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I am no longer disclosing. Here's why.


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I no longer believe in disclosing my Herpes status to future casual partners, and here’s why:

 

I am aware I have Herpes and which version. HSV2. 

I am aware what my outbreaks look like and I wouldn’t have sex during an outbreak. 

I use medication to suppress the virus on a daily basis and/or when I have an outbreak.

I always use condoms.

 

If I follow the above, the odds of spreading the virus are less than someone who has Herpes and doesn’t know, has Herpes and doesn’t follow the above or has it and doesn’t care. If I follow the above the only thing I should worry about, is contracting something from my partner. Not the other way around.

If someone is willing to have sex with me before I tell them I have Herpes, but then rejects me when I tell them I have it, nothing has changed. They are basing their decision strictly on fear and ignorance of Herpes. I didn’t suddenly contract Herpes between not disclosing and disclosing. The odds of me spreading Herpes to them before they knew I had it, and after, is exactly the same. They will reject me and proceed to have sex with someone who doesn't know they have it, don't care or don't disclose. So if I am following the guideline above, why do they need to know? 

If I was planning to have a long term relationship with someone, keeping this information from them could bring up issues in the future. I might have to hide my medication. I would have to come up with excuses why I couldn’t have sex during an outbreak, etc. This could cause problems. I believe in a serious relationship honesty and openness about everything is key; however, if I am planning on a casual relationship or a one off, I don’t see any reason to disclose anymore.

Let me know your thoughts.

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Hello! 

Wow, very interesting ideas in your post. I understand where you are coming from. It's very interesting to analyze the pros and cons of choices. However, no matter how many pros come from choosing dishonesty, it still just doesn't seem right. 

Everyone has freewill. Freewill is what we all have, and taking away choice from someone is not ethical. Although we may not like the person's response, we still need to give them a choice. We should let them choose if they are taking a risk or not. They have a right to their own body and wellness just as we do. 

Giving someone a choice; to either stay with us and have intercourse, or not have intercourse, is a very very ethical thing to do. Otherwise we are lying out of omission, which is not kind. Plus, when we present someone with a crossroad, we see how they respond to situations of vulnerability and herpes-related things.

This brings up your point about finding out about who someone really is; their ability to understand, be kind, be calm, and to stop and think about things before immediately accepting or rejecting us. 

Thank you for posting about this, because I am sure many people have had the same thought about disclosure. However, it is so so so essential to our own well-being and mental health and the person we are disclosing to to be honest and disclose. ❤️ 

Blessings,

Grace

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If someone wants to sleep with me not knowing I have herpes, by not telling them, I am not taking away their free will. Whether they know or not, I still have it. Telling them I have herpes does not increase or decrease their chance of contracting it. All it does is create fear and ignorance and stigma of what herpes is. I do not believe it is dishonest to not tell them. If they ask and you lie and say you don't have it, then yes I agree that is dishonest, but not bringing it up is not the same as that.

I repeat, if you are on top of it, you take meds, you know what version you have, you use protection, you don't do anything during an outbreak, the odds of them getting it from you is likely less than them getting it from anyone else they would sleep with instead. Considering how common it is, they're more likely to get it from someone who's not on top of it and not educated on the subject.

I also disagree about it being helpful to our mental health and well-being to disclose. The constant rejection and demonization and stigma of people with herpes is more damaging to our mental health and well-being. Considering how many people on earth have it at this point, yet will reject solely based on fear and ignorance is not helpful to anyone. We are seen as outcasts. As lepers. As damaged goods.

I stand by my position of not disclosing unless asked in a casual situation. I'm taking care of my herpes. I'm educated on it, etc. The risks of me getting something from that ignorant person are way greater than them getting anything from me.

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Hi Again,

I hope you are well. You are of course allowed to have your opinion, as we all are. 

Sadly, there is so so so much we can do; take our medicine, watch for outbreaks, etc, but we cannot 100% control our HSV. Herpes is sassy in that it sheds sneakily, and even when we do everything 'right', we still can get it or give it. 

There is just a lot of people who have HSV because a partner knew and didn't tell them about it. And of course it can cause drama, which is stressful. Basically, it wouldn't feel good to pass it to someone and then have them say "why didn't you tell me?" 

Also, those who are harsh and judgmental do not deserve you anyway. Those who are kind souls deserve to have the truth told to them. It's like, someone says, "why didn't you tell me?" and you say, "it doesn't matter," and then they would most likely say, "it matters to me, though." and then.... either, "If you really cared about me, you would have been honest. you know I wouldn't have judged you. It hurts me you were ommissive knowing I could get it." or, if they are a chump they may say, "wtf you gave me herpes and you knew?" and then they'd be a jerk. But, that jerk wasn't worthy of you in the first place. So, disclosing can be a people filter to help avoid chumps. 

Basically, just how you want to be treated with love and respect... there are others out there just like that. People who are craving love and fear rejection. They don't deserve to not have someone be honest with them because that person doesn't want to be rejected or think it doesn't matter. Because that is relative. 

Plus, you never know if someone has an underlying health condition that would become exacerbated if they were exposed to HSV. Especially people with autoimmune illnesses and any neurological-based illness could really have problematic issues were they to be exposed. 

I understand what you mean, that the risk is still the same whether someone knowingly has HSV or not. But, the fact that you DO know, and then ommit the information, doesn't make it ethical. 

I am not trying to argue with you or anything, I am sorry if I sound like I am. I just want to advocate on behalf of honesty. I apologize if I have offended you in any way! 

