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Boyfriend In Denial? Or me?

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I think my boyfriend is in denial...or perhaps it is me? Here's my story - I have questions at the end.

I was diagnosed with HSV-2, genital herpes, a year ago. I first developed sores four days after having unprotected sex with my then-boyfriend (prior to that we had been using condoms). I went to the doctor and a swab confirmed that I had genital herpes.

My first outbreak was terrible - swollen glands, angry red blisters, a fever, aches and pains, painful urination etc... Since then they have followed the classic pattern - reduced frequency and milder symptoms. At this point, one year later, I don't even notice I have it and it really is just a nuisance. I'm not on meds and it doesn't affect my life (other than emotionally recently).

The diagnosing doctor told me that she was "confident" that I got it from my current partner given that I had not had sex in the last two years, coupled with the severity of the first outbreak and the timing of it (classic case of developing symptoms after initial incubation).

My boyfriend's went for a test, an IgG test (which I now know), which showed the presence of anitbodies (we didn't talk about the test at the time, he just came home and said "The doctor said I have it. So I must have given it to you."). He has never exhibited any signs or symptoms (but that's the case with about 80% of the people who have it).

After all of this, my boyfriend was in contact with someone he thinks he may have gotten it from and confirmed that yes, she did have it, and that yes, she knew she had it at the time when they had sex, but didn't disclose. He admitted that there was genital-on-genital contact and the possibility for it to pass on to him.

So it seemed to me pretty clear what had happened. I accepted it. We moved on. Everything was fine.

Then we broke up in the last few weeks (he initiated it).

Since then, he has now decided that he does not have herpes at all. He says I must have gotten it from someone else, that the virus must have stayed dormant in my system all this time, it was just a cooincidence that my first outbreak happened after we started having unprotected sex and that it was also a coincidence that the signs of my primary outbreak appeared within the typical incubation period. He says that he didn't get the virus from that girl he slept with and that the test that showed presence of antibodies could have meant he had been exposed to HSV-1 in another part of his life (which I acknowledge).

He says that his physician told him that he is at "average risk" of passing along the virus to others, just like any other joe-shmoe off the street who may not know that they have the virus at all. So he does not think he needs to disclose any of this to future partners.

Now, I have spoken to a doctor and the doctor acknowledged that it is possible for the virus to stay dormant in one's system, but that it's not common. Does anyone have any specific information on this?

The doctor also said that the timing and severity of my outbreak and his prior exposure to a known carrier points to the likelihood that my boyfriend at the time gave it to me. He even said, "If I were a betting man I would bet your partner gave this to you."

I know that the tests can be unreliable at best, but I am pushing him to get a strain specific test. He says that he doesn't want to get the strain specific test for HSV-2 because if he does get it then it shows the presence of HSV-2 then it could mean that he has it orally.

At this point I don't care if I got it from him, he gave it to me, or what. All I care about is that no one else gets this from him.

Help? Advice? Maybe I'm the one in denial? Maybe he doesn't have it? At the very least doesn't it sound like he's "above average risk" of passing on the virus - with all of the evidence combined?

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I think he has it, no doubt. He is in denial. I mean, if he asked the girl he had been with prior to you and she had it well then theres a good chance he does. I think maybe it got to him emotionally and he didn't know how to handle it and decided to fight/break the relationship up then decide "he doesn't have herpes after all." Because that would make him feel better. You know, if you really tell yourself and believe you do or do not have something chances are your going to believe it and your body is going to act that way. Example I swore I had hiv for months because I had yeast infection after yeast infection. I actually started to "SEE" more signs from my body that I WAS PRODUCING. In the end, I had herpes but I'm almost positive it was from 5 years ago. It can possibly be from my boyfriend now (we have been together 2 years, unprotected sex.) My first "yeast infection/ob" came 5 or 6 months into our relationship. he shows no signs or symptoms and says I got it from 5 years ago. Although, he has never been tested, he last gf of 5years who I know very well is fine and no problems she would have definitely told me if she even thought he had something. Besides, I use to be a competitive gymnast and train 6 days a week 6 hours a day, I hear workouts and exercise keep ob away. Is it possible I had this for 5 years and not know? Possibly. (5 years ago my labia swelled up so bad it hurt to walk it was huge! then went downt the next day. that was the onyl sign 5 years ago) Now, I'm 21 and I'm miserable :( I guess its possible my current bf gave it to me, which would make morse sense, I got these tihng while with him. It will just look as if I gave it to him

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So...is this your responsibility...?

Yeah, it looks at if it is very likely he gave it to you and that he has it. Some people are very good at denying reality; it's amazing how many things people can deny. You have done your part. Your have urged him to do his part. He is not going to disclose to partners. That is a real shame. He may pass it on because of this...but...

You are breaking up with the guy. You have told him what you know. You have urged him to be responsible and realistic about this. He is refusing. So what can you do? Not much, except feel frustrated that he, like many others in this world, is going to take the immature irresponsible route. You could stick around to monitor him, watch his social life and try to warn his partners--but, even if you were this silly and really did this, he would just deny it and they would probably believe him.

So, as I see it, you have done your part. You do not owe him any more advice, supervision or anything else. Yes, it is a shame that he is likely to pass this on to some unsuspecting person but...there is only so much you can do. We can't live other people's lives, we can't face reality for other people. At least you are not in denial and are doing the responsible thing. That counts.

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