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The first time I disclosed to someone - the good, the bad, and the not so ugly

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I was officially diagnosed with HSV1 on Nov.7. I disclosed to someone I cared about for the first time last Friday. And this is what I learned...


1. Actually saying the words HSV and episode is a lot easier than saying Herpes and outbreak. Using these words made it easier to actually tell him. Thank you to this site for teaching me those tools.

2. After I told him, he did not run away screaming.

3. When telling someone that you have Herpes, you should not be in the middle of a passionate make-out session. No one is thinking straight. I did this, and what happened next was sex (with a condom).

4. Do not expect that when telling someone you have Herpes in the middle of a passionate make-out session and then having sex, that they will be all okay with it afterward. Remember, when hormones are dictating actions, people are not thinking clearly to make any decisions.

5. Do expect that he will go home and immediately research the Herpes on the Internet. He (or she) will see the bad info and the rare horror stories first if no direction is provided. It's best to provide them some sites to go to in the beginning. This would have helped all of us after we learned of our diagnosis; it's just as smart and kind to provide that for our potential partners.

6. Avoid expressing all of your own fears with the diagnosis when you disclose. Your partner will have their own fears and questions; the focus is on helping them understand your diagnosis - not to unload on them right away. There will be plenty of time for that as you build your relationship.

7. Do not feel shame, guilt, or less self-worth due to the Herpes when you disclose. We are not less of a person. We are better, stronger people because we had the strength to disclose to our partner, just as we wish our H-givers would have done for us. This makes us incredible, caring, and strong people.

8. If he decides he doesn't want to continue in a relationship with you due to the Herpes factor, such as in my case, then realize that there is someone else out there with everything you still want in a partner, and on top of that, that person that accepts all of you will have the understanding that Herpes doesn't define you, and that really, it can be a minor factor in the relationship. This person will be outstanding, and Herpes does not mean you have to settle for less.

9. If your potential partner does bow out after you disclose, such as mine did, don't be angry at yourself or tell yourself to get over it because you hurt. Give yourself permission to hurt and be sad, and then walk through it with the knowledge that you will come out the other side okay. And you'll try again.


And there is my good, bad, and really, it wasn't so ugly. And I'll try again.

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This is all right on, superwoman. Thank you for sharing all of this. There are lessons in everything, and I love how fair you are being to yourself. Beautifully done. :) There will be many, many others who would love to be in relationship with you and your integrity.

Note: This 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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Superwoman, Your words really hit home with me and I cant thank you enough for your poignancy. Although my outcome was slightly more, for a lack of a better word, dramatic, all of what you mention, from intimacy, to his reaction, to what I told myself regarding the whole situation are pretty much the same.


My apologies in advance for this being a bit long winded but I really need to get this whole situation off my chest. Here goes nothing...


He didn't run away screaming when I told him, actually stayed the night holding and kissing me. The next morning is when the making out led to sex. We talked about the information he should read, he thanked me again and again for my honesty and that it couldn't have been easy to come forward with something so personal. He called me the next night to tell me he had read the information I gave him and that I am worth any potential risk. Also said he was totally okay that we went a lot further than either had planned and had no regrets. Wow. What a guy :) we hung out a few more times without being intimate which was cool. We agreed sex shouldnt be a focal point while we were getting to know each other. I talked to him very openly about my situation and encouraged him to ask questions, stressing that I didn't want this to be a scary taboo subject at all. He told me he'd never had a hsv test and that it's something he could very well have so why should he judge me, and that he needed to get tested and would make it a priority. What a great thing to hear!!!


He then slowly started to vanish and I had to leave town for a week. I sent him some texts that got no response and I got that gut feeling something was up. When I finally got him to return a text he said not to take it personally but he thinks he might have herpes.


Say what???? Oh fuck!!!! My heart sank. I thought I was going to throw up. I called him immediately and asked him a zillion questions, the time frame of it all, what his symptoms were, did he have blisters? Feel flu like? His answers didn't quite line up but his paranoia sure did. His fears were insane, but I patiently listened as he told me his career as a sushi chef was over because you can't work around food with this affliction, nor can you play with your nieces and nephews or your friends kids. He told me its just really hard for him to come to terms with his complete and total lack of judgement but maybe this is what he needs to get his life together, he also mentioned he should just off himself in an old samurai warrior suicide ritual. All of this from someone who read the information I presented him??? Great.


