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domesticatrix

Herpes Disclosure and Casual Sex

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I really appreciate all of the suggestions on disclosure that I have read on this site. I do, however, feel as though most of the discussions  on disclosure are related to the desire for long-term, monogamous relationships. I really liked the example in the video by the site administrator on the "herpes talk," and would consider a dialogue such as this were I interested in pursuing a traditional relationship. However, I did not think it was conducive for folks interested in a quick, sexual experience. Perhaps this idea has yet to be addressed because conventional notions about having herpes also would have us believe that when you have herpes you "can't, shouldn't or wouldn't" have brief sexual encounters. I am sure many of you disagree with this notion, but I have yet to find a discussion for perverts like me :) addressing the subject.

 

As it is, I have had herpes for 4 years now, (going on five?) and I still have little interest in long-term monogamous relationships, (although I do have a Jamaican boyfriend that I would consider sticking with for awhile we lived in the same country!) That said, it has been my pattern to always seek to meet my sexual needs with new partners simply because my needs are immense and unique. I would like to write more about what this experience has been like in the near future, but only have a few minutes at the moment.

 

I just want to add that there are also ways of disclosing with dignity when you just want to indulge a tryst. I usually keep it really simple and say something like, "I carry the herpes virus and feel the need to disclose this information before we get physical. I understand if this makes you unsure or lose your interest. If you would like to, we can do other things that are sexual besides "fucking." If you are interested in a penetrative sex we can use rubbers. Let ya think about it."

 

I was interested in everyone's take on casual sex encounters post positive diagnosis and if/how you disclose. The reason I think this is important is because most of the language we use around the subject of disclosure is almost always referring to the desire for connection to another based on the ideal of long-term monogamy. We tell ourselves, we want a relationship with this person, and the foundation of said relationship should be honesty. I would argue that the language we use and its premises should be more flexible than this and that we should extend this idea to every encounter; so that every encounter can be prefaced with honesty.

 

I do not doubt that many on this site already see it this way, but I scarcely see it being discussed so thought I would broach the subject. To be honest myself, I find disclosing to people that I have deep and intense feelings for waaaaay more difficult than disclosing to folks I meet while traveling when I'm looking for a brief and sexy affair. I notice my level of confidence and the way I disclose changes situationally which tells me that I have work to do still on my own self worth and how this virus pertains to it. If it makes anyone feel like life is more "possible," know that in my 4 years of HSV2 positivity and between intense and painful outbreaks, I have had many encounters with mmmany partners, who all knowingly took a risk by sleeping with me. What I always like to remind myself is that every time I have sex, I too am taking a risk because many folks just don't know what they have.

 

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i am so glad this was brought up! i was sitting here in my room just thinking about a disclosure i may or may not have because this guy is not my boyfriend, and was going to make my own discussion asking this but now ill comment on yours! i have been positive herpes type one (genitals) for 10 months now. i have been seeing (hooking up with) this guy for about 4 ish months we are not in a relationship, i wish, but he is graduating college in a month and a half from now. he does not know i have herpes because i have refrained from allowing him to go down on me. i don't tell him why i just say no not tonight and he obeys. we have done pretty much everything but oral and intercourse sex. i, even before having herpes was against sex unless it was with a BOYFRIEND who i had deep feelings for. its very hard for me now because i have deep feelings for this guy but know we are not bf gf and will never be. also he is leaving me upon graduation very soon. just the other night he asked if i was on the pill (BC) and actually i am, so i said yes, but for other reasons besides sex. and all he said was oh ok. and still acted fine but i have 2 dilemmas, one is that i would love to have sex with him but feel i can't because he is leaving so soon and is not my boyfriend, and a second one is that i feel IMMORAL not disclosing to someone before sex even though that is safest for me to engage in (protected of course). i have not had intercourse in 3 years and see it as special so i am unsure what to do because i do not want to disclose to someone i know is casual and risk losing him for the time i have him around? what do you think about all of this since you have a concern about causal sex an causal flings regarding disclosures?

