I have an STD, help me determine when to tell him. I'm pertified.
December 16, 2007 9:48 AM   Subscribe

I have an STD and don't know what time is the right time in terms of telling the partner. Please help, I'm scared out of mind!

I have had herpes for almost ten years. I am a young female and aquired this when I was very young. (I went a little wild in my teenage years and was very rebellious) It has always been a struggle and an issue that brings me immense shame. I have had steady long term relationships since and have always told the people that I was with. In the past, this was not an issue with my partners. Surprisingly my mates have been rather non-plused. Regardless, it was always exruciating to communicate this to them.

Regarding my herpes, my gynecologist and I have had recent discussions about the location of the break-outs (my rear) and that my steady partners (long term relationships that ended for entirely different reasons) have been tested and it was not passed to them. In each relationship, we stopped using condoms but abstained from sex when I had an occurence. My doctor has said, unofficially, that the location might be the factor that is keeping everyone safe as well as having had it for so long, it might have changed the make-up of the virus.

In recent years, I have become less bothered by having this and would like to help other girls (and guys) who have struggled such as myself. I will eventually set up a web page and a support group, because I feel that there is an immense stigma around STDs and not nearly enough outlets and comfortable avenues of knowledge for people that have aquired the virus.

SO, here is my struggle: I have recently begun dating a beautiful man. We are sexually active, and we do use condoms. (Although a week ago, we had two drunkin woops without protection. I'm also on birth control) We have been dating for three months. He is newly divorced and not ready for a huge commitment (but the more time we are together, the more lovey dovey he gets and the sweeter he is). I am not inclined to rush things, I believe relationships should develop organically. I really like him. He really likes me. I just met his family this weekend. They were wonderful and it went VERY well. I can see this going further and at this point am hoping for more down the road. I have not told him about the STD. Ideally, I would rather wait until we are more official and have spent more time together to open up to him and share this very personal issue. I am afraid to tell him now. But I also think that he may feel betrayed the longer that I wait. He is an amazing individual and maybe over my league... Although, my friends and family tell me that I am insane and he is absolutely not over my league. I suppose I just like him that much. Should I tell him and get it over with? Should I continue to practice safe sex and wait until I feel that we are more secure and that I can trust him with this information? I don't want to be selfish, and I feel that I already have been. I also am terribly afraid of scaring him away.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (42 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

you should have told him before you had sex even with condoms.
posted by outsider at 9:59 AM on December 16, 2007 [29 favorites]

Tell him. Right away. If he really cares about you, it will be a non-issue. Herpes is one of those things that can be managed. But you should probably use condoms.
posted by fvox13 at 10:03 AM on December 16, 2007

But I also think that he may feel betrayed the longer that I wait.

Uh, yeah.

Whether or not he's "over your league" is completely independent of someone having a right to know that a regular sexual partner has an STI.

Three months of dating is certainly well beyond the "Too much information" situation of a casual hook-up - but still before the "Why the hell didn't you tell me" stage. Tell him soon, I'd say.

Anyway, it's just herpes. As your experience seems to indicate, hardly an earth-shattering matter.

That said, though, the fact that you seem to care more for this guy than the others should make you more likely to tell him, not less. Shouldn't it also make it easier? If he's going to dump you for having contracted herpes, he's not really worth being with, is he?

I understand this is a trust issue for you, but it will be for him too if he sleeps with someone for a year without knowing they had an STI. It's awkward, but it's going to get more awkward the longer you wait.
posted by poweredbybeard at 10:06 AM on December 16, 2007

Oh wow, somehow I missed the part about the sex without condoms.

That wasn't cool.

Tell him. Next time you see him.
posted by poweredbybeard at 10:07 AM on December 16, 2007

you have got to tell him. even though your other partners have remained herpes-free, you can't assume that will always be the case. he deserves to know since you are sexually involved and in light of last weekend's drunken bareback boot-knocking session(s) he really must be told.

if he's as fabulous as he appears, he just might take this in stride...you will not know until you tell him though.
posted by heathergirl at 10:11 AM on December 16, 2007

Response by poster: Three months later is not the time to tell somebody you have an STD. The time to tell someone is before you have sex.

