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    Dear Diva Rebecca,

    I have finally met the most wonderful, loving, open man. We met online and we spent many hours on the phone before we met. He is the one I have been praying for. He told me he wanted to wait to have sex so we could do it right. He is even talking marriage! But he just told me he has the incurable herpes virus!!! I was so grateful that he thought enough of me to tell me this before we were intimate. I started reading up on it and now I just feel so sick. The pictures look terrible! I am so confused about what to do. It sounds like for just getting back into the dating scene at the age of 46 that I might get it anyways. It seems like it is out there everywhere, and I am sure that there are people who know they have it but would not tell you first. What should I do? I love him but I am terrified!

    Sincerely,

    Objection to Contraction, Dallas, Texas


    Dear Objection,

    There is no easy road to choose in this situation. I am sure many people would tell you to hit the highway hunny. Don't risk getting infected. But truth be told, many people you could date could also be infected. The current statistics show 1 in every 5 Americans has genital herpes. But not everybody knows they have it because they do not suffer major outbreaks or have obvious symptoms. ONE in every FIVE Americans! That is one heck of a track record.

    Before you do anything you should consider all of the facts. You do not have herpes now and you might want to keep it that way. Genital herpes in a woman is much more complicated. Women suffer more severe breakouts, have more painful lesions and they are able to get sores inside the cervix. You would have no idea you were having an outbreak if you did. If you contract the virus, it could lead to complications in childbirth. If you were having an outbreak at the time of birth, you would be forced to have a cesarean because if the child gets infected, the virus could cause severe neurological damage, mental retardation or death. You should also know that Herpes is the most contagious sexually transmitted disease out there. You have a 75% chance of contracting the disease if your partner is in an infectious stage, and he might not even know it. And although you should always-always-always wear condoms, they will not protect you from catching the disease.

    This guy you like so much got the nerve up and told you the truth. You have to give him some respect. Having the Herpes Virus is a severely emotional and painful discovery because of the strongly associated taboo associated with it. Even though so many people are infected, it still goes without saying that just the word alone "Herpes" gives you chills. There are people that have even committed suicide over the problem. This guy is most likely very embarrassed about his infection and he is trusting you with his secret. However he, and the numerous infected out there, should not be as terribly embarrassed about it as so many people are. This disease is prolific. It is about as common as the chicken pox. He is not a "bad person" for having the disease.

    I would tell you to check out some support groups and see what kinds of medications are out there for prevention. Talk to your doctor about it. Don't be embarrassed. Just let him know that you are about to enter a sexual relationship with someone who has G.H. Trust me, he/she has heard it before. I won't lie to you, you would most likely catch the disease after a long intimate relationship. And although I am sure it is a pain in the you know what to live with (literally), you won't die and you can manage. Just like rest of those 1 in 5 Americans

    I am aware of two couples who have the disease where one partner is infected and the other is not. In both cases, they always wear condoms and the uninfected persons sterilizes the area after intercourse with alcohol. Neither one has become infected yet and they get regular tests.

    Give the guy a chance. Everyone has skeletons in their closet. You probably got the worst of them out of the way. Just wait a while longer for an intimate relationships until you are absolutely sure.

    Sincerely,

    Diva Rebecca

    Not everyone will agree with me, everyone has their own opinion.
    What would your advice be?
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