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25 yo Male UK - My Story

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I’m writing this post about my recent herpes+ diagnosis, in order to share my story and hopefully reassure other new herpes+ people like myself that you’re not alone. I know it’s a long post but along the way I’ve noted a few questions so if you could have a read and get back to me on my questions it would be hugely appreciated.

Since my diagnosis of genital herpes, like most people I’m sure; I’ve spent many an hour both worrying and trawling through the Internet reading just about everything there is to know about the disease. Whilst studying at university I’m not even sure I’ve quite read this much literature, but what I have found during my time searching the Internet is the lack of young males posting and even commenting on herpes related posts which is somewhat my reason for putting this together.

To give a brief description of myself, I guess from an outsiders perspective I’m considered a bit of a ‘Lad’. I’m 6’ 3, decent looking, outgoing, and sporty. Coming from a lads background of todays day and age, a lot of talk is about sexual partners, who’s slept with who, who’ve you matched on tinder and this aligned with todays culture of ‘care free’ sex, the diagnosis of my herpes has been very difficult for me to come to terms with, and in fact I’m yet to fully come to terms with it. Especially when I’m still surrounded by the kind of talk I have just mentioned at work, at home, and out with friends socialising.

Previously, it’s fair to say I’ve had a fair few sexual partners (all women). Like most people of today these have come through random flings on nights out, tinder dates, university, holidays and relationships, so I guess I could say I have been a bit care free when I take the time to look back. In all honesty however, it just seems to be the mentality I’ve been surrounded by and the way I’ve always known things to be with other guys the same age as myself and I’m sure it’s not to dissimilar with a lot of todays young women. Regardless however, I’ve not always used protection with new partners, which I believe to be my downfall here, so I guess you could say this is somewhat my fault! The women that I have slept with have always been fairly good looking and from a good background, so I had never imagined or even taken it seriously that I’d catch anything more than chlamydia, which to me was all a bit of a laugh and a joke. For that reason and quite embarrassingly I don’t think I wore a condom more than 50% of the occasions in which I slept with a new partner. It was always that quick conversation “do you have anything?” “No”, and that was that. Looking back this obviously is such an idiotic thing, but such is life and that so is that wonderful thing we call hindsight.

About 3 months ago, following the split of a 6-month relationship I decided to visit a good friend of mine who was working in the Barcelona, we had a great time, however to this day I massively regret ever going. I contracted the herpes virus from a girl who I believe that she knew had the virus. I had first met the girl on Tinder and had been chatting to her for a few days, so on my last night we decided to meet up for a few drinks and we seemed to get on really well, she was somewhat chatty and I found her fairly attractive, albeit deep down I think we both knew this would never be more than just a quick one night stand and in my head that was all I really wanted. Little did I know something which I deemed to be so normal and so innocent could lead to a life long virus and potentially lose me my future wife to be. Following our drinks and a pleasant evening of conversation we headed back to her apartment and ended up in her bedroom. My memory is hazy, whether or not that be due to the alcohol or just me repressing the memory, but when I look back there were a few things which stood out to me, and were unlike most girls i've slept with. I remember she wouldn’t let me put the light on which I found a really strange and it’s for this reason amongst a few other weird signals and her secluded vibe that I believe it was her that gave me the virus 'purposefully'. Or maybe I’m just looking for comfort in the fact that I honestly believe I have been a victim of a sad person that’s out to get guys. Almost like the opposite of a redemption act. 

Anyway, fast-forward 2 weeks and I had come down with the most horrendous flu, chest pains, and some uncomfortable chlamydia symptoms. Initially I never dreamt that I’d have something as serious as herpes (by serious I mean life long), but 4 days into the flu I was sat on my bed and noticed a small painless blister on my scrotum. It was at this moment that my life kind of stopped and my heart sank because I just knew inside what it was and what it meant to my life. When I googled my symptoms I knew that this was it, I was one of the ‘unfortunate’ people that now made up a statistic I never wanted to be a part of. After being in and out of the clinic three times that week, being told that I didn’t have herpes and that I was just panicking, I finally got my diagnosis back and was told that as I had rightly predicted, I had indeed contracted Herpes type 2. Although I really want to know if the swab test actually comes back with a definitive answer on the herpes type of if they just say it’s type 2 because of the area it’s in?

Following the diagnosis I went to the clinic to get some medication and have a chat with those who I thought and are deemed to be the professionals. I was obviously upset and explained how I believed that my love life was over, however the doctor reassured me that I was okay, my love life wasn’t over and that I shouldn’t feel the need to disclose if I’m using protection. All of which I found quite difficult to comprehend as by not disclosing and wearing a condom I would still be putting someone’s health at risk, not to mention put myself in a very awkward and vulnerable position should it get out or even if my partner were to go down on me. Following this discussion with the doctor I was referred onto the health practitioner to continue the chat and answer my many questions. Initially it was comforting to hear what I was told, however looking back, the information that I was told it seems even worse than the doctors! The practitioner suggested that for future partners I might be able to pretend I didn’t know I had herpes, and when symptoms arise just act surprised or alternatively just use protection and then tell them when things get serious "if my conscience allowed me to do so" . So really i'd love to know what do you guys do? Do you just not sleep around anymore, do you always disclose first? I’d love to know because right now I feel like my views change on a daily basis when I read how common this is and the likelihoods of your partner showing smyptoms.

Anyway, as much as it would still be good fun to have carefree sexual encounters like I used to, I don’t personally believe that I can do this without disclosing first. Knowing this is really difficult for me, and I guess it’s made me realise that I would love to have a partner and just that special someone to settle with and enjoy their company now. Personally, the disclosure talk is a massive grey area for me and I would love to know what other people do as well as your experiences and tips on disclosure?

