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  1. In the past year I have disclosed that I have herpes to 4 guys and have been surprised to find that their responses are mostly of gratitude for telling them and that they are willing to work through this minor "drawback" to our relationship. Hopefully these stories will give some of you the courage and strength to see this talk can sometimes be a good thing for a relationship. The first guy I had to disclose to I had been seeing for a month. I was very strict about the no sex thing, but finally one night while fooling around I just blurted out why we couldn't have sex. I disclosed the information all wrong, starting off with "After I tell you this you will never want to talk to me again". The guy didn't handle the information very well, nicely showed me to the door and said he wasn't sure how to deal with it. I was pretty upset as he was the first guy I had disclosed to since previously I had dated the same guy for the past 7 years. Surprisingly a few weeks later I saw him out and he said that he wanted to try dating again because if having herpes is the worst thing about me than its not that bad. We went on one date and I realized he was honestly terrified of possibly contracting herpes so I decided to end it. The next disclosure I had was also less than perfect. I had been seeing this guy for about 2 weeks, again being persistent that we did not have sex. One night while fooling around he just slipped it in and I said "this isn't a good idea." But he said no it will be fine. I was in shock and didn't know how to handle it since I didn't want a repeat of what happened the last time, so I didn't mention it that night. The next time we met up I gave the talk (using the helpful disclosure book). Surprisingly it went really well. He actually had had herpes in his eye so he sort of knew the statistics and a little about it. He was really sweet about the whole thing and made me feel okay about it. We only saw each other a few times after that, but this disclosure gave me the confidence I needed. The third disclosure was a true success. I met J online and we hit it off immediately and by our third date in 5 days I sat him down and gave the talk. He looked at me and said "That's it? I thought you were going to break up with me." I was so relieved. J was more upset with the guy who gave it to me than anything else. We had a good 2 month relationship full of sex and never once did I feel ashamed of H. Now on to my last disclosure, which I think might have been the hardest one since I REALLY liked this guy. I was introduced to M through some mutual friends and he asked me out on a date. I had just broken up with J, but decided hey why not. Immediately I realized M was close to everything I was looking for in a guy, which I seem to rarely find. For two weeks I stuck to my no sex rule which he was totally cool with, saying he really liked me and thought it was good idea too. It took me a whole week to find the courage to tell him about H, each time I would chicken out because I was afraid he wouldn't like me anymore. When I finally gave the talk, I could tell he was slightly surprised, but I think mostly because he never suspected I would have H. He looked at me and said "I still like you, we can work through this." He also thanked me for telling him. I know he is afraid of getting H, and who wouldn't be? So we still haven't had sex, but have a lot of fun doing other things and both of us seem content with that for now. I think that the H talk made him realize I am serious about "us" and actually brought us somewhat closer. At the same time I still feel upset that this issue hinders our sex life in some ways. For now I couldn't be happier because I truly know M likes me for me and is willing to deal with the little H baggage I carry. In the end I have seen mostly positive responses to my disclosures and think that people who honestly care about you will accept you for who you are- Herpes and all.
  2. Good Topic! I am also for an intimate setting due to the decreased chance of being interrupted. Since this talk is already hard for me I feel that having other distractions or possible interruptions could make it even more difficult. I agree with Essie in that I also value privacy discussing this issue, but again everyone is different and some might feel more comfortable in a neutral setting.
  3. Both acyclovir and valacyclovir (Valtrex) are the generics antiviral medications for herpes. Acyclovir is the least expensive and valacyclovir even though it is a generic is still very costly!!! I believe that acyclovir is only $4 for a months supply at Walmart. It might only be the 200mg capsules but $8 still isn't too bad for a months supply. As for the discussion about whether to take medications or not I feel that it is really an individual decision. When I was first diagnosed I tried taking lysine supplements and avoided foods high in arginine to help with the outbreaks but it did nothing for me (except give me terrible stomach aches). So I started taking valacyclovir and decided to stay on it daily for suppressive therapy since I am sexually active. I have never experienced any side effects from valacyclovir (and I know all of them since I am a pharmacist) but everyone reacts differently to medications which is why you have to decide for yourself if its worth it. If you have any specific questions about medications I would be happy to answer them!