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I think that you're right to feel wrong about not disclosing and you should follow your gut. It doesn't sound like entirely casual sex to me if you're really into the guy. The casual encounters I engage in have been just that...casual. This isn't to say I haven't had heady feelings for some of my lovers and friends I have sex with, but generally speaking, they are people I love and respect in a much less serious way. This does not relieve me of the responsibility to disclose, however. So, I do just that.

 

I am unsure how to advise you. It looks like you might get hurt from the sound of your post. Personally, I try not to let fear prevent me from going after my desires, even if I know pain may be a consequence. You may never know what you're missing until you find out. :) I wish you the very best of luck on your decision and hope you let us know how it goes.

 

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I'm glad you brought this up, domesticatrix! I love everything you said. I agree there's an opportunity to disclose to whoever it is, whether it be casual or long-term. However you cut it, sex is intimate! It's damn vulnerable! Literally! And disclosing is being vulnerable in a different way. Still an opportunity to be that real, authentic and giving a shit kind of person you are. And we get to be that way with everyone we are intimate with, whether it be for the rest of your life or one night.

 

And inspired32, I get that difficult back-and-forth tennis match going on in your head. Been there. God, have I been there! And I've had situations when I first got diagnosed where I didn't disclose. I tried to convince myself that it was okay and I was being super careful. I was so scared about being rejected that I couldn't ever imagine even bringing it up. But after the fact I always felt bad, less than. Irony alert: I had the sex in order to feel better about myself, to feel like I was "normal" again, but then afterwards I felt hollow. No connection … both to myself and the person I just had sex with. It was hard. And after disclosing, I've always either felt closer to the person I just told and/or more connected to myself. I'm certainly not telling you what you should or shouldn't do, but I'm just sharing my experiences from both sides of the tracks: when I did disclose and when I didn't … and disclosing always won out for me.

 

Download the disclosure e-book + handouts here:

http://eepurl.com/b4IPP


Free e-book & handouts: https://www.herpesopportunity.com/lp/ebook 
The Opportunity Lifestyle Guides: https://www.herpesopportunity.com/lp/lifestyle-guides
Book a one-on-one coaching session: https://www.herpesopportunity.com/lp/herpes-coaching

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Thank you for your insight as well. I appreciate you sharing both sides to your experiences. It is a complicated matter because there is more to it, but at the same time it almost is not only the herpes part, but also this guy i am seeing has never had a girlfriend and specifically told me he does not want a relationship right now. It may seem hard to understand why I am still seeing him, but ever since i have left my herpes burden down, i noticed already that I feel i can relax around him both sexually and emotionally. I enjoy my time with him so much that i care a lot about him. I do not get communication from him about how he feels about me, that he likes  me, or thinks I'm pretty, so that makes me unsure if the deep feelings i feel are mutual. I refrain from sex for those reasons and including not knowing if he really truly feels the same way. I do want to mention, though, after my first virtual phone group, (februrary 22) i did disclosed to my best friend who I live with. It felt so good to say it even with a few smiles on my face. As soon as i told her i could tell she could not relate, but i knew that was not what i was asking of her. She immediately told me how she wished I told her earlier because NOW it makes sense why i hate (that guy) so much and her letting me know that he now is the one person she hates more than anything in her life was definitely showing me how much she cares about me. Nothing has changed since I told her, I only notice her having more of an understanding about my new boy situations or "sex" life. 

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I love this discussion and have been struggling with this for some time now. I was in a monogamous relationship when I was diagnosed three years ago but have since ended the relationship. It's going on 6 months now and I've been too freaked out to even consider disclosing to anybody. I lead a very busy lifestyle and even if I felt comfortable enough to disclose and begin a new relationship, I have little time or desire to do so. But I miss sex!

