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The possible legal ramifications of not disclosing herpes


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Thanks for sharing! This is good to know. AND I want to underline that what I want to really focus on in our community is that we are disclosing not out of fear of possible legal ramifications, but out of genuine care for another human being, out of honoring integrity and vulnerability.

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Wow, I was wondering about things like that. I wanted to sue the person that gave it to me. What is ironic is that the person that gave it to me was from Portland, Oregon and when I opened the link and saw Portland, Oregon, it was crazy. Unfortunately the person that gave it to me changed their number and was no where to be found. Sucks but that is life.

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That's an excellent point, Adrial! It may actually be problematic that this woman was granted such a large settlement in "pain and suffering" because it further reinforces the stigma that herpes is a life-ruining disease, rather than an annoying skin condition that happens to affect the genitals. I think we should definitely talk about it with partners in the interest of informed consent. However, despite the appeal of retribution in the form of legal recourse, I think this line of thinking is ultimately going to hurt those with herpes, not help.

 

~Ash

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  • 8 months later...

i agree with her getting money. I have been learning of my status over the last3/4 weeks with test after test. i have because my ex knew he has oral and genital for years and did not tell. in fact im only 1 of many he didnot tell. Inlouisiana it is a criminal offense to withhold health status of acommunicable disease from a poyeintal partner whether or not the partner becomes infected.THANK U LOUISIANA!!!

my ex and i are going to civil court. he will be paying for my cousenling, medical costs/treatment relating to this, a portion of my health insurance, for the rest of my natural life. if he dies before me, his estate will conitnue to provide. he will also be court ordered to notify every past parnter and every future potential partner. by getting a court order instead of just a signed agreement, it protects against him from including it in a bankrupcy if he ever files and ensures his estate continues care. Whether it goes criminal, not for me to decide.he is a cop and military so he is praying it just stays civil.

louisiana is 1 of 36 states with laws like this. Thank you La. There must be accountability for ones actions. i have a hard reading that people are having sex with out disclosure. Its like someone saying " sorry i cheated on because i drank too much.", most people wouldnt accept that as an ok reason for for cheating.Most would say, " no yoi choose to drink, you chose to get naked, and sleep with someone else." My thoughts and mine alone: there is never an excuse/reason not disclose. Its not irresponsible, cruel, and immoral. I understand the fear, fear of rejection, and shame about having it but each person has the right to choose. No one has the right to take that choice away.

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I thought about this a lot.. This topic precisely... I find it awful that we were on a road letting ourselves believe that h is a skin condition n isn't the end of our lives... N sueing someone saying they ruined our lives is not taking any responsibility of sleeping with them in the first place... I believe that if u sleep with someone, u automatically should assume they might have something... Sometimes people don't know.. I truly believe that this consept might bring us back a few steps n will eventually be so scared to touch someone.., honestly u could just say he never told me... I mean comon... N then u take me for instance, I got this annoying skin condition with out even consenting in the sex in the first place.... I was sexually assaulted n he still out there doing his job... Wether he knew or not I have it.. No money in the world is ever gonna change that for me or the abuse I got to go along with it.. But I put myself in that type if situation so I must of needed to have a real eye opener... Like I said before, I will disclose because I truly will care enough about that person to let them make a choice.. Wether im left alone... But honestly if we r sleeping around with out even thinking the possibilities of stds then we are way far behind... Please understand that I don't mean to sound rude or mad or any way taken wrong.. I slept with someone before I knew I had it... Scares the shit out of me... To be honest I think anyone who sleeps with anyone should ask themselves before is he or she worth getting something... Protect urself as u would others... I got this lil gift with out even wanting to have sex... N even though it's a rough road everyday couldn't imagine sueing anyone... I'm alive.. It's a skin condition right? It's what I believe...

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as Ahsexualityed said:

 

It may actually be problematic that this woman was granted such a large settlement in "pain and suffering" because it further reinforces the stigma that herpes is a life-ruining disease, rather than an annoying skin condition that happens to affect the genitals. I think we should definitely talk about it with partners in the interest of informed consent. However, despite the appeal of retribution in the form of legal recourse, I think this line of thinking is ultimately going to hurt those with herpes, not help.

 

I can't agree more with this...

 

Baffled: you need to do what you need to do. But ultimately I believe you will only end up harming the work so many of us have been doing to try to reduce the stigma of H. I believe we will have more success in getting people to disclose by reducing the stigma through education .... most don't disclose BECAUSE OF THE STIGMA. Because of the reaction they "might" get. Because they "might" get rejected.

