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briar

Disclosure to roommates, major anxieties

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briar
Posted (edited)

I have just recently been tested positive for GHSV-1 via swab test, and also have noticed some spots forming on my fingers and palms right near the base of my fingers. The spots on my hands have not formed into painful or leaking blisters but are more "dry" and have just shed the spot of skin where the spots form, leaving a red dry spot. These formed around the time of my outbreak on my genitals. I can only assume that these are related to the HSV-1 initial outbreak I am having though with no pain, and I have no swab to prove otherwise. I touched my genitals quite a bit and the sores when first experiencing that and painful urination as I was trying to convince myself that it had to be a yeast infection or bacterial disease, but alas I was wrong. I have read that even if this happens it usually won't occur again, which I hope is true as it is making my depression and anxiety (which has already been a life long issue) even worse in regards to the worry of spreading, despite reading that hand outbreaks rarely shed and even if they did would have to make their way to someone's mouth, nose, eyes, etc.

I have a few questions which have already been answered im sure, a number of times. But right now I feel like a walking vector of contamination. It doesn't help that I have had a phobia of parasites and viruses for a number of years, so now my mind is sending me down some seriously terrible rabbit holes. I am afraid to eat or touch anything with my hands even after using iso alcohol on everything I touch or spraying down the shower and cloth shower curtain.  My roomies are a bit on the OCD side of keeping our house clean and I appreciate them for that, but I am seriously concerned at their response to my disclosing to them my newly obtained virus. I have been wiping down the toilet seat as my junk will sometimes brush it while im using it when im sitting down, and even with this I still worry. I blow glass for a living/hobby and share a shop with my roomies as well.. To top it off one of my roomies has a 16 year old daughter living here, and her protection from this is of the utmost on my mind. 

It seems in regards to CDC and national health opinions that "The chances of contracting genital herpes from inanimate objects is highly unlikely". Highly unlikely still seems like too much of a risk compared to impossible. I have done research and every study I have read, from sink handles, to door knobs, to toilet seats and even money show that the virus can indeed exist for anywhere from 2 hours in some tests (2 hours was the max time they tested for) to 72 hours on a cotton ball. I have had acne on my thighs before from lots of sweating or other activity, and feel like what I might have thought was acne recently might have been part of my outbreak. Every time this happens I feel like I am going to assume the worst, and the irritated spots/acne will almost certainly touch the seat.

My antibodies from a blood test came back negative, but the swab was positive, which leads me to believe that the person I had sex with about 4 or 5 days previous was my vector of contamination. With my various mental anxiety and phobia issues surrounding this, and the possible whitlow on my fingers/hands I don't think I can keep this a secret from my room mates forever as they will almost certainly see a dramatic shift in my mood and behavior. I guess my main question is, how with the studies showing such long spans of the virus staying on surfaces can I in good faith not disclose my ghsv-1 to them. It might mean I have to move out, which I have no clue how I will afford or deal with emotionally, but I also feel that not telling them and letting them make their own choice regardless of how bad it might turn out for me would be selfish and irresponsible, especially considering the kid living here. 

I am sure pretty much everyone will just tell me I am over reacting and need to nip that in the butt before it truly goes out of control, but I couldn't live with myself if I somehow causes them to get infected because one time both of us happened to touch the toilet seat or cloth shower curtain in the wrong spot at the wrong time. What are all of your various policies on revealing your diagnosis with the people you live with? Is it the only right thing to do? Shouldn't they have the option to say that despite caring for me as a friend, they just simply are not comfortable living with such an infection around?

I already threw away my lufa, and will now use a wash cloth and not keep such things in the shower. But I just can't help but feel like I am putting them at risk, despite how perfectly families and others manage to deal with this... Even if they said they were ok with it, I would dread the notion that every time they go in to use the toilet or the shower or touch things after I have been using them, that they will inwardly cringe and be anxious. No one deserves to feel uncomfortable in their own home, even if its for logically silly reasons. Do I tell them? If I don't, would that make me a terrible person? If I don't and one of them gets something, even if its impossible for me to know it came from me and wasn't dormant or something they caught with a quick kiss from someone else, will the blame fall on me if I do tell them, if I don't will I be filled with regret and fear not knowing if it really was my fault somehow?