I never thought of myself as promiscuous, but during times that I was not seriously involved with anyone, I have enjoyed a handful of casual encounters, as well as some "friends with benefits" situations. With my life as it is now, dealing with the end of a serious relationship, and not in a position to get involved in another, that is all I really want right now. I believe whole-heartedly that it would be wrong to not warn a potential partner, with whom I would like to have a serious or even semi-serious connection with, about his risk, should he choose to have sex with me. But, assuming I am not in the midst of an outbreak, and I insist on using a condom, is it so wrong not to disclose to someone who I am not interested in pursuing after the evening? I realize that there is risk involved, but shouldn't he? Whether or not one has a disease, at this point in our existence, I think it's fair to assume everybody is aware of the possibilities of contracting one. (And frankly, I'm quite picky, and wouldn't sleep with someone who is not intelligent enough to be aware of said risks.) If he is willing to spend the night with me, knowing that any sexual encounter carries some risk, is it really that wrong for me not to tell him? I would, in fact, be taking the same, or potentially much more serious risk, by spending the night with him. As adults, aren't we responsible for our own actions and shouldn't we be allowed to make risky decisions, if we so desire?

I was with my (now ex) boyfriend for almost a year, having unprotected sex for the majority of that time, before I became infected. He had never had any symptoms and didn't know (or so he said) that he had it. I have read the research and know that the risk of transmission is much less likely when one is asymptomatic. I have had one outbreak in about eight months, down from almost one per month during the first year. I'm still struggling with the thought of disclosing and, as I said, I have little want to get involved in a serious relationship. So can I please just go get laid, without having to think/talk about this?!?

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I should add, I have not acted on this, and most likely will not, as I don't necessarily agree with my own argument. Though I do think it logical and not necessarily a bad action, I am a very honest person with strong moral convictions, and as much as I would like to, I don't think I could follow through with this. I am, however, struggling with the thought that casual sex is no longer an option for me and am simply curious as to other people's thoughts and opinions. And really I would just love for someone to give me permission to pretend, if only for a moment, that this isn't my reality...

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Hey abby83! I was just talking with a friend just a few days ago about this exact thing. He's currently having sex with multiple women (ah, the bachelor life!). One of them has disclosed to him that she has herpes (which, by the way, has had him seriously considering going into a full-blown relationship with her because he feels he can trust her that much more). He's been as protected as he can be, but since there's no such thing as protection at 100%, he's in a bit of a conundrum … I've been schooling him on the ins and outs of our beloved virus, and we started talking about this disclosure vs. no disclosure, but in a different way: His position is different since he doesn't have herpes, but since he's actively having sex with a woman with herpes and with other women without, does he disclose the potential of him getting it and passing it on? Viral shedding occurs 5-10% of the time between actual herpes outbreaks, they wear condoms, so the chances of him getting it and passing it along are small. This is a whole new layer on the expectation of disclosure. Shouldn't we assume that people know about the inherent risks (yes, coupled with the inherent awesomeness) of having casual sex? Is it fully on our shoulders to shed light on something that everyone should know about already and take into consideration? 

 

As the herpes-havers do we carry the full moral weight of disclosure? If our potential partners don't ask, is it a situation of "don't ask, don't tell"? I think the expectation of "the sex talk" is 50/50; there's just as much expectation on one partner to tell as there is on the other partner to ask. 

 

As you said, abby83, everyone who has sex — especially in today's virus-laden times — should at least assume everyone has (or has had) at least SOMETHING ("HPV is so common that at least 50% of sexually active men and women get it at some point in their lives." — from the CDC HPV fact sheet.) That's simply the safe, smart, self-respecting thing to do. To not assume that and take necessary precautions to protect yourself and to be proactive in asking partners about their sexual past and status is avoidance and totally naïve. 

 

So, here are a few things that pop up for me (what do you think?): 

 

1) How will you feel after that one night of not disclosing? If you're good with yourself after the fact, if the person doesn't ask and you don't tell, if you took all the necessary precautions (condom, suppressive therapy) and are still intact with your integrity, then you're good. (And by the way, you're taking just as big a risk on not asking them what they have. At least getting herpes has proven that we're not invincible.) Unfortunately, there's no absolute moral code that Congress passed that will tell you that you're wrong one way or the other. What's really important is how you feel about yourself afterwards. If you worry and beat yourself up for months afterwards for putting someone at risk, then it's not worth it. If you're good, then you're good. 

