Taking dating slow
After brushing up on my herpes facts, I felt incredibly vulnerable.If one in six American adults have genital herpes, then based on the number of sexual partners I'd had before my new love interest, surely I’d come into contact with someone with this virus.Recently, someone told me that they had HPV, but nothing “weird like herpes” — to which I responded “If you’ve had sex with more than five people, chances are you’ve come into contact with herpes.” When we look past the stigma of herpes and see how common it really is, we slow down the shame train that runs over folks who have it.If and when you meet people who further stigmatize herpes, consider shutting down the shame and spreading some education instead.A week went by, and we continued to abstain from sex, although we were seeing each other almost daily at this point. I already knew I had HSV I — typically expressed orally as cold sores on the mouth — but my partner wasn't sure if he had HSV I or HSV II.As a woman with a deep-seated fear of HIV and plenty of education on the subject, I realized that I hadn’t spent much time studying the ramifications of the herpes simplex virus (HSV). A common misconception is that HSV I is exclusive to the mouth and HSV II is exclusive to the genitals.
The outbreaks are merely expressions of an internal virus — the virus does not live on the skin itself.
It’s true that the majority of the time, genital outbreaks are symptomatic of HSV II, but you can be infected by either type in either location, or even have both types in a given location — which makes me think that, functionally speaking, distinguishing between oral and genital infections is pointless.
If you can asymptomatically shed the virus from any point of your body and it can infect any point of another person’s body, isn’t any type or location of herpes just…herpes?
It would be like telling everyone that I have the flu, but hadn’t shown any symptoms, so it was only a possibility.
Instead, I got out ye olde hand mirror every few days and checked out my genital area for any abnormalities or bumps.