Not everyone has symptoms, but this doesn't mean you can't pass the virus to others.In fact, the majority of Americans have at least one form of the herpes virus, and you can get it from kissing, fucking, sharing a drink, or basically any form of close contact with a mucous membrane.When we met offline, we became intimate very quickly, but we abstained from having intercourse.
We had agreed to meet in the middle: the campus of our alma mater in Connecticut.
What we hadn’t anticipated was that because we weren’t students anymore, we didn’t exactly have a bed to call our own.
Recently, I started talking online with a new guy who made me feel all of the tingles and energy that signal the beginning of an exciting new relationship.
I wasn’t prepared when he suddenly dropped a bomb on me: He had genital herpes.
I tried to convince myself I was having some sort of allergic reaction to a new pair of underwear, but Google-searching my symptoms pointed in one, very specific direction: an STD.
This didn’t make sense, as I’d never had unprotected sex in my life.It’s true that the majority of the time, genital outbreaks are symptomatic of HSV II, but you can be infected by either type in either location, or even have both types in a given location — which makes me think that, functionally speaking, distinguishing between oral and genital infections is pointless.If you can asymptomatically shed the virus from any point of your body and it can infect any point of another person’s body, isn’t any type or location of herpes just…herpes?I took immune-boosting supplements (even though research on supplements to prevent herpes is inconclusive) and made sure he was taking his herpes medication, which decreases chances of transmission as well as his frequency of outbreaks — and then we just kind of went about our sex lives without fretting too much. We decided to be mostly monogamous, agreeing that when we were in the same city, we would only see each other. Should I then disclose to my new partners that I have genital herpes?After the relationship ended (for non-STI reasons), I wanted to get tested for HSV II, but my doctor said that because it takes so long to build up antibodies, results would be inconclusive. After a long discussion over the ethics of herpes, my doctor and I decided that it was unnecessary to tell future partners that I’d come into contact with it — because, after all, most sexual adults likely have, too.But Andy and I were resourceful kids, and we weren't about to give up on two months of sexual tension.