Should you talk to others about your herpes infection?
.According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 6 Americans is affected with the Herpes Simplex Virus, with about 80 per cent unaware that they’ve been infected. While STDs such as Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, and Syphilis are curable, researchers haven’t found a way to combat HSV.
Herpes is a viral infection that affects millions of people around the world. It is a sexually transmitted disease caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). There are two types of herpes simplex viruses, namely HSV-1 and HSV-2. HSV-1 causes cold sores or fever blisters around the mouth, while HSV-2 is responsible for genital herpes. Both types of herpes can be transmitted through skin-to-skin contact, including sexual contact.
If you have been diagnosed with herpes, you may wonder whether you should talk to others about your infection. This is a sensitive topic that can be difficult to navigate, but it is essential to consider all of the implications of disclosing your herpes status.
This article will explore the pros and cons of talking to others about your herpes infection.
Pros of talking to others about your herpes infection
Herpes is a widespread sexually transmitted disease, effective about 20 per cent of the population in the US, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom. Lack of knowledge is regarded as one of the biggest causes of the unprecedented increase in herpes infections. Once people become open about their condition, they no longer worry about being judged by others.
It can help you manage your herpes infection.
Talking to others about your herpes infection can be a helpful way to manage the physical and emotional aspects of the disease. When you share your experience with others who have herpes. You may find that you can relate to each other and support each other in your journey. This can help you feel less isolated and alone in your struggle.
It can help you reduce the stigma surrounding herpes.
Herpes is still stigmatized in many parts of the world. Many people are ashamed or embarrassed to talk about their herpes infection because of its social stigma. However, by talking openly about your herpes infection, you can help reduce the stigma and raise awareness about living with herpes. This can help others feel more comfortable discussing their experiences and seeking treatment if necessary.
It can help you be more honest with potential sexual partners.
If you are dating or sexually active, it is essential, to be honest with your partner(s) about your herpes infection. This can be a difficult conversation to have, but it is necessary to prevent the virus’s transmission. By talking openly about your herpes infection, you can ensure that your partner(s) are aware of the risks and can take steps to protect themselves.
It can help you avoid social isolation.
Living with herpes can be a lonely experience. Many people feel like they cannot talk to anyone about their infection because of the social stigma surrounding it. However, by talking to others about your herpes infection, you may find that you can connect with people who are going through similar experiences. This can help you feel less isolated and more connected to your community.
Cons of talking to others about your herpes infection
It can be challenging to find the right words
Talking about your herpes infection can be a difficult conversation to have. You may be worried about how others will react or what they will think of you. Finding the right words to express your feelings and experiences can be challenging, especially if you are still coming to terms with your diagnosis.
It can be emotionally draining.
Talking about your herpes infection can be emotionally draining. Especially if you share your experiences with people who are not supportive or understanding. It is essential to take care of yourself emotionally and mentally during these conversations and to be prepared for a range of reactions from the people you talk to.
It can lead to rejection and discrimination.
Unfortunately, there is still a lot of stigma surrounding herpes. Some people may react negatively to your disclosure and reject or discriminate against you because of your infection. This can be hurtful and can make it difficult to talk to others about your herpes infection in the future.
It can be a breach of privacy.
Talking to others about your herpes infection can breach your privacy, especially if you are sharing your status with people who are not close friends or family members.
The Role of Medical Experts in Raising Awareness About Herpes
While the stigma attached to HIV / AIDS is a lot bigger, people with herpes are also subject to a lot of criticism. Renowned medical expert Dr Debra Taylor said, “People have to open up about it. Many people I meet are shocked that they’re infected with HSV. It is unfortunate that people pay absolutely no attention to symptoms of herpes and often engage in sex with strangers without taking any precautions.”
Herpes is an asymptomatic infection. This means the virus shows no characteristic symptoms in most cases. It has also been observed that people tend to transmit the virus unknowingly to their partners. “They have no intention of giving a sexually transmitted infection to another person. But due to lack of knowledge and understanding of herpes, they end up transmitting it”, Dr Taylor said.
Twenty–two–year–old Ella Dawson is a motivational speaker who has successfully overcome the stigma attached to herpes. She has also published an essay in the famous magazine Women’s Health – “Why I Love Telling People I Have Genital Herpes“.
Dr Debra Taylor said, “It is essential that you talk about herpes with people that aren’t affected by the infection. People with herpes should consider this as their responsibility. It would help if you talked to them about the dangers of unprotected intercourse with multiple partners. You’d also have to tell them about the symptoms they need to watch out for in another person before they engage in any act of sex. Remember, once you’re infected with herpes, you cannot eliminate it.”
Today, people with herpes have a lot of options when it comes to finding a compatible match. Instead of heading over to a party and ending up having sex with a stranger, you could explore herpes dating sites and connect with like-minded people who would not only motivate you to get over the stigma attached to herpes but also give you the courage to find a life partner.
In case you’re afraid of having ‘the talk’, it is advised you opt for a specialist herpes dating site as it would make things a lot easier. The fact that every member of herpes dating sites is infected with HSV ensures there is something in joint and wouldn’t make the conversations awkward. In addition to this, your STD status wouldn’t be a reason for rejection.