For gay men there are always going to be challenges in life. Unfortunately, there are still many in society that don't except the gay lifestyle. Lesbian women face some of the same challenges, but there are some unique challenges for gay men that nobody else has to face. This may be even more enhanced when a gay man finds out he's living with herpes. Any STD has a sort of notoriety associated with, and herpes is no exception. If you're not sure how to go about living with this disease, you may want to consider some of the tips below. We've compiled five tips for how to learn to live with herpes.
#1 Seek Medical Advice
The first thing you really should do when you find out you have herpes's is to visit your doctor. His or her professional advice about how to live with an STD is the best sort of device you can ask for. Yes there are lots of online sources and support groups that you can use, but getting advice from an actual medical professional is always a good idea. The doctor can provide you with good ideas for treating symptoms when they appear, and they can also keep you abreast of any new developments in treating the disease. No matter how good the information is that you find online it may not be the most up-to-date information. The best place to get this is from your doctor.
#2 Always Inform Any Partners about Your Condition
Yes it can be devastating having to tell a partner that you have herpes, but in the long run it's the right thing to do. Is there a possibility that they'll end the relationship? Of course there is, but any relationship that's going to last has to be built on honesty. If they are willing to stay with you they may still want to be tested for herpes, and they may also want to be able to have the choice of taking precautions. You owe it to them if you love them, and even if you're just in a casual relationship.
#3 Always Wear Protection When Having Sex If You Have Herpes
Even when you're having sex with someone that knows you have herpes you should still take every precaution to keep them safe. When having anal sex use a condom, and if you're considering oral sex consider using a condom as well. Yes, this may not be the ideal way to engage in sexual activity, but when you're living with an STD like herpes you're going to have to learn how to make sacrifices. Your sex life can still be very rewarding even when you're using protection. There is no reason to go to the extreme of considering celibacy-you can still have a healthy sex life.
#4 Consider Using Online Dating Sites for People with Herpes
When you first find out you're living with herpes it can be quite devastating, but it doesn't have to be. If you're not sure where to go to find a match that will accept you for who you are, why not consider online dating sites specifically geared towards people with herpes. This is a community of people facing the same sort of problems you are, and looking to head back out in the world and get back involved with dating again. The great thing about these sites is they often provide a free membership that you can use to try out the site and get a handle on its main features, and they also feature many different sources of information that can help educate you on living with herpes.
#5 Always Practice Good Hygiene
Even when you're not experiencing an outbreak of herpes you can still expose someone else to the virus. There are no surefire ways of protecting yourself against this, but if you practice good hygiene and always wash before and after sex you can improve the chances that you won't infect your partner with the disease. When you have herpes, even when an outbreak is not visibly present it may still be present on your skin. When you wash any areas that you may come in contact with someone with it stands to reason that there's a better chance of protecting them against the virus.
As a gay man living with herpes there's no doubt that you will face many different issues. Some of these will be more challenging than others, but if you're proactive, and do all the right things, you can have a healthy sex life with herpes. As long as you're always upfront with your partners, use protection at all times, and maintain good hygiene, there's every chance your partner will never become infected with herpes.