“On a first date with this wonderful guy, I told him, and he couldn’t handle it,” she says.“I really wonder if it would have changed things to wait until we had connected more.”On the flip side, she’s also dated “quite a few guys who didn’t care at all” even though she told them ASAP.

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Jenelle Marie Davis, 34, of Grand Rapids, Michigan, will gladly explain why having herpes isn’t the end of the world. It took years for Davis, founder of The STD Project, which encourages awareness and acceptance of various sexually transmitted diseases, and spokesperson for Positive Singles, a dating site for people with STDs, to come to terms with the diagnosis she got at age 16.“My mom says the entire way home from my appointment, I cried and said no one would ever love me, no one would ever want me, and I’d never get married,” Davis tells SELF.

When she was diagnosed with herpes almost three years ago, Whitney Carlson, 29, a social media editor in Chicago, had a similar reaction.

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.

The infection, which is caused by the herpes simplex 1 and herpes simplex 2 viruses and passed via skin-to-skin contact, can show up as a cluster of sores on the mouth area or genitals.

It can also be asymptomatic, so most people with herpes don’t know they have it, which is a large part of the reason why it’s so prevalent.Many other sites claim to be the No.1 Herpes and HPV site. It is only through experiencing their sites that you will understand why we are truly the No.1 social site for Herpes and HPV in the UK.H-YPE is a UK based herpes dating site set among a real sense of community and support.“I mostly thought, ‘I’m going to die alone, no one’s going to date me ever again,” she tells SELF.Although herpes is one of the most prevalent sexually transmitted diseases, it’s shrouded in stigma.“I don’t like wasting my time or getting my heart broken, so I think it’s a self-defense thing to almost always tell the guy on the first date,” she explains.