If you can't tell I am kind of in the phase of freaking out, I have read information, studies and posts on here and on reddit for the last several days, I feel like I have caught up with "practical information" which clearly states I am being extremely melodramatic in my thoughts and feelings, but I also feel that the studies seem well done, and though they do not point to any examples or cases of these things causing infection in people, the fact remains that the virus can and does stay on surfaces. What about something like sharing a nasal mist sprayer with a friend a few days after I had the sex that infected me? Is this friend at risk now too even if I washed my hands and there is no reason to think that the part that touched our noses was touched by my fingers? I have no signs of oral or face infection, though I realize that asymptomatic doesn't mean much, but I also am to understand that herpes tends to infect one location or the other.... sorry for the MASSIVE RANT

tl;dr Do you have an obligation to tell your room mates, especially ones with teens living in the house, that you have genital herpes type 1, or so long as you are not literally having sex with them, should it technically be fine (1 in millions chance), morally acceptable, and they have no worry of being exposed so long as I wash my hands after I use the bathroom. Does a cloth shower curtain change this? 

Edited by briar

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Girl interrupted

I wouldn't tell them. Noones business but yours. I understand the anxiety, I do, believe me! If you get a mouth sore ,don't say anything until they ask. they may never ask... just be like oh yeah ,I must be getting a cold or something. 

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briar

What about the cloth shower curtain? I feel like if I ask to change it to a plastic one or I wash it in the washer after every time I take a shower (they normally only wash it every few weeks or once a month and was the reason they got it) they will know something is up. Even though I am not rubbing my genitals all over it, I am sure it brushes my thigh or butt from time to time,  and water will certain splatter off my body onto it , it feels like that is just one big "damp towel infection" waiting to happen for anyone with some body acne who might also come into contact with it. If I spray it down with rubbing alcohol or bleach after every shower, someone will notice as well (one member of the house is particularly sensitive to smells).

I almost feel like there is no way I will be able to hide this from them permanently, and I also fear a potential anger or feelings of betrayed trust should I have to disclose later vs basically now when I have first found out. 

I keep on thinking, "Just tell them, give them a week or two around me for it to sink in and really see if its unfortunately going to bug them, and if so respect the choice and move on, You can't control what other people end up feeling later so don't try to manage their emotions as well as your own." They may initially think they are ok with it and later not be, like many people whom have had a significant other or something they are dating say they are, only for a few days or a week later break things off or slowly ghosts away, so giving them this window of time to really consider how they feel would seem important. Unless they know right off the bat its a roommate deal breaker.  

Part of me also doesn't feel like leaving the decision up to them is fair (to them), they might feel bad/guilty or blame themselves for any hardships or other issues/problems/outcomes that arise after I leave and I don't want to do that to them. The main reason I do want to leave it up to them is because I don't want to, in a state of over reacting, actually make their lives harder with a new deficit in rent/bills, or the "ultimate fear" of the landlord placing a random tenet in my old room, if they can't find one quick enough. Which will totally disrupt the current feeling of the house as our home and sense of security about the glass shops location (they are major targets for theft in this town).

Of course there will be complications in that I will no longer have a shop space to work from (finding a live/work space cheaper that what I have here is nearly impossible). I could potentially become homeless, as well. I am caught between wanting to respect them both in our living space, while also not wanting to put any guilt or baggage into their hearts over their decision for they are good people and I care about them. I have said for a while now to other friends of mine that once this current living situation dissolves, that I planned to move on from the town I currently reside, but that I have no idea where I actually DO want to go, or how I even would afford it. Between a rock and a hard place. If I or they make the decision that I have to go, then pretty much literally my entire life will be changing (more than it already just has with the virus). I have only told a few old friends about my ghsv1, and none that live near me or whom I see. I feel terribly isolated and alone, and scared about what is going to happen. 

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jxc1337

You have no reason to disclose to them unless they ask, they're your roommates, not potential partners.  In regards to the shower curtain, the virus can't live outside of the body for very long and you can't catch the virus from inanimate objects like that.  The virus gets passed from skin to skin touch.  You're over analyzing the situation.  HSV is a very common virus and nearly 2/3's of the world's population carries it.  Look into suppressive therapy with either medications such as Acyclovir or go the natural route and do some research.  Fulvic acid helped me a lot with getting rid of HSV's symptoms

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briar
Posted (edited)

I am on acyclovir atm for my initial outbreak and plan to try to get my doctor to give me a single daily dose Valtrex for suppression. I shall look into other things like lysine and fulvic acid, thanks for the tip off. It seems many have said such things have helped them greatly.

