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  1. Unfortunately being abroad right now I haven't been able to find a testing clinic that does the swab test, only blood tests. But it looks like a normal (small) cold sore, and I feel all the sensations I associate with herpes - major tingling/itchiness around my face. Plus I had a genital outbreak at the same time. I would be shocked if it wasn't herpes. The only other possibility I could think if it was actually HSV-1 and my IGG test showing me negative for HSV-1 was wrong, since Terri Warren says 30% of IGG tests are false negatives. But the fact that I had an oral and genital outbreak at the same time makes me think both HSV-2. I won't be able to verify until I'm back in the States and can get the Western blot.
  2. a couple of years ago I was diagnosed with hsv-2 via blood test, and came up negative for HSV-1. Shortly thereafter I had a Genital outbreak. I spoke with my doctor about the possibility of also getting it orally, and she said she had never seen a case of oral HSV-2. Since then I have read some studies cited on this board that HSV-2 is really uncommon, so it was never particularly a concern for me. In retrospect, I think there have been a couple times in the past couple years where I've had an oral outbreak, but I kind of pushed it to the back of my mind, thinking it was unlikely I had oral hsv-2 given how rare it is. But then, just a week ago, i had a genital and oral outbreak at the same time, bringing my attention to this thing I'd ignored. I got retested and still come up negative for HSV-1, which means I must have oral hsv-2 in addition to genital - unless the HSV-1 IGG test was a false negative, which I should know once I get the Western blot but it seems unlikely. I think the thing that was so difficult about originally getting diagnosed with genital herpes was the idea that it would remove any spontaneity/excitement in the way I date / meet people and suddenly limit me the only being able to have sex within a super serious relationship, whereas I'm never sure that I really want a long-term relationship, especially when first meeting someone. I took comfort reading stories on this forum of people who had, post- herpes diagnosis, still found ways to engage in more casual slash spontaneous shorter term relationships. In the past 3 years I've had 3 relatively successful disclosures with women were not necessarily going to become a serious partner. Two of those disclosures, however, occurred after I had already started kissing a girl, but prior to sex. But now, I'm finding it really hard to deal with having (probable) oral hsv-2. Everything I read online suggest that it's extremely rare, sheds very infrequently when not symptomatic, suggesting that the risk of passing it on via kissing when not having an outbreak is very small. I wish between that, and the fact that most people already have oral herpes, albeit a different strand, and don't disclose it prior to kissing, left me feeling comfortable with refraining from disclosing this until after kissing, but before sex. I've asked some of my friends, and they've said if they were in my shoes they wouldn't sweat disclosure before kissing. But my Integrity tells me otherwise - that since I do have the rarer "HSV-2" oral strand it's something I have to disclose before kissing. And I just feel this overwhelming anxiety over that, partly because normally on first and second dates I'm still seeing for myself whether I even like a girl, and often times it's not until having kissed that some genuine excitement to be with the other person starts to form. For me to have to disclose before I even know how I feel about the person or how they feel about me, whether I want to kiss them and whether they want to kiss me - just feels like this impossible burden. I just don't know how to disclose in a way that won't completely destroy all the momentum of a first ot second date, especially because my situation seems to be rare. It's one thing to tell a prospective partner that I have oral or genital herpes, it's another thing to have to educate them on the difference between HSV-1 and hsv-2, and the fact that I have HSV-2 both genitally and orally, and that the odds of passing it orally are small and genitally are small given the use of protection and antivirals. It's just so much information to tell somebody at once when we barely know each other. Is it enough to just tell someone I have herpes and the risk of transmission is low, and then (unless they ask more questions on the spot) fill in the details later? I'm now just finding myself with severe depression, struggling with suicidal ideations and having difficulty enjoying things that I normally enjoy, as my anxiety over this is overwhelming. It's not that I don't think there's anybody who will be accepting of my condition, but I do think the contexts in which I'll be able to explain my situation thoroughly wil be severely limiting in terms of how I go about meeting someone. Right now, for example, I am traveling and working abroad in Mexico (living the "digital Nomad" lifestyle), and part of the whole excitement of that is the fact that I could meet somebody from a completely different it walk of life, in an environment I would never expect. But I can't help but think that the only realistic way for me to date now is to return to the United States and join match.com or some website where people date at a slower/more serious pace. And if that's what I end up doing I hate the fact that it's this virus controlling my life/eliminating so much of what I find enjoyable about traveling, meeting people, dating in the first place (i.e. the spontaneity). It's making me feel like I should just give up on everything and not even try. In any case, sorry for the long post.... If there is anyone else with oral hsv-2 who has any suggestions for disclosure, I would be happy to hear them. Otherwise I'm just happy to hear any words of comfort anyone has, though I recognize my situation is rare even amongst the herpes community.
