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Sexually transmitted diseases are more common that acknowledged in mainstream media and dating culture. And one of the most prevalent among the STDs is herpes – for sexually active men and women, it is not unusual to come across the infection either in a partner or develop oneself. In you have the infection yourself, you may wish to meet and date others who are also familiar with the condition instead of being perpetually on tenterhooks for fear of infecting someone who is as yet free of herpes. So no matter what your motivation, here are a few tips on how to meet someone with herpes and go dating.
Understand that it is a common condition
What makes herpes a highly prevalent disease is that it is not merely one infection but includes a host of them. The herpes virus family has several members, one of the most powerful of which is the HSV or herpes simplex virus which in turn can be HSV 1 or HSV2. The two between them can affect various parts of the body like mouth, genitals, eyes, fingers, brain and just about any part of the skin in which case the infection is known respectively as cold sores, genital herpes, herpes keratitis, herpes whitlow, herpes encephalitis and eczema herpeticum. Infections like chicken pox and shingles known as herpes zoster are also caused by this family of viruses. However what is most pertinent to dating is the kind of herpes that is transmitted through sexual contact and this is HSV -2 more commonly known as genital herpes. According to the US government’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention, genital herpes is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases in the country. Across the nation, 16.2%, or about one out of six people from 14 to 49 years of age have genital herpes caused by infection by HSV-21. Again certain varieties of herpes can be transmitted through intimate contact and need not involve sexual intercourse. For all these reasons herpes is one of the most common conditions around and it should not discourage you from looking for the kind of partner you want to go out with.
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The internet has come as a godsend for niche dating pools and singles with herpes is one of them. There are several dating websites like positivesingles.com which cater specifically to the requirements of singles who have STDs herpes and are looking for partners with similar condition. While you can sign up with these sites if you are keen to meet other singles who have herpes, even if you have found a nice partner, you can still scour these sites for interesting and creative dating ideas as well as dating events which can go a long way in making your social life enjoyable. Other than dating sites, make it a point to explore blogs and discussion forums which encourage exchange of ideas and views among people who have herpes, especially with regard to dating and socializing. If lucky, you can meet someone likable here and even if you don’t, you will have picked up important tips on where to hang out and meet other singles with a similar condition.
Get into volunteer work
Volunteering for at an STD clinic or community health center could turn out to be another great way of meeting singles who have herpes. And once you do get to know someone special, you can also find something meaningful to do together. Join a gay-rights walk or attend an AIDS charity benefit. Many community organizations sponsor events where you would meet other people who share like-minded values and missions.
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Explore support groups
Because genital herpes is the most common sexually transmitted disease, there are Herpes Support Groups and Herpes Social Groups in most cities and big towns. These are usually free and run by members who volunteer their time to run support groups and organize social events. Thus a good place to meet singles with herpes would be STD or herpes support groups in your town or city. Make an effort to find out where and when they meet and then look forward to join them. Here you may come across people who will provide information, contacts and even match you with other singles with herpes. Above all, joining a support group will also help you to find out how you can manage your condition better and better your sexual and emotional health so that you are ready for a mature relationship
Once you have found a partner of your choice, look for a cultural or artistic event in your city or town to spend an enjoyable day with your partner. These events usually have a range of musical, culinary and recreational opportunities which are sure to offer something to every kind of personality. So if you and your partners are big time fans of rock music, attend a concert taking place in your city. If you and your partner are in good health, you could even go biking or sailing in good weather. In fact these days there are socials and dances organized exclusively for singles with STDs where people can not only meet potential partners but can have a good time with a lover.
Make safe sex a priority
Despite having herpes there is nothing to prevent you from being physically intimate when you feel you are ready for it. But even if you are specifically going out with a herpes-positive partner, it still makes sense to practice safe sex. Genital herpes is a highly contagious infection usually spread through intercourse with a person with infected sores, but it can be passed through oral or anal sex as well. It may also be spread even when sores are not visible and sometimes by skin-to-touch as well. Again genital herpes leaves one vulnerable to a higher risk of contracting HIV.One of the first things to do in case you both feel a definite mutual attraction is to share your STD and HIV status, including the last time you were tested and for which type of herpes. And you must expect the same from your partner. Kissing, cuddling, and fondling are safe when dating with herpes.
Things may also be easier if you and your partner have the same type of herpes infection which is known as a sero-concordant couple. In this case if you are in a monogamous relationship, you may even have sex without a barrier like a condom or dental dams. However friction can aggravate herpes sores or delay healing so you may want to avoid sex in case either one of you has an outbreak. Theoretically there may be also a possibility of spreading the infection in other parts of the body like shoulder and back.
Ultimately while there is no magic bullet solution for sex with herpes, with open communication, safer sex strategies and a problem-solving spirit, mutual pleasure should be well within your reach as a couple.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) - Genital Herpes - CDC Fact Sheet