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Figuring out how I want to disclose herpes

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I've been seeing a guy and he wants to ask me out soon…I want him to know about the H before we are official. I got a cold sore on my lip once, and I felt the need to tell him about that, which he took really well! But the genital H is going to be harder to tell him…My sister suggested writing him a letter. I hadn't thought about that. She said that I could leave it with him to read after I leave or to have him read it while I'm there. Or I could tell him in person. I like the letter idea, but I also don't, because I'd like to see his reaction…but then again, leaving it with him would take off some of the pressure. What do you guys think?? Are there any other ways that have worked for you?

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Well, sounds like you are half way there if he took the Oral Herpes well ... you may find he knows more than you think. ;)


Especially given that he understands/knows about the HSV1 I would say something like this:


"You know the cold sores I get on my lip? I get them down there too. Both are the same Herpes virus. If I take suppressive meds and/or we can use condoms, and we don't touch me when I have any signs, we can reduce the risk of you getting it down to less than 2%. Given that 80% of people have herpes, you may have it and not know unless you specifically asked for the test anyway. I really like you and if we get physical I will do everything in my power to keep you from getting it. And in a way, I am safer than most because I KNOW I have it and how to manage it. Most people like me got it from someone that didn't know they have it or they lied. I want to start this relationship with honesty and openness...."


You can have the disclosure handout to show him the stats and to give him something to take and read if he needs time to take it in.






Disclosure e-book:



Good luck - sounds like he's a good guy...and if he is worth anything he will appreciate the honesty. Then it's just a matter of how he feels about the risk...and that one can't be guessed ...some people are so paranoid about ANY "germ" that they can't imagine taking any risk (tho they do it every day). Others won't care at all. You never know. You just gotta put it out there and let things run their course ;)



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Well, the disclosure is still the same...


But if you get the herpes on your lip, did you have it from childhood? Because if you had it in childhood it's not likely you would have got HSV2 from oral sex.... very VERY few HSV2 oral and it doesn't shed much when it's in the mouth either. And you wouldn't get HSV1 genital if you already had cold sores already because your body has the immunity built up to keep you from getting it.


So - how were you diagnosed?

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I like how you worded everything above. Would giving him a letter be an ok idea? Or is in person better?


I got it from kissing the guy who went down on me. I know it was from the same night, because both places got cold sores at about the same time /:

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Don't pass him a note in study hall.


I'm going to jump in with the male perspective here. You're in college, and you're considering starting a relationship with a guy. That's fantastic and you sound like a sweet girl, so I'm willing to bet you've vetted this guy pretty carefully. A big part of a relationship is communication, and a note/letter is, well, not to be too blunt, but girlish and 10th grade circa 1996.


It's not going to go over well. Of course, I understand you're nervous. It seems like a big thing to disclose. Fortunately for you, you have 1 and that's a lot more accepted than 2. In fact, there's a great possibility that your beau has already got 1. By college well over 1/2 of people do, so you're batting 50/50 before you even get out of the dugout. And, if he already has 1, he can't get it again up top or down below.


Simply ask him. Hey, Joe, have you noticed how many people on campus get cold sores? Why, sure Sally, I have. Do you get cold sores? Well, yes I do. Well, so do I. Disclosure done, enjoy the movie. Remember: Horror movies are the best date movies.


Of course, it could go a little different. Joe, have you noticed? Sure. Do you get cold sores? No. Well, I do. Does that bother you? Then you get to talk about it. 99% chance he won't care, will give you a big ole kiss and say "no big deal."


Big Brother advice: I know you're planning to wait until marriage to "go all the way." We all planned on waiting until we were married. Very, very...very few of us did. Keep some condoms on hand. Things happen in the heat of the moment, and it's not a very long stroll from Kissington and Oraltown to Pokey Pokey Orgasmville. Between cheap wine, flat beer, and raging hormones, college is a time when that commitment will be put to the test.


Further, if your beau doesn't have 1, and doesn't want to get it, you're going to need some johnny hats on hand so that when you reciprocate he's protected. You might want to look into dental dams, too.


Bottom line: It's always better to talk than to pass a note or letter. Notes are acceptable for sliding under doors, leaving hidden in notebooks, or slipped onto desktops in a rushed moment. Notes should never be long, should always be playful/romantic, and should never include the following phrases:


We need to talk.

I missed my period.

I have herpes.

I'm dating your roommate.

I'm a lesbian and I'm now dating your sister.

Your mom & I are picking out wedding invitations and have already named our first 5 children.


Oh, and make sure to make STD testing together something you do before you take another trip below the beltway.






