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telling the one I love, I have HSV2 . .is this O.K.?

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Hi Jeffrey . . .

I’ve thought of a hundred ways to communicate what I’m about to tell you and have decided that this is the best way –easiest for me. I wanted to do it in person but I can’t because I won’t be able to stop crying. And putting it on paper allows me to get everything I want to say, out. I care about you and I think, at the very least you will, eventually, appreciate that I’ve been honest with you and given you the opportunity to make a choice rather than deceiving you and making that choice for you. I think if tables were turned I would respect you for doing that. And I really wish someone would have cared enough about me to give me a heads up and that same opportunity. That isn’t the case and this isn’t about me anymore.

I have blood work done every year. I get tested fro everything . . . I’m paranoid: Syphilis, gonorea, hepatitis, HIV, herpes –every test available associated with blood work, I have done -Every year. It’s kind of a backwards way of being safe, I guess. It certainly hasn’t protected me but I can protect you, maybe. I’ll get to the point . . . I’ve been diagnost with Herpes simplex 2 (if you don’t know . . . simplex 2 is genital). God this is hard. I’ve never had an “outbreak”/soar (that’s what they call it) . . . and it’s possible I never will but that doesn’t mean I can’t spread it. That’s why I want you to know.

I don’t want to confuse you with the way I feel about you so I may sound detached . . . but I want to be factual and I want you to be informed to some extent.

1)It’s the most common STD being spread, today, in the US. Mainly because if you don’t specifically ask to be tested for it, like I do, you may never be diagnost with it. It is never routine and unless you have a reason to believe something is wrong and are able to provide a culture from the actual soar. . . the chances are it will go undetected. I kind of wish I didn’t get my blood work done, now (I don’t mean that –but ignorance is bliss, I suppose). I can, somewhat, pin-point who and when I contracted it –narrow it down for sure.

2)They test for antibodies and how many there are –not the virus. So, how long your body has fought it off for. The longer it has been in your system the more antibodies you have against it. They said it looks like it has been in my system between 6months to a year. That would be right in that I was tested last year just before I met you and nothing showed up.

3)That leaves three people I’ve slept with since then. You and two other people. I’m not saying I got it from you (while it’s a possibility)- and to be honest I wouldn’t care if I did. I would be happy to share that burden with you . . . what I am saying is that you are the last person of the three I slept with meaning that If I contracted it elsewhere (i.e. the other two), I’ve exposed you to it. And while I would be perfectly happy to accept that from you I know that it might not be how you feel in return. I am so, so sorry if that is the case. You are really the only one I care about, health-wise and I would be ridden with guilt. If the fact turns out I contracted it from you . . . well I would just tell the other two as I slept with you in November (last year) and may have exposed them to it. I would be O.K. with that and it would be just something annoying to deal with. No one is going to die. And to be perfectly honest . . . it just sounds bad –Gennital herpes.

4)Statistics show that 80% of the world have HSV (1 –oral or 2 -genital) 1 in 4 people have genital herpes and 9 out of 10 people with it, don’t know they are infected. It is possible that while HSV1 prefers the mouth and HSV2 the nether region they can make a home for themselves at either location. HSV2 at the mouth and HSV1 at the genitals. I guess I’m glad I know so I can take the necessary precautions to stop spreading it. It is so important to get tested for these things. It’s only a little prick, and a tiny vile of blood (I had 2 little viles to be tested for everything). It takes about a week to get the results back. I guess it can be expensive but doesn’t anyone want to know?

5)When I think about it . . . initially, I think GROSS and I feel disgusting –really disappointed with myself . . . really beat myself up. Then I read loads about it and realize that it’s the stigma that goes along with the diagnosis that I don’t like. An incurable (that gets me every time), reacuring (I haven’t experienced that) virus. Apparently, I’ve already lived with it for about a year with out knowing it, symptom-free –so it hasn’t affected my life at all (until now and only because I was told I have it –otherwise I would never have known) and most likely never will experience symptoms (physically). I go back and forth about it b/c then I think . . . but the risk of infection, is still there –always will be and that’s normaly when I start hysterically crying b/c I could potentially cause harm to the one person I care about. Who wants to live with that.