 

You got lucky - he admitted that he knew and didn't tell you. But as Iamme said, what if it had become your word against his ... what if he said he told you and you were lying (VERY possible if you are about to sue the crap out of someone and publicly shame them .... if it doesn't hit the papers you can pretty well guess *someone* will leak it out - especially anyone who wants to get back at your very public family)

 

As per the article:

 

"The man testified he didn't know he was contagious. His lawyer argued that she was lying about her sexual history and may have had sex with other men who gave her the disease."

 

Do you REALLY think this is going to make someone else want to disclose in the future? No. Rather, people who are having outbreaks who *may* have integrity issues just won't get tested. Then noone can prove that they knew about it.

 

Somehow I am not at all convinced that this will change anything. The money won't stop the outbreaks. And if you think that you can keep everything on the Q-T when you are going to have to disclose all kinds of wonderful info about your sexual history (with him and with others) and tell a judge about which part of your junk you are getting OB's on and when and how bad, I think you are fooling yourself.

 

But what do I know? I've only lived with it for 35 years.... what do I know about living with it? I'm sure I'm gravely mistaken with my belief that it really, truly is a nuisance skin condition with a really unfortunate stigma attached to it :/

 

 

 

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Wow wcsdancer2010 I think ur right.. People will stop getting checked and throw off the balance of caring for themselves and for others.. That statement hit home, cuz either ull be to afraid to touch someone or u just won't bother to get checked and educated... Wow this is scary... God I love this forum... Every one is different in how they feel and heal.. But I'm still choosing to believe it's a skin condition... Now can we get everyone back on the opportunity train..:0)

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I do have a ? Though.. Are we to believe that we can't really pin point in who we came into contact with who gave it to us anyway.. Being that there are a lot of people who carry it n don't show symptoms? So really can we say this person have it to me when really we might have given it to them? Just a thought I guess... I was on the assumption that we really couldn't prove where and when because some people carry it around for years before an outbreak... Just was curious....:0)

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wcsdancer2010

i cant judge whether how you feel is right or wrong because its how you feel. No, it wont change the fact of having herpes, but its about accountability for me. Its just plain and simple for me, if a person knows they have it, they have at the least a moral obgilation to tell a person BEFORE intimacy. If a person doesnt know they have it, thats different.

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Imma34,

yes, there is a risk whenever you have sex with someone. If I agree to be intimate doesnt mean i agree to be blindly exposed. In my case, i can prove it was him who exposed me even i dated someone after we split. i always got testedand was always negativebefore him.. I was negative short after my ex and i got together. The person I dated is negative and has a record of being negative in his past.

In louisiana, I could still be clean and take him to court for knowing and withheld.

i know some people dont and wont agree with taking him to court. now im not asking money like that. im just asking for life time care/cousneling relating to this.

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life time care/cousneling could easily = $900k - the other person just got the funds up front.

 

Have you thought about what you will have to go through to get that ruling? Again- you will likely have to disclose some pretty intimate info. If (as you have inferred) it went to a criminal case you will get to tell all your stuff about your junk to a jury. Have fun with that.

 

I TOTALLY get your anger about not being told. I wasn't either. But again, after all this time, I just feel that I have a lot of more important things to get angry about..... and I for one (and I am a pretty transparent person) certainly wouldn't want to be cross examined about my past sexual adventure/partners ... especially with the ex himself, by some guy who is hell bent on keeping his client from the stigma and the financial burden of a guilty verdict. They can get pretty nasty out there.

 

And again, you have family in important places.... I hope no one uses this to undermine them either. There are a lot of people out there who are looking for anything at all negative to use against people in places of power :(

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I completely understand.. N always supportive in someone's decisions... Specially when it comes to the feelings they get involved with this condition.. I am just afraid that sueing someone may stop people from getting tested.. N it will make it a very hard road for my daughter when she gets older...

N there fore they can claim they didn't know... N then in my stand point if I did give it to someone n they took me to court saying I didn't tell them.. It's scary to think it's my word against his.. N because of me being sexually assaulted he said I consented, his word against mine..even though I had marks to prove it... So it's scary knowing this could definetly stop my chances of being intimate with anyone... :0( don't want to feel this will control me.. N with this happening It will....

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Here's the bottom line ...

 

Our Herpes Opportunity community is one of acceptance and love (of self and others). Healing occurs in that space and that space alone. The anger, vengeance and everything else is a by-product of fear. Fear of not being enough. Fear that we are somehow defective, not whole. The vengeance comes from wanting to make the person who did this to us (victim mentality) feel that same pain that we are now feeling. Like somehow that will magically make us feel better. In my experience, it never has. Acceptance and forgiveness is the only way to go toward healing that I have found. Shaming someone else through anger and vengeance only serves to suppress all of those parts of ourselves (and them) that need healing. It continues the vicious circle. And ultimately it is each of our choices which direction we go. Holding onto anger and all that other stuff only serves to boil us alive. Letting that go in the spirit of forgiveness is ultimately forgiving ourselves of suffering. So it is my stance with this community that we will support love and compassion of whatever you bring here, but we will not support vengeance and fear-supporting thoughts and beliefs.

