I am in love with an amazing woman, it’s relatively new and things are going really well ... but she’s just informed me that she has herpes. We’ve been having safe sex, and used condoms, but I know it can be transmitted regardless. I have to admit it threw me — how do I handle this?
– Itchy love.
Andrea: It’s a little late for you to decide whether or not it’s a deal-breaker as you’ve already slept together.
I’d take that personally, but maybe you’re a bigger person.
On the bright side, many couples have managed to avoid transmission by not sleeping together during outbreaks (or touching affected areas).
However, asymptomatic transmission is possible. Think of the worst-case scenario: you get herpes.
Ultra worst-case scenario: you get herpes, and then she dumps you. Can you handle that?
If the answer is you’d end up boiling her bunny, then maybe you should just get tested now and break it off. If you’re unsure, spend some more time with each other being as safe as you can, until things are clearer.
Claire: Love is never simple, lust even less so.
She should have told you earlier, but I assume it was a very hard confession to make, so if you like her, you have no choice but to forgive her. According to medbroadcast.com, genital herpes affects one out of six Americans, and eight out of 10 have no clue they have it.
So the bad news is that you risk becoming part of a very large club, but the good news is that if you don’t have outbreaks, there are almost no other symptoms. It’s like an Aeroplan — you know you have the points, but you never get to use them.
You can’t choose whom you love, and considering the stats, she sounds like she’s more worth the risk than someone else you might meet if you leave her for this reason alone.
• Two sisters, 20-something Andrea and 30-something Claire, offer their differing views on your relationship issues.