Dr. Amy answers questions about herpes

Do you have any questions or concerns about how herpes will affect your life, love relationships, future, etc?
Receive advice from Dr. Amy Demner, a Board Certified Clincial Sexologist:


I am a 24 year old female.  I have recently started seeing someone and I
have never had to tell a person that I have Herpes.  I am very scared.  I
can barely even say the word.  I don`t know how to tell him.   I have
absolutely no intenetions or never would have sex without telling him.
I even find myself pulling away because of this.  I don`t know when and
how to tell him.  I would like to know if you have any suggestions on this
difficult and embarrassing issue.

Thank you.

Dr. Amy's response...

You are not alone.  Many people feel embarrassed and scared about telling
their partner or anyone about having herpes.  Sometimes, practicing how and
what you would say helps you to feel more comfortable.  Try saying the words
out loud to yourself or maybe a close friend.

As your relationship develops, your level of sharing intimate details about
yourselves will also increase, making exchange of information more natural.
It sounds like you will need to discuss this soon, because your partner may
misinterpret your "pulling away" as an indication that you don`t like him.

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I have a problem.  I discovered a sore about a year ago and have gone to my
obgyn to discover that based on tests taken the virus does not show.  I know
I have it due to the symptoms.  I find myself very depressed and extremely
worried.  This is my second marriage and finally found my true soul mate.
We have been together for 5 years and married 9 months.  I am 35 yrs of age
and have been wanting a baby for a LONG TIME.  We are trying now and I want
to tell my husband but I`m so afraid of him not loving me or thinking I am
some type of whore.  I`m sure I got this from my ex-husband.  Any thought
on what to do?  Do I tell him?

Scared and confused.

Dr. Amy's response...

Dear Scared and confused,

First of all, you may want to get another test since it has been one year
since your last test to confirm a diagnosis.  Also, have you been taking
precautions such as condom use with your partner to reduce chances of
infecting him?

Keeping a secret, such as possibly having herpes, is bound to make you
depressed, worried and not as close to your spouse.  If he is truely your
soul mate, he may already sense there`s something troubling you.  If you are
ready to have a baby together, you both need to know how herpes
(if you do have it) will affect child birth.  Try finding an obgyn that
you feel comfortable with in helping you with the concerns of pregnancy and
symptoms you are experiencing.

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Dear Dr. Amy:
I am a young male, and I am not sure if I have herpes or not.  I have itchy
bumps in my genitial area, resembling pimples, sort of.  I am very worried
about what it might be and if you could help me with this, I would be very
grateful.  It is causing me great trauma.

Young male

Dr. Amy's response...

Dear Young Male,
   Your question is similar to others I have received. The only way to know if
these symptoms are herpes is to go to your doctor for a test. The "pimples" can
be swabbed or scraped for use in a laboratory test to determine if this is
herpes or another infection. An active sore can provide the most accurate test
results, so this is the time to go for your test. Not knowing what is wrong can
cause more trauma due to speculating and worrying. Let me know how it goes. 

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I have been seriously involved with a man for almost a year now.  I have
hidden the fact that I have herpes from him.  I take acyclovir daily, try to
watch my diet, and I exercise.  I haven`t had an outbreak in about a year.
The point has come in our relationship that we are thinking of moving in

I know I have made the mistake of not being honest with him regarding my
affiliation with herpes.  But how do I approach the subject?  Do I admit that
I have been dishonest this whole time?  What should I do?  I am absolutely
sure that I must speak about this with him, but I feel like such an ass for
being so deceitful.  The whole time I have been with him, I have been so
uncomfortable when sexual relations are brought into play.

I have a feeling I will lose him.  I don`t really want to give him up.

Dr. Amy's response...

Your questions and concerns address why many people fear telling a
partner that they will lose the relationship. Sometimes individuals decide
to tell depending upon if the relationship is serious or casual.

I agree with you that you must speak with your lover. Timing is very important.
Choose a time and place where you can have uninterrupted time when you tell
him.  This is certainly not a topic to bring-up in the heat of a moment as
you need to deal with his and your reaction.

Let him know honestly why you did not tell him sooner. Claim your feelings
of guilt about being deceitful. If you lie about how long you have had herpes,
you will still be carrying a secret. This can continue to create guilt and
distance in your relationship. As you also mentioned, keeping this secret has
created discomfort for you sexually.

In addition to expressing your feelings, it may also be helpful to have some
information about herpes available so that his medically related questions
can be answered.

There is no guarantee as to how your lover will respond. The fact that you
have been together for a while and plan on living together indicated there
is a foundation for your relationship. Build it on trust. It will last longer.

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