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“Disclosing your herpes status to a potential partner is always stressful, no matter how many times you may have disclosed it in the past or how many intimate relationships followed your disclosures,” she tells Bustle.
“But, personally, the partners I have disclosed to in the past always empathized with the vulnerable position I put myself in, because I prioritized their consent over my pleasure.
Now, I share openly with potential partners well before we have sex.
I make sure that my body language — posture, tone of voice, eye contact — are all conveying how I feel about having herpes: There’s nothing shameful about it!
A herpes disclosure can affect how physically intimate a relationship will be, but rejection is not a systematic reaction.
“Moral considerations, too, are important, and informing a potential partner is simply the ‘right’ thing to do, especially in this age of greater focus on consent — which is about making the choice based on knowing all the risks, and benefits, involved.”Of course, telling your sexual partner that you have herpes will be different for everybody.
In fact, Laureen HD, 31, has a You Tube channel dedicated to helping people cope with herpes and its stigma.