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Recently, someone told me that they had HPV, but nothing “weird like herpes” — to which I responded “If you’ve had sex with more than five people, chances are you’ve come into contact with herpes.” When we look past the stigma of herpes and see how common it really is, we slow down the shame train that runs over folks who have it.If and when you meet people who further stigmatize herpes, consider shutting down the shame and spreading some education instead.It’s true that the majority of the time, genital outbreaks are symptomatic of HSV II, but you can be infected by either type in either location, or even have both types in a given location — which makes me think that, functionally speaking, distinguishing between oral and genital infections is pointless.If you can asymptomatically shed the virus from any point of your body and it can infect any point of another person’s body, isn’t any type or location of herpes just…herpes?After brushing up on my herpes facts, I felt incredibly vulnerable.

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We don’t make a big deal about cold sores, so why is the same type of sore such a big deal once it hits below the belt?

He had been infected as a teenager and was used to managing outbreaks and mixed reactions from partners, which explains why he was so patient with me.

The fact that he'd been honest about this pretty major thing before we'd even met was a testament to how trustworthy he was, and maybe because of that, I continued to pursue him.

When we met offline, we became intimate very quickly, but we abstained from having intercourse.

He told me I could take as much time as I needed to feel comfortable having sex with him.

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