Jump to content
World's Largest Herpes Support Group

To disclose or not to disclose?

Recommended Posts


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 


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

You have to disclose. No two ways about it.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

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. 


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

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 

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

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 

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

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 

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
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. 

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


Try a Lysine supplement for cold sores

  • Similar Content

    • CCC1984
      By CCC1984
      Hi guys. 
      Im new to this group, but not new to herpes. I’ve had it for about 5 years. In those 5 years, I’ve been with 5 ppl and I’ve disclosed with success to each one. No one has ever had a problem with my diagnosis or the method or time i told them. 
      And then then  this happened... 
      i met met this guy and we REALLY connected. More connection than I’ve had with anyone. Talked for hours on end. It was a long distance thing, but we got really close quickly. Spent an hour a day on the phone. 
      He he decided to drive out to see me. At this point we had only made out, nothing more. I knew I’d have to have the talk with him. I’ve always had them in person and thought nothing different about this time. Of course i was nervous, but also this connection was so rare. 
      I told him the first night he was here. Yes, we had had a couple drinks, and we had been making out. But no clothes were off and nothing had happened. He asked a few questions, asked about wearing condoms, and then we had sex with a condom. 
      We we had sex about 8 times over the course of the weekend and he never asked any more questions or anything. Everything was great. 
      Until about 9 days after he left... then he started freaking out thinking he may be getting sick. He lashed out at me and told me i should’ve told him before he came to see me. Blaming me for it all. 
      I said i sorry that he felt i had treated him unfairly, but no one had ever had a problem and that i always tell in person.
      he broke up with me. Saying that if i had truly cared about him i would’ve told him before he came to see me. This blows my mind. I don’t take back not telling him on the phone. I think it’s a face to face conversation. I thought we really had a Connection, but apparently it wasn’t the same to him. 
      Anyone else had someone reject them after disclosure and after sex even multiple times?! 
    • SillyGirlMel
      By SillyGirlMel
      I've known him for less than a month. I model &he is a young, handsome assistant photographer with whom I was in Mexico with for 5 days. I have been diagnosed with HSV2 for over a year now, but I have only had an outbreak twice within that year& I do take antiviral medication for it. He &I did not know eachother prior to Mexico, but we hit it off& as a single-mother who doesn't get out much I am guilty of making the first move by asking if it was cool to cuddle. I was actually really surprised he said yes, with that being said I do remember thinking to myself,"but I have herpes... okay, we will just cuddle, if he wants more, I will stop it, if I can't stop it I will just give him head." &though that may seem like a naive thought, I am 22 years old& he is the first guy I've ever "hooked-up" with. I've never had sex outside a relationship or several dates, before him. To add, I also do had a friend that I cuddled with, without sex, but I should have noted that I'm not attracted to that friend which is why that probably worked with him. So we did the deed, I didn't stop it, I let it happen because I selfishly wanted it so badly. I even forgot about my herpes for a good couple days after the act. When I looked in my cabinet to get something& saw my prescribed antiviral medication,I realized what I had done. I told him today, it's been 16days since the act.  I was calm& explained to him that because he used a condom&I do take my antiviral medication there is only a 1-2% chance he could have gotten it from me. He didn't seem too upset,& he said he will get back to me after he gets tested &does some research. I promised to pay for the testing &anything else he is troubled with from this incident&at the end of the call he thanked me for telling him. I don't know if I should just back off for now to see how it goes, or if I should be checking-in on him often &sending him links to help him find accurate information on HSV2. I will be working with him again this Wednesday, for a collab photoshoot, but since I'm the one that hired him, I told him I understand if he decides to call it off, he said he won't let this affect his work. Only time can tell, but if there is anything else that you think I can do to ease whatever he may be going through at this time please be gentle with your suggestions. I know what I did was very wrong and I will never do it again, but it doesn't change what happened, I can't take that night back. Honestly, the sex was amazing, one of the best I ever had, and afterward we decided to start-off again as friends and I was okay with that. I felt normal for a moment, and I was extremely happy, but now I remember that I am not normal, and am extremely guilty for putting him at risk without his consent. I don't know if we can continue to be friends, but I do need advice on what I should do next.  He said he will get tested next week and that he will also still do the photoshoot, but he also said he doesn't know how he feels about all this new information because he hasn't done the research on it. I know he will do the research, but with all the stigma I'm afraid his friends will only freak him out if he goes to them for advice, or that he may type the wording wrong in google to get negative results.  I told him the facts, that it's common, that he has nothing to worry, but he should get tested, that it's less likely for women to transmit it to men, and even more unlikely with the medication and protection involved.... but what if he gets tested and it is positive? I asked him if he has hooked-up before, he is 24, and he said yes he has a few times.... so in reality, the thing is that he could have had herpes prior to meeting me, and not even had known it, but I didn't bring that up at all.... I'm not a promiscous person, but my relationship before this hook-up was with a promiscous man, which how I got this... I remember how I felt after finding out, I felt extremely betrayed because I trusted him and even after I knew 100% how I got and asked him about it, he still pretended he was clean.. He is not a good man, but this young man I hooked-up with for one night is a wonderful person, I can tell even if I hadn't known him the year I've known the other. I feel truly awful for what had happened, but I'm worried I may have played it too cool when I called and he may think I have no remorse for what I'd done, but I'm also worried if I text him now with a follow-up apology it will freak him out about the situation... What is my best option now?
