specifically for this area. One such website is sparkology.com. This dating site is made for young professionals. You could be in college or fresh out of college with a career. There are probably plenty of other people with your condition on this site or similar sites. You may have received advice from herpes support groups about these local dating sites. Certain sites might be more recommended than others for dating with herpes.

Dating Sites of Particularity

Are you looking for someone who has one other trait or interest in common with you besides your condition? Chances are that there’s a dating site for that interest. Good examples would be Elite Singles and Millionaire Match. These are dating sites that are particularly for wealthy individuals. If you match this category and want to find a date within this group, then these are the dating sites for you. Do research on dating sites centered on one of your main interests. There may be others doing herpes dating on those sites, as well. Having a similarity to someone in addition to your herpes further increases your chances of connecting with them.

Popular Dating Sites

Sites like eHarmony, Match.com, and all those other As Seen on TV dating sites have proven to be successful for just about any type of person. This shouldn’t exclude people with herpes searching for a date. Because of the popularity of these sites, you may have a higher chance of finding someone. These are mainstream dating sites, so you can count on all kinds of individuals in NYC logging into them. Large dating sites tend to be high-quality due to years of experience and success. This means that they would have the necessary tools needed to find the date you desire.

Great Ideas for Dating in NYC

When you have found a date, you may want to decide where you two want to go. You may even want to decide before getting a date. Herpes dating doesn’t really restrict you and your date on where you can go. Being a huge city, NYC is filled with all sorts of places you two can explore and bond in. It can be hard to make a choice. The place depends on what kind of date you and your sweetheart want to go. Here are a few places to start or give you an idea of where you guys can go:

  • Brooklyn Botanic Garden for a calm, romantic day or evening outdoors
  • The Water Table is a relaxing bar on a boat for a more casual date
  • The Cliffs at LIC, the rock climbing facility, is for a more adventurous date and excellent for some fun exercise
  • Brooklyn Night Bazaar is filled with all sorts of activities, such as arcade games, mini golf, and karaoke, not to mention grabbing some dinner and drinks and checking out the concert venue
  • Nitehawk Cinema is a unique movie theater where you and your date can eat dinner and watch retro re-releases of movies as well as various indie-made movies

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437737: Understanding the Number & How it Can Help You

437737 is a strange number that you can find peppered throughout the internet. Most people may find it a little peculiar but will probably ignore it and keep on going with their day. Yet, 437737 is a discreet code for herpes that many have adopted to be honest with an interested individual without being blunt.

Using this number to inform people that you have this issue, or to see if someone you are interested in has this problem, is catching fire. But no one truly knows the origins of the code, but social sites and others have caught on.

437737
437737

How Can You Use the 437737 Code?

The most important feature of using this code is that it is discreet. And it is that feature that could allow someone to find some of the following:

And there are even more subtle ways of using the code. Say, for example, that you are attempting to describe yourself on a dating site; you can go ahead and use this code. Most people would just add the code at the end of the description. This move might seem a little out of place, which could make someone who does not know a little curious about the number.

Perhaps the best idea is to use the number in a subtle way. Why not place the number somewhere in between the description–instead of at the end of the description. You can–in a humorous fashion–say that you have 437,737 problems, but you are still able to keep your cool. You could also jokingly mention in the description that you remember your very first license plate number, which was 437-737.

There are probably many more ideas and sentences that you can come up with that may suit your personality a little better; just keep it as subtle as you can.

A Closer Look At What You May Gain With 437737 Groups

One of the largest and growing 437737 groups are dating apps or sites. Many people with this problem have problems dating. This could be due to undue misconceptions about herpes as well your own fear of breaking the news to someone new. But, thankfully, there are some sites sprouting out on the internet where people with this infection can finally date without feeling strange about someone who might not understand the infection.

You probably know just how hard it is to find the right person, but at least now the sea is a little smaller. Love does not have to be hard just because of an infection. You just have to be honest, just like others that you might find at 437737 dating sites, and everything should fall into place. And, who knows? There may be church bells ringing in the near future.

