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Herpes-2 Positive; no symptoms--diagnosis is true?

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I decided to get tested for Herpes just to know I've got a clean slate of sti results, never suspecting anything would come up. I tested positive for Herpes-2 and was absolutely shocked. I haven't had a single symptom to give me cause for concern. After some reading, I realized that the CDC doesn't recommend testing for people who are asymptomatic. Given all this, do I have to disclose to partners that I have herpes? Do I say, "I've never had a single outbreak but I was exposed at some point and may shed viral particles?

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Igg tests have very few false positives, so it's almost definite you have it, and thus you need to disclose. I think the way you phrased it here is good. You can add on that asymptomatic hsv2 sheds less and is less likely to be passed on.

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I also tested for STIs last year after a divorce and was certain I was "clean." Like you, I was shocked to find out I have HSV2 (and HSV1, for that matter). My ex-husband of 15 years tested negative, so now I know I acquired herpes around 20 years ago. So yes, it's definitely possible to have herpes and have no symptoms, or have very mild symtoms you attribute to something else. It's also possible that symptoms could appear in the future. The stressors I faced in 2016 led me to start having regular outbreaks, including my very first actual raised sore less than two months ago. I secretly hoped I would remain asymptomatic or have really mild outbreaks, but now I know that there are no guarantees.


I have not re-entered the dating world since my divorce, so I can't comment on the how-to's of a disclosure. But when I think about question of whether or not to disclose, I always come back to this: I wish the person who gave me herpes gave me a choice. I have no idea who it was, and it's possible they didn't know themselves. But I simply could not sleep at night knowing I have herpes and withholding that information and choice from someone I cared about enough to have sex with.

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Thank you to both of you for your very helpful responses. I guess I kept telling myself, if the CDC doesn't think I should be tested, can't I just pretend I did not get tested and no one is none the wiser? However, Hiking Girl is absolutely right. I could not live with myself if I had this information and did not share it with someone I cared about. I would be haunted by this knowledge and it would eat me alive.

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@Savannah416 I had a similar experience and went through the same process of feeling like the larger problem was *knowing* after testing for "peace of mind." My experience since then has been similar to those who have posted already about finding unexpected benefits from knowing. Not that I don't still have my moments now and then. :)


Also, it has been encouraging to have most of my disclosures met with unconditional acceptance. That has made the process of disclosing feel like less of a burden and has sometimes resulted in greater intimacy as partners sometimes take the opportunity to open up to me in return. .


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@optimist Your response was very nice to read. I have a friend who has had her diagnosis for 20 years and another for 10 years and both have told me that their disclosures have been met with majority acceptance. I have a hard time wrapping my head around this bc as soon as I was diagnosed 2 weeks ago, my bf broke up with me. He admitted genuinely that our relationship was the best thing he's ever been in (he's in his 40s) but he just "can't get over my diagnosis". It has been devastating bc he's the first guy I've been able to call my boyfriend. And suddenly it's gone.

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@Savannah416 I'm sorry you had that experience. My very first disclosure went much the same way and it was painful and intensified the fears I was already experiencing, but even that turned out to be a good learning experience in the end. It took some time (and frankly a comparitively successful disclosure experience a few months later) to be able to put that experience in context, but these days I'm much more at peace with knowing *some* people simply can't accept it in a way that would make a relationship fulfilling, so when that happens, I feel comfort in knowing it's truly best for both people to move on and be available to meet more compatible partners.


I also have a couple close girlfriends who were diagnosed decades ago. Both went on to marry HSV- partners who fully accepted them. I hope you can remain hopeful but also take the time you need to come to terms with this yourself. That was an important step for me before putting myself back out there. Feel free to PM me any time if I can help.

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