I was never quiet about having herpes because I tend to blurt out things when I'm upset.I began to talk about it in classes and mention it at parties–occasionally alcohol helps with that–and as soon as I did other people started responding and taking me aside or sending me messages to tell me about their own experiences with STIs.That used to really freak me out, especially in the beginning when I was newly diagnosed and still learning about the virus and very self-conscious about it.It can be really scary to have a conversation with someone that you just started dating because you're so worried that the other person will judge you in that moment.A few years ago I contacted this STI and it's relatively easily preventable if we use condoms and I will always tell you if there's something that you should know, like if I'm having an outbreak or anything like that.Feel free to take time or do research but this is just part of my life, and I hope that's okay with you." Coming at it from a place of confidence is huge.I disclose really early, because that's who I am as a person and that's really important to me.Other people wait until they've had a few dates and they're ready to start having sex with that person.
ED: When I was diagnosed, the person I was dating was the classic college boy.
MC: How did you overcome your initial worries about dating with herpes?
ED: I think everybody after they get diagnosed reads the statistics about how common herpes is, but then looks around and goes, "But I don't know anybody who has herpes!
ED: My advice is to arm yourself with as much knowledge as you can about the virus and how it works, including how to keep yourself and your partner safe.
You don't have to throw a bunch of knowledge at them, but if it seems like you are an expert in your own body and your experience it will be really reassuring for a partner.