 

2) What if what started off as a planned one-nighter turns into a second and third night and into an actual relationship? (Crazier things have happened.) Then eventually disclosure would have to happen, which would really put a damper on the foundational trust that's important to any long-term relationship. 


Free e-book & handouts: https://www.herpesopportunity.com/lp/ebook 
The Opportunity Lifestyle Guides: https://www.herpesopportunity.com/lp/lifestyle-guides
Book a one-on-one coaching session: https://www.herpesopportunity.com/lp/herpes-coaching

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Thanks so much for your reply! That your friend feels even better about this girl because she has herpes gives me hope when I often feel like there isn't any.

To (attempt to) answer your questions:

1) I'm not entirely sure how I would feel about it. I tend to be a pretty logical person and, logically, I don't really think that it is my responsibility to look out for any random person that I don't know or care about. If they are willing to knowingly take the risk, they carry the responsibility for the outcome and their own well-being. I don't think it would really affect my integrity. Does this thought process make me a bad person? I would NEVER intentionally pass the virus and have always been as careful as possible during the few casual encounters I had before it, as I would be if I decide to have one now.

That said, I do think I may feel some sense of guilt. My logic and ability to play the devil's advocate rarely outweigh my gut. Logic aside, I wonder how I would feel on the other side of this story, if I didn't have herpes, and found out that some guy I slept with did and didn't tell me. Though again, I am a grown up and I take responsibility for my own actions and risks that I decide to take. 

Obviously I'm torn and am just writing my thoughts as they come. I can't decide.

2) I think this would be my major concern. I am fully aware that one-nighters sometimes turn into more serious relationships. Actually, that's not a far stretch from how my last one started. And that would definitely suck. I could not continue a relationship without telling the guy and I realize this would likely have a detrimental effect on a potential relationship. So again, I'm torn. 

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This topic is pretty close to the chest for me, so I feel I must weigh in...

To preface, I'm all for monogamous, full-blown relationships, but also go through periods where one-nighters or a friend with benefits are what I need - and that is all good. When I was originally diagnosed, I felt like an entire building of metaphorical doors were slamming shut in my face in the sense of what I would be allowed to have with the H albatross around my neck and still try to maintain whatever integrity I had left. 

After a year, the landscape looks very different. No more relationships/falling in love? Wrong. No more one night stands or friends with benefits? Wrong. No more oral sex? Wrong wrong and wrong again. I may not have been completely straightforward or honest along the way, but I know I am now focusing on my own integrity in a way that I probably wasn't pre-H. This is not black-and-white stuff (and believe me I tried to make it that way, it just doesn't work) - you have to do what's right for you.

Being honest and maintaining integrity doesn't necessarily mean negating possibility, you just might have to take a different route to get to what you want.

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I wrote earlier in this conversation and love how much it has expanded. I want to now add in my current dilemma which i still feel i have the answer to. I am still seeing the guy i mentioned above and have been hooking up with him for about 5 months now. We are casual because he is graduating in a month and a half and just love spending time with one another. I have chosen NOT to disclose to him because we are never going to be officially dating. Also, i abstain from allowing him to go down on me and keep our hook ups clean. We have not had sex because i usually never (and have never) had sex with a guy who was not my boyfriend. Also, i feel too guilty not disclosing before sex even though protected sex is much more safe than if i were to have oral sex with him. (i have type 1) anyways, it has gotten really heated between us lately and i am able to not have sex but i want to so bad! i could do the non-disclosure thing that has been mentioned above, but i care for this guy, and feel wrong and also he is graduating in a month so having sex will only make me more attached to him?? what do you guys think?

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I like that this is being discussed in a thoughtful and frank manner.

 

I too wonder about casual disclosure. The sheer math has me thinking. Please correct me if I'm wrong about this...

 

[seriously - math is not my strong suit, so forgive me if I'm making dumb errors here!]

 

The odds for a woman contracting from a positive man (unprotected sex, outside of breakouts) is around 10%, halving to 5% with condom use, halving again to 2.5% with suppressive therapy (regular antivirals). The odds for a positive woman passing on the virus are even lower (starting at 4%, halving to 2% with condoms, and 1% with antivirals).