Tell him the way you told your other partners. It is something that takes great courage, because STDs are extremely stigmatized, but it truly is the right thing to do. Yes, you might scare him away. And he might get mad, and he would be pretty justified in doing so--STDs are not the sort of thing you withhold from your sexual partners until you are "serious." But if you love him, you gotta do it and let him make the choice whether or not to stay with you. I mean, think about it from his perspective--the longer you take, the more it hurts him when you finally reveal it. Would you want someone to wait that long to tell you, after you'd already had unprotected sex with them? No matter where the outbreaks were localized?

I am trying to not be more judgmental. But you've done your lover a great disservice, and you gotta correct it.
posted by Anonymous at 10:11 AM on December 16, 2007

Should I continue to practice safe sex and wait until I feel that we are more secure and that I can trust him with this information?

No. You need to tell him.

I don't think you can control for what someone's reaction to this news is. Moreover, the rest of your question doesn't sound like you are concerned with trusting him with the info as much as it is fear that once he has the info he will bail. Unfortunately, not telling a partner this information is definite grounds for bailing, particularly after sex has been had. If this question were posed pre-sex with him, the answers would be different. At this point, you're dropping two bombs-- it's not just the info that you have herpes, it's also that you had sex with him without telling him about your STD. So, it's gone from an I-have-an-STD issue to I-wasn't-forthright-and-maybe-cannot-be-trusted issue.
posted by sneakin at 10:13 AM on December 16, 2007 [1 favorite]

If he really cares about you, it will be a non-issue. Herpes is one of those things that can be managed. But you should probably use condoms.

I don't agree with what fvox13 says. If someone I was dating for that long didn't tell me she had an STI, and I found out after we'd had any sex, unsafe or not, I would definitely have second (and 3rd, 4th, etc.) thoughts about being with them regardless of how much I cared. It's a betrayal of trust. This wasn't a one night stand where it's every person for him/herself. It's an ongoing dating relationship.
posted by sneakin at 10:15 AM on December 16, 2007

Also, for what it's worth, condoms don't prevent the spread of herpes. You can still infect somebody even if you aren't actively showing blisters and even if you use condoms.
posted by willnot at 10:22 AM on December 16, 2007 [1 favorite]

You should tell him the next time you talk to him. He has a right to be able to make informed decisions about his health. It's his body. If he's upset, if you lose him, this is the natural consequence of lying-by-omission. Your fear is understandable, but it is not a valid excuse for withholding the information. Withholding the info because you're afraid is very selfish and immature. Be strong. You will survive if he gets upset or leaves you.
posted by desjardins at 10:25 AM on December 16, 2007

Holy crap, if I were in his shoes I'd be out the door the moment I was told. Allowing someone to sleep with you without telling them *before hand* is just wrong, and possibly illegal (I'd look into that, I'm not a legal expert)
posted by Sufi at 10:31 AM on December 16, 2007

I dated a guy with herpes once. He told me after the second date because he said he wanted to let me know before he made a big emotional investment in the relationship in case I wanted to break it off. You might want to adopt that strategy. We wound up breaking up amiably before we had sex (our personalities just weren't clicking)...I can't imagine how angry I'd be if he'd waited to tell me until after we had sex.

The right time to tell him was before you had sex. Since you can't do that, the right time to tell him is immediately. I know it's tough, but you're putting his health at risk without his knowledge. That's not right.
posted by christinetheslp at 10:31 AM on December 16, 2007

It's the 21st century. If you can't look somebody in the eye and tell them you have something or that you have exposed them to something (in the case of multiple partners), you shouldn't be having sex. And, yeah, now it's become a trust issue. The time to have this conversation was before you had sex. Maybe it will matter, maybe it won't, but people feel like they have the right to all the facts so they can make an informed choice.
posted by unrepentanthippie at 10:32 AM on December 16, 2007

You are in possession of a lot of good information on herpes. You know, I am sure, that herpes has a high seroprevalence among sexually active people and that it is theoretically possible to "have" herpes without an outbreak, that it is possible to transmit it without an outbreak, that condoms don't necessarily prevent it, and that infection for all practical purposes is lifelong. Most responsible sexually active couples choose to do exactly as you have done. Has it occurred to you that he himself might have antibodies to herpes from a previous relationship and might not even know it?

It seems to me that his reaction is going to depend on what his level of understanding of the virus is, and will be colored by recent marriage (and presumed monogamy), and the fact that you waited to tell him. You can soften the blow by sharing your knowledge of the virus and a demonstration that you generally have tried to act responsibly but waiting this long to tell him, that's going to be the issue.