 

Here's a great story ...

 

Do you know that in ancient tribes (I don't remember which ones), when someone would commit a heinous crime, there was no death penalty, no court system, no sense of retribution, no vengeance. What would happen to PUNISH them? Nothing. There was no actual "punishment" per se. Just the opposite, actually. The entire village would come together in a space of love, put that same person who committed the heinous act in the center of the circle ... and they would, as a community, share all of the things they saw in this person that was beautiful, lovable. Because only someone who is disconnected from themselves (their heart, what is beautiful about themselves, their potential) has the capacity to commit such a disconnected act. So the community comes together to remind them of what they have forgotten. We as a culture have become disconnected from love as the only healing power there is. Everything else is covering that natural, innate power within us.

 

So let's all step up to the next level of healing together and support one another in that instead of supporting one another in anger, vengeance and depression. This is not that kind of a support group. We honor all emotions that show up here, but it's the thoughts and beliefs that we need to get clear on what to focus on. The thoughts we think lead to the emotions we feel. They're intrinsically linked. There are other, more beautiful things to be reminded of as a community, as human beings. And we all have that choice on what to put our focus and attention on. Let's pull together as a powerful community to lead that charge of openness, acceptance and love. That's what I am a stand for, anyway. :)

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abc123,

i have always tnought of forgiveness as forgiving others and/or myself for things. the reality is there will be things people will do that are Just unforgiveable. My therapist gave me a different perspective of forgiveness especially when those unforgiveable things happen. She said:

"Forgiveness is giving up on the hope that past could be anything different."

 

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@Baffled: if my therapist said that to me they'd be out of a job. That is one part of forgiveness, but it is FAR from a complete answer. If that was all it was about, it would be a LOT easier to forgive :/

 

Forgiveness is about compassion. Realizing that the other human being is acting out of their past hurts, fears, and insecurities. Understanding that deep down, they are in a survival mode because they say or do things that hurt others because they are just as afraid of being alone, or losing control, or being hurt themselves. Understanding that every person is wounded and struggling and often just trying to SURVIVE. When you really get that, when you really understand to your core THEN you can look at the person with compassion and love. Only then can you authentically forgive.

 

""With a little time, and a little more insight, we begin to see both ourselves and our enemies in humbler profiles. We are not really as innocent as we felt when we were first hurt. And we do not usually have a gigantic monster to forgive; we have a weak, needy, and somewhat stupid human being. When you see your enemy and yourself in the weakness and silliness of the humanity you share, you will make the miracle of forgiving a little easier." Lewis B. Smedes - Forgive & Forget: Healing the Hurts We Don't Deserve

 

 

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Ah, that's beautiful, WCS. That quote puts to words what I feel is the humbling part of forgiveness. (Except I don't agree with thinking of anyone else as "stupid," even if they have hurt us.) Yes, other people's wounding of us is them acting out past wounding of themselves. In that way, the cycle of "unforgiveness" and hence, violence (against others and, of course, ourselves — as we see so much on these forums with people suffering with herpes). If we DON'T forgive, then we hold onto that wounding and anger, which festers to then pass on to someone else ... And it's a choice. Forgiveness does take a lot of courage and humility, for sure. Forgiveness is strength, not weakness, not giving up, not giving in, but letting go. And in the end, it saves ourselves and everyone else from unnecessary pain and suffering.

 

I know about stopping this cycle firsthand. Every time I think of this, I get a tender, grateful lump in my throat. This is super personal to me. And I feel inspired to share it with all of you, trusting that you will hold it tenderly, too.

 

My mother didn't have the best of childhoods. I won't go into details about it, but she wasn't treated like a child should be treated. She promised herself at 14 years old that when she became a mother that she would NEVER treat her child like she had been treated. And she never did. I had the most beautiful, heartfelt, loving childhood, thanks to that promise my mother made to herself as a teenager. She stopped the cycle of abuse, vengeance, anger in its tracks. She could have instead made the decision that what happened all throughout her childhood was unforgiveable ... and then she would have passed all of that to me (and everyone else). But it was stopped dead in its tracks. My mother is the example for me of heartfelt, compassionate, STRONG forgiveness and what kind of an impact that can have ...

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Wscdancer2010,

MAYBE YOU SHOULD TAKE YOUR OWN ADVICE COMPASSION, ETC. YOU SHOW NONE WITH ME EVERYONE HAS THEir OWNS WOUNDS AND MOVES FORWARD IN THEIR OWN WAY. CLEARLY YOU DONT AGREE WITH MUCH THAT I SAY WHICH IS YOUR RIGHT BUT YOU ATTACK PRETTY MUCH EVERYTHING I.SAY!! IF YOU CANT HAVE SOMETHING POSITIVE AND PRODUCTIVE TO SAY TO SOMETHING I SAY THEN DONT COMMENT PLEASE.

