Support- Giving “The Talk”

What to say:

The most effective way to tell a prospective partner is to keep it simple, keep it non-threatening, and keep it honest.

Here is an example:

"I like you and I can see that our relationship is moving toward something more intimate, so there's something I'd like to discuss with you. I have a health issue that we need to talk about."

Wow -- doesn't that sound easy? Your friend will probably express concern for you at this point. You can now move on to the next sentence.

"I carry the virus that causes herpes. There is a slight chance that you could be at risk if we become intimate."

That's it. You said it. A simple statement of the facts, without a lot of dramatic overtones.

Now, be prepared. Your friend will have some questions. You can take this time to give them a full scale presentation complete with pamphlets, brochures and a flip chart, or you can just say:

"Over 80% of the world has this virus, and chances are you might already have it. However, in the interest of protecting you I am doing the following things..."

And go on to explain that you are taking preventative meds (if you are), how you understand your body and your particular outbreak cycle and that you have protection with you. (you do, don't you?)

by this time your friend is saying "Wow, thank you. Thank you for telling me. Thank you for having so much integrity. Thank you for really caring about me."

So, now what??

You have given your friend a choice. Now, he or she will make one. Respect that choice and remember, if they choose not to pursue an intimate relationship they are not rejecting you. They are rejecting the herpes.


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Helpful Information:

Giving “The Talk”


Article about Herpes in Denver


When not to say it:

When you're only seconds away from the point of no return. (i.e. don't let it get that far.)

When you don't intend to move the relationship forward. If they're not worthy of you anyway, why spill the beans?

At a party or other really public place.

On the phone.

As an excuse to get out of a date.

Anytime you are uncomfortable.

What not to say:

Don't say you have something horrible to discuss. That's sure to scare yur partner right out the door.

Don't apologize. It is an unfortunate situation, but stuff happens.

Don't diminish yourself in any way.
(i.e. telling yourself or others that you are somehow not good enough now.)

Don't demand that they accept this or tell them how to feel or what they should do. Everyone has the right to make their own decisions.