After reading several studies on pub med of just how long the virus can indeed live outside of the human body, I am convinced the notion it can't is outdated. But I do agree that there do not seem to be any confirmed/known cases of contracting it in such a manner. I in part think this is due to just the reasons you mention in regards to the % of the population that carries it. It becomes difficult for people to know when or how they may have gotten it, especially if they suffer no outbreaks, are asymptomatic and spread it to others who may also experience the same situation. 

In that regard I feel there could very well be many cases in which the virus was spread through inanimate objects, but unknowingly from the person who has it and to the person who received it. How would you even begin to document these situations? By the time someone might have a symptom, it could have been months or even years since their exposure, and doctors would be unable to pinpoint the moment it happened. One would then assume it happened through kissing an asymptomatic person at some point while they were shedding the virus. I obviously have no proof and I think these very difficulties are why it might be difficult for anyone to come up with some. 

A situation which might yield some results would be an asymptomatic person (who knows they have it) spreading it to someone via an object (be it a straw or wet shower curtain or towel) who then gets blisters a few days later after exposure, who can get a confirmed negative blood test (western blot?), while swab shows positive results. While they can confirm they had no sex or body contact with someone between sharing/coming in contact with the said object, Which would mean they got it recently from the only one person who carries it, by shared contact with an object. 

With the potential dogma that most doctors ascribe to, and the number of them that seem to encourage people to not even bother with getting tested (at least online when being asked by concerned individuals) it makes me feel like no one is honestly even looking to prove these cases do exist, in part due to the sheer difficulty in tracking every factor required to know for certain, and also because they already do not believe it to be possible. Most people don't go out of their way to try to prove something they themselves do not believe that they have seen, experienced or encountered. 

I of course am asking for advice from you all and there is the ole "If you don't want to listen to anyone's advice then don't ask for it ya jerkface!" aspect that I am aware of, and I might be acting very difficult or contrarian, and I apologize if I am coming off that way. I really do appreciate the responses and support.  <3

I am just trying to base the safety of my roommates on as much hard science and fact as I can. And my whole life of dealing with doctors for anything in the past 10 years generally has them looking up their information on anything from wikipedia to webmd, to other medical sites, which all seem to kind of just parrot and reference each other while ignoring some very real data. So while I respect their opinions I also am trying to form my own through my own research and through the real world experiences of others such as yourself.

Also I am neurotically distraught and obsessed so please don't be too hard on my stubbornness. My parasite/virus phobia is so strong that I literally feel as gross right now as if I were a corpse dropping and scattering maggots everywhere I lay or move, and on everything I touch. An entirely different but severe problem of its own. In good news it appears iso alchohol kills it basically on contact. So regardless of the direction I end up taking in disclosure. I can at least utilize that as a source of comfort for my head if I keep with high standards of disinfecting.

Edited by briar

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Wtfisthisplease

Most people do not disclose hsv1 even when genital. 

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briar
Posted (edited)

Yeah I have no idea if I am going to be able to do that due to how my mind works. Right now I am weighing the options with lots of thought. If I could feel they were totally safe and that I would never have a reason or question come up that would make me have to explain it to them at a later date, then I might consider it. But they are my friends and I care for/love them. And for some reason i'm not sure I would feel right not giving them the option to choose for themselves. However... would telling them simply cause excessive and needless worry and paranoia that they don't even need to feel in the first place?

If I feel morally like they should have the choice to choose if they wish to keep me living with them or not, where does it end? Am I supposed to tell every person when i'm out in public and use a bathroom (obviously not) and when I consider it that way... that if I can get over my OCD like paranoia and phobias enough to know that the person using the john after me at a pub isn't going be in any harm, then why can't I make that leap in my head with my room mates. It might have to do with the fact of the frequency and number of times I will be using our shared space though... which to me means more chances for them to experience "the nearly impossible" where a few trips to a pub bathroom is just that... a few...

At this point, armed with a sprayer of iso alcohol I am way less freaked for the moment about most situations, its primarily the wet cloth shower curtain that I am having issues with. I don't have a lot of money and multiple time daily use of it might end up costing quite a bit though. And might cause some questions eventually as well... I found a product by clorox that contains peroxide though, which claims 30 second death of hpv1 and 2, it also comes in wipes form, lysol might kill it in around 10 or 15 seconds and if so then those wipes would be preferable and I could rest easy that the toilet will always be safe.

I wish I have the mental capacity to just link them to the NIH, CDC, and ASHA pages on it, which parrot a lot of the same info that would technically be super self serving in the form of immediately calming most of the fears they may have. But I don't personally trust the info entirely, and therefor would almost be passively lying to them, which is something I never do with anyone. But passing on my potentially invalid and damaging paranoia and fear to them when for most people, the stigma is already deeply rooted, might just make a huge mess... 