I’m now back on the dating scene since my diagnosis, It didn’t take to long I know (5 weeks) but I feel like I want to get back out there, be strong and actually meet someone who’s more than a quick fling. Luckily, I met a really cool girl through mutual friends at a festival a few weeks ago and we’ve been chatting ever since. We had a really good first date last night, however unfortunately since we've got chatting I’ve spent a vast majority of my days procrastinating and making up imaginary scenarios in my head of how I would tell her. I don’t even know her that well just yet! It’s honestly driving me crazy! I’ve since tried looking on herpes dating websites, in act of "maybe I never will have to disclose" but one, they’re really expensive, two, they don’t seem to have many people let alone local people and worst of all I hate the idea of segregating myself to a limited dating scene just because I have a virus that may or may not effect me or my future partner. Inevitably I know that eventually the time will come when I do need to tell someone outside of my family, whether it be the girl I dated last night or someone else. So really, I would like to know if anyone else had similar experiences of constantly worrying or thinking about how you would disclose herpes? and as mentioned before your real life experiences, rejections and ways of approaching?

At this moment in time I feel like the it's all very unknown territory i'm treading in, as well as during my initial outbreak I noticed a small blister also appeared on my face, I wasn’t sure if it was herpes but last week after a heavy weekend drinking, the same kind of blister appeared above my right eyebrow and I’m 99% sure it’s herpes due to the way progressed and healed. It was only very small and it fortunately completely cleared up before the date so it didn't bother me to much, but I worry that from kissing I could now also be a danger of transferring the virus. Has any one else experienced small facial outbreaks? What are the implications? Should I now be disclosing even before a kiss?



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Ryan, I’m newly diagnosed and am trying to deal with the disclosure discussion as well. It does help to know that we’re not alone; still part of me wishes that I never would have known.  I’m a attractive young(ish) 29 woman and have had a lot of opportunities for relationships and sexual encounters, but prefer long term monogamous relationships.  I’ve had 2 that lasted more than 4 years and was engaged at one point.  

I still feel like such an idiot, because I was so careful about STDs for so many years and after my engagement ended, I let my guard down.  I recently was in a shortterm monogamous relationship with this guy that I knew as a womanizer in the past.  He was being weird with me about sex at first and looking back, I wish that I had trusted my gut, but also hindsight is 20/20.  I told him that I wanted to use condoms since he hadn’t been tested recently and we had only been dating for a few weeks, but he told me that he knew he didn’t have anything and I decided to take him at face value. . . so we didn’t use protection since I was in BC.  This is the part that is so upsetting.  If he cared about me at all and was experiencing symptoms of herpes why the hell didn’t he just use a condom with me?! Because looking back, I am almost certain he was experiencing symptoms; he didn’t want to have sex at random intervals of our relationship to just cuddle instead.  I wish I had trusted my gut.  There is some blame on me, but I asked him and he said he didn’t have anything.  I just thought if he had something, maybe he wouldn’t tell me, at least insisit on condom use since I was showing concern and he was my boyfriend.  Anyway. . . 

We were together for all of three months.  I ended things in June because it just wasn’t working and started experiencing symptoms about a week later.  I was diagnosed HSV2 positive after getting tested.  

The thing that sucks is that I already meet a really amazing guy and I don’t know how to tell him.  I think that he would judge me, but he also has the right to know.  We have been using condoms and I’m on Valtrex, but I worry about our future with this secret I have from him.  I have at least two breakout since my initial diagnosis which were not so bad, but just extremely emotionally painful, and I know that I will likely have more at which point even a condom will not provide 100% protection, so I will have make up excuses to refrain from sex.  I don’t want to lie to him but i don’t want to lose him either.  I guess I’m being selfish. 

Please let me know how your story goes.  I’m wishing us both a ton of luck.  This disease so emotionally draining. I don’t know how many hours on the internet, I’ve spent either.  At some point, after you have all the facts, you gotta stop searching and just get some support.  I think that’s where I’m at.  I need emotional support.

Ill feel for you so hard about your situation.  It could happen to anyone. 

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Hello there! @Ryan_msfirst of all... good or you that you are taking this seriously and understand that you have to disclose. As you might read from this and other site most of us women who are in this situation contracted H from a partner who knew and decided not to tell us and not to care enough about us to take preventive measures. 

I got diagnosed a little over a month ago and I am feeling sth very similar... also wanting to meet someone special and share with that person. I am actually wondering whether that comes from an urgency caused by our diagnosis or if it's more like enlightenment from the super deep retrospection one goes into after being diagnosed. 

This site has a free guide on how to disclose, if you are really considering that. However, I would suggest you take a little longer to get to know this girl, until you feel comfortable with her and actually certain that you can trust her. You are going to make yourself very vulnerable and probably it will be an emotional situation because this is your first time doing this, so make sure you've spent enough time with her to know that she will be empathetic and/or more importantly, make sure that you are in place were you'll be able to get a hold on yourself if you get rejection or any negative answer to your disclosure. On that matter, let me tell you you are already proving to be a honorable individual by being here, reaching out, asking for help and acknowledging that no person with H should ever be intimate with another person without disclosing. It takes courage, but it will make us stronger and will give us peace of mind. 

Good luck, let us know how it went! 


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Hi all! Here's that guide on how to disclose, the H Opp way! 😉 Make it an opportunity instead of a liability. It's all about mindset and practice. 


This content is for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute medical advice or diagnosis. I'm not a medical professional, so please take this as friendly peer support. 

Helpful resources:

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