How To Tell Someone You Have Herpes

So you recently received word that you have the virus that causes Herpes or HSV1, and now the time has come to have ‘the talk’ with someone other than yourself and your doctor. Perhaps this person is a potential sexual partner, or maybe you need to inform someone with whom you’ve recently been intimate; whatever the case may be, this article will help you feel calm, informed and prepared to take those next steps.

First and foremost, let me begin by saying that everything is going to be just fine. Your dating life is not over, and the sex can still be just as fun and exciting as ever. According to, 50-80 percent of the American population has some strain of Herpes, about 20 percent having genital Herpes, and these people continue to lead very rich and happy lives. So read on with that in mind.

Yes, it is true that no matter how you slice it, it is what it is, and “easy” is not how
one would describe talking about it, especially with someone you care about. Understand that while it may be uncomfortable, it does not need to be made a big deal.

This is not to say that you should take the matter lightly. Keep in mind that how and where you deliver the information is paramount when it comes to how your partner will react. The good news is it that the anticipation that you are feeling right now is the worst of it. No matter what happens, knowing that you were completely open, honest, and informative will bring you tremendous internal peace, and readily prepare you for any outcome. In short, once it’s out, it’s out, and you can go from there. Nevertheless, this is not to be mistaken for taking off a band-aid; whimsically blurting out that you have Herpes and expecting a favorable response is not realistic– Tread lightly.

This article will explore ways of feeling prepared and confident to discuss the topic of Herpes, with great care.


The first step you should take is one toward your computer. In order to be resourceful you need to be as knowledgeable as possible on the topic of Herpes. This means understanding the facts and figures. Chances are your listener will have many questions, and you should be readily prepared to answer those questions.

Inform them of the risks, while making it known that it is still very possible, and common, to continue a healthy sexual relationship. Let them know what having herpes has meant for you and what it could possibly mean for them. The one-in-five statistic is a nice reference point, or the fact that many people have symptoms so mild they don’t even notice them. Make it known that you have your condition managed and under control, with the help of your medication. And finally, share your resources, and encourage them to conduct some research of their own.

There is a slight variation on how to tell a potential sexual partner versus a recent sexual partner that you have Herpes. Only you know your circumstance and what works best for you. We all have our own personal conversational styles; thus, you should alter your delivery to fit your specific state of affairs. All the while keeping in mind that there are some general rules of thumb that have been proven to yield positive results.

WARNING! Text messages, Emails, and letters are considered bad form, and are a sure ways to give the other person more reason to walk away. So, if that doesn’t concern you, by all means. Otherwise, a face-to-face interaction is the most courageous and sincere means of communication.

If you are informing a potential sexual partner about your status take some quality time to get to know each other before you give full disclosure. Unless you plan on jumping straight into the sack, in which case speak quickly, give yourself time to ease into it. There is no need to make it your introductory sentence– it does not define who you are, so don’t let it. As long as you do not wait until right before or right after having sex you should be in the safe zone.

It always helps to gauge it off of your vibrations. Allow the new relationship to develop. If you feel it heading towards that next step, initiate the conversation prior to reaching that point. Be weary not to spring it upon them. Ideally you should wait until you are in a calm atmosphere, like taking a walk in a park, or over a private dinner. Begin by making your feelings and intentions known, and proceed by telling them that they deserve your complete honesty. If nothing else, they will respect your respectfulness.

If you are informing a past or present sexual partner about your status take note that your delivery affects your message. The bigger deal you make of it, the bigger deal it becomes. Do you want your partner to freak out? Of course not, so don’t open with “Please don’t freak out, but…” The negative connotation implies that your next statement will probably freak them out.

Psychiatrists have discovered that delivering your information matter-of-factly is the best way to approach the situation. Therefore, you should be casual, straightforward and resolute in your manner. Think about how you would like them to take the news, and deliver the information accordingly.

This brings me to my next point that where you decide to deliver the information is just as important as how. A public setting is NEVER a good place to tell someone you’ve already had intercourse with that you have an STD. If possible, try to coordinate telling them in the comfort of their own home. This allows them to react how they would naturally, without the intrusion of onlookers. Furthermore, their own home allots them the environment to ask questions, or be left alone to do their own private research without having to travel anywhere after hearing the news.

Understand that there is a possibility your partner might respond poorly regardless of how you deliver the information. In that case, try not taking it personally, and allowing them as much time as they need to soak it in and think it over. If this fear of rejection is consuming your mind, remember that rejection is something that anyone who dates must be prepared for, not just people with STD’s, and not just you. Like any other challenge, if the relationship is valuable enough to continue, you with both be able to work through it.

Never let the fear of striking out keep you from coming up to bat. Informing your potential or current partner about your condition is absolutely necessary in order to form an honest, healthy and happy relationship. If you know your facts, and you are pure in your intention, there is a very good chance things will work out OK. Lastly, and most importantly, by implementing full disclosure, you greatly reduce the likelihood of them becoming infected with herpes, as well… After all, isn’t that the goal?

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