You need to tell him, now. Offer to go with him to a clinic where you can both be tested for everything (I am sure you know that HIV is much more easily transmitted when herpes is present) and where you can both have all other questions answered together.

To be honest, it's a very real possibility he will feel betrayed by you. Whether the relationship withstands this depends on both of you. If it doesn't, it's a mistake you will not likely make again.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 10:33 AM on December 16, 2007 [2 favorites]

i would have told him before you ever had sex, but since you didn't, i would tell him now. ordinarily i would be really upset if i got this news after that many rolls in the hay, but since it's a little off the beaten track, so to speak, it might not go over as badly.

good luck.
posted by thinkingwoman at 10:34 AM on December 16, 2007

Since you discuss it in your post, I'd like to recommend that you not start a support group. I think people living with STDs need support from others who are more responsible in their sexual habits and less concerned with stigma.

There's nothing to be ashamed of when you have herpes, but when you risk spreading your infection through lies of omission, it's my opinion that you should be ashamed.

Tell him right away, please.
posted by chudmonkey at 10:37 AM on December 16, 2007 [5 favorites]

N'thing "should have told him first." Make him a nice dinner and have an adult conversation. Use the old dishes, though.
posted by rhizome at 10:58 AM on December 16, 2007 [1 favorite]

I once dated a woman with herpes that were under control. She took medication to reduce the chances of transmission and abstained whenever she though a breakout was imminent (she could tell somehow).

We had a great relationship and I remain STD free.

So it's not like you can't pursue the type of relationship you're after, but it relies on - as everyone has already said - being open and up front. You've faltered a bit, but you can still recover. Go talk to him.
posted by aladfar at 11:24 AM on December 16, 2007

In this day and age, herpes probably isn't a big deal for most people. Putting someone else at risk of infection without warning him first is, IMO, unethical. It's his risk, so it should be his decision.

I briefly dated a woman who told me she had herpes before there was any sexual contact. I appreciated her candor and it was not at all a deal-breaker for me. If she hadn't told me before we had sex though, I would have been pretty pissed off. That's just not her (or your) decision to make.

Considering you've already had sex with this guy, you should tell him as soon as you can. If he breaks up with you, that's just how it goes. Chalk it up to a life lesson.

The time to tell a partner about an STD is prior to the first sexual contact.
posted by callmejay at 11:29 AM on December 16, 2007

Tell him now - and be prepared for him to dump you. I know I would. You had no right to put him at risk for getting an STD without his knowledge. In future, always, always, ALWAYS tell your prospective partners about the herpes before you get it on. Their right to safeguard their health is more important than your not losing another relationship.
posted by orange swan at 11:34 AM on December 16, 2007

nthing 'should have told him before sex'

As you can't go back in time, I'd say do not have sex with him, or anyone, for that matter, before they are fully aware. Putting someone else at risk, no matter how slight, is not cool.
posted by jjb at 12:02 PM on December 16, 2007

I would not dump someone for having herpes. I would dump someone for lying by omission about having herpes and having sex with me, exposing me to an incurable disease without my consent. Tell him immediately, be prepared for the fact that he may feel very betrayed, and whatever the outcome, do not ever have sex again without telling your partner first (at least not until medical science finds a cure for this sucker).

People have the right to give informed consent in sexual matters, and you don't have the right to take that choice away from them, no matter how uncomfortable the conversation is for you or how much you like them. Wouldn't you have preferred if the person who gave you herpes had given you a choice in the matter? People you care about deserve the same respect.

It sucks that you're in this position, but now you have to be an adult about it and accept that having this illness might mean you lose some relationships. That blows, but being alone is better than being dishonest with people. You're not a bad person, but you've made a mistake here. Correct it as soon as you can, and don't make it again.

And if you do start a support group, that's the message you should be imparting to others as well: you are not bad people, but your partners have a right to know the potential risks that trumps your right to have sex with them.
posted by decathecting at 12:15 PM on December 16, 2007 [1 favorite]

Ideally, I would rather wait until we are more official and have spent more time together to open up to him and share this very personal issue.

I know this isn't the way of things, but it would probably help if you felt that sex was as deeply personal as your herpes status. It's a bit strange that you're willing to have sex with someone but feel icky divulging this kind of info - if you don't have that level of comfort with him, maybe you jumped into sex a bit too soon?