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Yup - I agree - no on the note idea. You are a grown up now and talking in person will show him you are adult enough to take on a sticky situation and deal with it.... aka you get brownie points. Yes, it's harder if he reacts badly but it's also easier for someone to just write back "Thanks but no thanks" than it is for them to come to that conclusion face to face which gives them time to actually clear their head and think about it more..


Good luck :)

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I do disagree with one thing Harry said, "It's not going to go over well. Of course, I understand you're nervous. It seems like a big thing to disclose."


It may actually go over just fine! Try not to stress it too much. I personally have had a few great disclosures lately and have found it's in the way you present it. If you talk like it is the worst thing in the world that could happen (it's not!) then your partner automatically is going to start off thinking that way. If you are calmer about it and give the facts, it tends to go over better.


Good luck!

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You should do it face to face hon.. It is the best way for things to go the way you want it. When you can show your body language and you can show that you are positive.. Then he will see it. Most likely he will be okay with it also.


I do not advise phone calls, texting, notes. Become the bull and charge to him and talk like you mean it..


But another piece of advice. Don't talk to him about it until you are ready.. (: It will make things a lot better.. Stay abstinent with him until you are absolutely positively ready to disclose. (:

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I think I am feeling comfortable enough around him to do in person. We were together last night and I really wanted to tell him, but I hadn't practiced what to say at all and I know I'm going to need to practice, so I held back. He's been pretty cool about other things that I've told him, so that makes it a bit comforting. I have a feeling that it'll go ok but we'll see!!

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Be confident in yourself that's really the key.


Write it down first or talk to yourself in the mirror. But I've found that no matter how many times I say it to myself it always comes out differently. Don't stress on the minor details but be strong and confident in your knowledge and self acceptance.


Disclosing is different for everyone and we all have different time frames and approaches to how we do it but we can all agree that face to face, while not the easiest thing in the world, has the best results. And don't ask for an answer right away...if you're anything like me you've spent so many hours going over this conversation that for you this moment has been going on for forever but remember for them its happening for the first time. Don't react negatively if they ask for time instead stay strong :) I found that I prefer a man who reacts with calm caution of the unknown. And as scary as this is...take a moment to enjoy that fact that you are doing more communicating with this person now than some people do their entire lives. You are stronger and braver than you think and herpes is weaker and more insignificant than it lets you believe.

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I have to disagree with you guys...I prefer to disclose via text or email. I feel like that makes it less awkward, as it gives him the chance to process the info on his own, without my being there to influence him one way or the other. This way, if he decides to proceed, I can be more sure that he's doing so because he thought it through on his own and came to that conclusion on his own. If I were to tell him in person, I feel like he'd be more likely to accept it (or pretend to accept it) out of a sense of kindness/not wanting to hurt my feelings....because I'm sitting RIGHT THERE waiting fearfully for his reaction.

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because I'm sitting RIGHT THERE waiting fearfully for his reaction.


And THERES you answer - as long as you are attached to their reaction to ANYTHING you may tell them that could be a deal breaker (not just Herpes), you are actually going to transmit to them that it's something to be afraid of. AND you come across as needy and desperate.


Get comfortable with who YOU ARE (and this is much bigger than just your herpes status) and you will be sexy as hell to men... WITH herpes. You can disclose and GIVE THEM PERMISSION to walk away from a place of strength and not a place of desperation.


Sorry but if someone texted me with something I didn't know much about I might just say sorry and walk away - much easier that way.... you send an impersonal text you may well get an impersonal response :(

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Yeah this guy is not big on texting at all. It's so annoying haha he texts me all the time but then often doesn't even respond later..weirdo! ;)


We talk on the phone a lot, but I think I'm comfortable enough to tell him in person about this. I know that sex is tempting and a lot of people don't follow through on waiting for marriage, but I mean it when I say it. He's a bit older than me, so sex has come up a few times, but I told him last time that sex is just not gonna happen with us. I told him that I did a lot of stupid things with guys last year and that sex is just something that I want to happen with just ONE guy and he was really cool about it. I thought he'd be at least a little bit disappointed, but he was really supportive about my decision to wait until I'm married to have sex.


I'm thinking about telling him something like this (maybe on Thursday!!?): "There's something I want to tell you..So ya know how I told you I had a cold sore once? Well I had one down there once too. I was with a guy last year and he gave me herpes. It's not as bad as everyone makes it seem and a lot of people have it, but it's just something that I want you to know about before we date." Then depending on his reaction, I might say something like "What do you think about that?" Or "Do you want some time to think about it?" Or if it's super uncomfortable, I'll probably just say something like, "well I'm gonna head out but take some time and let me know how you feel about this."

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