I haven’t completely gotten my head around this so I don’t know what to expect. I’m really scared of what your reaction will be. I’m prepared for the worst so don’t worry about me. K? Whatever you decide, is fine with me. I’m doing what I think is right by telling you. I can’t be wrong for caring about you. And I couldn’t knowingly deceive you or give it to you and pretend I didn’t know.

I don’t feel very attractive even though this STI (sexually transmitted infection) hasn’t affected me physically. It’s a real mind fucker, though. I’m still me. Just carring around this terrible virus that I’m morally obligated to tell the person I care about the most I have. I can’t imagine it sounds all that appealing or very sexy, either –Trust me!! . . . I don’t feel that way.

I know that If roles were reversed I would have loads of questions, if I didn’t decide to just walk away which is what I’m kind of expecting.

If I were you my questions would be along the lines of this:

1) What are the chances of contracting it?

98% during an outbreak unprotected

70% during an outbreak with a condom

4% while viral shedding with out a condom

2% while viral shedding with a condom

0% while dormant or suppressed with or with out a condom

condoms must be latex

any sort of lubricants must be water based as to not irritate the area

2) How is it spread?

Only by direct contact . . . it cannot be spread through blood, semen, or vaginal fluids.

3) What are the Symptoms?

Mild symptoms are redness, inflammation, resembling a paper-cut, tear or pimple.

Moderate symptoms include itching, burning, pain

Outbreak a blister, then ruptured scab and heal

Jeffrey . . . I don’t want you to have to live in constant fear and I don’t want you to resent me. I wonder if that would be inevitable if you decided to stay with me. I’ll be fine –I always am and I completely understand. At the moment my thoughts are leaning towards diving into my work and maybe joining another boat –Dissapear for a while. At least I’ll feel free and I’ll be able to get my mind off it for a while. I’m kind of hoping that God will make this right for me, somehow. Kinda feels like he really hates me, right now. I never thought that anything could stop me . . . but this has. I’m devastated. I know once I finally do get on with it. I’ll try to help, somehow. I can give talks at schools or help with research for a cure, raise awareness, support for “newbies”- I keep telling myself “I’m not alone” –but it sure does feel that way. Turn it into a positive, you know. Maybe that’s what God intended. A bit drastic don’t you think. Was it absolutely necessary to infect me???

And lastly, while I feel especially low . . . I don’t feel sorry for myself. I’m in control of my actions and should have been more cautions rather than being so trusting. I used to not use protection b/c I new I didn’t have anything (I’ve always been so aware of what was going on with my body) rather than worrying about other people’s maladies that they could be giving to me. How stupid!! It’s too late now, isn’t it. Anyway . . . I know I’m not a bad person, and my lifestyle isn’t such that I think I deserved this. Contrarily, I find myself asking “why me?” and “why now?”. Aside from this . . . this would have been the happiest time in my life. Maybe I had to many good things in my life for too long. This is certainly a trying time for me and I’m fully prepared to face this and accept the responsibility for my actions.

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i think that is the way to go...

i had to tell the person i was dating. told him on the phone. he has done all the research himself but still has decided not to continue the relationship as he is not committed to me and does not want to take the chance of being infected. but being honest is the way to go. you are giving great facts and i need to learn these myself for future dating (when i am ready) i feel the way you do as well. just go away somewhere and not have to think about this anymore. keep your chin up, you are a good person. do you know how many people out there do not use protection... many even people my age (45). this has taught me a huge lesson about responsibility. someday, someone will love you enough to say, hey that's okay. i still want to be with you...

