Jump to content
  • Want to be a part of a supportive community? Join the H Opp community for free.

    Welcome to the Herpes Opportunity Support Forum! We are a supportive and positive group to help you discover and live your Opportunity. Together, we can shed the shame and embrace vulnerability and true connection. Because who you are is more important than what you have. Get your free e-book and handouts here: https://www.herpesopportunity.com/lp/ebook

Uncomfortable disclosing in the work environment?

Recommended Posts

I was diagnosed with GHSV1 in November 2017, and have just been getting on with life since really, learning how to manage this virus and still going through the adjustment period. I have my down days but overall I'm feeling positive, embracing life and succeeding in my career (My job is super important to me).


One thing playing on my mind though is the possibility of having to disclose to someone related to my work. I work in a creative industry where many people know eachother, and realistically I am likely to meet someone via my work. I keep going through scenarios in my head of people in my industry finding out about my diagnosis and using it against me.


I know I'm being paranoid, but just wondering if anyone else has also felt like this? To be honest, if anyone tried to use it against me in work or general life, I'd tell them where to go..but still the thought of that situation makes me uncomfortable!



Link to comment

You have a right for your medical history to be treated with the utmost respect.

In the US, we have HIPPA laws and federal acts that protect us from backlash regarding medical conditions. It is illegal to create a hostile work environment, especially one based on a medical condition. Further, it would be illegal for a medical condition to prevent or hinder your career advancement.

So, if your fears did by some crazy turn of events come to fruition, talk to your HR and to a lawyer about your options for resolving issues.


Short of all that extremeness. Maybe date outside your circle.

Link to comment

Dating outside my circle is definitely preferable right now. I have anxieties that I will meet someone either through work or through my friends (pretty common ways to meet someone!), and end up having to disclose.


I'm not scared of disclosing really, but I do worry that perhaps the person I disclose to would react badly, and then go on to tell friends/colleagues about my condition and be nasty about it. It's tricky because this virus is so stigmatised and misunderstood.


Link to comment

Your concerns are possible.

You have to decide how you would meet those circumstances and it seems like you are leaning toward simply taking things at a more cautious approach, if you were to date a friend of a friend or collegue. You could certainly abstain until you are able to guage how this hypothetical person would handle difficult situations, or not so great news. This is a very common and necessary part of dating anyway, HSV notwithstanding.

If you are unsure how to read a potential match, or evaluate a person's integrity, emotional stability, and good nature, then you could probably benefit a lot from brushing up on some dating advice.

There are tons of resources out there to help you figure out how to identify the telling signs that you are dating someone untrustworthy or cruel. It's a talent to be able to judge someone's character accurately and quickly, one that can be learned and refined.

Link to comment

It's definitely important to be able to make a judgement of someone's character, I agree with you there. Herpes has definitely made me more cautious and think a lot harder about who I get involved with, and I recently ended things with someone before it got to the disclosure part because I was pretty sure they wouldn't be able to handle it (they were quite negative about life in general so that was a red flag anyway).


I think right now I am struggling to imagine that anyone my age (mid 20s) will be able to handle my diagnosis, so I keep thinking up worst case scenario situations in my head about what might happen if I disclose. I just assume from the start that anyone I date will turn on me if I disclose to them, but I'm trying to re-wire my brain to not think like that.


There are decent and understanding people out there, I just need to remember that (we all do).

Link to comment

It's normal to stress about hypothetical scenarios.

That happens to everyone, but especially those diagnosed with medical conditions.

My brother has schizophrenia (just about completely under control these days) and he is very anxious about dating again. He worries about how and when to tell someone about his condition and fears that it will be a deal-breaker. But to the same effect as herpes, I remind him of all the great qualities he has and that the right person will appreciate him for who he is.

In both cases, worry about how the condition might be interpreted initially, as well as how it might effect the dynamic of relationships, romantic or otherwise. You could say, "Well Schizophrenia isn't contagious" and a schizophrenic might say, "Well herpes can't make you behave irrationally to the point you need to get picked up from work by your significant other." You can see from the comparison that in each scenario, a little balancing with what is likely to happen must be taken into account when deciding how to mitigate such risk from which anxiety stems.

For us here who are H+, a big factor is doing the small amount of work it takes to make sure we protect a potential partner from transmission by taking medication, disclosing and using protection. While those measures might be slightly different for someone with a different condition, we all will benefit from carefully considering what kind of person might be good for us, what kind of person would be bad for us, and how to identify those people on the first or second date (or at least, before getting intimate).


So embrace your desire to carefully evaluate a potential match, and cultivate it into a natural talent. Take suppression medication and make sure you do so as prescribed to ensure risk is actually mitigated by it. Vow to disclose upfront and and every time you decide that you wil take someone home for some fun. Be firm about using protection.

And remember, you are not at all the only person out there with a condition that requires disclosure. You need to be smart and protect youself still. Don't assume the other person is blemish free just because you aren't.

Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...