  4. Tonight I finally had the chance to disclose my status to T. I had practiced what I was going to say for about a week now and was as ready I could ever be. I had already told him last week we needed to discuss something important, so he knew something was up. I started my talk explaining how I had planned to discuss this before we slept together but unfortunately that didn't happen. Then I said, "I have a skin condition and am a carrier for HSV also better known as herpes". I then proceeded to tell him about the statistics and that I am on medication to prevent transmission. To me I thought it was going horribly and that it was over but he looked at me and said yea I got it in my eye. I was astonished because having HSV-1 in your eye is very rare for an adult and usually only seen in children. On top of that it is dangerous as it can cause blindness. He explained his situation and how he has no idea where or how he got it but knew all about the statistics of HSV. Then he also told me that he dated someone for a year before they actually told him that they had H. He assured me he has been tested recently for STDs and only has HSV-1. Then he said, "So do you feel better now, I could tell it was really upsetting you" and he pulled me in to hug me. I explained that I had been upset because I am an honest person and don't like to hide things and felt that I had been lying by omission. He thanked me for being honest with him and that was basically it, we started chatting about other things and had sex again but this time WITH a condom. I am still in shock about how this turned out, since we do not know each other that well I figured it was not going to be a risk he was willing to take. Even if this relationship ends up as nothing more than a few dates the whole experience has been eye opening for me. It has shown me that there are people out there that are not scared off by the word "herpes" and are willing to take a risk of possibly contracting the virus. So to everyone out there worried about disclosing I would say it is soooo worth it. Now when I look at T I do not feel as if I am hiding anything and do not have to wonder how he will react when he finds out. I can now be myself and see if he likes me for me!
  5. I usually am not too picky when it comes to who I date but I do have a few dealbreakers myself. I don't usually date guys with kids and I cannot under any circumstances date someone who smokes. Smoking to me is asking for your life to be shortened and also harming the people living around you-it can cause asthma, COPD and is linked to basically every cancer out there. (I don't mean to bash any smokers out there-just trying to give some scenarios of dealbreakers) Yet most people would rather date a smoker than someone with a relatively benign skin condition. When I think about it I have to laugh!
  6. Hi Essie! Thanks for sharing your story as I feel that I can relate to much of it. I recently joined also because I have just ended a 6 year relationship and do not know how I will be able to date again. I also don't think about herpes most of the time since I only had a few outbreaks when I was first diagnosed 6 years ago and haven't had any since then. I also am frustrated with the whole double standard for HSV, why is that the only one to get a bad rap? HPV can cause cancer, it's the number one STD and yet no one makes fun or freaks out about it. Before I was diagnosed I could easily talk to guys and was in a sense fearless as you put it. Now I do not feel quite as fearless because of this extra "baggage" I am carrying around. I understand the feeling of being deceptive when pursuing someone only later having to disclose this information. I just try to remember you usually don't tell someone everything about yourself right away. So why do you need to tell anyone about this until the time is right? Do people in debt disclose that information right away? Usually not. So I believe that we need to get over this feeling of deception and realize as long as our condition isn't affecting the other person we are not hiding anything. So far my experience with this site has been very positive and feel that it is a great support group. I think you will too :-)
  7. I am planning on telling him that I have herpes when we see each other because I know it is the right thing to do. I like to think that I am an honest person and am sure that I will obsess about this until I get it off my chest. I guess I feel ashamed since I am disclosing this information after the fact and am also upset with myself for getting into this situation. But I think that this has been a good learning experience for me so that next time I do not have to have this guilt of omission. Thanks for your input I really appreciate it.
  8. Thanks! I am really glad to have found this site, as I have never discussed this with anyone (yes for 6 years). I think this will be good for me. And I know that I could never not disclose my status to anyone I was to be intimate with, it would eat me up inside!
