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I gave the man I'm involved with Herpes the first time we were together

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2 months ago I found out I'm HSV1 and HSV2 positive but have never had an outbreak or symptoms. I met with my OBGYN and talked with him because I was involved with a man who I shared crazy strong chemistry with. I was pretty sure we would become intimate soon. He had very recently been HSV tested and his results were completely clear. during my consultation, my Dr. told me I was exposed to Herpes and had developed antibodies to the Herpes viruses and that I didn't have the active virus. I asked if I should go on anti-virals as a precaution and he said it wasn't necessary. He insisted that I couldn't spread the virus unless I had an active outbreak and since I didn't have outbreaks I couldn't pass it along. I shared all of this information with my new man before we became intimate (when we were in separate locations and days before we were together the first time) and said I would go on anti-virals if it made him feel safer. I said if he didn't want to have a sexual relationship at all then I would respect that choice too.


He opted to go forward with our physical relationship, which we both thoroughly enjoyed, not just for a night, but an entire weekend. No condoms, what we were doing condoms wouldn't protect us from anyway so we both made a clear choice to have unprotected sex. We haven't seen each other for two weeks but have been in daily contact with a plan to be together again last weekend. (We live 300 miles apart.) There is strong physical, mental and emotional connection between us, this isn't some casual sexual fling. On Saturday morning he called and let me know he had ALL the symptoms of a Herpes 2 outbreak and was very unhappy. He said instead of visiting me (which was out of the questions considering his poor health) that he was planning a visit to his doctor to get tested.


I've since discovered that my doctor was W.R.O.N.G. and that people can and do pass the virus along to others without having symptoms themselves. I'm angry with my doctor and I'm frustrated with my new guy. I understand his shock at contracting the virus, I really do. But I was honest with him up front and he didn't even question whether it was safe. I appreciate the trust he had in me and the confidence in the information I shared; I behaved as honestly as I was able to at the time. But now I feel like he is blaming me for this as if I somehow infected him intentionally. He said he didn't want me to come to help him out, even though he was sick, and that he was digesting and processing his situation. He said that it sucked, 'lifetime' sucked. That felt like blame toward me. Or am I just being sensitive because I feel guilty and sad about what has happened? I have repeatedly and sincerely apologized for infecting him, he knows I mean it too.


Right now I'm struggling to not feel completely abandoned. I sent him an email and told him I understood his feelings and didn't blame him for feeling as he does. I also asked him not to contact me while he was trying to come to terms with everything as I'm too fragile right now to hear things like 'lifetime sucks'. That I'm devastated that I had hurt him and I feel terribly responsible for what happened and I'm so sad about the turn of events.


Am I crazy to think that I shouldn't have to shoulder all of the responsibility for what has happened as I WAS honest and up front about my condition?! Everyone probably reacts to a herpes diagnosis differently so I'm trying to be understanding. I told him I wouldn't reach out to him again so he could do what he needed to do, alone as he requested. I left the door open to him and told him I'm praying for his health to be restored and for his success and happiness and that I was sending him much love. And I told him that if it was possible to do it, I would undo what had happened. I told him that more than anything I wished 'I could unring the bell'.


What a big mess; this is the first man in over 21 years that I feel this way toward. He's a really good man. Not since my divorce in 1995 have I been so connected to anyone. What we were working toward may be irreparable now. Do these things ever work out well once the innocent person who's been infected has had some time to adjust to the situation?!


My Dr. is going to be lucky that I don't sue him for malpractice. I'm so angry and frustrated.



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@Virgo2 I received similar advice from a medical professional upon diagnosis and I've heard of many others with similar experiences with doctors. I think many doctors are just not up to speed on HSV transmission, just focused on treatment options for patients who have recurring outbreaks that interfere with quality of life. Or perhaps some doctors are aware there is a small risk with asymptomatic shedding but don't consider it worthy of medical interventions like medication. Regardless, it's unfortunate so many patients are misinformed about potential risk.