YOU ARE COUNTER PRODUCTIvE TO ME. I SEE IM THE ONLY ONE YOU DO THIS WITH ABD IT LEAVES ME DUMB FOUNDED.. IM HERE TO LEARN, GROW, EXPERIENCE, HEAL, ETC. YOU MAKE DEALING WITH THIS DISEASE WORTH THEN THE DISEASE ITSELF.

 

WHO ARE YOU TO JUDGE WHAT IS RIGHT OR WRONG ON MY FEELINGS AND THOUGHTS? AT LEAST IF I DISAGREED WITH SOMEONE I STILL VALIDATED WHAT THEY SAID,

 

YOU DISAGREE ABOUT MY THOUGHTS ON FORGIVESNESS.

YOU DISAGREE WITH MY THOUGHTS THAT THIS DISEASE IS A VIRUS.

YOU DISAGREE WITH MY THOUGHT ON THAT THIS VIRUS CHANGES YOU FOREVER.. I DOUBT YOU ARE THE SAME PERSON YOU WERE BEFORE YOU GOT THIS DISEASE TO NOW.

 

YOU DEFINETELY DISAGREE THAT IM TAKING HIM TO COURT. WELL HE IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS IN MY CASE AND SHOULD BE HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR HIS ACTIONS. HE WAS RECKLESS AND NEGLENT. IF WAS FOR REVEMGE AS YOU SAY IT IS, HE CASE WOULD BE CRIMINAL AT THIS POINT. ITS NOT CRIMINAL BECAUSE OF ME. IF IT WERE CRIMINAL HE WOULD GAVE BEEN DISCHARGE FROM THE MILITARY OF 20YRS AND LOST HIS JOB ON THE POLICE FORCE of 27yrs . HE WOULD Be IN JAIL, PAYING A FFINE, AND LISTED ON THE SEX OFFENDER REGISTRY FOR LIFE. THE DA AGREED NOT TO DO CRIMINAL IF HE COOPERATES IN CIVIL WITH ME AT LEAST AT MY REQUEST!!! HE HAS MANY OTHER WOMEN THAT COULD PURSUE THEIRS IF THEY CHOOSE ONCE THEY ARE INFORMED.

THATS GIVING HIM COMPASSION BECAUSE HE DOESNT DESERVE. HE SURE DIDNT SHOW ME OR ANY OTHER OF THE MANY WOMEN HE KNOWINGLY EXPOSED BOTH TYPES OF THE HERPES VIRUS TO WITHOUT TELLING ME/THEM.

 

HERES MY RESPONSIBILITY IS THIS: I SHOULD HAVE MADE IN PROOF HIS STATUS BUT I DIDNT I HAVE THAT DEMON FROM THIS TO DEAL WITH. I DIDNT BECAUSE HE IS A POLICE OFFICE AND HIGH RANK IN THE AIR FORCE. BEING A VETERAM MYSELF, I BELIEVED HE LIVED AT THE STANDARD OF MORAL, INTEGRITY, LOYALITY ETC, TAUGHT AND PUSHED BY BOTH. MY MISTAKE TO BELIEVE THAT. I WILL PAY FOR THAT MISTAKE/MISJUDGEMENT FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE.

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Baffled, from my perspective, I don't see WCS as "attacking" you in the slightest, although I can understand how it may feel that way from this place of anger and mistrust. It would make sense that if you already feel that you've been done wrong that you're waiting for anyone here to do you wrong, too. We aren't here to do you wrong. We are here to love and support you in being happy and living a fulfilling life.

 

And please don't lash out like this toward us. I understand that you are mad, but please don't take it out on your fellow community members.

 

Do you see that we're not calling you wrong or bad? Do you see that we are holding both that it is perfectly warranted and understandable that you're angry and vindictive AND that there is an option for forgiveness? All that we are saying is that we as a community are supporting you in moving toward your happiness. And like I said, forgiveness is a process. Please know that our hearts are supporting you, not attacking you. I don't feel inspired to support you in your beliefs that will lead to your continued suffering. That's my care for you. And I feel that I can speak for WCS that's her care for you, too.

 

This is the vicious cycle I'm talking about in my tender story about my mother above. Your anger and lashing out is affecting all of us as a community right now. Anger and vengeance is more infectious than any herpes virus ever has been ... I will support you in your feelings of anger, but not when it's directed toward any community member or me.

 

I would suggest that you go do some anger therapy to get this anger out in a healthy way instead of unleashing it on these boards.

 

I just private messaged you.

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