The number of Americans affected by the herpes virus has increased over the past few years. From 2006 to 2011, the number of infected individuals increased by 160,000. Herpes dating sites are helping these thousands of people find romance and love.

In 2010, herpes was found to be one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that about one in six Americans (16.2 percent) between 14 and 49 are infected with herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2), according to a 2010 national health survey. HSV-2 is a lifelong and incurable infection that can cause recurrent and painful genital sores and can make those infected with the virus two to three times more likely to acquire HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

As common as it may be, the herpes epidemic has left many people feeling ostracized, embarrassed, and alone. In a 2010 story done by the New York Times, Dr. Anna Wald, a virologist at the University of Washington said, "Herpes has a stigma attached to it that even H.I.V. doesn't have anymore. It's very rare to get people to talk about it as openly."

A study by the Graduate School of Psychology at Yeshiva University found that depression led people to have more frequent wart outbreaks, and that the presence of the genital warts also caused depression. Oftentimes, the stigma attached to herpes can affect an afflicted person's dating life and be a hindrance on many social interactions.

But there's good news: with the popularity of dating sites increasing in years, people of all beliefs, shapes, and sizes can find a love interest that matches their specific needs — even if that need is herpes.

One site,, advertises that, "Thousands of people come here daily to find information, friendship, hope, support, and romance. People don't have to worry about being rejected on the basis of their conditions. No matter what kind of STDs you have, you can feel free to enjoy herpes dating, friendship, support or any others."

If you're wondering why two people with herpes would ever want to date eachother, well, it works because you can't spread a virus to someone with a virus. Someone with herpes can feel comfortable dating someone else with herpes, because he or she won't have to be concerned about sharing the disease.

Once an individual is infected with the virus, it never leaves their body. Herpes can also be contracted merely with skin-to-skin contact. The risk factors for contracting the virus increase if you are female, have had many sex partners, had sex for the first time at a young age, and have another sexually transmitted disease or a weak immune system.

As of now, no treatment has been found to prevent or cure the virus. However, these herpes dating sites do show a positive step in the right direction toward helping herpes sufferers deal with their virus and prevent the spread of the disease.

List of Herpes Dating Sites:

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