  3. Just one comment, though, in regards to the boxer-shorts things, and I don´t mean to minimize at all the fact that it is technically possible to pass even with condom use, but according to Terri Warren it is quite unlikely to shed in the thicker skin regions outside the shaft of the genitals, unless there is an outbreak there: https://westoverheights.com/forum/question/understanding-the-risks-of-spreading-the-virus/. Given that I am asymptomatic (since one initial outbreak two years ago) and on antivirals I don´t really think I was deceptive in saying that the risk was small, but not 0. Obviously, I wouldnt have posted here if I did not want to hear others opinions so I appreciate the responses. I never want to deceive anyone, I just also think there is a risk in giving someone too much information that they don´t necessarily want/need about a virus that is fairly common (of course if I see her again and she wants more information I will happily give it to her).
  4. It is definitely possible to have casual sex with herpes. The trade off with doing literal one-night stands is that, if you tell potential partners in the heat of the moment, they might be okay with it and proceed to sleep with you, but then you do not know how they will react the following. But if you are only looking for a one night experience then you might not really care about how they react the following day and I dont think that is your responsibility as long as you do your part in disclosing. I have disclosed to three casual sex partners, one of which was a one night stand and she was the one who dissapeared on me the night after our encounter. So, you might find it more gratifying to wait just a little bit - maybe make out with or tease someone on the first night you meet, but then wait until the second or third night to have sex which gives a little bit more time to disclose/them more time to think. It only takes away a little bit of the spontaneity but it at least leaves open the possibility of it becoming more than a one night thing, if you want that. In terms of disclosing the key is to do it with confidence/make it sound like you really dgaf about it/ it is something you do all the time. I will usually ask people if they have heard of herpes/not make any assumptions about what they already know, and if they I sense concern from them I will tell them more about herpes - how its actually really common, most people will get some form of herpes in their lifetimes and over half of women contract genital HSV-2 by middle age, according to what I have read. So by asking someone to take the risk I try not to feel like I am asking them to take on a huge burden that they would not have otherwise exposed themselves to later in life. College can be a bit of a tough time because a lot of people are pretty immature about sex and stds and dont yet realize how common they are. But, if you disclose with confidence I am sure you will do great.
  5. I was seeing a girl and I told her I have genital herpes, HSV-2. She thanked me for telling her and said, "yeah but if we use condoms it'll be pretty safe, right?" and I said, "pretty safe, but its not 100% protection,"... She said, "of course nothing is 100%, but I think the chance would be small..." That was the last we talked about it, then we had sex a few times (and the relationship ended for other reasons). But do you think I accurately reflected the risk or should I have broken down it further in terms of letting telling her know that technically it passes throug skin to skin contact, so it is possible to pass from outside the area of the condom? I guess my assumption was that she believed the risk to be small (which I think is accurate), and that by going into it more I might just unnecessarily frighten her, but just wondering if I had a responsibility to say more than I did... Second thing, with the same girl, after we had sex a few times I asked if she would be interested in (unprotected) oral sex, but she said she was nervous about doing it because of the herpes. At this point maybe I minimized it a bit, because I asked why that would be a concern for her if she already has oral herpes (HSV-1), even though it is a different strand the medical effects are the same and HSV-2 transfers very rarely from genital to mouth. She said she would think about it, we never ended up doing oral before we broke up, but was I accurate this time in my description or does that sound like I was trying to minimize it?
