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Just-a-diagnoses

To disclose or not to disclose?

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Just-a-diagnoses

So I have a question.  I was diagnosed almost 7 years ago.  I am getting ready to enter the dating scene so I had a disclosure conversation with my OBGYN and my general MD.  Their responses were very different and I wanted to share them to get an opinion.  (Note: My infection came from a boyfriend that was infected a few months prior and was not aware so I was infected when he was most contagious in the first year ) 

 

My OBGYN said with the length of infection my virus is very weak due to my antibodies.  He said being a female and transmitting to a male is low anyway (4% per year) and because I am very healthy, do natural antivirals, work out, eating habits are impeccable, and my outbreaks are few and far between and my last one was gone in less than 5 days from start to finish... He believes me under that 4% per year.  He stated he has researched it, and obviously has patients that have it so he sees things first hand....and he stated at this point disclosure is up to me.  He said in his professional experience the percentage of risk at this point is so low that it does not warrant the stress it may cause to the relationship to disclose.  He said though you will test positive for your entire life, it is very weak after 2 years of infection. There in an ER doctor that is HSV2 negative and dated a nurse that was HSV2 positive and she stressed telling him....when she finally told him he said "Herpes? All this stress over herpes? That is nothing." And went on about their relationship normally.  He said the same thing, she had the infection for over 5 years so the virus was weak.  I am also in my early forties.  He said the chances of me meeting someone that already has it (even if they are unaware) is very high. And if I tell them they may get a false negative (if they have had no BOs to develope antibodies and the virus has been dormant) they may believe I infected them later even though that was not the case.  He said what bothers him the most is the stigma attached to it. He said more people have it than what the statistics say because 80% are silent carriers and most places do not test for it under normal STD testing so they do not even know.   He stated most transmissions happen within the first year of infection when the virus is very active.  He tells patients to do what they feel comfortable doing, but he said disclosure at this point is more stress than it is worth on both partners.  He said he has patients that are HSV2 positive and have not passed it to their negative partners and they do not practice safe sex (only if predome symptoms or soon after an outbreak).  He said he is aware a lot of doctors will disagree based on research, but he stated he bases his professional opinion on being an OBGYN for over 30 years and first hand experience.

 

My regular MD had a different approach and though he was kind to me, I didn't even want to date after talking to him.  He made it sound like I am more contagious than a room full of people with the flu.  He said I must always use protection and I am always shedding.  According to my OBGYN this is the information that is not based on true life facts and adds to the stigma.  

 

I am at such a cross roads.  Even the medical community is at odds.  My best friend told me to listen to my OBGYN as his living is based on STDs, vaginas and all that surrounding it.  She said his info is not only based on studies, but what he has seen in true life for over 30 years.  

 

I will ill be honest, I would want to disclose to a partner....but I agree about the stress thing.  I see stories on here that make me sad....people wearing boxers during sex, taking a butt load of antivirals before hand...talk about taking away the intamacy.  And though I dislike having the virus, there is a man in my life that if I heard he was HSV2 positive (and I wasn't) I would risk it because to me it is nothing more than a minor skin irritation that is not worth walking away from something that could be the greatest thing in my life....it is the STIGMA of it not the actual infection.  And if I had a >4% of getting something that wasn't going to kill me (like HIV, Hepititis) I don't think I would want to know because the stress introduced.  

 

Comments, opinions, advise are very much welcomed 

 

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Southwestrancher

You have to disclose. No two ways about it.

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WannaCry

You need to disclose. It is not at all fair to take away a person's choice about if they do or do not want to take the risk of exposure. Also if it is found out you kept this information from someone you become involved with, they will view you in the lens of "They lied about this, what else have they lied to me about?" and it will most likely kill your relationship.

While HSV is not truly dangerous to most people's health (and is why many medical professionals don't see it as a big deal) it carries a large stigma due to it being a permanent infection. 

 

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Michael1022

The one thing that drives me absolutely insanely crazy is when someone says they are taking away someone’s choice.   

 

No.   They.   Are.   Not.  

 

Sex is something you do knowing the risk.   That’s why they say to get tested and then get into a long term committed relationship.   If you have casual sex and do not know the person you are taking away your choice.   I hate this morality bullshit.   That being said I disclose.   I can however see the point of not for a women that is on meds.   Especially if they have GHSV1.   That’s just not gonna transfer sexually 

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HerpesDumbAf

You shouldn’t disclose if oral herpes on the mouth doesn’t disclose. Herpes is herpes and you don’t even hear about lawsuits about herpes on the mouth because it’s considered a norm so bash me if you want you all but I’m not disclosing LOL 

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Elvisf16

I am a guy who is dating a woman with HSV 1 and 2 who did not disclose. (I believe her failure to disclose resulted not from dishonesty on her part, but because she was misinformed by her medical providers.) 

I would have appreciated if she had disclosed to me so that I could have made a decision about our relationship going forward knowing all the facts.

In a way, not disclosing is hijacking the other person's free will because they are going to make a decision without knowing all the facts. They don't know all the facts because you have them and you are not disclosing them. And you are hiding facts specifically in order to interfere with another person's decision making. Such behavior strikes me as extremely selfish, demonstrates a lack of real love and compassion for the other person, and is morally reprehensible.

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Michael1022

So let me get this straight.  If you have sex with someone and they literally don’t know they have anything (because herpes is NOT on a standard drug test anywhere) and you get herpes did they take away your choice?

 

YOU take away your choice the minute you have sex with someone without having them tested beforehand.    It’s called risk and casual sex is risk 

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Bhbr2018
2 hours ago, Michael1022 said:

So let me get this straight.  If you have sex with someone and they literally don’t know they have anything (because herpes is NOT on a standard drug test anywhere) and you get herpes did they take away your choice?

 

YOU take away your choice the minute you have sex with someone without having them tested beforehand.    It’s called risk and casual sex is risk 

Ok here’s my argument. On one side, this entire HSV test and disclosure situation is ridiculous. The main reason being our own government (depending on where you are located) and the medical community DO NOT want you to know if you have HSV. I can quote a doctor who said to me “If we tested everyone for HSV, we wouldn’t have time to see patients because we would be on the phone all day calling everyone who was positive.” Mind you, they are drawing your blood for syphillis and HIV, and have it right there to test HSV. What’s the excuse?? But we have to practically BEG the doctor if we have no symptoms AND pay $150 extra or more for HSV panels. 

My second point is oral HSV. They don’t feel the need to disclose and no one really “cares” if you have had a cold sore. Most people are extremely ignorant when it comes to understanding HSV1 oral and how it can be spread. So you’ve got the government, and medical professionals advising against not knowing your own HSV status, and then half the population, a majority of them, walking around not disclosing oral hsv. AH YES makes so much sense that we are the righteous ones who take on the duty to disclose and educate others?

On the other hand, I was given HSV by a man who did not tell me and I hope he dies a long, slow, painful death. I really wouldn’t flinch if someone told me he passed away, I would feel relief. 

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