Edited by briar

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Taintedgirl
8 hours ago, briar said:

Yeah I have no idea if I am going to be able to do that due to how my mind works. Right now I am weighing the options with lots of thought. If I could feel they were totally safe and that I would never have a reason or question come up that would make me have to explain it to them at a later date, then I might consider it. But they are my friends and I care for/love them. And for some reason i'm not sure I would feel right not giving them the option to choose for themselves. However... would telling them simply cause excessive and needless worry and paranoia that they don't even need to feel in the first place?

If I feel morally like they should have the choice to choose if they wish to keep me living with them or not, where does it end? Am I supposed to tell every person when i'm out in public and use a bathroom (obviously not) and when I consider it that way... that if I can get over my OCD like paranoia and phobias enough to know that the person using the john after me at a pub isn't going be in any harm, then why can't I make that leap in my head with my room mates. It might have to do with the fact of the frequency and number of times I will be using our shared space though... which to me means more chances for them to experience "the nearly impossible" where a few trips to a pub bathroom is just that... a few...

At this point, armed with a sprayer of iso alcohol I am way less freaked for the moment about most situations, its primarily the wet cloth shower curtain that I am having issues with. I don't have a lot of money and multiple time daily use of it might end up costing quite a bit though. And might cause some questions eventually as well... I found a product by clorox that contains peroxide though, which claims 30 second death of hpv1 and 2, it also comes in wipes form, lysol might kill it in around 10 or 15 seconds and if so then those wipes would be preferable and I could rest easy that the toilet will always be safe.

I wish I have the mental capacity to just link them to the NIH, CDC, and ASHA pages on it, which parrot a lot of the same info that would technically be super self serving in the form of immediately calming most of the fears they may have. But I don't personally trust the info entirely, and therefor would almost be passively lying to them, which is something I never do with anyone. But passing on my potentially invalid and damaging paranoia and fear to them when for most people, the stigma is already deeply rooted, might just make a huge mess... 

Hey @briar you don’t have to tell them but do exercise caution especially when dealing with communal things. I would suggest arming yourself with Lysol disinfectant spray and wipes as they are known to kill HSV on surfaces 

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Dee22

Hi ,

sounds like a lot is happening. I think u need to slow down and give  yourself some time to come to terms with what has happened for YourSelf first. 

I dont know that much about hsv 1. I think if there is a chance ppl can catch u should have an open discussion. This shld not impact u living there it may mean ppl need to be more cautious. It is hard to feel like we wont deter ppl and inreally struggle with feeling that. But its more reflective of our own fears and how we feel about it. Its great u dont want to infect anyone but u need to take precautions thats it. U cant lock yourself in a cage and live alone forever. Having this diagnosis is isolating in itself and its sounds like it wld be good for u to have ppl around. 

Stay calm, breathe. This sucks i agree but it is also not something u have to tell to wveryone if they are not at risk. 

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briar

yeah I agree I need to take a moment and maybe try to deal with this emotionally first before i start making choices, thanks

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Wtfisthisplease

Dude you don't have to say anything. You're not going to spread your hsv1 to anyone. You're going way overboard and that's more concerning than your hsv1. I'm sure your roommates have hsv1 too, over half the population does. If my roommate told me he had genital hsv1 or even coldsores I would be like "wtf? Okay... That's cool, probably should keep that to yourself." I think you should seek therapy for your anxieties. Honestly I get the same way about future relationships with females but I blood test negative and only suspect I have ghsv1. Not really anything I can do but wait and see if I give it to someone and that fucking blows. But you're honestly fine, don't go bat shit crazy over this. I could see possibly worrying about it if you had open sores weeping on the toilet seat or something but that's it.

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Lzk
On 5/19/2018 at 8:00 PM, jxc1337 said:

You have no reason to disclose to them unless they ask, they're your roommates, not potential partners.  In regards to the shower curtain, the virus can't live outside of the body for very long and you can't catch the virus from inanimate objects like that.  The virus gets passed from skin to skin touch.  You're over analyzing the situation.  HSV is a very common virus and nearly 2/3's of the world's population carries it.  Look into suppressive therapy with either medications such as Acyclovir or go the natural route and do some research.  Fulvic acid helped me a lot with getting rid of HSV's symptoms

I just read your thread on this and I’m curious how the fulvic acid is working for you! I’d love an update. 

 

To tge the original poster... I completely get where your coming from. I hope you find some peace. 

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