  6. Did you ask about her sexual health prior to having sex the first time (aka did she lie or just omit the information)? A lot of people have stuff they don't know about or disclose... I think it's ideal to always disclose but you should be aware that over half the US population has HSV1, and I've read over half of females have HSV2 (the more commonly genital one) by age 40 (I don't know her age but you mentioned you both have children). So she may not have been exposing you to some wild risk that you wouldn't have been exposed to otherwise. But obviously your decision how to deal with it/the relationship.
  7. Thanks. You're right, I'm probably overthinking the role herpes played into this. I didn't bring a condom intentionally because it was first so-called "heat of the moment" disclosure and I thought if I brought one I'd be tempted to have sex without telling her, or to try to persuade her into having sex when she was still uncomfortable with the idea. But, she seemed comfortable with it at the time. I guess the lesson learned is, people can act "weird" and wishy-washy after sexual encounters for all kinds of reasons, herpes notwithstanding, so the best thing to do is just seize the moment when opportunities present themselves. Who knows, maybe if we'd had sex she'd be texting back for more.
  8. thanks @Katidid and @HikingGirl, appreciate the affirmation. I've read hippyherpy's thread and that was definitely one of the things that I think encouraged me to do it this way. It's just the particular outcome this time - her becoming distant afterwards - that made me question whether this kind of spontaneous disclosure wouldn't generally work as a strategy and I'd have to fundamentally change my dating approach - by taking much longer to get to know girls prior to sex, which, to be honest, takes some of the fun and impulsiveness out of it for me. But I guess it just as easily could have gone a different way with a different girl, and at least we got to have fun that night, even if we didn't have sex. Maybe she will even change her mind down the line.
  9. One of the things I've tried to find the balance between is trying to have a degree of spontaneity in my relationships that I was able to have prior to contracting herpes, in which I would often sleep with a girl on a first or second encounter, but also feeling like I'm able to have an honest conversation with a partner and feel they are comfortable with it before we have sex, allowing for the possibility of a second encounter or relationship to come out of it. I'm personally not of the mind that there's anything wrong with heat of the moment disclosures as long as I'm doing my duty to give her the information, but in my own recent heat of the moment situation I wanted to make sure I was not pressuring her in any way to make a decision. Here is what happened. We were kissing, touching sensually, but clothes hadn't come off yet. As she started reaching for my pants I told her to stop, I had something I wanted to tell her. I told her I had herpes. She said she'd heard of it but didn't know much about it, she also said she didn't think it was very common in her country (this encounter happened in a different country). I told her based on what I'd read it was more common there than in the US, but most people didn't know they had it, I said that a lot of people had so it's statistically likely she'd been with somebody who has it already, but at least with me I take medication and precautions so the risk of passing it is small. I asked her what she think, and she said "I don't think so, but it's good that you told me." But, she was clearly still thinking about it - she pulled her phone out and started researching it. I told her there was no pressure, we could do other things if she didn't want to have sex. She said ok and we continued fooling around in other ways. Then she asked if I had a condom. At this point, I said "no, why don't we wait to have sex and just do other things," thinking that if we had sex there could be a possibility she'd regret it the next day, given that only a half hour earlier she had seemed a bit hesitant. The next day we texted a bit but she's started to seemed distant, and at the moment it's seeming like she's not interested in meeting again. She actually acted this way after a previous encounter a couple months ago in which we'd just kissed, distant the next day - so it kind of seems like a pattern for her to retreat after intimacy. Ultimately I can't really know whether it's because of the herpes or something else. I'm just wondering if there's anything I could have/should have done differently. Firstly, there is a part of me regretting that we didn't have sex given that she seemed fine with it at the time. On the other hand I'm not sure if that would have made her more or less likely to want to see me again afterwards - I've definitely found, prior to having herpes, girls becoming more attached and wanting a second encounter more frequently after having sex, but in this case it's hard to know if she would have felt more attached or just regretful or paranoid the next day as she'd made a decision within a half hour of learning about herpes. is there anything else I could have done that would have been more likely to want to meet me again? I just feel a bit sad because it was a pretty good encounter in of itself and I would have been very happy to see her again.
