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Talking to ex-girlfriend about condition - please help


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Hello. I really need help. I just found out that i have herpes-2. Unfortunately I did not find out until I had already had sex with my girlfriend a few times. We always used condoms and I was not having an outbreak so I think the risk to her is minimal. I told her about it as soon as I knew that I was positive and then she broke up with me. I really care for her a lot and would like to try to make things work out with her. I know she likes me as well but she is not very educated about herpes-2 and I think she this is one of the reasons she decided to break up with me. I don't know what to do to try to educate her about the disease though. If I try to point out where she's misinformed then she gets mad at me and says that if I really cared about her that I wouldn't want her to get a disease. I don't know what to do because I feel like if she really knew about the ways of preventing transmission then she would be willing to give us a chance. But I don't know how to suggest this without her turning it against me and saying that I'm only thinking about myself.

Does anyone have experience dealing with this kind situation? What can I say to her that would make her be more open-minded without making her more upset at me? She just refuses to really learn more about the disease and it really devastates me because I like her a lot and I think we could be very happy together. Thanks.

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Hey! I can sympathize with you. Welcome to the world of having herpes. :(

First off, there are PLENTY of informative web sites that you can suggest your GF take a look at. It might help her better understand the situation better if she tried to learn as much about it. She probably is just scared. Also, would she be interested in possibly going to the doctor with you where you can both ask questions to a professional? I think that might help her as well because the good thing about herpes is that there ARE plenty of measures that can be taken to prevent transmission...i.e. condoms, medicinal suppressive therapy, etc. You guys CAN have a normal relationship. And if you just take a look through this forum, there are many people with HSV who have relationships with non-postive partners. That is, if your GF really wants it to work, and she is willing to accept and deal with it because your relationship is important to her.

I also don't think it's fair of her to say if you cared you wouldn't want her to get herpes...because obviously you don't want her contract it, you just really want to still be able to be together despite it, and that's what she has to understand. Did you ever ask yourself if she really cared about you than wouldn't she still want be with you and there for you even though you have HSV2? There are plenty of people out there that have partners with herpes and it doesn't bother them because they care about the person immensly and can look past the disease. Just some food for thought! Hope everything works out! :D

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Thanks Christie I really appreciate your helpful advice. Do you know of any way to locate doctors that are knowledgeable about HSV2 and how to manage it in a relationship if one partner is negative? I know that the counselor she spoke to once about HSV2 was actuallly misinformed in many areas and I think if doctors don't keep up with the literature on the topic that they might rely on what has just been said for years rather than what the current research suggests. Are there doctors out there that couples can turn to that have experience in educating couples about their options and what can be done to have a relationshiop while minimizing the chances of transmission?

Also, can you recommend a website that would be good for a couple in our situation? I've come across many websites in my own research but I would llike to recommend one to my girlfriend that has strong scientific merit but still addresses relationship issues and how to understand the risks. Any suggestions?

Thanks again.

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My thoughts...

I'd like to suggest you look into Planned Parenthood. Those folks are GREAT when it comes to STD's. They're knowledgable and can handle the situation best, in my opinion. If that's not doable, I'd recommend an urgent care clinic next. Those folks see STD's often and would be able to at least inform your friend of the risks both in a relationship with you or even in the general population.

I'd also like to suggest a couple of sites that a friend of mine and I put together just because of these types of situations. She and I both have herpes but we married men who didn't have it. She just had her second child with him and he's still H Free! Plus there are lots of other personal stories on both sites that have been shared by people who are living it.

Our sites are: http://www.SpecialUser1234.com and mine are linked below in my signature.

Hope this helps

Hang in there and also, if your friend would like to talk to someone via email, there are a number of H-Pals listed on both sites as well as mine and Angela's email addresses so she's welcome to contact any one of us.


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Thanks Gayla. That's really helpful information. Thanks especially for your emails if she wants to correspond with someone.

Regarding contacting Planned Parenthood, I would like to do this but I'm just a little hesitant about putting a topic so important to our relationship in the hands of someone I don't know. I guess I would just like to have some kind of personal recommendation that whoever we would meet from Planned Parenthood would be knowledgeable and a good communicator but perhaps this is asking for too much. Are there counselors that deal with these situations out there that we could contact by phone to discuss our situation? She might feel more comfortable in that kind of anonymous setting anyway compared to going to an office and meeting someone personally.

Thanks again.

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Yes! www.plannedparenthood.com is a REALLY good site to learn about herpes. I know they also offer support groups at different PPH clinics around the nation for people with HSV. Also, I found a pretty good website about herpes put out by the American Social Health Association: http://www.ashastd.org/herpes/herpes_overview.cfm it's got some good information: not only facts about herpes but also dealing with it emotionally as well. In addition something else you might want to check out more for you is the site www.healthandhope.com I know this really helped me when I was diagnosed and I get a free online newsletter every month that has personal stories, the latest developments in herpes research etc. I'd definately suggest that as well.

In addition, there is a National Herpes Hotline available that provides accurate info. Basically if you have questions and concerns, it's a place you can call to have them addressed. The number is (919) 361-8488.

I think if you want to get to a doctor who should be very knowledgeable about herpes and all STDs, I'd suggest meeting with a gynecologist. I know you don't see one, but your GF must and maybe you could ask her if you both could sit down with her gynecologist and talk about all her concerns about HSV. I REALLY think that would help if she's willing to do that, because I'd say an OBGYN would probably be the most knowledgeable and the least likely to give you wrong information in that particular field. Hope this helps! :D

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Hi Christie. Thanks so much for all that helpful information. I'll definitely check out the sites you suggested. Meeting with her OBGYN sounds like a good idea as well. I guess one of my worries is that she's from a pretty conservative part of the country and I'm just afraid that her OBGYN might be judgmental about her entering a relationship with someone with HSV2 and that they would not point out the strategies available to reduce the risk of transmission. I'm from a similar part of the country and I know sometimes people let their conservative thinking interfere with their professional work. I know this is probably an irrational fear on my part and not fair but I just worry that an OBGYN's advice would have a big impact on her and I'm afraid if they were not really objective in telling what the risks were that it might mess up everything between us.

Thanks again so much for all your help.

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Another suggestion...

Maybe your local hospital has a referral line. Maybe ask for a dermotologist or an infectious disease specialist to consult with.

I've had too many a run-in with pig-headed docs from the old school of thought and just to be on the safe side, I'd make sure I was getting with someone that knew all the up to date info about the topic at hand.

Hang in there, just so you know - I know many conservatives who have herpes too! Some of them are hangin out in the Bible Belt and last I checked they were having sex too :)

That's all it takes is an act of human nature, NOT a social group... herpes can and does happen to anyone!

I used to be very conservative thinking that it only happened to the folks that had lots of sex partners, boy was I wrong when I was married playing June Clever and it came home to me.

Keep us posted on how things go!


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