My friend said I was too much like a sister, and he couldn't continue. I worried about how that incident would affect our friendship.

Little did I know my worries would extend far beyond that concern.

You have nothing to worry about." I appreciated his honesty and knew I had to tell him that he was the one who had something to worry about. I explained that I had herpes, and that was why I was being so cautious.

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I met dozens of electronic pen pals and eventually went on several dates.

It was a relief not to worry about when to bring up my medical history, and to bond with a guy over asymptomatic shedding instead of having to explain it.

I had always insisted on using condoms, which can reduce the risk of transmission.

My selling point, however, was telling him that approximately one in four people has herpes and, statistically speaking, he undoubtedly had slept with someone who had herpes. He thought about that for a minute and then realized he might not know.

I was thinking that I'd probably never go on another date, or get a boyfriend for that matter, and I'd certainly never have sex again.

The nurse who examined me revealed that she had herpes and said it was no big deal.

Many feature chat rooms, bulletin boards, treatment information, personal ads, and social groups around the world.

A friend of mine had recently married a guy she met on the Web -- proving that not every Internet date is a psycho -- so I gave it a try.

Less than a week later, I found myself in excruciating pain.

It hurt to walk, and I couldn't use soap anywhere near my genital area.

I had barely finished my first semester of college when I found out I had herpes.