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5 years, going on 6 now... I've never told anyone I have herpes

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okay, i've never told anyone that i have herpes, mainly because im sure they will think that i am a horrible person, but here goes. i'm a 23 year old and straight male, i've had herpes since shortly after my 18th birthday (hell of a present right??) when i was younger (16-18) i had, for lack of a better word, rampant, unprotected sex with lots and lots and lots of partners, and i never had a problem, when i was 17 i had gotten out of rehab for cocaine and other drugs and i had met a girl who had also just gotten out of rehab for even harder drugs (that im sure she had done some rather unsavory things for) she was quite the nympho and we had sex multiple times every day, sometimes for hours, at this time i was also sleeping with one of my ex-girlfriends, (i was dating neither girl) and she had told me that when we were on the outs that she had hooked up with this guy from new zealand like 4 or 5 times without protection, it was around this time, when i was sleeping with these 2 girls (and occasionally a random girl at a house party or whatnot) that i woke up one morning about a week after my 18th birthday and noticed a couple pimple-like sores on my penis, i had just slept with my ex the night before, i panicked something fierce and went and got it checked out and..confirmed. needless to say i was devastated, i still struggle with it, asking why me? i feel like no one should have to deal with this kind of burden on their mind ALL THE TIME. but i guess i got what i deserved. so ever since then i've used condoms almost religiously for vaginal sex. i've had probably 8 actual "girlfriends" since then, and i never told any of them, none of them asked me, or exhibited signs of an outbreak, although i did date one girl for about a year and a half that complained of "swollen taste buds" and i see her a few months after we broke up and she had a big cold sore on her lip, most likely thanks to me. i just cant bring myself to tell anyone because i feel like they wont want to be with me or think i'm disgusting or something. most recently i have started a relationship with a girl who was formerly a lesbian, she had never had any kind of sex with a man and i'm her first, i have no idea how to tell her without shaking her confidence in men forever. also my two best friends (a girl and a guy who have been dating for about 7 years) stopped having sex, and she confided this in me and told me about feelings she still had for me....needless to say we hooked up a bunch of times and now shes thinking about leaving him, i dont know how to tell her, i love her so much and i really do want to be with her, but i feel like she wont accept it, or she would be mad that i put her at risk by not telling her before we had oral or regular sex. WHAT SHOULD I DO?

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Hi M...glad you posted here and welcome to our amazing group of people!


Oh...what should you do? Actually you do know what to do...you just don't want to, through fear of being judged and rejected like the rest of us. But not being honest about having H has obviously become a bit of a dilemma for you...and you feel uncomfortable enough with it to ask about an alternative.


Bottom line is...give up the 'why me' struggle to start with because you aren't a horrible person, you just toyed with the odds alot and didn't treat yourself as healthily as you could have - but you were young and it happens! We all have regrets and have to forgive ourselves. I think you need to forgive yourself.


It's not about getting what you deserve, just dealing with consequences. It's actually not a punishment but like this site says..an opportunity to grow and let go of guilt and shame, making bad relationship decisions and about living bravely :-).


Hey and remember that what you think about expands...so if you think its a burden ALL THE TIME its gonna be a mother of a burden until you just do it some of the time ;-).


As for the girl you love...if you have already been intimate yeah she might get mad. The real question is how much do you love her? Enough to be honest and brave and care enough about her health and wellbeing? This is an opportunity for you to give up the dishonesty of not telling women you have H. If you love her enough you will give up your wants and fears and put her first.


You aren't disgusting and you deserve love...the thing is you have to give love too and real love demands honesty. I think you know you need to tell her..or you wouldn't have asked the question - so listen to that inner voice :-) Good luck.

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Hi mithrandir!


Thank you for opening up about your story and being so honest. Disclosing takes a lot of courage, and I'm happy that you felt comfortable enough to share so much with all of us on this forum. Also, I want to applaud you for seeking help when you noticed symptoms of H. Believe it or not, a lot of people will avoid going to the doctor, even when they have outbreaks.


As for disclosing to girls that you sleep with, I would say that this is a really important step, and one that you should take if you want to lessen the chances of passing herpes on. Believe me, I know it can be difficult- most, if not all of us on this forum have had to tell someone. And I won't lie to you, sometimes disclosure leads to rejection (for a lack of better words). But there are so many times when disclosure leads to a strong and loving relationship. Because, believe it or not, telling someone you have herpes shows that you 1) care enough about yourself to go get tested and 2) care about the other person enough to keep them as safe as possible.


Think about how you were before you got the news...If the girl who slept with you knew that she had herpes, wouldn't you have wanted her to tell you? It may or may not have influenced whether you went on to have sex with her, but at least you would have known what you were opening yourself up to. Perhaps you would have taken more precautions? That's why it's important to tell someone- because it allows them to make an educated decision about whether or not to sleep with you. When you sleep with someone and you don't tell them, you are creating the possibility that they too will get it and then be left with the same dilemma that you are experiencing now. What's more is that they could pass it on to their partners.


So, to answer your question (which I'm sure you can tell where I'm headed with this...), I think you should tell the girl you love. Part of loving someone is being honest and disclosing herpes is honest. And you never know, she may surprise you and not care. It's happened before! If she isn't able to accept it, you'll have us to help you get through it. Either way, you shouldn't have to go through this alone!


This website has a free disclosure e-book if you want to check it out. I wish you all best!!



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