Category Archives: Herpes Facts

How did I Get Herpes in a Monogamous Relationship?

You only have one partner and you’re thinking this protects you from sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Come to find out, you contracted herpes in a monogamous relationship. You’re likely dumbfounded and angry at your partner. You’ll want to know how the hell did this happen!

Continue reading to learn more about herpes, transmission, symptoms, and how people get genital herpes in an exclusive relationship.

There is no cure for the disease but it is treatable. Some couples are also able to move past it. Regardless, you can still have a healthy sex life in your relationship or a new one if you decide to move on.

How did I Get Herpes in a Monogamous Relationship?
Photo credit: Timo Stern

What Is Herpes?

Herpes Simplex Virus type 2 (HSV-2), or genitals herpes, is a common STD that affects millions of sexually active males and females in the US. It typically affects the genitals and spreads through vaginal or anal sex or sexual contact with infected areas of the genitals.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the disease is so common that more than one in every six people between the ages of 14 and 49 have it.

There is also oral herpes, a viral mouth infection caused by the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1). The virus is highly contagious and can spread from person to person through touching a cold core, infected saliva, skin, or mucous membranes. Oral herpes causes painful sores (cold sores) to develop on your lips, tongue, gum, inner cheeks, or the roof of your mouth.

Genital Herpes Common Signs and Symptoms

Flu-like symptoms such as fever, swollen lymph nodes, or body aches usually occur when someone is first infected. Repeated outbreaks may occur after the initial infection. The following are symptoms of a herpes outbreak:

  • Itching or tingling around the genital areas or anus (onset of a breakout)
  • Painful fluid-filled blisters on or around the genitals or anus
  • Blisters that crust, flake, and disappear within a week
  • Cold sores or blisters on the lips or in the mouth

The number of outbreaks tends to decrease over time. Illness, stress, hormonal changes (such as menstruation), or sexual intercourse may trigger an outbreak or flare-up.

Can You Get Genital Herpes in a Monogamous Relationship?

One of the many myths about sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and STDs, including herpes, is that you can’t get it in an exclusive relationship. The opposite is true and quite surprising for both the male and female partner. The first thing that often comes to mind is “cheating.” But before you jump to a quick conclusion, there are some other scenarios to consider. Here are four of them.

1. Your partner had herpes prior to your monogamous relationship

According to the CDC, most people who have oral herpes were infected during childhood or young adulthood through non-sexual contact with saliva. Here are some additional hard and frightening facts about HSV-2 that you should know:

  • Most people infected with herpes do not know it.
  • Most people who have genital herpes do not experience symptoms.
  • If symptoms are present, they may be very mild.

With this in mind, chances are your partner contracted the STD without knowing. That’s because the virus can enter the body and become latent (inactive) after the initial infection. Therefore, your partner can unknowingly pass the virus to you or other sexual partners. These facts may make anyone cringe as it causes you to realize how vulnerable or exposed you are even in a monogamous relationship.

2. You contracted herpes before your relationship

Piggy-backing on scenario number one, like your partner, you could have had HSV-2 before you entered the monogamous relationship and not know it. It’s possible even if you only had one partner in the past. Chances are you didn’t know the symptoms of herpes type 2 or didn’t notice them. But you are, understandably, upset after discovering you have the infection.

You can get tested for herpes if you have not done so yet. The tests can confirm or rule out herpes types 1 and 2. While there is no cure for herpes, treatments such as antiviral medications, are available to help manage the symptoms.

3. You got herpes through oral sex

Oral herpes typically passes from one person to another by oral-to-oral contact. The infection occurs when the uninfected individual comes into contact with infected saliva, sores, skin, or tissue in or around the mouth. Oral herpes can also cause herpes type 2 when transmitted to the genital area through oral-to-genital contact.

The risk of transmission is greater when there are active sores on or inside the mouth. However, the virus can pass to the genitals when there are no obvious symptoms such as cold sores. What’s more stunning is HSV-2 can pass from a person’s genitals to the mouth of another person during oral sex and cause oral herpes.