Sending Blessings and Happiness Your Way! 🙂

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Neverwouldathought: If they have undetectable HIV the odds of me getting it are about 0%; however, you are stigmatizing another STD which doesn't help anyone with STDs. You are comparing a virus that can kill you to a virus that causes a temporary skin condition that the majority of the world has.

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Hi!

Oh I pray about everything. It's how I live ❤️ 

And it's not about me, its about the other person. I feel happiest and best when my conscious is clean, and when I feel like I am being honest with the person I am with. It isn't about the end result (whether I give it to them or not), but more about giving them a choice and giving them knowledge. Knowledge is power, and they should know that I can give them HSV. I might, I might not, I might and we never know, I might and then we both know. Regardless, I personally think disclosure is positive and is what I feel is respectful and ethical. 

@Neverwouldathought I totally understand your analogy. Yes, AIDS and HSV are different in many ways, as @Bootsychootsy said, however I think @Neverwouldathought was trying to make a point about honesty and the significance of being honest. Also, it is all relative. If I have genital HSV-1 already, and someone I am with has it, I would be happy to know, and it wouldn't bother me. If I was someone with an autoimmune issue (such as HIV), and someone told me they had genital HSV-1 or HSV-2, I would of course be so grateful they told me because there are potential risks that could happen if I contract HSV, and then I would be better prepared if something were to happen, or I could choose to not have sex with this person, etc. Basically, honesty is the best policy. Obviously you don't need to walk up to someone and say, "Hi, my name is Grace, and I have herpes." You also don't need to tell them in a friendship stage, or really at all until physically intimacy starts. It's private information. But, intimacy is private, and that is a time for private information like STIs to be disclosed.  

Remember that we can all relate to each other, as humans, and as people with HSV. We may differ in opinion, but we all still can support and connect with one another. May everyone be blessed and well ❤️ 

Blessings,

Grace

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5 hours ago, Bootsychootsy said:

Neverwouldathought: If they have undetectable HIV the odds of me getting it are about 0%; however, you are stigmatizing another STD which doesn't help anyone with STDs. You are comparing a virus that can kill you to a virus that causes a temporary skin condition that the majority of the world has.

The right thing to disclose period. 
 

Morals > getting laid

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5 hours ago, Bootsychootsy said:

Either you are more moral than me, or we have a very different view on sex. Either way, you're incredibly judgemental.

No. You are just wrong. It’s absolutely twisted to not disclose. Actually, it’s illegal. 
 

you and I both have an std that will be with us for the rest of our lives. No matter how many precautions you take, there is still a chance you could pass it to an innocent person that deserves the choice in the matter, even if it means hurting your ego temporarily. 
 

at what cost? So you can have an orgasm? 
 

it’s not right no matter what you tell yourself to convince yourself that it is. 
 

I’ll take being called judgmental vs what you are. 

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Hey Friends, 

Let's take a step back here and breathe. This forum is meant to help and support, not cause harm and hate!

Remember, we are all in this together. Let's be considerate and kind to others, and try to be a model for others who may be scared and unsure what to do and how to disclose.

Make the world a better place, make positive changes in all that you do. In being honest to yourself and others, you are showing respect to yourself and to others. Do no harm. Being kind to others and yourself is possible in the herpes-disclosure scenario! 

Stay well, Friends! ❤️

-- Grace 

 

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57 minutes ago, Neverwouldathought said:

No. You are just wrong. It’s absolutely twisted to not disclose. Actually, it’s illegal. 
 

you and I both have an std that will be with us for the rest of our lives. No matter how many precautions you take, there is still a chance you could pass it to an innocent person that deserves the choice in the matter, even if it means hurting your ego temporarily. 
 

at what cost? So you can have an orgasm? 
 

it’s not right no matter what you tell yourself to convince yourself that it is. 
 

I’ll take being called judgmental vs what you are. 

Please point me to the law that states people with an STI must disclose. How would this law even be policed?

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Hi Again, 

That's actually a common question many people have, and yes, it's hypothetically possible depending on place and circumstance!

I believe it is characterized as "reckless" or known "endangerment" of the other person. I believe this crime is defined more in depth in each US state's criminal code. Many states have specific laws that are specific to HIV and AIDS only. However, other states also have them for STIs. For example, the state of New Mexico does not have laws specific to AIDS, but instead groups together all STIs and places knowingly passes an incurable STI unto another as a form of battery, if the person intended to give the person the STI. Obviously, I really hope no one WANTS to pass on their HSV to another. Anyways, if found guilty, punishment(s) that vary by states would occur.

Blessings,

Grace 

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7 minutes ago, Flowerteacher55 said:

Hi Again, 

That's actually a common question many people have, and yes, it's hypothetically possible depending on place and circumstance!

I believe it is characterized as "reckless" or known "endangerment" of the other person. I believe this crime is defined more in depth in each US state's criminal code. Many states have specific laws that are specific to HIV and AIDS only. However, other states also have them for STIs. For example, the state of New Mexico does not have laws specific to AIDS, but instead groups together all STIs and places knowingly passes an incurable STI unto another as a form of battery, if the person intended to give the person the STI. Obviously, I really hope no one WANTS to pass on their HSV to another. Anyways, if found guilty, punishment(s) that vary by states would occur.

Blessings,

Grace 

So how would this be proven? If someone slept with me and then slept with someone else who has herpes, how would they determine which of us infected that person? Unless that person was getting tested on a regular basis for all STD's, how would they determine that person didn't already have herpes? I understand in the case of HIV or AIDS which is a deadly virus and less people have it than herpes and it can be better traced, but in the case of herpes that can lay dormant in your system for years and then pop up, it would be impossible to prove anything. And secondly, if I went to a doctor who said it wasn't necessary to disclose are they now going to prison? It's ridiculous.

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