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Disclosing after Sex

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To any users and contributors to this website thank you so much for sharing your experiences and wisdom, this space has been a huge resource for me.


I'm a 22 year old young woman, and I was diagnosed with herpes about three months ago...and it's been really difficult for me to practice self love since then. It's like experiencing extreme heartbreak over losing a part of myself that I valued. I immediately went on suppressive therapy even though I've never had an outbreak just

To get some peace of mind. I also called my ex, who I broke up with a month before my diagnosis. He and I had been having unprotected sex for over two years, so there was no doubt in my mind that he probably had it too. He took it very well and we remain friends and support each other.


When I'm alone with my thoughts and feelings, I can get to a place where I feel calm and confident, like hey, I can deal with this. It's really a simple Manageable skin condition. But as soon as I imagine disclosing to someone my heart rate goes up and I feel sick to my stomach. I've been researching endlessly about transmission rates so I can be prepared to help future partners feel calm about it like I do when I'm being reasonable. But I fear so much the societal stigma, how can I change someone's mind about herpes after they've experienced years of miseducation? Honestly if someone disclosed to me and I didn't have Hsv2 I would be very hesitant to have sex with them afterwards even if they were on suppressive therapy and we used condoms. How can I expect understanding from other people that I probably wouldn't give?


So while all these emotions are happening, along comes a guy who I am very interested in. We have great chemistry, can spend hours together, similar interests...we've been seeing each other for a month now. And..we've had sex several times. Once without protection. And I haven't disclosed. It's eating me alive. I'm spending time with him, I forget about H, and then we have sex, and immediately after I feel sick and anxious. It's like I'm trying to feel normal and uninfected, but all this behavior does is push me further away from love and closer to denial and self hatred for being so reckless.


I'm so lost..I know I have to talk with him. The mere thought makes me physically ill and my heart race. I feel like a terrible person and he has every right to walk away from me and hate me but I want so much for him to be understanding. Any insight or personal experience about ANY of this would be so appreciated, I feel so alone and torn apart.

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@needhope_ I have hsv 2, and just had my first outbreak due to stress. It was mild and I'm on suppressive therapy so doubling up on my prescription, epsom salt baths, lysine, and tea trea oil all helped.


I hope your outbreak wasn't too severe are you using any kind of treatment?


@geminij thank you for your solidarity..it's a comfort to know I'm not alone in this.

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Oh you've got oral? Tbh I'm still not completely sure how it all works...that's good though, that it was mild. Do those really help? I need to read up on it more!


Unfortunately, it was pretty bad. Only because I wasn't fully aware that I was having an outbreak so I shaved and I'm sure that made it much worst than it would have been. As soon as I realized what it was I went to a local clinic and they gave me Acyclovir. It took about a week to clear up

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@Ava_, you're definitely not alone. I think most all of us here found it difficult to practice self-love after the diagnosis. I was also asymptomatic--until the diagnosis that is. The stress of it all has given me regular outbreaks in the past year that are just now starting to calm down. It's up to your ex whether he gets tested or not, but for what it's worth, my ex-husband and I had unprotected sex for 16 years and he never got it (I didn't know I had it until after the divorce).


In my opinion, you can't change someone else's mind. Not about herpes, not about anything really. All any of us can hope for is that the person we date likes us enough and is interested in us enough to look past herpes *or any number of other imperfections we all have*. One thing that having herpes has taught me is to be more understanding of other people's imperfections. But ultimately, some things will still be a deal breaker and that's all due to my attitudes, my experiences and my needs for a relationship.


Whenever I stop and realize how many things are completely outside of my control, it's still painful. I wish you strength to get through the part that you can control (the disclosure) and the peace to know that no matter what happens, you're still worthy of love.





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  • 6 months later...

@ava I'm right there with you, I met someone recently whom I can really see myself having a future with and we have had sex unprotected as well and I take meds every day and last year my outbreaks were minimal but every day I'm having the worst anxiety and guilt as I talk and text with him. Ive read a lot of forums on this and know I need to say something it just sucks, if you do tell him let me know how it went. Hopeful for all of us dealing with this.

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