People with immature or suppressed immune systems, such as newborns, transplant recipients, or people with AIDS, are prone to severe complications from HSV infections.
But all the self-acceptance in the world doesn’t erase the fact that a herpes diagnosis creates ripple effects of shame and social isolation, and the fallout is especially pronounced when it comes to your dating life.“It’s good to have the conversation because there is a potential risk of transmission,” Cherrell Triplett, M.
D., an ob/gyn who practices at Southside OBGYN and Franciscan Alliance in Indianapolis, Indiana, tells SELF.
Jenelle Marie Davis, 34, of Grand Rapids, Michigan, will gladly explain why having herpes isn’t the end of the world. It took years for Davis, founder of The STD Project, which encourages awareness and acceptance of various sexually transmitted diseases, and spokesperson for Positive Singles, a dating site for people with STDs, to come to terms with the diagnosis she got at age 16.“My mom says the entire way home from my appointment, I cried and said no one would ever love me, no one would ever want me, and I’d never get married,” Davis tells SELF.
When she was diagnosed with herpes almost three years ago, Whitney Carlson, 29, a social media editor in Chicago, had a similar reaction.
In all cases, HSV is never removed from the body by the immune system.
Following a primary infection, the virus enters the nerves at the site of primary infection, migrates to the cell body of the neuron, and becomes latent in the ganglion.
“On a first date with this wonderful guy, I told him, and he couldn’t handle it,” she says.
“I really wonder if it would have changed things to wait until we had connected more.”On the flip side, she’s also dated “quite a few guys who didn’t care at all” even though she told them ASAP.
“I don’t like wasting my time or getting my heart broken, so I think it’s a self-defense thing to almost always tell the guy on the first date,” she explains.
“If they want to cut and run, I haven’t invested too much of myself in it.”But in the future, she thinks she’ll take her time disclosing as long as she gets it done before engaging in sexual activities that would put the other person at risk.
Common infection of the skin or mucosa may affect the face and mouth (orofacial herpes), genitalia (genital herpes), or hands (herpetic whitlow).