  9. Honestly, when I rerun this episode in my head I wonder to myself why didn't I say No more forcefully? I guess I was just taken aback by the whole thing I was speechless-I have never not used a condom with someone I had not known for a long period of time. Now I just feel like this whole issue is going to be hard to discuss, especially since afterwards I acted like it wasn't a big deal. I guess I will have to learn to lay down some ground rules next time...
  10. So I am recently single after 6 1/2 years of being in a relationship and am new to having to disclose my condition and having the talk. I have thought about when, how and what to say but I am still worried that no matter how I say it or where I say it the stigmatism for most will overpower my words. I also am not sure if I will be able to handle actually giving this to someone else even if they are willing to take that chance. I am worried it will just cause me a considerable amount of guilt. Well, here is my current dilemma... I met T only a week a ago and we hit it off right away and I was comfortable with him. The first time we were together I was very persistent that my pants were to stay on. The second date we went a little further- I was not imagining all the way-but he was. It happened pretty quickly...So fast he didn't even grab a condom, which surprised the crap out of me. I said "I don't think this is a good idea" and he said "It's ok" and then it was basically over. I played it off like I was alright, which I was except for the guilt about not having the talk yet. He went away for the weekend so I tried to plan a meeting with him to tell him but due to our schedules it wasn't plausible. I told him that I have something important to tell him and he asked if he should be worried, which my reply was no you shouldn't worry. I feel like I am lying, even though I had all intentions to tell him before we took it that far. Now I am worried he will be upset that he wasn't informed beforehand. TO break the news I was thinking of asking that until we both get tested for STDs and until then we really can't have sex, that way I will know about him too. But then again is that still hiding that fact I already know? I am very conflicted right now and any advice would be greatly appreciated!
  11. Even though I am new to this site I have actually had herpes for almost 6 years now, but have really never told anyone my story. Now that I am recently single I have that dread of dating again and think about my condition constantly now. I am hoping that by getting this out there I won’t be thinking about it 24/7 anymore. I was diagnosed in college while I was applying to grad school. I had been in a committed relationship for over a year with my now ex. I was devastated when I found out and was afraid that my “awesome” boyfriend would leave me when I told him. The next time I saw him I blurted out that I had herpes and started crying uncontrollably repeatedly saying that I had not cheated on him. It never crossed my mind at that time that he could be the one who gave it to me. He took the news extremely well and barely asked me any questions. Being overwhelmed with applying to grad school and having to move away, I never pressed for him to get checked or asked him if he even had herpes. I look back now and realize I was just so relieved he didn’t leave me I didn’t look for more answers and just assumed that I had acquired it from a previous partner. Flash forward to 5 years into our relationship when I happened to find a prescription bottle hidden in his gym bag with the name of the medication ripped off. Since I am a pharmacist I immediately had to investigate into this mysterious medication he was hiding. To my astonishment, it was acyclovir…the worst part was that the prescription bottle had been filled one month prior to my first outbreak. I now knew – my ex had known he had had herpes but didn’t tell me. I was pretty hurt, but at the same time I almost understood. I let it slide and never brought it up. I thought "what good would it do?" I already had it. Knowing who gave it to me wasn’t going to change anything, right? Wrong. I should have asked then and there and got everything out in the open, because I would have found out sooner that he was very good at hiding things. In the end, it was his hiding of where he was, who he was with and what he was doing that ultimately ended our relationship. Our breakup had nothing to do with him not disclosing herpes to me but the fact that he was so untrustworthy and disrespectful in many other ways to me. I look back now and think maybe I could have realized sooner that my ex had problems “hiding” things on me and lying by just asking him if he had herpes and if he would get checked. Well, now I am single after 6.5 years of a tiresome relationship and am realizing I need some help dealing with dating again. I never much had to think of herpes because I haven’t had an episode in almost 4 years and was in a relationship. I recently tried to tell this guy I had been seeing for about 3 weeks and managed to do everything you are not suppose to do, but that was before I read up on how to have the talk. The boy quickly decided I was not for him, which was a good thing since we would not have lasted long even if I did not have herpes. I am hoping that this site will help me not become consumed in worrying about my condition because lately it has been all I have been thinking about it….
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