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I read something about a lady comparing heart disease to herpes and made it like we're not living with the worst thing because her husband is dying from this(heart disease) &she assumes that's why the vows are "through sickness and health". She wouldn't change her life but she'd much rather him have H+. This was my 1st STD I've always been pretty cautious. I NEVER thought I'd have one or I'd sleep with someone who had one. My question is: if the shoe was on the other foot with your knowledge would you have sex with someone who had it, date or marry someone with it? If someone disclosed this to you that you enjoyed spending time with but not quite loved, could you guys still move forward or would you run away?

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Awwww... I wouldn't turn myself down either. &there are really awesome people like myself ;-). I use to be so close minded to things like this.. It was like eww.. I'm 22 so you can imagine. I'm still growing. A lot more mature and understanding. Especially after it happened to me!

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No I would not date someone who has a sexually transmitted infection that is at the moment incurable. I am as knowledgeable about STIs as anyone, but I see and have read about the adverse psychosocial consequences that herpes entails for many people, whether or not their grief is disproportionate to the actual "threat" that herpes poses. I also know my own psychology better than anyone, and I know that I would have serious difficulty-at least in the immediate term- coming to terms with a herpes diagnosis. Psychologically speaking, it would be enormously disruptive for me. Thus, it is not something I choose to risk. This is just a personal choice.

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If it was with someone that I saw a future with, I would definitely stay open minded and be open to a relationship. Real love, deep intimacy and great chemistry are veeeerrryyy difficult to find, even without STDs. So to me, if there was a strong connection and life-long potential, then it wouldn't stop me for pursuing a relationship. And in the grand scheme of life, far more difficult ordeals will likely be thrown our way so having to manage herpes as a couple would be a blip on the radar. There are so many other qualities and attributes that would definitely outweigh the risk of a virus.

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@ cali I disclosed to a good friend who had been thru cancer 2x, he gave me the ole whack in the head with " its a skin condition, you aren't gonna die from it". reality check.


in all honesty, im not sure I would date someone with GH as its the "life long" part of it that scares people. though at my age my choices are getting fewer so who knows? im guessing how well we got to know each other before hand, what the initial meet was like ( was there one of those, "o my god she is breathtaking" moments) and what potential I saw in a long term thing.

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I think for me it would depend a LOT on just how much potential I saw in the other person ... as @Positive said ... it's sooo hard to find that one person that just plain "fits" you. I know ... I've been searching for 12 years now .... thought I found it with the first post-divorce BF (who totally accepted my status right away) but HE chose to end it for other reasons after 3 years..... so ... I would probably try to get educated if someone had disclosed this to me.


Remember, even HIV is mostly controllable now ... people like Magic Johnson have had long term partnerships/marriages with HIV (20+ years in his instance) or HSV and never passed it on to their H- partners simply because they were careful and intune with their bodies.


The VAST MAJORITY of new cases of Herpes comes from people who are ignorant to the fact that even if they had an STD test, they were likely not tested for Herpes. EIGHTY PERCENT of people with H don't know they have it... so if you get disclosed to, you should see that as a total blessing because at least we who KNOW we have it and are responsible enough to disclose are FAR less likely to pass it on because we will do everything we can to protect our partners ;)

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It totally depends on the person....if I was amazingly attracted and totally interested in someone...if I felt their vulnerability and authenticity it would take way more than herpes to keep kme away!


Life has so many twists and turns and people can be what you expect or not. I would hate to think my soulmate is out there and i would reject them....I know that life is too lonely to give that up.


Plus met some great men at the conference and if a man like that had herpes then I am in!!!!! Authenticity, vulnerability, evolvement of one self, compassion and empathy for others with no judgment....just try to keep me away!!!!

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@ forgivness, a vaccine makes H status moot.


@ dancer, I keep hearing about magic Johnson but one thing I never hear is, he has tons of money and money = good health care. I have no insurance and would either have to accept charity or bankrupt my family over hiv, so its an apples to oranges thing for me. false dichotomy, the meds to keep HIV in check are w/o insurance several 100s if not 1000s a month.

