Herpes is transmitted via skin-to-skin contact, but only when the virus is active (whether a visible herpes outbreak or viral shedding). You CAN’T get herpes from saliva or blood. You CAN get genital herpes from someone going down on you and they have cold sores (whether it’s visible or not) — cold sores (aka mouth herpes mostly caused by HSV-1) magically turns to genital herpes in an instant (in fact, 50% of all new genital herpes cases are from oral sex). It’s incredibly rare to pass genital HSV-2 to your partners mouth through oral sex (only 1% of HSV-2 cases are oral). And just to be totally clear, herpes CANNOT be transmitted by sharing a towel or drinking after someone! In short, there must be an opening in the receiver’s body for the herpes virus to gain access, whether that be a mucous membrane or a small cut/abrasion in the skin (which is why bikini waxing has been all over the news as making you more prone to getting herpes). More >
DISCLAIMER: I’m no doctor. (And I don’t even play one on TV.) Any recommendations in this blog post — and on this entire site, for that matter — should be gone over with your doctor prior to acting on it. It’s just the smart thing to do.
There is no herpes cure (like a lot of sheisty websites out there would have you believe), but there are ways to keep the virus at bay. And medication is only the tip of the iceberg. My initial advice about medicating herpes is this: Don’t take it if you don’t have to. It’s a drug. And I try to stay as natural and drug-free as I can. You’d be amazed at how staying physically and mentally healthy can naturally suppress the virus. That said, depending on your body, health and a whole range of factors, taking herpes medication to make you more comfortable or to keep your herpes-free partner safe may be a viable option. Some people are under the impression that if they have herpes, they need to be taking herpes medication. That’s not true. Here are the facts …
Are you ready to drastically shift your relationship to herpes and yourself for the better? Drop your shame, be accepted, move into the life you want. More >
A common theme across the board on this herpes blog, in my responses in the herpes forum and support I offer my herpes coaching clients is the fact that most of the roadblocks we encounter around “coping with” having herpes are actually self-inflicted; the way we feel held back has less to do with herpes itself and more to do about how we feel about ourselves having herpes. Yes, there is a stigma, yes, sometimes it stings to get a “you have what?” reaction to a herpes disclosure … but how we react to herpes stigma or a herpes talk rejection ultimately comes down to how we feel about ourselves. Someone judging you about having herpes becomes more about realizing they are judgmental or have a negative association with herpes vs. you being a bad/dirty person. And if we feel ashamed of ourselves and guilty about our situation, we tend to self-sabotage. After all, the first roadblock to our happiness is usually ourselves, not our life circumstances. This isn’t just about herpes. This self-sabotaging tendency applies to other things, too. Like our self-control around eating donuts, for example … Yes, donuts. How are donuts and herpes connected? Good question …
Are you feeling like you’re bashing your head against a wall trying to figure out how to deal with this virus? Are you constantly beating yourself up about where you find yourself right now (“Why did I just have to have sex with that person …”)? There’s one magic phrase that will help with herpes … Here it is (drum roll, please)…
“Shame loves secrets. Shame cannot stand being spoken.” — Brene Brown
The shame of having herpes tends to pull us into our own scary shadows (even though just a few feet away in the light are plenty of people telling you to quit the negative fantasy BS and hear that you’re worthy of a deluge of love.) Shame has us stay blind in the darkness of our own self-defeating mind-cage to try to deal with it on our own (like any strong person should be able to do, right?). But that has us telling ourselves the (false) story that we are alone. We are not alone. YOU are NOT alone! Squash the story! The more you can really allow yourself to get that, the less shame you will have, the more likely you will be to reach out when you need it, the more love will be available to let in, the more healing and growth happens. The more you free yourself of stigmatizing labels, the more free you are to be YOU. And what’s more lovable than that? (Rhetorical question.) More >
[Posted on Valentine’s Day] Today the world is celebrating Valentines Day (also known as “Singles Awareness Day.”) There’s a lot of talk of lovers loving together in a warm cocoon of lovely love … almost nauseating, huh? If you happen to be single on this day of love (with herpes to boot), it might feel like a cold, lonely day — like the day itself is rubbing your face in your unfortunate singlehood. At first blush, herpes and love might seem to be mutually exclusive: one wipes out the other. But that’s simply not a fair way to look at it when you just want to be happy. Let’s look at how we can turn this beloved holiday into a positive, shall we?
There are a lot of herpes statistics that are thrown around these days. Here they all are in one place for your convenience. (To see a handy visual chart of population breakdown, download the free herpes disclosure e-book here.) More >
[Note: To be clear, this article is about your process in healing in your mind and in your relationship to yourself. If you’re looking for help with the physical part of dealing with herpes, check out these articles.]
When you first get genital herpes, a process begins. This process is known as the Kübler-Ross grief cycle and applies to anyone who has been impacted by a life-changing circumstance, everything from people dying of cancer to people like us dealing with the ramifications of an incurable STD. Also, please read The herpes self-acceptance process.
Onto the 5 stages of herpes healing …
I believe there is truth in everything. This is no exception. The Serenity Prayer is one of those truisms that can apply to so much. So let’s apply it to herpes and see how its truth can help us move past blaming ourselves and hanging out in the past, in the “what ifs.”