    • GoldenPassword
      By GoldenPassword
      There is lots of info on the web about how HSV2 can be transmitted. There's so much, but it isn't all very specific so it's been very hard to determine with my particular case. I was diagnosed 7 years ago. Had it, took meds, was gone in a few days. My doc even told me I wouldn't have to worry about it again. And I haven't, totally in the back of my mind. Then a few months ago, my immune system was compromised due to a kidney infection and I started seeing something downstairs that I didn't recognize. Here it was again!!!! Seven years later!!! I had honestly forgotten about it. I'm here because I wanted to know if anyone has any info/experience with breakouts as infrequent as mine have been (so far, at least). I'm Female, and had to disclose this to a Male partner. He did not take it well. We have never been intimate anywhere near the time of either my outbreaks (last time was Feb, and I didn't know him my initial OB). And we had unprotected sex once last Fall. I disclosed to him this week because we were going to become sexual again and with my OB this April, I wanted him to know. Lots of info says there is a 4% chance of it being spread F to M with barrier and no meds, but I just don't know how much that relates to someone who has had two outbreaks in 7 years. Please help with any advice or links!!!! 
    • Ribbon35
      By Ribbon35
      I am wondering is there some way to legally request from someone who has infected you with paperwork to show whether or not they are actually positive with the virus? The reason why I ask is I was sleeping with someone who told me that he was clean from the beginning. He seemed to emphasize it a little too much it felt. And when we would use condoms he would always want to take it off. After about the 5th time we had sex I was infected. The way I found out was quite traumatizing because the last time we had sex we used a condom however when we were finished we just turned around and went to sleep and the condom I never saw again after he put it on his penis.
      Four days later I was feeling pain from what I thought was a tear in my vagina. So I went to Urgent Care to see what the issue was they saw the tear and said that they wanted to check me internally to make sure there was no infection preventing the tear to heal properly. When they went inside they found a condom. It had been there for 4 days. He never mentioned the condom had not stayed on. So the doctor sends me home and tells me to soak in Epsom salt.
      Two days later and the pain is excruciating in my vagina. Hurts to pee hurts to walk my lymph nodes are swollen I'm feeling like the bottom half of my body has the flu followed by urinary retention UTI. So I started doing research online about how I could possibly feel like this and all the symptoms pointed towards hsv2. So I take myself back to Urgent Care and upon one look down in my vagina area where the tear once was now looks completely different and the doctor immediately diagnosis it as hsv2. She takes a swab and long story short 3 days later it comes up positive. He now tells me he had no idea that he had HSV and that he is sure that someone would have told him had they contracted it from him in the past. He even tried to downplay how often we had sex. He was like we only had sex like twice. That was a complete and utter lie I was appalled. He even went on to say he's been tested and that he has a clean bill of health. He never showed me this clean bill of health and even said he went and tested for HSV after finding out about me but he never showed me the results. I must admit I never really asked. This happened back in March so now moving forward 3 months later I've had abtotal of 4 breakouts and am really down and out about it and feeling misled and wondering if he really knew he had this all along. There's no way for me to tell but I have been considering requesting it from him but the timing just seems like a little too late?
      I don't know what do you guys think is there any way to legally request such documents so that he has to tell me the truth and can't beat around the bush about it? 
    • Whythis2018
      By Whythis2018
      Hi everyone,
      This has been the worst week of my life and I’m glad to have found this online community.  Trying to wrap my head around this and the pain has just been excruciating.
      I’m on Valtrex since Tuesday and slightly feeling better now. I am still waiting for my lab results but the symptoms and my doctor make me think I definitely have Herpes. My doctor also is pretty sure, due to severity of the outbreak and recent sexual history, that I got it from the most recent partner I had (my ex and I were really long term and neither of us ever had any symptoms, I know that’s not a 100% certain but doctor seems pretty sure I would have been exposed a few days before this first outbreak...)
      Also the guy I’m with has told me very openly that he’s been in a ton of casual relationships, whereas my ex, like me, has had just a few long-term relationships- again, I know I can’t be 100% sure but...) this is my first fairly casual sexual relationship (we’ve been seeing each other on and off for less than a month) anyway it’s most likely the new guy and now I have to tell him that he probably had this but not sure how to tell him, I don’t know if he’s going to overreact or maybe accuse me of having given it to him and to be honest despite everything I really like him and hope he won’t just walk a away for ever. He’s not from here, has only been in the US for a few years and based on a few conversations I’ve had with him about sex in general, he doesn’t seem to have had the same sex ed I grew up with here and isn’t super informed.  He also says he doesn’t believe in doctors in the US (“they just want your money”) and while I agree the healthcare system here compared to Europe where I’ve lived pretty much sucks, I feel that he might not believe me because of that. I feel like I won’t ever find anyone again, I’m in my early forties and dating where I live is hard enough but dating with this condition... Thanks for listening and any advice on how to disclose in my situation would be appreciated! 
  • Trending Now