You owe it to your partner and yourself to do this the other way around next time.
posted by FortyT-wo at 12:22 PM on December 16, 2007

Anyway, it's just herpes. As your experience seems to indicate, hardly an earth-shattering matter.

I would freak the hell out, especially if we had had sex unprotected. It's not "just" herpes. People have different responses to this. The fact that people in the past have been cool with it doesn't mean the current boy will respond more gracefully.

When you tell him, and this should be right away, you should also let him know you're sorry he found out so late but that you cared a lot about him and were afraid about it. If you just make it out like, "Oh yeah, forgot to mention I have herpes"--well, if someone did that to me I would be pretty pissed.

Should I continue to practice safe sex

Um, correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't you state in the question that you've already had sex twice without a condom? It's clear you've already stopped having safe sex. The times that you've had unprotected sex serve as unofficial implicit indicators that you are "safe". I know, I know--it's his responsibility to ask, but it's a sort of awkward thing to ask about. You need to talk to him right now and I am unanimous in that.
posted by Deathalicious at 12:25 PM on December 16, 2007

I have an STD, help me determine when to tell him.

You should tell him several weeks ago, at least.

Failing that, tell him NOW. Seriously. If you aren't mature enough to talk to your SO about herpes, you aren't mature enough to be having sex.
posted by Justinian at 12:45 PM on December 16, 2007

There are some very harsh responses on here.

Herpes is extremely common. You're boyfriend, if he's been sexually active, is likely to have it too even if he doesn't know. Current stats put 1 in 4 Americans as positive for this generally benign but chronic infection. Most folks who have it are asymptomatic, and in the medical community, there is much less concern about this infection than there used to be.

Although I agree with the majority here that you must brave through telling him, I also understand that is very difficult. I'd suggest that you find a way to talk to him in a safe, structured way. Maybe telling him that you have something difficult to talk about, and you want him to hear you out before he responds. Maybe bring along some information printed from the internet etc. I'd also suggest giving him time to have his reaction and just being as honest and open as you can.

Know that the choice to have condomless sex was his as well as yours, and he should know the risk he put himself at by making that choice.

Good luck on this difficult conversation, and good luck with your new sweetie!
posted by serazin at 1:09 PM on December 16, 2007 [2 favorites]

You're = your.

I'm a grammar moron.
posted by serazin at 1:11 PM on December 16, 2007

serazin, I agree that the condomless sex choice was his as well as hers. However, I think when you're dating someone, hanging out with them, spending time with them, it's pretty appalling to not do your partner the courtesy of letting them know what STIs you have. It's kind of common courtesy. And also, just because herpes is common, that doesn't make it "likely" that the OP's bf already had it, nor does it make it okay that she didn't let him know before sex.

Also, I'd veto the whole printed info from the internet thing. Chances are if he has medical questions he will google them himself. At this point in the game the conversation is way more likely to be about the OP not telling him first.
posted by sneakin at 1:30 PM on December 16, 2007 [1 favorite]

Yeah, I don't get where serazin is coming from at all. I urge you to listen to everybody else. How serious herpes is isn't the issue. The issue is informed consent, which you denied your partner the ability to make.
posted by Justinian at 2:11 PM on December 16, 2007

I feel bad for you, OP, because it sounds like your approach on this issue is completely backassward. It doesn't matter how you feel about your STD in this situation; what matters is how he feels about exposing himself needlessly to a disease he does not have. I don't want any disease, stigmatized or no. We all want to be well and we surely want the facts before we make the decision to sleep with someone, particularly without protection.

Please tell him. If I were you, I wouldn't offer any advice on treatment or share your personal history with this disease or give him pamphlets or do anything more than tell him you have herpes, apologize for exposing him and then simply clam up and allow him whatever reaction he's going to have. You're going to have to take your lumps in this situation and chalk it up to experience. Only offer explanations if he asks for them. This is a conversation you are not going to be able to control and attempting damage control in the midst of it reeks of selfishness, I'm sorry to say. If I were on the receiving end of this sort of news and had to listen to a laundry list of rationalizations and justifications or preachiness of any kind, that would surely erase any chance in my mind of being able to be vulnerable to the person ever again.
posted by TryTheTilapia at 2:39 PM on December 16, 2007

You pick up the phone right now, and you either get face to face with him immediately, or you tell him on the phone. You knowingly exposed him to an STI. That's so far beyond not cool, it can't even see 'not cool' in the rearview mirror.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 3:04 PM on December 16, 2007

Mod note: a few comments removed, please keep to the topic and take "shame on you" answers to metatalk
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:49 PM on December 16, 2007

Every day you don't tell him, it will be that much more difficult to tell him.