 

It's a pretty low risk - but it's still a risk, right?

 

But, hold on - if I understand correctly, then these figures are taken from studies of risk *over the period of a year*. That means that each single instance of sex carries a significantly lower chance of transmission.

 

Taking what I think is a fairly conservative estimate of average sex sessions for a couple, say - 50 times per year (that's less than once a week), the chances of transmission for a one-off sexual encounter (assuming no breakouts, with condom use, and antivirals) look like this:

 

Positive man ---> woman (2.5% / 50) = 0.05%

 

Positive woman ---> man (1% / 50) = 0.02%

 

Now the risk is looking particularly tiny. For the smaller of the two numbers that's one chance in 5,000 that transmission will take place.

 

For further context - if a positive woman sleeps with a non-positive man (with the above conditions in place), she has *twice the risk of becoming pregnant* than he does of contracting herpes ( - yes, that's despite the condom!).

 

I still haven't made my mind up fully about total and always disclosure. But the above has given me food for thought.

 

I would be happy if someone would check my reasoning and calculations.

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Hi there, mypersona!

 

Let me just jump in here to clarify your math. %s don't work that way. It remains the same percentage each and every time it happens. Those %s are per year, so every time a person who doesn't have herpes has sex with a man who has herpes (and both condoms and meds are used), there's a 1% chance of getting herpes; every time with a woman who has herpes (and both condoms and meds are used), there's a 2.5% chance of getting herpes. See all these numbers broken down in an easy-to-understand way in the handouts you can download here: http://eepurl.com/b4IPP

 

FYI, to put these numbers into perspective, there's about a 2% yearly chance that you'll die in a car wreck when you drive. And a 3% chance of getting pregnant if condoms are used (at "perfect use" ... 14% at "typical use").

(Those last %s found here: http://www.pamf.org/teen/sex/birthcontrol/condom.html )

 

Here's another way to think about it for clarity's sake: If the odds on a casino game are 50% chance of winning, it doesn't make the odds of getting jackpot lower the more and more you play. If you play 1000 times over the course of a year, it doesn't lower your chances to 0.05% each time you play; it remains 50% average of winning each and every time you play (because you never know which one will be the winner until you do actually win).

 

So yes, even though it still remains 1% and 2.5% respectively, it's still a super low chance of spreading herpes if sex is avoided during outbreaks. The reason herpes is spread so much is because of lack of knowledge about how it's spread and because 80% of people who have herpes don't know they have it. (Jock itch, anyone?)

 

And it's still SUPER IMPORTANT to disclose and have the herpes/safe sex/STD talk. Don't forget that there are still other STDs to be collected! Remember, these things aren't trading cards. We all want to know what we're getting into. It's just the thoughtful, adult thing to do. ;)

 

By the way, the term "casual sex" is such an oxymoron to me. Someone please tell me: How can sex be "casual"? (Especially after proving to ourselves with this whole herpes thing that the risk is real.) There are risks involved in having sex with anyone, including just as much risk of getting pregnant if a condom is used as risk of getting herpes. Having sex is the epitome of physical intimacy. (You can't get much closer, right?) In my past experiences in the shallow end of the intimacy pool, I never did get any more satisfaction out of one night stands or brief sexual encounters than I would have gotten if I had just masturbated. ;) In my experience, when the physical closeness and emotional closeness (intimacy/trust) are running in parallel, that's the beautiful sweet spot.

