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Discloser after UNPROTECTED sex :(

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Hello all, this is my first post here. I just stumbled across this forum a few hours ago & couldn't stop reading everyones post. Now its time for me to post, I am seeking advice from you all because I did something so horrible to someone I deeply care about.


Brief history lesson about myself: I am 23 year old female. I was diagnosed with GHSV1 when I was just 15 years old, contacted it after my first sexual encounter. My boyfriend & I at the time did wear a condom, and to this day he will deny the fact he gave it to me. It had to be him seeing as I've had no other sexual partners at the time. Anyways after that struggling 3 year relationship ended, at 18 I found myself in another relationship, partially in denial of my horribly stigmatized disease, and I did not tell my boyfriend. Ever. For two years had lots of unprotected sex, without me on daily suppressive meds, and somehow he miraculously didn't get it. He was a very abusive person, so after we broke up I was single and celibate for two years. Very bitter for many different reasons.


So about a year ago I met, who I swore up and down, was my soulmate. Within two weeks I swear I was already in love. But my guilt from not telling my ex was eating me alive and I vowed to never have sex again unless I told them. So I did have my first terrifying "I have herpes" talk last year. To my surprise, he took it extremely well. Held me as I cried, told me a secret of his about being previously married, told me there are worst things in life then herpes, then proceeded to continue our relationship, sex and all. He even was the one who further on in the relationship initiated wearing no condom, but I was on Valtrex too this time just to be sure no outbreaks. But unfortunately we broke up due to his lying and infidelities, go figure.


But here 8 years later, & even after the wonderful first discloser I had, I am still struggling with coping having to disclose this deep dark secret. Personally, having herpes doesn't bother me at all seeing as I don't even get outbreaks. I haven't had outbreaks since high school & thats with out daily suppressive therapy. Its just the terrible stigma and lack of education people have about it that worries me. Being judge, unloved, feeling not worthy etc. All those overwhelming feelings flood over me from time to time.


But just two days ago I did what I promised myself I would never do again. Not only did I have sex with someone who trusted me, but I had unprotected sex, which is so much worse. Its not like a topic of STDs ever came up, he never even attempted to wear a condom. I mean, we're both totally at fault, consenting adults who know the risk of unprotected sex. Hell, worse things than herpes can happen (HIV; pregnancy). Mind you, we have been pretty good friends for about 5 years now. Its been communicated over the years we both have mutual feelings for each other, we've finally decided to take it to the next level.


I swear every inch of my soul wishes I can take back what I did, hop in a time machine & replay the whole day out differently. But I can't :\ & now i'm stuck here with this guilty conscious eating me up, & I don't even know how to approach him. Already engaging in such risky behavior makes "the talk" THAT much harder for me to face. I don't just need to tell him but I WANT to tell him. I just know how hurt and betrayed he will be, & I don't know if I'm strong enough to lose him.


I'm sorry for such a long post. Its somewhat of a vent. This is the first time getting it off my chest so it is a lot & I do apologize. I will appreciate any and all words of advice you have to give.



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Hey Rose,

Do not apologize for venting, this is what this forum is all about. It's a safe and supportive place with people who have lived similar experiences and so much more. So welcome. Concerning your dilemma, there was someone here yesterday who had a similar experience (http://herpeslife.com/herpes-forum/discussion/4456/drunken-one-night-stand-and-didn039t-disclose-what-do-i-do-now#Item_4), but differed slightly in that you have known your significant other for much longer and have been friends. I know you are scared, the feeling of being so vulnerable is not easy to digest, but remember that what's done is done and there is no going back now. You should really try to face your fears, find your courage and have a conversation about STDs in general. At this point, you have no idea when his last STD test was either, so don't jump to any conclusions about being the only guilty party. This is also an opportunity to educate someone else on the facts of herpes. If anything, at least you can help spread knowledge, not the stigma. If he is really your friend, he will be supportive and hopefully forgiving, knowing that you are doing the right thing in coming forward with the information with his best interest at heart, and that he also willingly assumed a risk. If he reacts badly, then you have to find your strength and take this as another lesson to really be more diligent in coming forward with this information before things get all hot and heavy. That not only protects them, but it protects you from becoming invested in the wrong person. But please, before you do anything, try to forgive yourself for your mishaps. No one is perfect. Now is the time to make your wrongs right, and use this site as resource in helping you disclose the facts to your friend. Believe in yourself, your compassion and honesty and take the first step towards vulnerability... it will make your stronger. Hope this help and hope it goes well. Sending all kinds of positive vibes your way!