  • The Hive is Thriving!

    • Total Topics
    • Total Posts
  • Posts

    • Dee22
      @swagdaddy hey. First / second outbreak was horrendous. Had all of the above and was wmotionally distraught. The pain is the worst in the start and i had nerve pain fatigue , flu symptoms then i got flu and was sick for over two months. But then it passed. The anti virals help and definitely make sure u sleep and destress. How r u feeling ?
    • Miss Annie
      Also looks like my first outbreak... get tested
    • Thomas29
      I don’t know why I thought it was herpes tbh none of this itches burns or tingles? It’s going now tbh im in two separate minds @WilsoInAus could you help us out please you’ve got some knowledge with herpes 
    • Miss Annie
      I’m afraid to give it to someone even if we wear condoms. A boyfriend of mine gave it to me... never told me he had it. Relationship only lasted a few months after that. It’s been almost 3 years now. 
    • viralfrog
      Little update, I've upped the dose of Zinc to 100mg/days on rest days and 160mg/day for workout days. I also just came to Europe for holidays and I'm freezing in this weather (My body is used to tropical Thailand weather). The cold weather seems to strenghten my immunity somehow, as the OB is clearing off. I have experienced the same in the past - always on my trips to cold countries it seems to get better.  I wonder if hot weather could cause this? I do spend most of my time indoors with AC at 25 degrees celcius in Thailand though and always protect myself from the sun. 

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.