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Disclosing herpes to friends?

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I'm just curious about other peoples' experience telling their friends about your H status. I've had GHSV-1 for 7+ years and have only told 2 close friends, and the guys I've dated. When a guy ends things with me because of this, I want to be able to tell (some of) my friends why, but don't know who I can trust, so I usually just make something up, or give some vague reason that it just wasn't working. I know I'm under no obligation to tell them, but sometimes it just makes me feel even deeper in my hole of secrecy and that it's something I should be ashamed of. It would be nice to have a support system of them reassuring me that I'm great anyway, but at the same time I don't want them to let it slip and tell other friends, because I don't necessarily want EVERYONE to know, ya know?

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Well the answer depends on a few clarifications ...


The first clarification becomes this: It depends on the quality your friends. ;) How deeply do your friends know you for you? How vulnerable have you already been with them and how vulnerable have they been with you? If you have quality, nonjudgmental people in your life, then you're bound to build an even deeper and more trusting foundation by disclosing. In my experience, it has always opened up my relationships deeper. Always. And it has even given my friends the space to disclose their shame, their pain, their vulnerabilities to me. It has opened up a two-way street for us to be true, real friends. The openness and love and authenticity it has opened up in my life has truly been fucking amazing. :)


And then there are the type of "friends" who will actually judge you, look down on you, spread nasty rumors, use your vulnerabilities against you ... Yes, those kinds of people are out there; they do exist. And if you do have friends in your life who fit that category, then the question becomes ... Why would you want to hold onto those kinds of connections by holding back?


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  • This content is for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute medical advice or diagnosis. I'm not a medical professional, so please take this as friendly peer support. 

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@Adrial hit the nail on the head where it comes to your friends. Like @ShaeShae, I came out about a year ago 200,000 people on Facebook, and I only had a positive experience. But I generally only have positive people around me,.


One thing that hasn't been mentioned, is in addition to considering your friends and who you know them to be, you also have to totally understand that any negativity that comes your way after disclosure has nothing to do with you, and everything to do with the other persons personality and their willingness to accept you exactly as you are. If you are strong enough to understand this then tell whoever you want.


I tell people that herpes makes a great Wingman, because you learn very quickly who your friends are and who loves you unconditionally. And for me that is a beautiful thing, because I don't need negative people in my circle of friends.

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ive told one friend, right after my diagnosis and @ the time I found this site. He looked at me and said, its a skin condition, get over yourself oh and by the way a few of our friends have it also. him having been thru cancer 2x helped put it into perspective.

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I've told most of my very close female friends and had very good results. One actually disclosed back that she also has it (so now I have someone who understands), one had another close friend with it, and the others asked a few respectful questions and then concluded that it wasn't a big deal.


I think these disclosures helped me and them, in 3 ways:

1. Every one of them concluded that it wasn't a big deal. This helped me get to that conclusion too.

2. It raised the level of education among my friends (and hopefully outward from there). I thought condoms protected me from all STD's and I thought my doc was automatically testing me for STD's each year....I can't be the only one that is this naieve, so hopefully I've provided education.

3. You can't build or continue a strong friendship if you only tell them the good stuff.


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