A very hard topic to discuss

February 11 2024

I understand this is not widely discussed in the community, however, seems to be more prevalent. I have a friend that was recently diagnosed with HSV1, Herpes Simplex Virus, and it's turned his life into complete disarray.

He's very outgoing and had a committed girlfriend for years that he believes he got HSV from. He hasn't had any outbreaks and only found out by a blood test as his now ex told him she had been recently diagnosed.

Now he's not very outgoing and believes that he will be rejected by anyone he's interested in. He deleted his RHP account due to this and is quite depressed.

So that I can get an understanding of how folks on here feel about this diagnosis and give him further guidance/hope/education, I was wondering if anyone would give their honest opinion about how you would react to a potential partner disclosing their diagnosis to you and whether it would affect you getting into a sexual relationship with that person.


  • RHP User

    RHP User

    5 months ago

    Most reports now estimate more than half the population has HSV1.

    HSV2 is less prevalent and that seems to be the one that concerns health professionals and sexually active people more. I believe HSV2 is more likely to show symptoms?

    It's not usually tested for in the basic sexual health urine and blood screen so can go under the radar.

    As for how people feel about it - I suspect apprehensive when they hear about it first. But given it spread just as easily through kissing and oral sex (which the vast majority do unprotected without hesitation) there may well be little one can do aside be totally monogamous.

  • nightingale8


    5 months ago

    I always assume everyone has everything and there’s a certain amount of risk to tolerate if I want to be in this world. I’ve seen a man get STI checks then have bareback cuckold sex with multiple women in a week, all while claiming he was “completely clean” (yeah, he liked to brag and no, I didn’t stick around). A sizeable chunk of people out there claiming to be “clean” would have no idea of their status. With the stats in mind, I’d probably thank him for letting me know then say I actually didn’t need to know that. No, I’m not going without condoms. Yes, I’ll chance some kisses with no dams. Instead my best bet is regular testing and getting vaxxed to the max, give me what you got doc!

  • PerthVixen


    5 months ago

    Christ, I really feel for your friend, GG.

    Because despite the stats (they’re fucking horrific - seriously just google “HSV1 +Australia”), most adults just refuse to face the reality of STI’s.

    The fact that YOU are facing this issue head on, after seeing your friend adversely affected by a health issue created entirely by apathy (in our society - not by him), is admirable. I hope that your friend is at least finding your open support, a positive in his journey to recover from his diagnosis.

    Because, your friend DOES face an uphill battle, BUT . . . . there IS a bright side. A few bright sides actually.
    May I recommend that you gently suggest to your friend that he reaches out to any of the numerous FREE resources available via health.gov.au/STI.

    He will honestly be treated with dignity and empathy, so that he can ask difficult Q’s and receive answers that are pragmatic. And anonymous.

    I wouldn’t recommend that he look for support on FB (unless given a specific group by another person) as the majority of them are basically catfishing sites, filled with some seriously gross individuals. 🤢

    However, one (surprising!) great place to get some ‘young fit guy’ advice, that’s actually healthy and empowering, is Christopher Pickering from Pickering Fitness on YT. Seriously - get your mate to check out Christopher’s numerous videos about his own journey with HSV1 diagnosis 😎

    This is NOT the end of your mate’s sexual journey or adventures. And it may seem implausible, but potentially this could lead to more optimistic and healthier connections.

    Because I find it sexy as fuck, when a man is the first one to bring up safe sex. (See my background in regards to safe sex, below 🥺)

    And I am being 100% genuine.

    He may need to combat his own prejudices towards STI’s before he can see this, but men who advocate for safe sex, ensuring the SAFETY of a woman, are goddam rare. And it is SEXY to give a shit about a woman’s health and safety.

    The counselling that he may potentially receive, will give him the tools to navigate conversations when he feels confident to dip his toe back into the dating pool. This is not the end for him.

    I promise 💋

  • Margo_Lover


    5 months ago

    Doing some reading online... I'm NOT a Doctor.

    HSV1 isn't considered an STI as it's transmittable via any skin contact, not just sexually. HSV2 'genital herpes' is the STI. Seems most people with HSV1 didn't get it via sexual activity.

    In Australia up to 80% of people are thought to have HSV1, and 12% of adults HSV2.

    One US report I saw suggested blood tests for HSV1 can show almost 100% of people have antibodies for it, as it's so prevalent in society. But not everyone actually has the virus. As I understand it, the way to be sure is to test a lesion during an outbreak.

    And finally, HSV1 doesn't seem like too big a deal, as it might give a person a cold sore on their lip every now and then.

    I don't think his life is over.

    - Alex.

  • Andrea_Sydney


    5 months ago

    Herpes is not a big deal in my opinion. It’s always been around. As teenagers already we watched out never to pash anyone with a cold sore. And people with a cold sore wouldn’t pash, saying they have a cold sore at the moment.
    Someone was saying Australian men usually push for no condoms. That’s interesting, so very different to my experience. I’m from Europe. I don’t find any difference in how men behave. I carry condoms, but also never encountered a man who didn’t carry his own.
    I find it’s the younger generation who are not educated about condoms. Our sex ed at school included HIV discussion and putting condoms onto bananas. I guess the younger ones didn’t get that.

  • Oysterman


    2 months ago

    Your buddy has an uphill journey to travel, but he doesn't have to become a monk ! If he is upfront and honest with future partners he can still socialise and participate in sexual activities !