Ergo, telling him now would actually be the easiest path to take.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 3:53 PM on December 16, 2007 [2 favorites]

I agree with other posters that if you can't talk about sex, then you shouldn't be having it, especially if you have important information that your partner would need to know about, like about STDs. I guess what is most concerning to me is that it sounds like there was no communication about sex at all before you had it. How are you to know that -he- doesn't have an STD? Unless he explicitly told you...but I assume then you would have told him about your herpes at the same time. What if he is HIV+ and taking advantage of a young girl who isn't asking questions?

You should of course have a discussion with him about your STD immediately. But talking with your partner about sex protects -you- as well. If he feels a need to leave you because of your dishonesty or the STD, I hope you will have an adult conversation with any future partners before you start pouring the drinks.
posted by veronitron at 3:59 PM on December 16, 2007

Wow, there's so much heavy-handed preachiness going on in this thread -- can hardly imagine why the OP has had such a hard time telling her partner...

OP: I had HPV and I have psoriasis so I can (I think) empathize what you're going through here, and it sucks. You talk about it too early, you risk making it out be more important than it is. There's gotta be a sweet spot there somewhere, but I don't know where it is. Based on your description of your relationship, I think you should tell him. Do your research before you talk about it, so that you can give him some stats (particularly how much risk he may already have been exposed to, and how common this is) on-hand.

Good luck to you.
posted by loiseau at 4:02 PM on December 16, 2007

I realise it will be hard, but you need to tell him ASAP. The later you leave this conversation, the more difficult it will be.

Be calm, direct and to-the-point. Don't have any pamphlets on hand and don't rush to talk about your whole sexual history. Just tell him that you have herpes, and offer to go get tested with him.
Then listen to him, and answer his (inevitable) questions truthfully.
Don't get defensive - you are in the wrong anyway.

It might not be a big deal, but it probably will be. Prepare for the worst (your relationship might be over.) He is more likely to take the news calmly if you present it assertively and honestly--as though it's not a big deal.

Good luck!
posted by Count Ziggurat at 4:09 PM on December 16, 2007

Please tell him asap. Also, please understand that herpes can be spread with or without you having symptoms at the time (though the risks are lower during asymptomatic periods) and with or without using condoms, particularly if your partner isn't aware that you have herpes and so may spread fluids around more than he otherwise would. Also, oral herpes can go down south and genital can go oral. So oral sex is not a solution if you're having a breakout.

Anecdote: my best friend gave me oral herpes by sharing a water bottle when her lips were "chapped." While my reactions have gone down over time to the normal cold sore response once or twice a year, the initial infection was a HORRIFIC experience including high fever and inability to eat for several days, not to mention intense pain and confusion as doctors had no idea what was going on. That was three years ago and it took me a long time to get over it. I was totally shocked that my friendhad herpes and was so very uninformed and never told me that I should be careful sharing utensils with her. Please get better information so that you don't spread your particular herpes around, and if you have cold sores as well as genital sores, please be aware that cold sores can spread to the genitals - so oral sex for him is out of the question if you have a cold sore or feel one coming on.

The longer you wait, the more betrayed he will feel. And, the more likely you are to spread it to him. If this spells the end of the relationship, then please tell your next partner before you have sex with him. And if you get cold sores, please be aware of the risks involved from cold sores as well and inform your partner.
posted by lorrer at 6:37 PM on December 16, 2007


I'm not going to argue with your suggestions, but you should know that oral herpes is endemic in the population - the majority of people are infected with the virus. I'm sorry you were hurt by your friend, but like most of us, she probably got the virus from her parents when she was a baby. And you would likely have gotten in from someone eventually, since it can pass even without visible lesions.

Transmission of type 1 herpes to the genitals is uncommon but possible, however, when that kind of transmission does occur, there is usually only an initial outbreak and then the virus does not again express symptoms on the genitals. In my view, this makes the risk of this potential transmission unlikely, and the potential harm quite low (also, this risk is almost impossible to avoid for people who choose to engage in oral sex).
posted by serazin at 9:16 PM on December 16, 2007

I work at an STD clinic where I've had to have police escort a suicidal patient to the ER for a psych evaluation because they were just diagnosed with HSV. It's because you cannot tell how someone might react that they deserve to be told before you have sex with them.