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Yes seeker, I would date a woman I otherwise felt very strongly about *if* there were a safe and effective herpes vaccine available. However, I disagree with some others that herpes either is or is not a "big deal." To me, categorically claiming that genital herpes "isn't a big deal" begs the question against the objection that there is no objective, hierarchical ordering of life events from "major" to "minor." What I mean is that that claim assumes something that it needs to prove: that herpes always and everywhere is not a "big deal" for everyone. It is that point that I believe is fundamentally unprovable. I believe this for the following reason:


Different individuals will experience and process events differently. All of our reactions are diffracted through the prism of our personalities, dispositions, character traits, beliefs, and prejudices. People can and will respond in entirely different ways to completely different life events. Some people will view herpes as an extremely significant life event that is also enormously distressing. Others will view a diagnosis as perhaps inconvenient, but not ultimately significant. Moreover, some people who view a herpes diagnosis as very significant will also view other life events that other HSV-positive people consider significant, as not nearly as important. For example, an individual who views herpes as a very serious and grave concern may view a serious car accident as disruptive, for sure, but ultimately a fleeting concern that will not impact them in any serious and long-term manner. Conversely, someone who thinks herpes is not very significant may view a serious car accident as extremely grave and worrisome. Such an accident might cause that individual to experience serious and long-lasting consequences. And there is absolutely no way to assess or determine which event is "really" more serious than the other. As said, these evaluations are hopelessly dependent on an individual's subjective perspective and frame of mind. For one who orders and ranks life events differently from another person, there is ultimately no way to prove that they are "wrong," or "misguided" for thinking herpes is a "big deal."

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Well, unless YOU have experienced it, then you are only going on what you *perceive* H to be like to live with.


In *my* world (having done a whole lot of personal growth work to learn how to not let life events negatively impact me more than absolutely necessary), I have learned that whether it's Cancer or Herpes or a Broken Nail ... much of the experience is what YOU choose to make it. How you CHOOSE to allow it to impact your life. I know women who a Broken Nail is one hell of a disastrous life event, where most of us realize that it's not a "big deal". So yes, personality traits and life experiences and such can color how someone views things ... but I think you would say that a broken nail isn't a big deal either..... from YOUR experience and beliefs.


I can tell you that yes, H can *seem* like a "Big Deal" at first ... some have some pretty challenging OB's, they may lose a lover over it, and they may have to deal with past perceptions of what having an STD "means". But in the end, it won't kill us, *most* of us learn to manage it and *over time* it barely is an issue for the majority of people with it. BTW, I've had an Ectopic pregnancy and let me tell you.... THAT is a big deal. When you nearly die (in incredible pain ... I nearly bled out and my BP went to 60/40) , non-life-threatening health issues take on a whole different perspective. ;)


True, we have people on here who come on and say they are still struggling with H after 20 years ... but they didn't have this resource when they were diagnosed ... and ... with the nature of this kind of forum, most posters will be those people who are struggling with H (as opposed to those who are processing their diagnosis in a more "positive" manner and just want information/clarification and just get what they need from lurking).


The bottom line is people have a CHOICE (whether they understand that or not) to see H as a big nasty thing that will ruin their life, or to look at it as a nuisance skin infection in a really inconvenient place. Just like the broken nail, most of us who have had enough experience with it will say it's not a big deal ... but that first one may *seem* like something a LOT worse.... and @seeker is a perfect example of how that progression post-diagnosis generally plays out ... especially if the person finds a place like this for information and support :)


You have CHOSEN to not want to be exposed to H because to YOU it would be a "big deal" ... and that's your choice and that's understandable. But once you have it, (as the vast majority of us on here do) you realize over time that perhaps there ARE worse things in life... especially when you go through a REALLY catastrophic life event or support someone through one. ;)



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I'm glad that for most people on this forum, heroes is not a big deal. I would agree with what Dancer says to a point: individuals have a choice to see different things as significant or not. Often, however, the choice to see e.g. Herpes as insignificant takes a long time for many people to grasp, and many on here can attest to that. I will grant the point that most on here who have herpes choose not to see it as a significant issue. Yes, I choose to see it as a significant issue. We're I to become infected through some unfortunate chain of events, perhaps I would come to see it as insignificant. Ultimately this whole discussion speaks exactly to my point: people's experiences will color how they see events. And I do not think we can so easily divorce the conclusions some make (that herpes is not significant) from the paths and experiences leading up to them.


Yes, I choose to view heroes and indeed all sexually transmitted infections as significant, and that is why I am scrupulous about taking extensive precautions before becoming intimate with someone new. For me, my choice is entirely acceptable and rational, and there is nothing that I'm "not getting," there's nothing that I'm "missing," and it is not the case that if I just "evolved a little more" I would see things differently. To me, individual value-judgments are subjective preferences. One can more criticize a person for thinking sexually transmitted infections are a significant and weighty matter, than they can criticize them for liking apples instead of pears.



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I saw an email in my inbox a little while ago, and I thought, "uh oh, the powers that be have finally had enough of me, they're going to kick me off now." But it wasn't that. Let me just say that I only try to add my perspective in an honest, respectful manner. I am truly moved and inspired to see so many people here who are so strong. It gives me hope that I can overcome anything that I may experience in the future. Thank you for that. This is truly a first-class site.

