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How much to disclose

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I started dating a really amazing guy a little over two months ago. We had gotten to know each other a bit before we started dating, so things moved a little more quickly than I expected, but we used protection. Well, about a week after we first slept together I got a cold sore for the first time. I freaked out a little and went to my MD and learned everything I could. I also had general STI testing done at the time just as good practice since I was with a new partner, which all came back negative. The MD gave me Valtrex, and I elected to begin taking it as suppressive therapy even though the cold sore was pretty mild compared to many stories I have read. I also told my new partner about the cold sore and refrained from any contact until it was gone. He seemed cool with it (though he did say that he had never had one), and we returned to a normal sex life. At that point I didn't even mention the Valtrex--it just made me feel better knowin fi was less likely to give it to him. All has been great and I have been ridiculously happy.


Fast forward 2 months. I forgot to take the Valtrex for two days, and suddenly felt the dreaded tingling on my lip. I was frustrated that it was probably my own doing, but I thought--not the end of the world. Well, this time I also noticed a very tiny bump downstairs. I had never had an ob before (that I know of), so I called the MD immediately and had it swabbed, and it came back positive for HSV-I. I brought up the cold sore with my (now) bf a few days ago before I had the results of the test but didn't mention the test in case I was being overly cautious. (We also haven't done anything at all during this time. At that point, I told him that I had another cold sore, that I have the HSV-I virus and that I am on an antiviral for suppression, but I wasn't quite careful enough with that this time. Once again, he has been really cool with it, though he didn't seem to want more details and was happy to stop talking about it.


My question is--now that I have more information about the second location, do I need to have a third disclosure talk? From the extensive reading I have been doing, my understanding is that he is much more likely to get it (in either place) from my mouth. Is it necessary for me to give more information? Or can I stop without turning this into the neverending disclosure nightmare?

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I also should have said--we were having unprotected oral sex the whole time and we used condoms for about the first month but now haven't been for about a month. Also to reiterate, we haven't had sex of any kind since the second oral ob and diagnosis of GHSV-1. Thanks for any input--I'm really stressing out about this!

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I do believe you are right in saying that he's more likely to get it in either place from your mouth rather than your genitals. As it stands now, there hasn't been any documentation/stats on how many infections are transmitted by genital HSV1 through regular intercourse. But there is still the friction and microtears, and that keeps me from saying that it's impossible to transmit that way.


Regardless, I get what you are saying. How many times should you have to tell someone you have HSV1? And does the location really matter at this point? I'd say no. There is a point where they have to be responsible for their own sexual health. He knows you have the virus, and in telling him, you've done your part.

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@MMissouri -- thanks for your comment! I feel this way about it, too. I have been thinking about this all weekend, and I have decided that from a moral standpoint, it is totally fine not to tell him.


However, I may tell him after all (even though I don't think it's necessary) because this is someone I feel like I may really have a future with. The more I think about that, the more I imagine how much harder it would be if I had to disclose this in a year or two or five years because of an ob (e.g. what if we get married and I am trying to get pregnant--would I go off of suppressive therapy and possibly have another ob?). Even though I think this is all tied up in unreasonable stigma and I am not actually putting him at much more risk since he is already fine with my OHSV-1, I am in my mid-30s and have had relationships (including one very long term) that were not built on honesty. That's no fun for anyone. As so many posters in this forum have powerfully stated, if this is a deal breaker for him, then maybe I am wrong about how great our connection is. In the grand scheme of things, if he can't handle a mild skin condition that I have no control over, then he isn't someone I want to spend my life with (even though that will be incredibly disappointing temporarily). I wouldn't judge anyone for not disclosing in my situation though. Hopefully this will end well...

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I'm happy to report that it went really well. He said, "It really doesn't matter. You're worth it." And that was that. I'm very grateful to the support of this forum for helping me through this. It was a hard discussion to have, but I'm so glad I did it!

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