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Need Advice Please!

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Quick Backstory: I was diagnosed with HSV2 almost exactly 3 years ago. I was dating my giver, I found out 2 months after we started dating, we continued our relationship for 3 years but recently broke up for reasons unrelated to HSV.


So now I’m dating again and facing my first disclosure. I met someone a week ago and we have hung out 4 times in the last week. Until last night we had only kissed. I hadn’t planned on getting physical until we had the talk. Last night we messed around, ‘hand stuff’ only if you will. Now I’m super anxious and feel really guilty. I know you’re supposed to disclose before any sexual activity, I know I messed up. Obviously nothing else will happen until we talk.


I really like this guy and feel like it could go somewhere. Have I totally messed up? Anyone else have a similar experience? Advice on moving forward?

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Well, you have a pretty tough situation to deal with, for sure.

You already know that putting off disclosure would make things more difficult. Worse if you never mention it and he ends up contracting the virus.

Given that, you also already know you should tell him. So, it seems like you are more asking how to do it.


Truth is, there is never going to be a good time to say, "I made a big mistake and it might effect your health for the rest of your life."

But that's what needs to be said.

You'll have to accept that he might be angry. You'll have to understand that you would be angry if he put you in that situation. There is a chance that it might turn out okay. But you can't expect things to be all sunshine and roses.


Tell him. Let him respond. If it turns into insults and shouting, you don't have to endure it. You can apologize and make yourself scarce. But chances are he will probably be surprised and have a lot of questions.

You have the opportunity to offer to provide answers, assist with him getting tested (first to see if he wasn't already infected before you met him, and later to see if you did somehow transmit the virus).

You can explain how the chances of transmission apply to your specific situation (whether you had an out break going on at the time, soon before or after. The fact that touching an affected area, then his own genitals or face is possibly a risk that went unhindered).

You can accept responsibility for your mistake and offer to try to ease his worry and simplify his gathering of answers.


You know he will have reasonable suspicions that you may have done this on purpose. You can point out you know he will suspect so, and offer assurance that you didn't mean for things to happen the way they did.


It won't be easy. But it just might quiet those feelings of guilt. He may even understand that you didn't mean him harm. He may turn out to aleeady have been infected and not know it, or he may turn out to not have gotten infected at all.


If the worst happened, you can offer to help with medical stuff like finding a doctor, costs and providing him with the support a newly diagnosed person needs. If he accepts that kind of help from you. Definitely don't try tobforce it on him.

He is the one who has been hurt (possibly just his trust and feelings), so you have to give him freedom to deal with it his way, with or without your help.


Whatever you do, tell him.

He deserves to know. He needs to know. Don't let him suffer the shock and suprise of sudden symptoms and subsequent loss of identity like so many of us felt.


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Thank you for the response. I told him and obviously he was hurt and anxious and we won’t be continuing our relationship. I obviously understand and am so angry at myself for not dealing with this appropriately. This was my first disclosure and I don’t know what I was thinking. I was so hurt when this happened to me, I don’t know how I could have put someone else in my same position. I feel like an awful person. I knew that I had to tell him before we had sex but I was naive in thinking it’d be ok to mess around before telling him. I feel like a dirtball of a person. I’ll never make this same mistake again.

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You are not a terrible person. Just from reading the few paragraphs you've written, I can tell that you are introspective, and you do care about other people. Bettwr, you have the capacity to understand the implications of your actions.

Those are things you can be proud of!

You can use them to do good things!


You might have made some mistakes, but you don't need to use them to bash yourself.

You did a really good thing in telling him. Keep doing good things, even when it's a little too late to change what already happened.

You know you won't find yourself in this situation again. Next time, you will know that you'll just have to say the words to disclose.

And there should definitely be a next time!

Now might be a critical time to do what you need to do to build up your self-image.

At very least you know you are valuable, desireable and want to do good. Those are not small things.

Don't dwell on what you could have done, remember that you did the best you could when you determined that you made a mistake.

Youa may already be doing all those things. If you are, great!

If you find yourself struggling to steer your train of thought away from negative stuff, reach out to someone close to you or feel free to reach out to the community here.

You showed a lot of courage in having that hard conversation with that person. I hope you know that you also have the courage and the resilience to see the good things in you, the good things you can do!

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