Navigating Herpes Disclosure: Tips for a Responsible and Respectful Conversation

Posted On: November 16, 2023

Navigating Herpes Disclosure

As a sexologist, I have worked with individuals who have herpes and are navigating the dating world. Herpes is a common sexually transmitted infection (STI) that affects millions of people worldwide. While it can be challenging to disclose your herpes status to a potential partner, it’s important to do so in a responsible and respectful way. In this blog post, I will provide some tips on how to disclose your herpes status, including when and how to do it, and resources you can use to support yourself and your partner.

Tip #1: Don’t Disclose Too Early

While it’s important to be upfront about your herpes status, it’s also important not to disclose too early in the dating process. This can be overwhelming for a potential partner and may scare them off before they get to know you. It’s important to build trust and connection with someone before disclosing your herpes status. This may mean waiting until you’ve been on a few dates or have established a deeper connection.

Tip #2: Disclose Outside of the Bedroom

It’s important to disclose your herpes status outside of the bedroom, in a neutral and private setting. This allows your potential partner to process the information without feeling pressured or overwhelmed. It’s also important to have an open and honest conversation about your herpes status, answering any questions they may have and addressing any concerns they may raise.

Tip #3: Use Resources to Support Yourself and Your Partner

There are many resources available for individuals with herpes and their partners. These may include support groups, online forums, or educational materials. Sharing these resources with your partner can help them better understand herpes and how it can be managed. Here are some resources you can use:

How Common is Herpes?

Herpes is a common STI that affects millions of people worldwide. In fact, it’s estimated that one in six people between the ages of 14 and 49 have genital herpes. While it can be a challenging diagnosis to receive, it’s important to remember that herpes is manageable and does not define you or your worth.

How is Herpes Preventable?

While herpes is not curable, it is preventable. The best way to prevent herpes is to practice safe sex, including using condoms and dental dams during oral, vaginal, and anal sex. It’s also important to get tested regularly for STIs and to disclose your status to your partners. By taking these steps, you can reduce your risk of contracting or transmitting herpes.

Disclosing your herpes status can be a challenging conversation to have with a potential partner. However, by following these tips and utilizing available resources, you can navigate this conversation in a responsible and respectful way. Remember, herpes is common and manageable, and does not define you or your worth as a person. If you need further guidance or support in navigating this conversation or managing your herpes diagnosis, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me for a private consultation.

Can read another blog I wrote relating to herpes disclosure here.

About Dr. Martha Tara Lee

Dr. Martha Tara Lee has been a passionate advocate for positive sexuality since 2007. With a Doctorate in Human Sexuality and a Masters in Counseling, she launched Eros Coaching in 2009 to help individuals and couples lead self-actualised and pleasurable lives. Her expertise includes working with couples who have unconsummated marriage, individuals with sexual inhibitions and discrepancies in sexual desire, men with erection and ejaculation concerns, and members of the LGBTQIA+ and kink communities. Dr. Lee welcomes all sexual orientations and is available for online and face-to-face consultations. Martha speaks English and Mandarin.

She is the only certified sexuality educator by the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) in the region (as of 2011) and is also an AASECT certified sexuality educator supervisor (as of 2018). She strives to provide fun, educational, and sex-positive events and is often cited in the media including Huffington PostNewsweek, South China Morning Post, and more. She is the appointed Resident Sexologist for Singapore Cancer Society, Of, and Virtus Fertility Centre. She is the host of radio show Eros Evolution for OMTimes Radio. In recognition of her work, she was named one of ‘Top 50 Inspiring Women under 40’ by Her World in July 2010, and one of ‘Top 100 Inspiring Women’ by CozyCot in March 2011. She is the author of Love, Sex and Everything In-Between (2013),  Orgasmic Yoga: Masturbation, Meditation and Everything In-Between (2015), From Princess to Queen: Heartbreaks, Heartgasms and Everything In-Between (2017), and {Un}Inhihibited (2019).

You can read the testimonials she’s received over years here. For her full profile, click here. Email her here.

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