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Davis usually holds off on disclosing to potential sexual partners that she has herpes until she’s known them for a bit.
“I’ve always waited a little while before telling people, basically until I thought it was going somewhere,” Davis says.
Around two-thirds of people worldwide under age 50 have herpes simplex 1, according to the World Health Organization, and around one in every six Americans between ages 14 and 49 has genital herpes, usually caused by herpes simplex 2, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Both Davis and Carlson eventually moved past their initial panic and saw herpes for what it is: an infection many people have that happens to usually get passed through sexual contact.
D., an ob/gyn who practices at Southside OBGYN and Franciscan Alliance in Indianapolis, Indiana, tells SELF.
Others just write, “I have herpes” in their profiles, and Davis says her friends in this camp still have plenty of people knocking on their online-dating doors.
You can have great sex, find love, and also cut down on the chance of passing herpes along to your partner, Triplett says.
To top it all off, she also tells them they don’t have to make a decision about whether to continue seeing her—or even respond—right away. But I usually peace out so they have their space to chew on it,” she says.
Davis says the number one question they get on The STD Project is about how to tell a new partner.