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How can I ask someone to risk this?

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So I have had HSV2 for over 3 years now. When I initially found out I was devastated, terrified, my life is over, all that stuff. It has taken me 3 years (stuck to dating H+ ppl for the first 2 years) but I finally had the guts to make my first disclosure a couple of weeks ago. It was successful! It has really helped me see that it was my own beliefs about my worth (or lack of due to herpes) that had been holding me back. Not the skin condition itself.




I had spent so much time focused on my fear of disclosure and being rejected that I didn't put much thought into how being in a relationship with an H- negative partner was going to feel. I know the chance of transmission is low with avoiding sex during outbreaks, condoms and medication BUT there still is a risk. Now all I can think about is how terrible I will feel if I pass this on. He isn't hung up about it, we don't even discuss it so I know I should accept that he has made an informed decision but I feel he is operating under the impression that if we are careful he won't get it. But he might!


I think my problem is I have been thinking about this with the idea that "The right person will accept me and want to be with me because they will realize it is silly to reject someone they care about over something that only has a 1% chance of happening". But now I'm realizing it could very well happen anyway and unless you are planing on getting married (It's only been a month of dating so no guarantees) how could you ask anyone to take the risk of having to deal with this for the rest of their life?


Has anyone had this issue when dating a H- partner? I feel like all my hard work of accepting myself and H was built around the idea that I would never give this to someone. The realization that I might is making me feel down and unworthy all over again :(



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You have disclosed and it sounds like he is fine with it. You have to stop worrying about how he "might be feeling." He's a grown man and research all day long to see what the risk is. Leave at that and enjoy this fine young man. I'm H+ my husband of almost 22 yrs negative.

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Thanks Katidid. I know you are right, it's hard not to worry about his position though as I don't want him to resent me in the future, or regret his choice. I guess I'll stick with the assumption that he will be fine as there is a 99% chance he will be since we are taking all the precautions and just trust his judgment about what is best for him. Great to hear your husband has remained H- in all that time!

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Life is a risk. And that's basically something he is willing to take on. And if you want to be in relationships you have to take risks too. I've been in several long term relationships. And I passed it twice; once where we always wore condoms and the other I took Valtrex but not condoms. Both men were given all the information in the beginning. One did his research after. The other did not. Both felt they would rather take the risk than not have me in their life. When both relationships ended due to other circumstances years down the road I felt some guilt that they now had this and both felt it was a non issue; they knew what they were getting into. Not saying that is how every guy would feel if the he got it and the relationship ended. But my point is there are many risks (not just herpes or STD's for that matter) and people take those risks in order to find happiness. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn't. While I can't promise a prospective partner when we first start dating that we will always be together I personally do have a guy take a little waiting period after I disclose before we have sex just to give them time to have a fully clear head and give them an out before we've gotten intimate. It helps with my conscience too.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Five months in, grieving, a shell of myself; still trying to find solid ground. So I don't know if I will be able to add anything substantial here. But the question you pose speaks so forcefully to me. I think you are right to step back and think it over again, even if someone said yes. Why risk anyone getting this, even if it's just a 1% chance? They said yes, but can they really imagine what this feels like? To have this? Yes, it's ridiculous that essentially one pimple on the genitals makes one instantly and permanently marked, shunts one to a different class. But the sheer absurdity of it doesn't erase the reality.


Through the shock and grief, I have sketched out a plan for how I will date, and I believe I will do so with only H+ people. But: 20% of 16.2% = 3.24%. That's a profoundly lower chance of love (already rare), and a complete loss of all love found out in the open, where romance blooms over time, the way I was used to.


I see the enormity of that loss in full. Thus, my grieving, which has not abated for a single hour since November.




I myself almost want to be persuaded away from my highly moral stance stated here.


Perhaps my moral thinking is so black and white right now because an amoral person did not disclose her status to me a mere five months ago. She failed as a human and changed my view of what humans are capable of. And right now, I want to stand as far away from her thought process (or sociopathic blankness) as I can. That probably leads to overdoing the strident moral philosophy. I almost wish for more shades of grey to creep in. I think where that might happen first is in allowing for the possibility of an H- partner over 40, who would in my opinion have a better handle on the true length of one's life and so be able to properly assess risk.


I wish you the best. I hope the other comments are right to encourage you and that I'm wrong in being so self-righteous that I veto what adults I've never met have decided to do for love. My comment is just a gut response from a place of shock and sadness. I'm philosophizing from the loneliest place I've ever known, a spot I didn't even know existed. This is my first time writing on this website, so thanks for bearing with me. Thank you for your eloquent post.

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