How To Deal If Your Boyfriend Gives You Genital Herpes

Dear Heather,

I am totally freaking out. I’ve been dating this guy for a few months. I really like him, and everything has been great… until we started fooling around, and I realized that something was wrong. After going to the gynecologist, I found out that he had given me genital herpes. I confronted him and he seemed apologetic, but I don’t know. He had to have known that he had it, and now I feel so betrayed that he didn’t tell me before we did anything. I’m mad at him, but I feel trapped in our relationship. Who is going to want to date someone with genital herpes besides someone else who already has it? Please help me. I don’t know what to do anymore.

I don’t blame you for feeling betrayed and upset. If your boyfriend did indeed know that he had genital herpes, and didn’t warn you, that’s really messed up on his part. There’s nothing we can do to change the fact that he gave it to you, though, so now you have to learn to deal with it. Getting an STD or STI is scary and upsetting, but it’s also not the end of the world, especially when you get something as common as herpes.

First of all, you need to have a serious conversation with your boyfriend. It’s possible that he didn’t pass along his genital herpes with malicious intent. Maybe he thought that you wouldn’t like him if he told you the truth. What he did is absolutely still wrong, and you still have every right to be mad at him, but you need to figure out what his intentions were here if you really think he knew beforehand.

However, it’s also possible that he genuinely did not realize he had genital herpes. Genital herpes is one of the most common STDs ever, and the majority of people who are infected don’t even realize they have it. While you might automatically associate genital herpes with obvious sores, the STD oftentimes either has very mild symptoms, or none at all. It can be passed along even when no symptoms are present.

It’s up to you to figure out whether he really didn’t know or not. The only way you’ll know is if you talk to him. Trust your gut here – if you really think he knew and didn’t tell you, maybe he isn’t someone you should continue dating.

As for feeling trapped in the relationship: you’re not. Please don’t feel like no one will want to date you just because you have genital herpes. STDs do have a bad stigma surrounding them, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find someone who loves you for you. There are even dating websites out there specifically for people with STDs or STIs! Here’s what you can do to learn to live with it: talk to your gynecologist. While there is no known cure for genital herpes, there are medications that can help reduce the frequency and duration of outbreaks. Also, always make sure you use a condom.

Another thing? Be honest with future sexual partners. Do you see how hurt and betrayed you felt after your boyfriend passed this along to you? Don’t do the same thing to someone else. It’s a hard conversation to have, but it’s the right thing to do. If your partner truly cares for you, they will stick around, I promise.

I really don’t want you to ever feel badly about yourself because you have genital herpes. Don’t let anyone make you feel like you’re trapped in a relationship with this guy because no one else will want you. You’re a great person, and STDs happen – having one doesn’t make you any less of a human being.

take care,

What’s on your mind? Heather can help! Send her your question at


If you have cold sores, does that mean you have herpes?

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Posted in: Help Me Heather, Love Advice
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  • Aashka M Shah

    Hi guys, check out this app called “Neat”. It is a dating app exclusively for STD free people. All the users of the app are regularly screened for STDs.

    Here is the link

    hope this helps to the once who still not infected!