It could be possible that you are not looking for love so much as help with this infection. There are perfect groups for you, too. 437737 support groups are people just like you who have similar feelings. Some of these people have found different ways to control the infection. There are some out there who have not had an outbreak of painful blisters for ages. You might learn about some of the following from someone you meet at a support group:

Controlling Stress

Different studies have shown that stress can cause a breakout of the infection. Overexposure to the neurotransmitter associated with stress, which is cortisol can weaken the immune system. A weakened immune system will have trouble suppressing the virus and cause the dreaded outbreak.

You can control stress with some of the following:

  • Studies have shown that music can calm you down
  • Burning lavender oil, which contains peace-inducing properties
  • Eating raw dark chocolate, which contains properties that make you feel happy

There are other things that you can try as well.

Using Natural Herpes Suppressors

You may also learn about proven suppressors that might lessen the amount of outbreaks that you experience at one of these support groups, like some of the following:

  • Echinacea is a herb that you can take in liquid form. The herb boosts your immune system to help control the dormant infection. Take a few drops under the tongue.
  • Olive leaf extract contains oleuropein, which has been proven to be extremely powerful against the virus. This can be taken in pill form and can be found online or at your local health food store.
  • You might also learn about the right herpes-friendly diet, like avoiding processed foods and adding more zinc-fortified foods

There is a lot out there and a whole 437737 community ready to welcome you in and help in any way possible.

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How to Meet People With Herpes

Some people find it challenging to approach the opposite sex and get themselves a date. Not everyone truly has a real circle of friends, no matter how popular you are and how rich you may be. Giving your trust to someone has never been easy. All these things are concerns of those who lead normal herpes-free lives, what more if you have the contagious condition?

Upon discovering the sad truth, it devastated you, left you miserable, and made you feel like it’s the end of the world. You probably even asked why it had to be you, out of all people on earth? If only you’d learn some ways on how to meet people with herpes, then you can go through it just fine. Soon you will realize how you can lead a full life that might be even better than what you had, believe it or not! You’ve got five ways to give yourself a chance and try it, with or without luck on your side.

5 Best Ways to Meet People With Herpes

1. Talk to a Helpliner

hotline

Call the herpes support hotline in your area and you will surely appreciate the time they willingly spend talking to you and letting you vent out, or listening with all ears to whatever you have to say. Get the facts straight as they explain more about the condition and help you understand what’s going on with your body. They can also share their experiences, give practical advice, provide useful information and tips to help you get by. You can reach out for the phone whenever you’re ready and get someone on the line right when you need it most. Everything remains confidential and anonymous for your peace of mind and privacy, especially with the commonly stigmatized condition.

2. Participate in a Support Group

group

Learn from the experiences of other people and share your own. Express your anger, frustration, fears, guilt, embarrassment, shame, sadness, worries, and anxiety. You are not alone, and it’s the perfect opportunity to make new friends or maybe meet someone special. Get all the help you need as you help each other develop a strong support system built upon the foundation of honesty, emotional backup, and genuine feedback. Most importantly, see the bright ray of hope towards a happy future regardless of having herpes.

3. Go to Social Events

events

There are social events and meetings hosted by volunteers or organizations. The gatherings are often informal and open to all, whether personally, one-on-one, or with a few other people. Talking to someone else in person or keeping yourself occupied in a seminar or workshop keeps your mind off the fact that you have cold cores or blisters. You won’t be talking about herpes, but interacting and doing new things with other people who have herpes, no questions asked.

4. Set Up a Meeting

meeting

If you can’t seem to find a good event or it’s taking long to scan your area, then why not set it up yourself? A helpliner or staff member of an organization might be able to help you out and be there on the very first meeting schedule. Who knows, it might be a huge success! Not only will you finally meet others with the same condition, but you will be helping them and significantly changing lives.

5. Join Online Dating Sites

dating sites

Before you had herpes, you dated like anyone else. Now you are afraid of rejection, the likelihood of spreading it to someone else, and fearsome on telling a potential partner that you are infected. Somewhere out there, someone is going through the same thing and know exactly how you feel, and it’s totally normal. There’s no better place but herpes dating sites where you can find them and set yourself free!

Joining a trusted site is a surefire way on how to meet people with herpes. You will be welcomed without the added worry of how to tell anyone about your condition. You can easily sign up at these specialized dating sites in the comforts of your own home just by connecting to the internet. Find someone to talk to, a special person to share stories with and laugh amidst a meaningful friendship, and never close your heart to the possibility of entering a long-lasting relationship.

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