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I haven't decided what I'm going to do . . . I'm an absolute wreck!!! Beside it's only spread by direct contact, right? So if I've never had an outbreak -does that mean we're (I guess I mean is he) O.K.? I cry more than I smile anymore. I wonder if he would do the same for me. I couldn't live with the guilt of knowing If I wasn't upfron twith him. I hate my Dr., as well . . . Iwas the one that came to her wanting every blood test under the sun. She even said "you probably don't have anything . . . why spend the money" -IDIOT!!!. And . . . now I think i'm stressing myself out to the point of having my first outbreak!! I just feel like i've been chewed up and spit out. I hate myself, righ now . . . I really do. I'm spiraling into a deep depression -I think.

We (Jeff and I) communicate all the time -he's soooo sweet. He told me on New Years, via e-mail, in a poem that I'm his "one". That sent me into hysterics!! He was just so excited that he came to realize that. I haven't let on that anything is wrong. I talked to him on the phone, today and was crying but all I could say was that I missed him.

I keep thinking of ways to get around it, as much as I know the truth will set me free. Maybe, I'm not such a good person, after all. My latest thought . . . and I know this is so, so wrong -is to tell him I was raped. I'm supposed to be able to say anything on here, right? can some one pleeeassee talk me out of that last thought!!!!!! I'm not a liar -I'm not a liar -I'm not a liar! Anyway, I fight with myself everyday about this.

So far all I've read about telling partners on here is that they chose not to stay.

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Thank you for your reply . . . I appreciate you being positive as all my thoughts seem to be going south. Sometime I feel like I've gotten a hold of myself but it's normally short-lived and ends in tears.

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It is not true that people don't stay. My boyfriend and I have been together for a while and he knows all about it. I would suggest that you take some of the negative feelings out of the letter to him though. He will probably react the way you expect him to. If you are acting like this is a horrible thing and you aren't worth the risk then he will believe the same thing. When I told my guy I sat him down and told him about it, how I got it and the facts about it. I told him that it really wasn't a big deal to me and as long as i keep myself healthy I can be OB free. Blah blah, I told him all about it and after a few minutes he closed the computer and said I don't need to know anymore, I love you and this isn't going to change that. You might want to wait a while to tell him until you can accept yourself. You need to understand that you are the same person you were before you got this and this isn't going to change you. Either way you have to tell him and it will be easier for both of you if you try to keep positive. I know it is hard and the rejection is a scary thing to face, but you need to tell him and you should not tell him how much it upsets you. He is not going to want to feel the same way you do and if you don't think you are worth it and that he should stay he won't.

I know it is a hard thing to do, but you will do it and you will be fine. Let us know how you do with it and please try to keep a positive attitude! Maybe you need to give yourself time to adjust to it before you tell him. I hope it helped some and just remember that it is up to him to make the choice and if he runs at the first sign of trouble he isn't worth it. If he claims he loves you and he says he would die for you he won't mind not having sex until you are both ready.

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This is just my opinion....

You are writing this letter to him like it's the end of the world. If you come across like it is such a terrible thing he will take it as being such...

I feel you should take a different route with this. Let him know the risk but also let him know life goes on. Let him know it is a very liveable situation. I had anxiety just from reading your letter...

Maybe try to put things more on a positive note. Maybe even alittle bit of light hearted humor. Just my opinion.

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telling spouces

I told my boyfriend of three years the day i found out, which ironically was only a few days ago. I knew I couldn't tell him over the phone so i made the hour and a half trip to his place. We had to sit outside in a cold car becasue i wanted to talk alone and there were others in his apartment. He knew I had been to the doctor and gotten tested for these really painful sores. I told him what it was, some facts about it and how it changes my life. He knew I'm not a different person. The point is, I got it out of the way right away so I have someone to talk to. If he really feels your his one, he will try and support you. You will feel better knowing his reaction, and not having the added stress, and lieing will stress you out more. The sooner it is over, the sooner you'll know.

The others are also right about the tone of the letter. I can understand being desperate and heartfelt but he has his own decision to make and thats a huge influence. People do what you expect them to.

I wish you the best of luck!

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