We have a long tradition of shaming, ridicule, and misconception to thank for that. According to the CDC, most herpes transmissions occur when the infected person shows no symptoms and may not even know they are infected. After all, isn’t this essentially what just happened to you? “Unless you actually have reason to suspect they're cheating, a herpes diagnosis in the middle of a relationship does not mean they have been cheating.” Jenelle Marie Davis, the founder of The STD Project, explained to Primer.
But there’s something to be said for someone who knows they have herpes and knows how to manage it versus someone who has herpes and doesn’t know and has never been tested. Garrison, a clinical sexologist, told Primer: “When a person living with herpes knows everything about herpes and can comfort themselves and educate their partners, when they can know their prodrome and understand what that means, when they are aware of what can trigger their outbreaks, then sex with them can be (and often is! That being said, you'll never reduce your risk of contracting herpes from a partner down to zero. There are three ways to reduce the risk of transmission.
When prodrome is present, it means the virus is active and the chances of transmission are high. But on the grand scale of things, herpes might be less of a challenge than celiac’s disease or severe nut allergies or even a monthly menstrual cycle.
Is the risk higher than being in a relationship with someone who is confirmed negative? But is it realistic to only be in relationships with people who have been recently tested for herpes? For most people, herpes outbreaks happen less and less frequently as time goes on.
) less risky than sex with a partner who may or may not know their status.” A herpes prodrome are signs that an outbreak is about to happen. If nothing else, dating someone with herpes can seem like an inconvenience.
Herpes prodrome include itchiness, tingling, burning, numbness, aches, shooting pains, and other sensations and can appear 30 minutes to a couple of days before an outbreak. The need to always wear protection and be aware of outbreaks and prodromal symptoms is certainly unique.