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Davis usually holds off on disclosing to potential sexual partners that she has herpes until she’s known them for a bit.
“I’ve always waited a little while before telling people, basically until I thought it was going somewhere,” Davis says.
One of the best things to do is find out everything you can about it. Try to pick a time when both of you are in a relaxed state of mind.
When you are knowledgeable, have all the information, know the risk and protection, you will feel more confident to talk about it and answer his questions. Choose a place where you can talk comfortably without interruptions.
Although telling someone you’re interested in can be intimidating, there are different ways to do it, and you might find one easier than the others.
In the past, Carlson would put the herpes conversation on the table quickly.
They both say it can be nerve-racking, but a few things help: sitting the person down in a place that’s comfortable for them, trying not to be too emotional, starting off with something like, “Hey, there’s something I need to talk to you about,” and bringing a wealth of knowledge to the conversation.“I always try to be calm and not too clinical but explain that I have done the research,” Carlson says.
Davis agrees, saying she fills people in on key details, like how herpes is transmitted, how transmission can be prevented, whether she’s taking medication that keeps the virus from multiplying, thus making it less likely to transmit, and how to find more information about the STD.
Davis says the number one question they get on The STD Project is about how to tell a new partner.
“I don’t like wasting my time or getting my heart broken, so I think it’s a self-defense thing to almost always tell the guy on the first date,” she explains.
“If they want to cut and run, I haven’t invested too much of myself in it.”But in the future, she thinks she’ll take her time disclosing as long as she gets it done before engaging in sexual activities that would put the other person at risk.
But all the self-acceptance in the world doesn’t erase the fact that a herpes diagnosis creates ripple effects of shame and social isolation, and the fallout is especially pronounced when it comes to your dating life.“It’s good to have the conversation because there is a potential risk of transmission,” Cherrell Triplett, M.
D., an ob/gyn who practices at Southside OBGYN and Franciscan Alliance in Indianapolis, Indiana, tells SELF.