 

And be sure to check out the disclosure e-book and handouts I created for a good breakdown on all of the %s and numbers and facts AND how to have the herpes talk in a way that actually brings you two CLOSER together instead of it being a deal breaker.

http://eepurl.com/b4IPP


Free e-book & handouts: https://www.herpesopportunity.com/lp/ebook 
The Opportunity Lifestyle Guides: https://www.herpesopportunity.com/lp/lifestyle-guides
Book a one-on-one coaching session: https://www.herpesopportunity.com/lp/herpes-coaching

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hey @domesticatrix EXCELENT POINT.. i was thinking about it a looot... this is the reason that i got depress a loot cuz i was so confused with the % ... then i read the ebooks.. and i read adrials things and i felt better.. and honesty i think u dont need to do THE HERPES TALK.. with your casual sex.. BUT u have to be carefull with that.. take supresive and condoms and cero OB.. but is crazy say HEY I HAVE HERPES.. with X person..

if love doesnt exist between you.. will be a safe rejection and a risk for your reputation.. the next day this person might say HEY THAT GIRL HAS VIH.. OR HERPES TO ALL THE PEOPLE.. i think i dont know is my point of view

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This is a great discussion!

 

I actually asked my OB GYN (who specializes in STD's) about this very thing. He said, because I'm on a suppressant, if I just say "I'd prefer we use condoms" that he felt that was sufficient. I'm not saying I agree or disagree, that's just what he said.

 

Another consideration: What if one of your casual encounters turns into something more serious? I know that doesn't happen often, but it could. There are a lot of questions on these forums of people who didn't disclose at first and are now trying to figure out how to do so. That seems to complicate matters significantly. You could always say "The reason I always insisted on condoms is because..." and that may work, but your partner may still deal with major feelings of betrayal.

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Thanks for the response Adrial, but I actually think you've got the math wrong! If the figures are for a year then each instance does break down smaller.

 

To use your analogy as an example - you said that 'if the odds on a casino game are 50% chance of winning...', but that is not the same as saying 'if the odds of playing a casino game at regular intervals for a year give you a 50% chance of winning...'. That would be a more reasonable comparison.

 

Imagine that scenario - your odds of winning are 50% *if you play for a year* - do you really think you would have a 50% chance of winning every time you played? Would the person who played 3 times have the exact same chance of winning as the person who played a hundred times?

 

I'm very happy to be proved wrong on this (well, I wouldn't be that happy, as it would mean a higher transmission rate!). In fact one of the reasons I'm posting is because I want to challenge my own ideas. But at the moment I think my workings are sound.

 

The other things that you and others have posted are all very valid of course.

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mypersona - I'm glad you're really wanting to get clear with this. I hope I can help get it super clear for you and everyone else who is confused! (I agree, %s can be confusing.) :)

 

You're right that the % won't always be exactly 50% every time. Each time you play a round at the blackjack table, you either win or lose. It's either 100% or 0%. It's binary. Black and white. The average of all of those would end up being whatever % the odds of winning are for that game. That's how %s work. There is no % of winning/losing each time you play a game. It's either a win or a loss.

 

Another analogy to help you understand: If there is a 14% chance of getting pregnant with a condom, then you're either getting pregnant or you're not. You can't get 14% pregnant. (And what would a 14% baby be like?) :)

 

So that's why people get so confused about the risks involved with herpes, too. Because ultimately when it comes down to a case-by-case basis across the entire population of Americans who either get herpes or don't get herpes, it breaks down to those %s as an average of millions of 100% and 0% cases. When a person gets herpes, they get it 100%. There's no getting 2.5% of herpes when you break it down to one person over the course of a year of having sex.

 

So knowing you have herpes and avoiding having sex during outbreaks and prodrome symptoms, taking medication and wearing condoms all contribute to lowering the CHANCE of your partner getting herpes. But your partner will either get herpes or not.

 

Does that make sense?

 

[ EDIT ]

 

After this discussion, I talked with Dr. Leone about this to get a professional clarification. Here's what he had to say:

http://herpeslife.com/herpes-forum/discussion/5255/from-dr-peter-leone-herpes-transmission-risk-per-sex-act-explained


Free e-book & handouts: https://www.herpesopportunity.com/lp/ebook 
The Opportunity Lifestyle Guides: https://www.herpesopportunity.com/lp/lifestyle-guides
Book a one-on-one coaching session: https://www.herpesopportunity.com/lp/herpes-coaching

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Here's another way to look at it... If I have sex 100 times, 2.5 times it'll probably transmit. In other words, an average of 40 times for the virus to be passed on.