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@CityofAngels I appreciate your perspective and I (h+) also struggle with the opposing attitudes of it's-merely-a-bothersome-skin-infection v. it's-an-intimate-relationship-deal-breaker. I'm saddened that so many people here acquired this virus in an environment of either non-disclosure or ignorance. And I'm heartbroken that so many of these same people would never conceive of putting their potential partners in the same position. Particularly with somebody like you @CityofAngles, a less scrupulous person might decide, "Fuck it, I'm not in out break mode, I'm just going to risk it. If my partner does contract it, he/she will never be able to prove it was me."

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A fine point, I did not think of that possibility previously. Thank you for bringing it to my attention.


I would not date an h+ partner. But I would be friends with her. I would spend time with her. I would laugh with her and cry with her. I would share intimate thoughts and feelings with her. I would be a supportive and caring friend in the ways that I know she would be supportive and caring for me. She would be able to trust me, and I her.


As for whether "h" is a "big deal" or not: in my experience, most people, even those who are seemingly quite intelligent, do not have their own opinions on these matters. They believe what they are told to believe, or what others around them believe, or what their culture and society dictate that they should believe. Though cliche, I believe it will be as big a deal to your prospective partner as you make it seem to him/her. I have seen time and time again in distinct life situations how presentation really does make or break a presentation or performance. Thus, your presentation and body language, as well as the tone and texture of your voice, will determine his/her likely response. This is not always the case, as you may encounter people who think the way I do, but more likely than not, it will be. I also believe that individuals on this forum who know far, far more about the nuances of herpes disclosure will corroborate what I am saying.


And while I firmly believe in my views and values and fully accept my decisions as right for me, I think you will find that other individuals are, how should I put this, a little more open to the prospect of dating someone with "h?" I do not mean to suggest I am a close-minded person, and I say that without a tinge of negativity or criticism of my own perspective. Far from it. But many people will be more open than I am concerning this specific issue within the specific context of dating.

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About 6 months ago, I dated (and slept with) and man who had genital-wart causing HPV. I really liked him, he was very kind, and was open and honest with me about it from the get-go. True, I had been vaccinated, but we had no way of knowing which strain of it he had, which very well could have been one of the many not covered by the vaccine. He wanted to get it tested, but hadn't had an outbreak in years. For men it is necessary to be have warts to get tested at all. We used condoms every time, and before sleeping with my current boyfriend I had a very through exam by a gynecologist to make sure I didn't have any HPV warts hiding anywhere, as well as an HPV test. I am not paranoid about it, and do not regret it.


I think because of that experience, I am less paranoid about finding someone who will date me despite having HSV1. If I am compassionate and kind enough to date someone who has an STD, then there are other awesome people out there who are too. I wouldn't judge someone for not wanting to date me because of it, but honestly compassion is an important quality for me in a potential partner. If they aren't compassionate enough to deal with it, then I probably shouldn't date them anyways.

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You state that you would not judge someone who would not sleep with you on account of HSV; yet that is exactly what you did when you said that they "aren't compassionate enough."


In what way does this have to do with compassion? I don't consider myself any less compassionate a person because I refuse to date someone with HSV. And I'm not really sure why you use that term. Since when do people normally date other people out of compassion for them?


This goes back to my original point: many people think that someone who does not want to date someone with HSV is somehow "less," somehow "not as caring." I reject that entirely. It doesn't have to do with how "caring" they are. It has to do with their own perception of the respective risks they are willing to engage in life. I am not a less compassionate person because I don't date individuals with sexually-transmitted infections. I am not somehow lacking because of it.


To me the decision whether to date someone with herpes or not is a profoundly personal decision, and no one has any right to judge their decision for any reason. I do not view you as somehow "dirty" or "unclean" because you have HSV. Far from it. Why do you view me as "less compassionate" because I would not date you? I am simply making an all-things-considered judgment that my sexual health is too important to me to risk acquiring genital herpes. I have a right to make that decision, and I have every right to look out for my best interests.

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I was feeling quite positive today until reading this topic. This makes me think no one will ever want to date me again after a disclosure. I'm sure most people would agree with cityofangels. Why risk your own health? I know if I was put in that situation, I doubt I'd give a positive person a chance just because of fear. Sigh :(

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Theo in my experience most people take a different attitude toward these things than I do. Again, I am in no way disparaging my own stance, but I have spoken with friends and partners before about sexually transmitted infections, and they are by and large open to dating someone with an STD. I am only speaking for myself here, no one else, and least of all any imaginary silent majority that you think would never date anyone with an STD. I am only one person with one view.

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