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I had always insisted on using condoms, which can reduce the risk of transmission.
My selling point, however, was telling him that approximately one in four people has herpes and, statistically speaking, he undoubtedly had slept with someone who had herpes. He thought about that for a minute and then realized he might not know.
Since he was disease-free, he refused to wear condoms, instead choosing the scrub-down -- something that would do nothing to prevent herpes transmission.
That relationship eventually came to an end, leaving me worried yet again about getting back in the dating game.
When I confronted my friend about the situation, I asked if he knew that he had herpes. It was hard enough to face the fact that we'd had sex, or tried to, and it was much harder to cope with the fact that I had caught an incurable sexually transmitted disease.
In 1989, when I got herpes, the nurse told me I couldn't transmit the virus unless I was having an outbreak.
(At the time, many doctors and other health care providers believed this to be the case, although a number of research studies had already suggested otherwise.) So, I decided to keep quiet.
For three years, I had a boyfriend who never knew I had herpes.
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I was still uncomfortable about bringing up the subject, but now I didn't have much of a choice.