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living777

Need Help With Ethics of Disclosure -- Going Backwards, not Forwards

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living777

I was recently, two days ago, told I had a positive culture result from HSV 2 This was my first known outbreak (I went in to the obygn for what I thought was a bad reaction to yeast infection meds). In the past four years I've slept with two men -- both of whom I've known for over 10 years. Unfortunately (or fortunately) I happened to sleep with both of them in the last two -three months. One the first week in Dec (Guy 1), and the other the third weekend in Jan (Guy 2). I called Guy 2 the night I received the news, with the thought that it was possible, even likely, I may have caught this from him and suggested he be tested. He agreed, was extremely nice about all (agreed we both had took risks throughout our lives in regards to relationships... etc.) and is getting tested Friday. Guy 1 was someone who I was fairly seriously involved with the first half of 2010 but it faded...and Dec. was likely our final goodbye. Because of personality traits he has exhibited, I'm worried if I tell him he will tell everyone I've ever known. It's also important to note here that he admitted to sleeping with over 60 people. My closest friend (who has also known Guy 1 well over 10 years) is actively proposing NOT telling Guy 1 as she thinks he will actively set out to destroy me -- because this would destroy his self-image and image is all for this individual. He's also had a really bad year personally--and this would be one more blow. Can I justify not telling him - assuming we are never again intimate? I absolutely agree that all new partners should be told. All advice I've read seems to deal with going forwards rather then who you need to tell going backwards.

As a P.S. Guy 2 seems to think that I would have passed this to him --but isn't the reality if he tests positive (blood) much more likely I would have gotten it from him because of the time it takes to develop antibodies? I guess ultimately it doesn't matter, but on principal I would like to know.

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wmlb87

I certainly wouldn't tell guy number 1. I never really understood why people go back and tell past partners. I personally would much rather not even know I had H (unfortunately my OB's make that impossible) if I were symptomatic. It's a mental burden to live with, and in the case of H, ignorance really is bliss. The fact that he's had sex with over 60 people means that it's almost impossible for him NOT to have herpes. 25% of people in America have H, so just do the math. I would guess that he's the one that gave it to you, even if guy 2 has antibodies. The antibodies CAN take as long as three months to show up, but some people can have a quicker immune response. So the blood test is not a 100% definitive answer. As is the case with most ppl, its impossible to ever say for sure who is responsible, but as you said, in the end it doesnt really matter.

You're probably have a lot going through your head with this dilemma, and the new diagnosis. The bright side is you have found a great online community with some really awesome people. After a little while you'll realize that H is a minor obstacle in the grand scheme of things. If you need to talk or vent feel free to pm me. Good luck with everything

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living777

Thank you for taking the time to reply. I hear you on the "personally would much rather not know;" I perhaps too honestly told my gyno that I was glad that if this was going to happen I'm glad it happened now instead of 10 years ago... You also made me feel more comfortable that I'm not being the pinnacle of evil if I do decide not to go back and tell Guy 1 for reasons of self-preservation. He is one who would prefer not to know. At some point my mental health has to come first (and trust me ...I'm sure based on my e-mail you read the underlying implication that this hasn't always been the case with this individual). I don't need someone trying to crush me on top of this diagnosis. Also, thank you for the insight into antibodies -- if Guy 2 does test positive I will not make any assumptions. Onward...and keeping fingers crossed that Guy 2 doesn't test positive --though he's not exactly a saint either... This definitely makes you look back on the choices you made in the past and hope to do better in the future!

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movieloverhere

I had a similar experience. I had been with 4 guys in 2010. My bf that I was with for 2 years -we broke up in march and i got a little crazy over the summer with the freedom. I hadn't been with anyone since August and then found out in Nov. that I had it genitally. I asked everyone on here if i should tell all of the guys that i was with over the summer? I got one YES and one NO - i went with thte no! lol I work with 2 of them. I did recently tell my ex about it. I felt so much better! The others? I think about telling them, but I know I never will.

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BranMakMorn

Ethically speaking, you should inform both partners regardless of the consequences on your personal life. We are talking about other people's health and lives here, and you have to do the right thing.

Say you don't tell the one man and he continues to ride the happy hump carousel, possible spread oblviously, Herpes. Now he can go about this ignorant of if he is spread Herpes, and you have enabled him.

So if he is a carrier and you didn't inform him, you are morally culpable.

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living777

Yes....don't think that hasn't occurred to me. If it hadn't, there would be no dilemma at all. I just wish there was some sort of anonymous way to tell someone. There needs to be a service. An anonymous letter won't do it because of the postmark issue... I

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MsLucy

Personally, I see no moral obligation to go back into the past and inform everyone you've been with, but if you choose to inform him anonymously, there's a link on the right side of the page (Tell Someone Anonymously) which allows you to send an email to someone without revealing your identity.

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living777

Thank you MsLucy and movieloverhere. I appreciate you voicing your opinions as well. And the info. about the link. I think I'm going to wait to make any final decision until I hear from Guy 2 about his results. It turns out that there is a chance he contracted it from his ex who has admitted to being exposed. He said he was tested for "everything," a couple of months after their breakup but I explained that herpes isn't included in the regular STD test and he's like "That's stupid." I think we can all agree here that's stupid indeed (seriously, one out of four/five people have it and they don't routinely test for it!). He also seems to have a yeast infection, that won't go away... He did go get tested on Friday for H specifically. I realize that even if he does have it, I may not have caught it from him --but it would make me much more comfortable with not telling Guy 1.

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