  • Flower

    My boyfriend gave me herpes he knew he had it foe years he snuck around to go to doctors appointments .which he paid cash visit &cash for huge bottles of herpes medication & would hide in his safe . would take every day. Then try to actually BLAME me saying that he started getting weird bumps that he thought it was heat rash shortly after I moved in with him . after so he didn’t want to make me feel bad or accuse me he wasn’t sure . then when he realized I wasn’t having any outbreaks he was too afraid to lose me he was ashamed and embarrassed and scared so he kept it from me . Before I met him I dated a doctor and I got a full testing of STDs herpes HIV and everything was negative butt Now I have it and I can’t seem to get over it I’m trying to forgive him I feel like I’m self-destructing and sabotaging myself I can’t believe I was so blind for so long . I feel betrayed and that he did not love me enough to protect me or to be honest he could have given it to her children … the messed up part is I was 10 years sober and I relapsed and I can’t seem to stop I’m so scared that and I’m being stupid and that he’s going to hurt me again a bit concerned regarding his actual true psychology nature or true intentions. I don’t know how to explain it, he just seems now be capable of a lot more things then I imagine. We have recently been getting into arguments because he gets up mad and grumpy when I don’t have sex with him cuz I’m not in the mood . makes me try to feel bad till I give in to what he wants . Now I am dealing with the fact that I once again have turned into a drug addict I occasionally take breaks …when I do he pretends he doesn’t know because he knows that my sexual desires increase and he IS FACINATED WITH Me when I’m on the drug. until I stopped for a while then he throws it in my face .he has told his family that I relapse and now they don’t want to be around me sitting there judging me giving him advice on how to save himself the trouble and document everything ‘ incase i can’t get my shit together. So now it’s no longer about what he did to me for 9 years but how I m using drugs again. I occasionally hv Xtreme suicidal thoughts and dreams about killing myself but just to be clear I’m not going to . I do feel like I’m worthless and nobody would care I don’t have any family I’m from Puerto Rico don’t have a good job or an education and have nothing to show for I couldn’t even leave if I wanted to I feel like he is enabling & provoking me to relapse everytime I go a few weeks without getting high. He knows I suffer from anxiety and I take medication for it I have aDD. I’ve had concussions from past abusive relationships honestly think that he is very conniving and he would do and say anything to keep me by his side I’m like a trophy to him the only thing I have is good looks . he takes Pride the fact that he has me and I’m not trying to brag by any means but I did modeling and I have a very sexy look . which has caused me a lot of grief growing up all friendships have been lost because of others insecurities. many relationships have ended with me being hurt because I wanted to leave the relashionship . but not him of course he has never laid a hand on me he is a very good father to my children from other relationship .everything was good for nine years until I found out!! he had been getting prescription medication to prevent outbreaks. I don’t know what to do only time I feel like I want to get out of bed it’s when I’m high this if not i lay in a coma in disbelief and depression. When I have panic attacks I burn myself and cut my legs to where people can’t see but I can’t find any other coping mechanism how do you i just end 9 years the only time in my life that I actually truly being happy . how do I just give it away because of one “mistake” as for the rest of the stuff I said i don’t know if I’m just being paranoid or the old me that grew up homeless and got hurt Time After Time by people and family . I’m not sure if I’m being paranoid and just taking everything he does & says the wrong way or if I finally just actually see him for what he is .either way I’m stuck I’m not going to shelter I’m not putting my kids through that ever again I’m extremely tired of life and feeling unsure I’m not being able to trust the only person that I used to be able to talk to actually felt safe being with
    he begged and pleaded and told me he would do whatever it takes to prove that he did it out of fear and now that we’re having arguments about sex and he doesn’t understand that him getting upset it’s not okay and his reply is well it’s not okay to tell me you’re going to give me a blowjob and then not do it that’s what’s not ok and that he has a right to be mad. We have a very active sex life I don’t get why he gets so upset when I’m not in the mood and this has happened a few times so I told him that I wanted him to go to psychologist to maybe get a different opinion and talk to somebody about what why thinks he’s entitled . & acts like I I should not tell him no ..he said no he’s not going to see a psychologist that he has all the rights in the world to get mad &disappointed at me if I say I’m going to do something and I don’t that’s misleading him and that’s not fair in his eyes so at first he was begging me to stay saying he would do anything and now he tells me to fuck off he’s not going to go see a shrink …. Urrrhg!!! I’m just sick and tired of being sick and tired and I hate living in fear and doubt ..his history also about the herpes has more holes than Swiss cheese something just does not add up …. so that’s my story in a nutshell because it’s actually more complicated and way more issues involved that I really don’t I want to bore you with but I felt that I needed to share this part of the nightmare i live . thank you

  • Karma Sharman

    I was tested positive for herpes about 4 years back, when I was still in college and had a stupid one night stand. I suppose many of women will say this but I swear I never did that sort of thing. I jus made mistake that one time and, suddenly, it looked like I was going to have to live with the consequences for the rest of my life.

    The awful part was feeling I would never date guys again. After all, who wants to go out with a woman who has blisters around her you-know-what?

    But after a good friend share this video , everything has changed. Not only was I able to get rid of all traces of the herpes virus from my body in less than fifteen days, but I was also able to start dating again. I even met my soulmate and I’m so blessed to say that just last week, in fornt of many people in a restaurant, he got down on one knee and proposed to me! This program gave me the chance to be happy again, and to experience true love.

  • Raaz

    my penis is not straight. so, any problem may happen while having sex?

  • laura

    Hey Ladies,
    I have HSV1 (gential herpes) for over 5 years. I was given this little gift by a man who as, of course, clean and had no idea he had it. I have told most of my partner about this since then. The only one I didn’t tell was during a drunken one night stand- and yes I would go back and re-do that differently if I could. Most men take the news well, asking for more information if they don’t know already and are genuinely impressed and appreciative I had the balls to tell them beforehand. To the best of my knowledge, I have NEVER had someone not want to be with me based on my herpes status. My opinion is that it is just too common nowadays for people to completely escape it. Turn this diagnoses into a good thing!

  • b

    what a nightmare, I just got it this month too, from a guy who took advantage of me during a drunk night out. We didn’t even have sex, he just gave me oral for like a minute. I’m so upset over it. I guess it is common, and he acted like he didn’t know he had it (idk though I feel like he knew). I haven’t had sex in over a year, now the guy I actually like and i’ve been crushing on for months is available and interested and I’m so scared to tell him. I just pray he has it and tells me first. not likely though 🙁 my first outbreak is almost over and I hope it never comes back