When do you tell someone you've got oral herpes?
August 10, 2009 8:16 PM Subscribe
When do you tell someone you have HSV1?
posted by anonymous to health & fitness (25 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
So I used to think this was an easy question and now I’m not really sure.
Basically about four years ago I got diagnosed with oral herpes, HSV1. I’d never had a symptom. Never had one fever blister. Nothing. But a partner said she’d tested positive for oral herpes and that I needed to get tested. I’d been tested six months prior (I have great coverage and get tested for everything every twice a year) and had nothing. Now I was positive for it and I went to a specialist.
So for the next two months I went to an immunologist who had me on valtrex because he was having a hard time telling whether I was also positive for HSV2 or whether it was just a cross reactive thing. At the end of two months they figured that something else I was on was interfering with the test. They took me off and there was no more cross reactivity. I was positive for HSV1 but not HSV2. I asked if this meant I should change the dosage on the valtrex.
The doc said that I should stop taking it.
My specialist said with HSV1 it was no big deal and not worth the prescription. I went to my GP for a second opinion. Is this something you disclose to a partner? His opinion was even more cavalier than the immunologist. More people have it than don’t. It’s no big deal. His only admonitions were about condom use.
So I went about my life. I dated. I had a few relationships. And at some point I ended up with a girl who was a virgin (and for what it’s worth, it was something I didn’t know about till afterwards). We had regular sex with condoms and I performed oral sex on her without any protection
I’m pretty sure you can see where this is going.
Eight months down the road she’s sick for a week. She doesn’t call me. And when she finally comes over she says “you gave me herpes.”
Apparently she got it when I was shedding the virus and didn’t know it. And going down on her did an oral to genital transmission. I was her very first sex partner and I’d basically scarred her for life. We broke up and it shook me for a while. It shook me pretty hard.
I only really started not feeling guilty everyday when I saw on facebook a few months back that she’s happy in a relationship now and seems to be doing okay.
But immediately after, I ended up going back to an ex who I knew had HSV1 and I think I stayed with her for the next six months as a default position just to not have to face dating other people and trying to figure out how to deal with this. Unfortunately we were just as wrong for each other the second time and broke up again. And now, after a respectable distance, I’m ready to date again.
Only I’m not sure what the protocol is here. When is a good time to tell someone this? After the first date? Before the first kiss? Before sex? Do I stop performing oral sex? Am I overreacting? I don’t know how to go forward her and I’d like some advice.