  10. Because the risk of contracting herpes/other diseases exists with any relationship, and by dating somebody who knows they have it, is honest about it and taking steps to manage it, some people may feel more secure about it than dating a stranger who could be either concealing the truth or not know what diseases he/she carries. I think you'll find a lot of people appreciate transparency; many also just don't carry the stigma about it that those who land on this board seem to have. I've only had one disclosure so far over text, but it wasn't a matter of falling in love first or even getting to know her so well that she would take the risk for the chance of love. In fact, for other reasons we only ended up sleeping together one time, but for her me having herpes genuinely didn't seem to bother her at all.
  11. @surfsup - I will think about that. I guess I just feel a bit ambiguously about whether it's better or not for non-symptomatic people to know they have this if they don't need to, because when I was first diagnosed, my first reaction was - "I wish I didn't know and din't have to deal with this burden, when so many others who have it don't know." I mean, I know it's a medical condition, but it's also a fairly minor one. But, I suppose it could be helpful for her, and helpful for future partners whom she might potentially expose, to know (if she doesn't). She might be appreciative.
  12. @hippyherpy, I've seen your thread, and I gotta say thank you, on behalf of a lot of guys, and probably some girls, who that thread has probably given some encouragement to post-diagnosis in terms of continuing to have some kind of casual sex life. @surfsup, you were right with you said about how I've typically done things in the past, having sex fairly soon after meeting them. If I can avoid herpes being this cataclysmic routine-changing thing, where I now need to spend copious amounts of time getting to know someone before having sex, then I hope to. At the same time I do feel myself shifting towards perhaps wanting to be open to something a bit more substantial than I've done for the past few years - and definitely more than one night stands. So, I just want to cognizant of the other person's feelings - how they process the new information, and give them time if they need it without pressure. I really appreciate all the advice I've received in this thread. Also, @surfsup, sidenote but kinda funny, but my situation right now is VERY similar to yours. I have a work life style that allows me to live a fair amount of the year abroad, and I also believe I contracted it from a girl last year when I was in Guatemala. I didn't mention it to her, because honestly I wasn't really upset with her about it - I have no idea what the cultural norms are around it in that country. But now I'm living in Colombia, and this girl I'm interested in does not speak great English, so if I get that far I'll be doing the disclosure entirely in my non-native language of Spanish. Depending on what happens with that girl (or any other girl I end up meeting in my next few months living here), I'll probably post about my experiences, since I know international attitudes about herpes are a subject of great curiosity on this board. Where are you living now?
  13. thanks @optimist, I think that was the answer I was looking for :)... I see what you're saying about how some people might freak out irrationally over having become physical in any way, and maybe as I get more used to this and comfortable the spectrum with different people's responses, I will decide to tell people earlier on. At the moment I just feel better about getting a bit farther with someone, building up a higher level of attraction, before having the conversation. Another friend of mine (who doesn't have HSV) suggested that if things escalate to the point where she's interested in having sex, that I should just leave (without telling her why) and then tell her on a future date when things are less steamy. But, I kind of feel like that ends up making herpes a bigger deal than it needs to be. I want to wait until after we makeout, I also want to give her time to think about it (if she wants), but I don't want to deliberately postpone the conversation and make it seem like I'm trying to hide something big from her. So I feel like your approach is really good, I might even steal that line :) Anyways, plans postponed until Saturday. And it's possible none of this may come up. Just trying to be prepared.
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