Online Magazine For Black Men

Difficult to Find Someone When You Have An STD

Having an STD brings a lot of responsibility for both men and women.

Question from Rodney:

Hey brothas,

I have herpes, and unlike a lot of people out there, I believe in being honest with any women I meet. I let them know the risks and ensure them that I will be concerned about their health as well as mine.

Still, my conscience gets to me. When I tell women I have herpes, I feel like I'm labeled. I know a few women have distanced themselves from me specifically because of the disease.

I won't hide the fact that I have it, but what can I do to make women believe that I can be a good relationship partner despite the herpes?

-- Rodney

The Brothas Response:

Dear Rodney,

We commend you for being open and honest about herpes. You're right--a lot of brothas don't disclose this information, and it can lead to a world of trouble for them and their partners.

For those who don't know, genital herpes is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by the herpes simplex viruses type 1 (HSV-1) or type 2 (HSV-2). Most genital herpes is caused by HSV-2, and typically appear as sores or blisters on or around the genitals. There is no medical cure for herpes.

Having herpes isn't a death sentence. Many men (and women) feel scared and embarrassed at first. They are afraid of never finding someone who will accept them, or be in a long-term relationship with them. They believe that sexual activity will always be shrouded in anxiety and fear. But with treatment, the symptoms of herpes outbreaks become less intense over time.

To minimize the risk of transmitting herpes to your partner, use condoms during sex, and stay healthy during outbreaks. As you know, you must avoid sexual contact until any sores or blisters heal completely; and, keep your partner informed of your herpes status.

Again, having herpes isn't the end of the world. Just be sure to talk to your potential mate, and you will eventually find a woman who accepts Rodney for Rodney.

For more detailed information about herpes, read more at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Genital Herpes - CDC Fact Sheet.


The Brothas

Sex & Sexual HealthRelationships
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