Every man and woman in the dating world, whether you meet a potential match online or offline, should be aware of Oregon’s first jury verdict over a sexually transmitted disease. On June 1, 2012, an Oregon jury awarded a single woman nearly a million dollars from a retired dentist who gave her herpes while having unprotected sex on their fourth date after they’d met on E-harmony dating site.
The woman testified that she handed the dentist a condom, but he did not wear it and “the advance overtook her too quickly.”
Later, while the two were lying in bed, the man first told her that he had herpes. She asked him to leave.
The woman’s lawyer said that she had received a clean bill of health a few months before having sex with the man on May 25, 2010, and she tested positive for herpes less than two weeks later. Her lawyer said that the quick medical test was crucial in proving the case.
The retired dentist, whose name also was omitted from the lawsuit, has had herpes since 1991. He testified he did not know he was contagious, because he was not experiencing an active outbreak at the time the pair had sex, which was during their fourth date.
Roughly 1 of 6 adults in the United States has genital herpes, and transmission can occur regardless of whether infected persons have visible sores, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
What was the fallout from this woman’s herpes infection?
Besides suffering from painful outbreaks, the woman’s lawyer said she eventually lost a job because of her depression. The viruses that cause herpes are incurable, though symptoms can be managed with medication.
“It made her feel like she needed to isolate herself from society, and she became a recluse,” her lawyer said. “She was interested in finding a husband but pretty much dropped efforts in that direction because of the herpes.”
How do you use this news?
This verdict reminds every dating person about the importance of always having safe, protected sex. This includes having an honest discussion about your sexual health, before you decide to have sex with someone. Since some sexually transmitted diseases do not have symptoms, the healthy choice is for each partner to undergo STD testing to identify or rule out infections, before you agree to enter a committed relationship.
If you are infected with herpes, like 1 in 6 American adults, can you ever have safe sex, or must you abstain to protect your partner’s health?
Millions of couples, in which one or both partners has herpes, continue to enjoy a healthy, active sexual relationship. I encourage the infected woman, who won this lawsuit, not to give up on finding a husband because of herpes. Check with your health care practitioner or investigate online medical resources that explain how to safely date and safely make love with your mate when you or your partner has the herpes virus.
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