He agreed to come over after work so we could discuss this further and he could show me his suspicious spots while I put his completely irrational fears to rest. He had calmed down a lot by the time he arrived, our conversation went incredibly well and he admitted he was going a little overboard with what having this means. His "spots" were on the way to healed but were definitely suspicious, told him he needed to get to a dr ASAP and he definitely needed a type specific blood test to check his antibody level immediately.


He waited almost two weeks to go to the dr. W.T.F???


The dr told him what he had described sounded like jock itch gave him some cream and sent him on his way. He was ok with that answer and never got the blood test.


I've since asked him twice about his blood work. Even though Im on suppressive therapy and the time frame of his symptoms didnt add up to it being from me I'm still paranoid as hell as well as genuinely concerned. there is also my general concern that he should know his status regardless of positive or negative. The first time I asked he said he had been crazy busy but will within a specific time frame. Also told me he's working things out with his ex . Okay, congratulations, told him now he should really want to know. He agreed. After that window had passed I asked again and was told no, he hadn't, but he "didn't need any guilty drama. Relax"


I've decided to walk away from it all. I was up front from the get go, stay on suppressive therapy even when im not sexually active, we used protection the one and only time we had sex, I've gotten him all the info he needs to get a blood test, have even offered to pay for it all if his insurance won't cover it. I can't do any more for this guy. This guy who I am not involved with. And i cant keep doing this to myself, My time is worth more than this and so am I. You can lead a man to an std but you can't make him get tested. Perhaps ignorance really is bliss.


I've deleted all contact information I had for this guy, I hold out hope that I will hear from him at some point regarding his test results but I'm also being realistic that may not happen. In the grand scheme of things I'm happy to not have him in my life, this is not the kind of person I want by my side for the long haul, but damn, this whole situation has been gut wrenching. It's all part of the learning process though.


So thank you superwoman for finding the words to all I was feeling. And thank you hsv for weeding out the jackasses faster than my woman's intuition ever could. Biggest thanks of all to this forum!!! You are all beautiful and amazing!!! Big love to us all!


And I too, will keep on trying.

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Two of your comments really hit home for me too: "You can lead a man to an std but you can't make him get tested" and "thank you to hsv for weeding out the jackasses faster than my woman's intuition ever could". These are bits of wisdom that I will remember when the going gets tough, those pesky down days :)


Thank you for the comments - much appreciated!

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Wow. superwoman- well said! and Sugarplum fairy- Way to be there for him. You presented everything to him so openly and genuinely. Even offered to pay for a test if his insurance didn't cover it. Very sweet of you and your concern for others is very clear.

Any guy who is right for you would fully admire your authenticity and your care for them.

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You are so welcome for any words of wisdom I have to offer, believe me I will be re-reading all that you wrote over and over as the perfect reminder of how having h doesn't define who an individual is, it just refines how one chooses to act.


Thank you as well for your kind words. Even though my experience with this guy didn't quite turn out like I was hoping I know I can stand with my head held high because I acted with honesty and integrity from the start. Perhaps this is all part of the learning process I have to go through as I incorporate h in to my life. I am confident there is someone somewhere that will appreciate my integrity, and willing to see past the stigma. Until then I keep trying.


I'm so happy to have found this forum, I take time to read from it daily and take something positive with me as I go about my day. Thanks to all for the light and love!


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  • 2 weeks later...

I am giggling at the great lighthearted humor here. Really good to remember to laugh and lighten up. Thanks to sugarplumfairy and the superwoman for that. (hey are you two from the same planet or neighborhood?!?)


I love the VERY IMPORTANT reminder that having the talk while all of the blood has rushed to the erectile tissues is not a good idea.


In many ways this pre-sex screening is really more for us so we can be sure this is someone with whom we can share ourselves intimately. If we can't talk about this openly, do we really want them up in our business?


Happy disclosing, superwoman!!! Thanks for sharing your great input here.

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Sugarplum I LOVE this..."thank you hsv for weeding out the jackasses faster than my woman's intuition" !!!! I laughed but its SOOOO true! I think I trust hsv more than myself now...it makes me go slower, his reaction tells me EVERYTHING about his integrity and compassion and if he can get past it then I KNOW I am loved for me.


So keep trying...I got past it, then got it and now have someone who accepts H in me too :-).

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