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Feeling bad about a non disclosure

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Hi, everyone - I am new to this site and boy do I wish I found it when I was first diagnosed. I've been learning so much about herpes, transmission rates, great ways to disclose, etc. I look forward to being a part of this community!

I was diagnosed with anal GHSV1 in August, but I wager I may have had it for longer than that as I had a few "scares" in the past, but tests came back negative. Thankfully I've only had one OB and barely ever think of my condition. For that I am really thankful.

Last weekend, I went on a date. One thing led to another and we ended up entering the bedroom. I was told at my diagnosis that I really only had to disclose if I had sex during an outbreak and that I could not pass it to my partner if skin to skin contact didn't happen at site of infection (I've learned that isn't always true via these forums).

Anyways, we ended up just engaging in classic hand & mouth activity. No penetrative sex and there was basically zero contact near the site of infection (certainly no genital or oral contact). I was swept up in the heat of the moment and genuinely felt my chance of transmission was zero. I felt I was being safe, but a few days later I was going through my head on how to have the disclosure talk with him and started to feel really, really guilty. I put myself in his shoes and recognized that I would be scared if someone didn't disclose after being intimate, no matter how slim the chances were of transmitting. 

I am planning to disclose to him this weekend and will arm myself with all the wonderful statistics/ways of disclosure you all share here. I am prepared to hold myself accountable for my actions - I just am starting to doom spiral. If I somehow passed HSV to him I would never forgive myself. But, I will be clear that the activity we engaged in was low risk and that I am sorry for taking away his right of CHOICE. 

Anyways, has anyone been in a similar situation? I am racked with guilt and have learned a very valuable lesson that I will use for the rest of my life. But, I am suffering from intense anxiety that he will have an outbreak and it will be my fault. I seriously couldn't live with myself if that happened. I would feel so terrible and ashamed. Any advice, reassurance or kind words would be helpful.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I was just diagnosed after having sex with someone who disclosed after we had sex the first time. I had minor (initial) outbreak shortly afterwards but the blisters were gone within two days when I had the  Doctor appointment so I had an IgG blood test that was positive 8 days after initial exposure which is early to be positive. Not having been tested ahead of time I will never know for sure when I got it. I gad been in a monogamous relationship/marriage for 29 years before that but it’s still possible I got it before that. I think disclosure prior to sex and prior to the heat of the moment and resting prior to exposure is very important. What’s done is done though and I still want to keep seeing her. Hopefully your dating partner will feel the same and hopefully he will test negative and remain so long enough to know. All we can do is learn from our mistakes and do the best we can moving forward. For me, I take responsibility for what I now see was was pressure towards sex and for not having asked her about her STI status even though I thought about it. Again, all we can do is learn and move on with compassion and understanding. Best wishes to you and your dating partner.

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  • 1 month later...

Thanks for the reply! Yes, totally - I was in a bit of an anxious spot when I originally typed this message. We ended up having the talk and it went much better than expected and he was cool with it (and wanted to have sex later that night!) 

We've since fallen out of contact. Was it the herpes or something else? I'll never know. But what I have learned is that I am much more comfortable having this conversation upfront. Onto the next one!

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