 

The usual way of reading it is 'I have 1-in-40 chance of catching it each year'... I think???

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I think that this part of the original post needs to be brought back up for those who say they are not sure that you need to disclose for casual sex

 

I just want to add that there are also ways of disclosing with dignity when you just want to indulge a tryst. I usually keep it really simple and say something like, "I carry the herpes virus and feel the need to disclose this information before we get physical. I understand if this makes you unsure or lose your interest. If you would like to, we can do other things that are sexual besides "fucking." If you are interested in a penetrative sex we can use rubbers. Let ya think about it

 

To be honest myself, I find disclosing to people that I have deep and intense feelings for waaaaay more difficult than disclosing to folks I meet while traveling when I'm looking for a brief and sexy affair. I notice my level of confidence and the way I disclose changes situationally which tells me that I have work to do still on my own self worth and how this virus pertains to it.

 

So if you are considering not disclosing before casual sex, consider this:

 

1) IF the other person came back to you in a few weeks and asked if you had Herpes because they just got diagnosed with it, how would you feel?

 

2) As @caterpillarmonarch pointed out. What happens if the tryst turns into something more serious? How do you plan to tell them that you withheld something from them that may not be a deal breaker to them, BUT it turns into a TRUST issue because they will feel you lied to them?

 

3) Having already proven that we are none of us invincible and we *can* get an STD, how willing are you to risk getting another one? Sure, the person may lie or not know themselves but if you are honest first about your situation you open the door for THEM to be honest too :)

 

For *me* it would come down to my integrity. I'd rather risk someone walking away than to not tell them, for casual sex OR a committed relationship. Once I have disclosed, if they choose to continue (and I make sure they are educated if they seem to not know the facts) then if something happens I know that *I* allowed them to make a choice and I have done everything I could to protect them. I would of course have *some* guilt that they got it but I would know that they made an adult decision and took a calculated risk ... just as we take a calculated risk every time we get in a car of dying in a car accident.

 

Yes, the risk is small. But it's REAL. If it wasn't, WE wouldn't be here, now would we? ;)

 

 

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Thanks for the response Adrial. You're right, I'm really eager to be clear, and very much welcome the debate.

 

With respect - I still think you're wrong.

 

There's a difference between atributing a percentage chance to a single act of sex, versus an accumulation of percentage chances building up over a year.

 

What's the percentage chance of rolling a 6 on a single dice? 16.7% (approx.)

 

If you roll the dice once, what is the percentage chance you will hit 6? - 16.7%

 

If you roll the dice twice, what is the percentage chance you will hit 6? - For each roll it remains 16.7%, but the accumulated total (the chance of either of your dice rolls coming up 6) doubles.

 

If you roll the dice every day for a year, what is the accumulated percentage chance of a 6 then? (virtually 100% of course).

 

Stats for transmission are not based on a single contact, but rather the accumulated risk over the period of a year for a 'typical' couple.

 

This quote further illustrates the point, from an 18 month study of couples, the result of a quick search:

 

"Women acquired the virus at a rate of 8.9 per 10,000 sex acts--almost six times the rate of men (1.5 per 10,000 sex acts)."

 

from: http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/journals/2721301b.html

 

Those figures are way, way lower than the 5% - 2% range, and much nearer to the sub - 0.05 range I was predicting.

 

None of this is intended as a license to act without responsibility. I just want to try to get the facts straight in my head. I appreciate your input.

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The study you have used was studying condom use and how it affects transmission. It seems that the "source partner" may have been using antivirals and/or condoms, so your numbers Women acquired the virus at a rate of 8.9 per 10,000 sex acts--almost six times the rate of men (1.5 per 10,000 sex acts)." would be strongly affected by that.

 

If I can find the info that clarifies the data that @Adrial is giving, I'll post it ... but the numbers that we quote here are the numbers that all the reputable HSV sites/doctors/researchers are giving out.

 

Bottom line: like getting pregnant when you don't want to, it only takes ONE time, at the wrong time, to change the course of a person's life.

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