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Hello and Welcome!


Well, you are FAR from being the first person on here with this problem .... and you definitely won't be the last!


No need to tell you that you *should* have told him because you are doing a great job of beating yourself up for it already..... but you do have a mess to clean up if you want ANY chance of this relationship to be founded on mutual trust and transparency. Yes there is a risk he will walk, but if things were the other way around, I am sure you would want him to come clean with you.


Just to clarify somethings about the virus for you (I'm not sure if you are totally up to speed about HSV1). Your first BF may well have had Oral HSV1 and given it to you through oral sex and not known that it could be passed on that way. Half of all new genital cases are HSV1 and the majority are through oral sex simply because the virus sheds a LOT more when its around the mouth then when it is "down south".


This also may explain why the 2nd BF never got it .... if he already had cold sores he would have had the antibodies to protect him and that, with the fact that it sheds a whole lot less down there may have been why he didn't get it. He *could* be carrying it asymptomatically too .... but if he was blood tested at this time it wouldn't show whether he had it orally or genitally so unless he had cold sores as a kid he wouldn't know where it was.


So - on to your current guy. The "good" news is that with HSV1, as I mentioned, it sheds a lot less and the majority of the population already has HSV1 orally so it gives them *some* protection against it. So the odds are in your favor that he wouldn't have got it from you, and you just have to deal with telling him the truth. And yes, he's also at fault for not bringing up STD's and if he is a real man he will accept his part in this.


So how to tell him? You need to find a time and place where you can sit quietly with him. Have the handouts and video link (below) with you (Rule #1 of Disclosure is to keep them off Google if you can, especially Google Images!).


This is what I tell others about disclosure: (This would be before first contact but a lot of the info is generally the same)


Let them know you have something personal to share, and that you are doing so because you have got to a point where you feel you can entrust them with this information. ( In your case you will want to say something like "I've done something I am not proud of and I need to talk to you about it before we go any further". )


Also let them know that you want to start with honesty and openness, and that you need to share this with them because you care for them and this is something that has the potential to affect them, and that you need to discuss it now because you feel the relationship is moving towards sexual intimacy and you want to put this on the table before that happens.


Be confident in yourself and your knowledge of the facts... or at least have the handouts with you so you can refer to them and give them to your partner to take home and use for reference.


Make sure to direct them to places like this site, my blog, the CDC's site, Westover Heights and other trusted, RELIABLE sources ... direct them AWAY from Google images and the Yahoo groups where all the Debbie Downers hang out.


Give them permission after to take as much time to research and consider their response.


Whatever happens, don't take anything they say or do personally if it's negative. Odds are, it's their ignorance (because we all know that the education about H is pretty pathetic) or their fear of something marring them in some way (very possible if they are OCD/hypochondriac/anxious).


You can also point out that the risk of getting H from someone who KNOWS they have Herpes is far less than most of the population because 80% of people with H don't know they have it ...and that the vast majority of cases are from asymptomatic carriers or people who have been led to believe that they can't pass it on without an OB and thus don't need to tell a partner as long as they don't engage in sex during an OB. (In your case, the fact that you have HSV1 means it will also shed less and you are willing to be on anti-virals as well so the risk would be nearly nil for you)


Approach it with confidence and a trust that it will work out as it is meant to..... because that really is all you can do anyway


Here are the links to download the e-book on disclosure and the handouts. Great place to start with getting your mind wrapped around how the talk can actually bring you closer instead of driving them away.




Handouts/E Book






Herpes facts video
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@positivelybeautiful @wcsdancer2010 thank you both for your positive words, very encouraging to say the least. I appreciate your support :) I'm really hoping to knock this out by this weekend. Wish me luck, I will definitely update, good or bad. hopefully its all good news tho!

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  • 3 weeks later...

@vroses I'm new to this forum, and came across your post while searching a similar situation. I literally forgot I even have HSV1, because the short of it - it has been such a non-issue since my initial OB. I realized my omission a few days later, but we haven't had a subsequent date, though we've been talking. So my stomach is in knots, and I hope and pray he understands if/when we do meet up again. Thank you for sharing your situation with us!

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