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I disclosed, now the waiting game

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Hi everyone. I met a really great guy, and we hit it off right away. Last weekend I had to have 'the talk'. He said he wasn't expecting that and was a bit shocked. I couldn't help but cry and get upset when I told him because I was scared.

Anyways, we talked about it and he said he just needs time to process it, that it doesnt change how he feels about me. Since then it has been a little weird between us, and we have had a couple of good talks. He said he has done a little bit of research but doesn't want to do a ton at first because he doesn't want to get overwhelmed. He was honest and said that it does scare him.

Last night we had another talk, and I thought he was going to just tell me it was too much, but he didn't. He said that he's still reading up on it, but it still scares him and makes him nervous. I told him the risks again, and also tried to assure him that the risks are low with no outbreaks, and about 5% with no condom, and no outbreaks. That 5% still scared him. He went on to say that he doesn't like using condoms.

I'm left feeling again like this is running my love life, and I don't know what to do. He knows I'm great, and wants to be with me, but this could be a dealbreaker. It breaks my heart because we are good together, and I hate that just something like herpes could control this part of my life.

Is there anything else I can say to him to assure him that its not the end of the world?

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Just to be clear, when you're reviewing percentages...he understand it's an annual number, right? So it's not if you have sex 20 times he will likely get it. It's more like if you have sex with 20 guys regularly for a year, 1 person will likely contract it. Also have you thought about taking the anti-viral as that will cut down the percentage even more? At least until he's more comfortable with the idea and is willing to make a longer term investment in you.


....and if you're together for 10 years, it's a 50/50 chance you'll have it. My opinion, if I'm with someone for 10 years that will probably be a minor detail of your relationship at that point.


However, there is that small chance...and I think that's what scares people and unfortunately they have that right. You could also offer to just take things slow to allow him to find out more about you.

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are you able to clarify that more? When I saw my dr. she told me there was a 5% chance of transmission if you have unprotected sex. Is it not a 5% chance every time you have sex with that same person?

I did mention to him I take the daily pill. I just wish this wasnt a whole new thing to him. He seems to be not completely running for the hills, so hopefully he will give me a chance.

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Correct, it is not a 5% chance time every time you have sex. It's closer to a 1/2000 chance each time you have sex statistically speaking. Also, studies vary, but female to male with using an anti-viral is about 2% (assumes no condom). It's easier for a female to contract the virus. Another thing to note, these studies assume 2 sex acts a week..so assuming 2 - 5% is probably pretty accurate for you. Overall the risk is pretty low if you're careful but unfortunately you can't eliminate at this time.

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On the percentages, through research with University of Washington website and other sound resources, if you take daily suppressive therapy (Valacyclovir - 500mg daily), that it can cut your transmission rates even lower than the 5% with many saying it is in the 1-2% range. Condom usage will and could reduce that another 30-50% depending on the study.


@newreality Could you help me understand the transmission better based on what you shared? Thank you and best of luck @lilly82!

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Thanks for that! Also are these percentages referring to unprotected sex and with no outbreaks?

If anyone has any links to helpful and reliable information too that would great!!


I’m still seeing the guy and he still seems to be interested in me but we still have to sit down and have a conversation about the risks etc. So I want to be prepared.

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Sure @jma031964.


Keep in the mind the percentages will fluctuate slightly depending on your source, but generally this is the commonly accepted percentages. This also assumes you avoid sex during outbreaks as that's when the virus is most contagious.


Au Nature (No Condom or Anti-Viral)


Female to Male is about 8% transfer rate

Male to Female is about 10% transfer rate


Use of a Condom or Anti-Viral (50% reduction)


Female to Male is about 4% transfer rate

Male to Female is about 5% transfer rate


Use of a Condom and Anti-Viral (50% reduction)


Female to Male is about 2% transfer rate

Male to Female is about 2.5% transfer rate


Another important thing to note that this is an annual percentage. Therefore it doesn't mean if you have sex there is a 2 or 2.5% chance your partner will catch HSV each time. This is an annual number and that's a great thing. Statistically speaking, it would be about a 1/20,000 chance of each time you have sex. So really low, but the risk always exists. A good way to phrase this (from an infected male perspective), if I was to have sex with 50 people for a year regularly (2x a week) 1 or 2 women would likely catch HSV. I assume most won't be sleeping with 50 people regularly for a year...


Additionally, things to note is that people are generally more contagious in the first 3 months of contracting HSV and as you build up antibodies there have been studies to show that asymptomatic shedding is few (in addition to outbreaks being fewer and far between).


@Lilly82, this may be useful info for you too.

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@NewReality thank you for that info!! I also found the printouts on this site with a bunch of info.

I do feel a bit better reading that the transmission rates are so low. I take the anti viral meds every day and break outs are getting less and less.

My new guy is still thinking things over and he has been away for a week and I haven’t heard much from him, but trying to respect his space and give him time to digest. Hopefully once we have another talk he will be more comfortable with it.

It’s so hard dating sometimes and not taking it personally if someone doesn’t accept it. I have faith he will but cross your fingers for me :)

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You're welcome and that's awesome @jma031964 !


@Lilly82 You can only do what you can, but at least with disclosing he knows you're a trustful person. You win points that way. Dating is tough regardless. None the less, it's just one aspect in the totality that is you. If he doesn't accept it, there will be someone who will as long as you don't lose confidence in your own value. Anyway, good luck!

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  • 4 weeks later...

@newreality I wanted to check back with you for your opinion on my situation and thought that it might help @lilly82 as well. I have been dating a dear, close friend of mine for 7 months. We have taken our relationship very slowly since we really wanted to get to know each other at a whole different level. We have not been intimate whereas it would not put her at risk. However, I have not disclosed to her yet and it has been 7 months. I have received various opinions that you disclose early on, as well as those that state it's great that you have waited and if you are not intimate (i.e. sexual intercourse or skin to skin contact ), there is no reason to disclose until you feel the time is right to take intimacy to the next level.


I do believe it is time to disclose...we have jointly expressed love for one another, but boy, am I fearful of her reaction. I have had HSV for 29 years and have disclosed to 4-5 partners with positive results, but this is so different due to our lifelong friendship of almost 42 years.

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