Someone with oral herpes is unlikely to get infected with the same virus in the genital area. This is according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

4. Your partner may have cheated

It’s possible your partner cheated, got herpes, and passed it to you. Wait. There is a flip side to this coin. A publication from Halifax Health Center noted that the myth that you cannot get HSV if you only have one partner has been responsible for a lot of anger, confusion, and heartache. The myth does not account for the fact that herpes can lay dormant in the body and also cause no symptoms for weeks, months, or years.

In other words, an asymptomatic person has no real way of knowing they have herpes unless they get tested. So it does not mean cheating happened in your relationship. One of you may have contracted the virus at some point in your life and not realized it. It’s also difficult for couples to trace back to previous relationships to pinpoint when they got infected.

Note that herpes type 2 can still be transmitted in a monogamous relationship even when using condoms. While condoms reduce the risk, the virus can still pass from skin-to-skin contact with infected areas of the genitals not covered by a condom. Aso remember, it is possible your partner only has oral herpes but passed it to your genitals during oral sex.

Can Your Relationship Survive Herpes?

People around the world are able to have normal, healthy relationships even after discovering HSV-1 or HSV-2 infection. This is not to say you should dismiss it as something that is okay, especially if it happened because of cheating. Talk with your partner and try to hash things out without accusing or blaming.

It’s important to take the no-blame approach since it can be difficult to accurately tell how you contracted HSV-2. You and your partner can get treatment and take steps, including having safe sex, to minimize the spread of the virus.

The Importance of Getting Herpes Treatment

Herpes is usually diagnosed from medical tests such as a blood test or a swab from an oral or genital sore.

Treatment can include medication for HSV-2 and also HSV-1 (oral herpes) if needed. FDA-approved antiviral drugs can effectively manage symptoms of an initial herpes infection as well as recurrent breakouts. Some medications also help accelerate healing at the onset of an outbreak.

Repeated HSV-2 breakouts tend to be shorter and less severe than the first outbreak. The number of outbreaks or flare-ups may decrease over time. Outbreaks also tend to become milder and less frequent as time goes by. This is because the body makes antibodies to defend itself against the virus.

Practicing safe sex is still important even with treatment as herpes can transmit when there are no signs of an outbreak and even if you only have one partner.

How to Have a Healthy Sex Life After Herpes

There is a myth that your sex life is over if you have herpes. Of course, it’s just a myth. While there’s no cure for herpes, you can get treatment and still have a love life. In the words of Planned Parenthood, “Keep calm and carry on.” Here are some things you can do to maintain a healthy sex life (with or without your current partner) and prevent the spread of the disease:

  • Continue taking herpes medication as prescribed
  • Practice safe sex using male or female condoms
  • Avoid vaginal, oral, or anal sex during an outbreak
  • Try mutual masturbation

Keep Calm and Carry On

A monogamous relationship exists only when both partners are keeping their end of the bargain. Since there is no real way to verify this, except with hard proof of cheating, the risk of contracting an STD or STI remains. As devastated as you may feel in this situation, know that it’s not the end of the world. Millions of people are dating with herpes.

Talk to someone confidential such as a trusted friend or therapist if you’re still trying to cope. Many people also join online support forums such as the one at which has an active herpes chat room.



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.


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.


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.

On, you will find honest and detailed reviews about some of the most popular herpes dating sites around. We have signed up to these sites, tested out the features, experienced the positives and the negatives, interacted with the users, and looked up everything you need to know about whether or not the site will be beneficial to you. Check the best herpes dating sites for 2020 now!

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.

On, you will find honest and detailed reviews about some of the most popular herpes dating sites around. We have signed up to these sites, tested out the features, experienced the positives and the negatives, interacted with the users, and looked up everything you need to know about whether or not the site will be beneficial to you. Check the best herpes dating sites for 2020 now!