I've said this on here before, but considering the timeline you mentioned, I'm guessing you and I probably close in age (I'm in my late 40s) and the reality is that half of single women in our age group have HSV2 and an additional unknown percentage have GHSV1. It's exceedingly common but most of these women don't know they're infected. If you do decide to start taking antivirals, your risk of transmission will be lower than that of perhaps half the single women your age who are unknowingly infected or choosing not to take antivirals.


As for your partner, while transmission was not intentional on your part, he is grieving and probably needs support from other sources at this time. One of the stages of grief is anger and you would be the likely target of that anger, unfortunately, at least for a little while. It may seem unfair, but I think it's a normal and necessary part of processing.


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Optimist, thank you! Yes, I am 56 and my fella is almost 60. I agree that he is grieving and I feel terribly sorry for him. I don't know what else I can do. I feel a lot like Typhoid Mary right now. 'D' is a very handsome, macho man; we both look and act at least 10 years younger than our 'real' ages, are well-liked by the opposite sex and though neither of us is promiscuous, we have very strong sex drives. It's clear our healthy and happy outlook on sex has been closely tied to our identities, which is one reason that we get along so well. With this diagnosis, it's bound to create some permanent changes in us.


I'm actually having the same grief experience since I didn't realize that I have the active virus until I found out that I'd passed it to him! So I have grief along with the extreme guilt of having infected (and for a lifetime damaged) a man I'm pretty crazy over AND feeling totally betrayed by the OBGYN who has been trusted by me with most of my health issues for over 14 years ( he also delivered my granddaughter).


If I can keep perspective and realize his feelings are normal and necessary I think that actually will help.


Thank you again.

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@Virgo2 I understand. When I was diagnosed, I didn't know how long I'd had it (at least a couple years but possibly decades or somewhere in between) or from whom I'd contracted it, so my anger was directed at other targets, including myself for testing (I tested for peace of mind and the result was the opposite) and my doctors for not educating me properly. That anger has diminished over time.


I can't claim I hadn't had a lot of partners, but I can relate to the other things you said about your sexual identity. I was divorced after a long marriage and just starting to date again. My sex drive is high, I tend to date younger guys, and my identity was probably more tied to sex appeal or sexual adventurousness than that of the average person. After being diagnosed with HSV2, I thought that would have to drastically change and it did change for a few months, but then it changed back again. It just took having one new partner who was very sexually attracted to me and not concerned about my HSV and who allowed me to be spontaneous and adventurous. That got the momentum going, both in terms of disclosure and reclaiming my sexual identity. Of course, some people may take the opportunity to reassess and reinvent their identity in some ways. Nothing wrong with that. Just sharing my own experience.



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You and I are on similar timelines. I am 58. My last real relationship ended in 1995. June 5th to be exact. In October of that year, I was diagnosed with H. I thought I got it from my bf. I had a restraining order against him so there was no talking to him. Since then, I only dated one guy and it was a nightmare. We only had sex once. Four years ago, my best friend put me on Plenty of Fish. I had a date within a week. It went really well. I was very excited. Then he played games. We actually had another date a year later. I wasn't really attracted to him but we got along great. Then he wrote 2 weeks later and asked how my hooters were doing. I was not happy with that question. Anyway, after the first date with this guy I got to thinking and realized that I probably got H from my very first boyfriend back in the late 70's. I also remembered a time when I gave oral sex to a guy and then worried if I got something from him. Within a few days, I had a spot on my tongue. This was in the 80's. I went to my doctor. I don't remember what he told me. But now I wonder if I have H2 in my mouth. In 1992, right before I started dating my last real bf, I got an outbreak on above my lip that lasted like a month and a half. I was diagnosed with H1. So if I were to date, this would be my first love since 1995. There is a man who is interested in me but he's like 70 something. I'm not interested in him at all. Well, now I should have addressed your concerns first. I'm sorry. You were misinformed. This is totally not your fault. I hope this man comes to grips with his diagnosis and continues to see you. Keep us posted~

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