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Hi everyone,

I needed to vent and was hoping to get a few people in on this talk too.

I originally found out I had Herpes after my first outbreak last July 2020. It was awful & to be quite honest I don’t exactly know where it came from. Especially since I’ve read that it can lie dormant for some time before you get your first outbreak & even that someone who’s never had an outbreak can pass it on to you. 

Since then, I haven’t had another outbreak. I also tried to push it to the back of my mind and forget I even had it. It was something I was ashamed of & embarrassed about & didn’t want to talk about or tell anyone. 

More recently I picked up a new sexual partner. And this is where I messed up. 

I did not disclose with him about my status. And we did have unprotected sex. 

It wasn’t even about the fact that I was trying to hurt him. (Which he said intentions don’t matter to the person who gets hurt, because either way they’re still hurt). It was more just that I had genuinely tried to push this fact away myself until I had a talk with a couple of friends who knew about my diagnosis & suggested that I needed to tell him. 

I just told him last week and I realize how much hurt & damage I caused. I took away his choice all because I was being selfish & didn’t want to face my reality. 

I feel awful about it & have been beating myself up for the past week since I told him. 

We’ve only spoke once since our initial phone conversation when I told him & Im now waiting to pay for him to get tested. 

I’m not necessarily looking to be comforted because I know I really did mess up & did the wrong thing by not telling him before we had sex. 

I was just wondering if there was anyone who can relate? And could possibly tell me that this guilt gets lighter over time…..

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Hi, Friend! 

First, I am so sorry to hear about your stress and anxiety. Please know we aren't here to judge, and I really think it's awesome that you shared your story. I'm sure there are people who can relate, so thank you for opening up a dialogue about this.

In regards to coping with having H, yes, it can be really hard. Some people cope by repressing it; some people cope by being very open about it; some cope through therapy or self-acceptance work; other cope in other ways! You mentioned that you pushed it to the back of your mind because of the embarrassment and guilt and shame you felt with it. Remember that herpes has that associated with it because society deemed it so, and societal stereotypes suck and bring us down. Rewrite your own narrative of what herpes is (a common virus that is very sassy, but doesn't doom someone for life). Know that you are not dirty. You are not bad. You are not unworthy. You are pure. You are good. You are worthy of love, both from others AND from yourself ❤️

The situation with the guy really is difficult, and I understand both your perspective and his perspective. If anything, he probably feels like trust and his physical health were violated, which of course is not a good feeling. It is really respectable that you told him about it. That is something that, although it was difficult to do, really is awesome. It is very hard to place honesty above fear but it is the ethical thing to do. 

It is also very kind of you to pay for the testing for him. However, a test in these early stages probably wouldn't do any good. If he shows sores, then a swab test would be a good idea, however they are basically only accurate within 48 hours of when sores appear. If he shows symptoms (fever, tired, itch, tingling, etc) but o sores, then an IgM blood test would be the best choice since it shows the antibodies that the body makes first when exposed to H. If he doesn't get symptoms, then he could wait 12+ weeks and get an IgG blood test to see if he has antibodies. 

I'm sure that he is really upset. The best you can do is be supportive if he needs it. The relationship may come back together, but right now let him heal. Space is okay. If you wanted to reach out to him and say if he has any questions or if he wants to know what to expect, etc, that would be totally okay. You can also explain the testing to him, too. 

Stay strong ❤️

Sending blessings of peace and health to you and him. 

-- Grace 


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