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Disclosing in a non-English speaking country that doesn't have herpes stigma?

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How would you approach this?

I work online and spend most of my time in South East Asia, specifically Thailand. Love the culture, food, weather, low cost of living and the local people there.

When I'm there I do casually date and have casual sex, mostly using dating apps.

I'm going back there in 3 weeks and just found out that I have GHSV.

From what I've researched, herpes is not really stigmatized in Thailand and a good percentage of Thai people don't even know what it is due to the lack of sex education there. It also has a relatively high rate of HSV2 (in Bangkok it's 1/3 women from the study I read) compared to other parts of the world.

I'm just wondering how best to go about explaining this to a potential casual sex partner (keeping in mind that there's often at least a slight language barrier) in this sort of situation.

Given the lack of stigma/awareness and the already high HSV prevalence, is there an argument for not disclosing during a casual sex encounter if antivirals/condoms are being used and sex is abstained from during prodrome/outbreaks?

I'll probably get shit on just for asking that but I feel like if those precautions are taken I'm actually a safer sex partner than some random dude off the street who doesn't know their status, especially considering that South East Asians generally aren't big on condom use.

I mean, oral herpes generally isn't stigmatized in the west and the overwhelming majority of people don't go around disclosing to everyone they kiss that they've had a cold sore before.

Colombia was another place I had always planned to go and my understanding is that over half of women carry HSV-2 there, same with Brazil. In such a case where the prevalence is that high and most people don't really know about it or talk about it, how would you approach casual sex?


Edited by LemonOne9

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Hey @LemonOne9 you are quite correct in my view. Most countries in the world do not have concerns regarding herpes and your precautions are appropriate. Nothing else is expected in the social context.

How did you just find out you had genital HSV? What test?

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I didn't have any concrete testing done but the symptoms seem obvious enough to me to assume I have it, at least for now until I can get formally tested to be 100% sure.

After a few days of pretty vigorous sex I had an area just beneath my glans that started out looking slightly "cut", then became itchy. I started having painful urination and then the area turned into 3-4 small open/painful blisters. Flu like symptoms followed along with swollen glands in my neck and groin. I went to the hospital here in Bali and the doctor took one look and said yes, it's herpes. (Though I know visual diagnosis is not perfect)

I started taking Valtrex and in a couple days the blisters went away. They're gone now but I've started having urinary pain again.

I've had 2 casual sex partners here who also went on to develop similar symptoms. One went to the hospital and the doctor also told her herpes.

I don't know who gave it to who - I assume it was probably me since I've had quite a few partners - fortunately though both of them have handled it well and don't seem to be really bothered by it.


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