It’s common to see newly diagnosed people absolutely freak out about HSV, when in reality there’s nothing terribly wrong in the first place.
Our support team wanted to make this post to bust some of the myths being perpetuated by people who simply do not know what is going on. It’s also going to tackle some of the most negative comments made by people who believe that HSV is a bigger deal than it is.
No virus is preferable, but seriously, let’s get real. It’s not like the sun just exploded and Earth got sucked into a black hole—now that’s a problem.
It’s time to shut that little demon up for good. Not because he’s evil and making you feel bad, but because he’s incorrect. Wrong information doesn’t help anyone.
Giving in to these beliefs is like thinking 2 + 2 = 3. You can honestly believe it all you want—but it’s still not true.
OMG. I’m HSV+. My life is over.
Dead wrong. How exactly is one’s life over after contracting HSV? First step is recognizing that this is pure emotion speaking, and not your logic. HSV is a mostly harmless, asymptomatic virus.
It’s certainly not life threatening. It’s definitely not HIV or cancer. And even if it were one of those two (hypothetically at this point), with the medical advances we have today, there’s still hope.
Ultimately, life is pretty much the same. You’re just smarter, and hopefully safer now. Don’t lie to yourself and make yourself feel worse at the same time—that’s completely irrational. You’ve dealt with inconveniences before, and HSV is an inconvenience at worst. At best, it’s nothing.
Okay, well, my sex life is over.
Wrong again. With so many people in society being HSV+, do you really think that the small HSV- minority are the only people that will continue having sex?
This statement is almost as ridiculous as the first. In addition, may we add that it’s actually safer to have sex with someone who is aware of their HSV+ status (with proper precautions), rather than with someone whose sexual health you do not know? Standard STI checkups don’t include HSV testing, specifically requested IgG blood tests may not be recent, or they may have missed the virus completely (happens quite a bit).
Plus, you can never trust verbal confirmation, because aside from people lying to avoid rejection, they are oftentimes unaware that they’re positive themselves (most common reason for transmission). See Herpes Simplex Virus 101 for more details.
But… I can’t have sex all the time anymore because of outbreaks.
Outbreaks can generally be prevented with certain measures. Living a healthy lifestyle (which you should be doing anyway) is a major key in outbreak prevention. This includes making healthy food choices, exercising regularly, getting an adequate amount of sleep, and avoiding and/or controlling stress.
If you want to talk to others about what they use for their outbreaks, try having a chat with the folks over at the Honeycomb Herpes Forums.
Some people never get an outbreak. Some people get one and never get another. And for people that do get them regularly/have gotten them regularly in the past, they often notice that they become less frequent and less severe as time goes by.
In fact, a lot of the time, it’s not uncommon for them to stop completely.
It sucks being “just another statistic.”
Newsflash: you have always been a statistic. Everyone (yes, everyone) is a statistic in many, many different ways. Nothing’s new here, and HSV certainly hasn’t changed anything in this regard.
What are people going to think of me now? I’m all alone in this.
Not really. As provided in the Statistics section of Herpes Simplex Virus 101, it’s actually more common to be HSV+ than it is to be HSV-.
The only thing essentially different about you now is that you’re aware of your status, while most people are still in the dark (for many reasons).
In the end, being HSV+ actually puts you in the majority of the population. And, your medical records are your business regardless.
You are only obligated to disclose your status directly (for ethical reasons at the very least, and legal reasons sometimes) if you are going to put someone else at “risk” (i.e. sexual contact).
Quotes added because this risk can be exponentially decreased to almost nothing with proper precautions.
I feel dirty/damaged/filthy/contaminated/etc.
There’s nothing worse than believing a lie that ends up hurting yourself. HSV is so common that over half of the people on this planet have at least one strain in their body. In addition to that, the virus itself is mostly harmless and asymptomatic.
There’s honestly no logical reason to feel “dirty” about this… especially considering that literally anyone can acquire it, including virgins.
I will never have a boyfriend/girlfriend again.
Once again, not true. Lots of HSV+ people (the large majority) continue to date, have sex, and get married if they choose to. How exactly would an extremely common, mostly harmless virus get in the way of that?
Anyone who turns down anyone solely because of HSV is simply just ignorant of the subject—as most people are—and just need information on it. Herpes Simplex Virus 101 is a great resource to show potential HSV- partners for quick, reliable HSV education.