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(Watch how daunting dating can be for those with STDs )"I went on Craig's List and posted a note that said, 'I live in Charlotte, North Carolina, and I'm a decent professional man, and I've ended up with this.' Someone then contacted me and said, 'Have you heard of Charlotteh?

'"Once John joined - part support group, part dating site for people with herpes - everything changed.

She discovered she had herpes, and dating had become difficult."I'm 27, working on a Ph.

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One thing could lead to another, and you might find yourself in an awkward situation. The person you're seeing may beat a hasty retreat when he or she finds out you have genital herpes.If you get the "I just want to be friends" talk after telling your sweetheart you have herpes, consider this: He or she may have already been looking for a way out, and herpes was as good an excuse as any.Even knowing when to tell a prospective boyfriend about herpes is tough."It's confusing, because you don't know when the right time is to tell somebody.Genital herpes doesn't detract from your many desirable qualities, which have drawn people to you in the past and will continue to make you a great catch. The first date after a genital herpes diagnosis may seem a little strange, however.

And it's important to understand that genital HSV is very common, affecting about 20% of the U. If you hope to be sexually intimate with your date at some point, you may feel like you're keeping a secret.

If you already use dating services or personal ads, you can also use any of those specifically for people with genital herpes.

A search on the Internet for "herpes dating" will turn up several.

Follow two rules: First, don't wait until after having sex.

Second, don't wait until you're just about to have sex -- in which case the attraction may be too strong for either of you to think rationally and act responsibly.

If in the past you tended to start a new relationship with sex, you now might want to change your approach.