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-   -   Herpes (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=68798)

opalescent 02-07-2014 06:24 PM

First of all, let me say I fully support people's need to determine their own level of risk regarding sexual health. That's something I want people to do more of!

There have been a number of threads here where various posters have noted that they would not want to expose themselves or their partners to herpes because of the risks to health.

Seriously, I ask - what risk to health? What risks are one avoiding by not having sex with someone who has herpes?

Unless one is a pregnant (or wants to become pregnant) woman, there is little risk of any serious issues. Herpes - whether I (mouth cold sores) or II (genital lesions) -is a skin disease. It causes the occasional lesion which usually go away eventually. It can be really unpleasant and some people find it painful. But no one has ever died from herpes, unlike HPV, or HIV. No one has ever gone mad from herpes like advanced syphilis. It doesn't cause sterility like gonorhea.

I get there is a significant stigma. Rarely, I develop a cold sore around my mouth- I probably got HSV-1 from my parents or grandparents when I was a child. I don't have genital herpes and would really like to avoid it. So on one level, I get why people don't want to have sex with people with herpes. But I'm not avoiding sex with people with genital herpes because of health risks. I avoid them because I don't want to deal with the stigma of genital herpes - especially because I already have been exposed to HPV and have cold sores.

I do wonder if people who won't have sex with people with known herpes are doing so to avoid the stigma and using health risk as a cover.

I also wonder how people avoid having sex with people who have herpes in some form. More than 50% of adults in the US have HSV-1 - the herpes virus that causes cold sores around the mouth. About 1 in 6 people in the US have genital herpes - HSV-2. And the vast majority of people with HSV-2 have no idea they are infected. Herpes can shed - be infectious - without any symptoms. Lots of people have no idea that cold sores are HSV-1. So when one asks if they have herpes they will say no while saying yes, they have cold sores once in a while. Since herpes is not automatically tested for (at least in the US) even more people say they are 'clean' while not realizing they actually aren't being tested for everything. And because of the stigma, some people just don't tell. I don't agree with this - people should tell potential partners. But I get why they don't.

Here is where I got my stats: http://www.ashasexualhealth.org/std-sti.html.

Natja 02-07-2014 06:55 PM

Because I am a woman in reproductive age who has just been pregnant, because I would like to again and because I realised when pregnant that I can't rely on someone else to be aware of their bodies and sometimes people might even ignore warning signs because they are horny and put me at risk!

I am taking control here by not sleeping with them...sucks for people with cold sores yes. I feel sorry for any person given it as a child by a selfish, ignorant or self centred person who didn't realise they shouldn't kiss someone with a weeping sore on their face but I won't put myself at risk and personally I enjoy kissing my children whenever I want to. I don't want to give them anything.

It is too big a risk for me.

Inyourendo 02-07-2014 06:55 PM

I don't want to be a sexual pariah because I've knowingly been exposed to it. Regardless of the lack of real health issues people dont want to have painful sores on their genitalia. My friend has had an outbreak so bad she couldn't comfortably sit. After she got herpes she couldn't find a boyfriend well over a year. I don't want to be in that position. I also dont want to have to take medications everyday to prevent outbreaks. They really should create a condom that covers all of the genitalia not just the penis

Natja 02-07-2014 07:04 PM


Originally Posted by Inyourendo (Post 259011)
. Regardless of the lack of real health issues people dont want to have painful sores on their genitalia. My friend has had an outbreak so bad she couldn't comfortably sit.

My friend was the same.

Dagferi 02-07-2014 07:10 PM

Natja you can get HSV1 by sharing eating utensils, a cup, a washcloth in the bathroom, sharing our confusing lip balm.

As a mother of three i can say a toddler or child can take drink of your drink or eat off your plate lightening fast. Even when you don't think they can reach it.

Natja 02-07-2014 07:17 PM

Thank you for telling me but that just makes me even more determined not to get it. It would just inhibit my life too much :(

I apologise for saying that an adult who gave it to a child did it because they were ignorant or selfish.

Dagferi 02-07-2014 07:24 PM

Your kids can pick it up out in public too.

Playing with friends. At school. All it takes is a touch. Kids share food, school supplies...

Can't keep them in a bubble

Natja 02-07-2014 07:37 PM

I know that but they won't get it from me! That which is within my control...and all that.

Magdlyn 02-08-2014 01:13 AM

We have a friend with an extreme case of excema. The poor guy avoids dairy, soy and gluten and his skin is still like red sandpaper. He and his partner must make sure of the HSV status of any lovers they have, since he could be in serious trouble if he contracted herpes. He has been told it could kill him. As it is, he is a "stone" Dom, doesn't kiss or hug, uses toys for kink and sex, but they still have a strict no herpes rule. He is also allergic to the anti-virals, so wouldnt be able to reduce the severity of an outbreak.


Gah. My bf is dating someone with HSV1. I hope he is lucky and she never passes it to him because of asymptomatic shedding.

london 02-09-2014 09:24 AM

What annoys me are people who discriminate and perpetuate stigma against people with a positive status but sleep with people who dont know or dont or can't know their own.

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