Herpes is extremely common. You're boyfriend, if he's been sexually active, is likely to have it too even if he doesn't know. Current stats put 1 in 4 Americans as positive for this generally benign but chronic infection.

While I generally agree that herpes is not that big a deal medically, it cannot both be true that the prevalence is 25% and that a sexually active adult "is likely to have it too." Perhaps you mean that he has likely been exposed to it in the past? If we knew how many sexual partners he has had we might be able to say that.
posted by OmieWise at 10:41 AM on December 17, 2007

Fair enough Omie. I shouldn't have said that he is "likely" to have it. I should have said that it's not unlikely that he has it already, whether he knows it or not.
posted by serazin at 2:47 PM on December 17, 2007

I think the consensus that you should tell him ASAP, and definitely before you have sex again, is pretty clear. What I wanted to comment on is:

I'd like to recommend that you not start a support group. I think people living with STDs need support from others who are more responsible in their sexual habits and less concerned with stigma.

I disagree. If I want help solving a financial crisis caused by my bad decisions, I am not nearly as interested in the perspective of the person who started their IRA at age 14 and has done everything perfectly as I am in the perspective of the person who can say, "hey, I messed up, too, but look at how I solved things." If I have an STD and I'm looking for support, I'm not so interested in the person who never took any sexual risks, you know? I think that once the OP confronts her fears of telling a partner about this, she will bring a really valuable perspective on how hard it is to do these things the right way, and about the reasons why we so often do things that we know aren't perfect. Anyone can say what the "right" thing to do is -- but not so many of us can say with empathy and clarity why the right thing is so hard, and how one can find one's way from a position of imperfection to a better place.

I think a lot of the answers in this thread are too harsh and judgmental -- how many of us haven't made risky decisions and haven't committed errors of omission? I think that there are a lot of things that the OP has done right (such as inform previous partners and work with them to find ok solutions), and she was asking this question in the light of wanting to do the right thing -- she wasn't expressing happiness or satisfaction at not having told him before now. She says she is "petrified," and that makes sense -- what if her telling him now caused this "beautiful" man to leave her? I've had several friends with infrequent herpes outbreaks who faced this exact situation, and it is really hard.
posted by Forktine at 8:18 PM on December 17, 2007 [2 favorites]

I'm with others that the time to tell him was a long time ago, before you had sex. You need to tell him ASAP, and basically hope he forgives you for lying by omission and putting him at risk without his consent.

To make a non-sexual analogy, to me it's the difference between offering to make someone a tasty-but-strong drink, and slipping it to them unawares while they think they're drinking something else. While you may think that they'll enjoy the drink, you don't know it, and most importantly: that's not your decision to make.

People have very different levels of acceptable risk, particularly when it comes to sex. You did him a great disservice, one that I don't think you can easily 'fix' ... but the best you can do is to stop digging yourself deeper by concealing it further.

I also think you should offer to go with him to get tested, but I wouldn't expect him to take you up on it; I think I'd probably prefer to do that alone. But you never know, and even if he doesn't take you up on it, offering is the Right Thing To Do.

I'm not sure that how you go about the conversation is really going to change the outcome much. It depends too much on how risk-averse he is, and how much, frankly, he likes you. I can imagine him freaking and running, but I can also imagine him brushing it off. One thing I would leave out of the conversation, though, is your personal feelings on the severity of herpes -- hearing "it's no big deal" from somebody who might or might not have knowingly given me an STD would be a bit irritating. The time for that discussion is later, after he's decided he's OK with the risk. (And I'm not really even saying that you're wrong per se -- it may not be a big deal for you, but it might be for someone else.)

As for the future, I think the best way you could minimize the stigma would be to let partners know about it early on, just drop it into conversation and let them decide how to proceed. When you let it go until after sex, you basically ensure that it's going to be a big deal. Speaking as a guy, I'd probably be pretty open to sex (with precautions) if the other person had herpes, but that's pretty different than waiting until afterwards and saying "oh, by the way, guess what you just did."
posted by Kadin2048 at 6:36 PM on December 21, 2007

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