Dating with Herpes
Many times, it is never considered what the general population thinks about being single in an “average world” until you find yourself living with an incurable sexually transmitted virus.
Upon being diagnosed and for the many month’s and years that will follow, that is a question that plagues the mind of those affected by such a life-altering revelation. In an attempt to gain a general consensus of what exactly goes through the minds of those who are in the “non” population, we have asked several people who live their lives free of STDs what their thoughts and views are on the topic of STDs (primarily herpes and hpv).
We anonymously sent out one female and one male to openly disclose their status to random singles they found on Internet dating sites and here is what they had to say:
When we asked several people if they had ever met or dated someone with an STD, the answers were all a resounding “no” however, after pondering the thought, some indicated they could not be certain as most times the topic would not come up in their involvements.
Each participant proceeded with positive comments indicating they truly believed that sex was not the cornerstone of relationships. Though they had never given it much thought, they had always had the mindset that STDs were something that came as an afterthought and were not to be considered an issue if they engaged in safe sex until they were deeply involved in a committed relationship, at which time they would believe they were “safe” from such issues.
Amazingly, when asked if they knew of any family or friends who lived with Herpes or HPV, the results were low in numbers of those who actually knew someone who did.
One man stated he had a couple of friends, male and female whom are married to each other who both carry the Herpes virus, while his sister had become infected with the HPV virus after her husband had stepped outside their marriage. Although he knew of friends and family who had these viruses he considered his knowledge on the topics to be rather low when taking into account his recent research on reputable websites.
When we asked our participants if they had ever been tested for STDs, each one stated they had been. They (all participants) were, however, not aware if those tests were likely incomplete.
We informed our participants that It is very common for an STD screen to not include Herpes, HPV or HIV testing without the person being tested specifically requesting those tests. Each one stated they were shocked and dismayed that they had been lead to believe they were thoroughly tested.
We then asked our participants if they ever thought about the risk of STDs in their general dating practices. Each participant gave their own accounts of forethought however, most common was the fact that they believe it takes time to get to know the person and that if a treatable STD is part of who that person is, it is an issue that can be addressed if the relationship reaches a level of intimacy. Most pleasing to myself in composing this article, was the common belief that Herpes and HPV were nothing to be feared, but rather subjects to be more understood.
Next we asked what each one felt their level of education was on the topic of STDs. One man stated that prior to having met our participant, he had not given it much thought. However since that time he has developed an “unquenchable thirst for knowledge in an area that could very well affect his life at some point.”
Lastly we asked if they were given a choice to know immediately or later on in a relationship (prior to sex of course) that the person they are interested in has Herpes or HPV, what would they prefer. Every person that participated in our study indicated they would prefer knowing immediately. They believe it suggests the person is comfortable with who they are and also gives strong indication of an honest and unselfish character.
Though our participants were selected at random, I personally can’t help believe this would be the general consensus if the study were to be conducted on a much broader scale.
The fact remains, no one appreciates having decisions made for them, this includes a person who’s life is affected by a sexually transmitted virus, making the decision to not consider exploring a relationship with a non infected person without at least conversing with that person and taking into consideration what they would do if given the choice. Though it might not have been the circumstances for the person carrying that social burden, it is a choice that person can now allow others to make.