• Am I Being Oversensitive/A Prude Being Incensed By This?

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    popk1n [sign in to see picture]
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    I hope it's ok to post a link to a blog, it isn't a competitor/retailer, it's just a free wordpress blog

    https://nakedintheroom.wordpress.com/2016/05/20/this-is-why-its-so-fucking-hard-telling-someone-i-have-herpes/

    I understand that it probably is hard to know that a lot of people will reject you for having an STI, especially an incurable one, so you will be stuck with it forever. I just can't get behind sometimes not telling the other person! I find that so selfish and disrespectful!

    Please could you read the blog post (it's not my blog) and I was just wondering, am I being too oversensitive and harsh on this matter (just out of interest)? The people who knew about it who had sex with her, fine, thats their responsibility, but I find it abhorrent to just not say ANYTHING?!

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    popk1n [sign in to see picture]
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    Btw, I know she says she felt bad (so she should). It's just because I commented on the post and then some of her comments back I found disrespectful in terms of sexual partners, like saying it's their fault for not asking if she was infected and stuff.

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    KittenFeatures [sign in to see picture]
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    I agree with you 100%. If you have some form of medical issue that can possibly be passed on to another person it is your responsibility to be mature enough to take that in your stride and live with it knowing that there are consequences. If someone were to tell me they had something like herpes or herpes themselves I'd be flattered that they trusted me enough to tell me and I would understand that for some people it isn't easy. On the other hand if I had had sexual encounters with them and they had not told me I would break off any further interaction completely. Why? Because if they don't trust me enough to tell me then I wouldn't trust them enough to keep things that important to the relationship or just whatever is going on.

    Clearly you can tell from the way that they are writing that it has significantly changed their life. If they were to give it to someone else who wasn't aware that they had it it is going to be life-changing for that person. It would create a domino effect at first - the person who has then contracted it will not know for a bit presumably and may have other sexual encouters, thus passing it on further.

    I do understand that the person feels it's their right to keep it a secret but it is other people's right to know whether the person they are sleeping with has a possibly life changing issue that they could potentially get from sleeping with them. I think it's selfish to keep that sort of information from partners. They should know from how they feel that they could end up giving it to someone else and have them then having to deal with the same thing because in the beginning they were too selfish to tell them because they're (and I get this from the blog post and how it's written) ashamed to have gotten it themselves in the first place.

    If you want to skip through this, basically I'm saying I think it's wrong for them to keep such vital information a secret when it have the same negative impact on their life as someone elses.

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    KittenFeatures [sign in to see picture]
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    Just want to add that I'm not just strictly speaking abouth herpes here. There are a lot of life-changing STI's out there and you should always tell your partner whether you have them or not.

    I cannot - for the life of me - understand how she could be so incredulous to think it was okay to have unprotected sex with a virgin and not tell him beforehand. I can't get my head around how she thinks that is okay because she has a right to her own body. He has a right to his to and God only knows what's going to happen next. This really upsets me. Like, how can she be that selfish?

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    slinky binky [sign in to see picture]
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    I can't find it. I'm probably typing the link in wrong I'm crap at all that. I'll have another look in a minute hunni. But I'll say this it's downright wrong to not tell a partner you have an sti. Bear with me I've gotta do something and I'll try again and get back to you.
    Also she clearly got narky with you as she's fully aware it's bang out of order what she's doing. Many folk get defensive and vicious when they know they're in the wrong 💟xx

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    RosyCheek [sign in to see picture]
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    In my opinion this is just immoral. Yes it is embarrassing but does she not understand the consequences of her actions? Surely with the shame and embarrassment she feels she would never want anyone else to go through that. Yet she goes around infecting folk for her pleasure. I would be FURIOUS if someone I wa going to sleep with has and form of STI and hadn't told me. She says it is her choice not to tell but surely its the partners choice whether to risk contacting it.

    Most of us have had herpes of some form in our life. If you think of chickenpox(a virus in the herpes family), when your child catches them you keep them away from vulnerable people who have not had this virus as it can cause complications. It seems she is a case of "one doth protest too much" she's trying to talk herself into thinking what she's done is ok.

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    Friday13 [sign in to see picture]
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    I'll preface this by saying I have HSV 1. That's the type of herpes usually seen on the face (cold sores) and the one that 6 out of 10 people in the UK have. I caught it from a regular partner who gets cold sores. Approximately 1 in 10 people have HSV 2. (The one usually seen genitally). The majority of people with HSV 2 don't know they have it because they have antibodies from having cold sores (HSV 1) in childhood so don't show symptoms.

    HSV 1 genitally is the second best combination of location and type you can get. HSV 2 on the face is the best (the chance of you passing it on is pretty much theoretical). Herpes doesn't like to be in its non dominant location (HSV 1 likes to live on the face and HSV 2 likes to live on the genitals). As my herpes is type 1, I have had one outbreak (the initial one) and will probably never have another one. As you can see from this infographic https://herpesopportunity.com/downloads/herpes-opportunity-disclosure-handout.pdf HSV 1 sheds three times more from the face than from the genitals. Why is it then that people with genital herpes are expected to disclose but not those with oral herpes?

    Before I got herpes I was aware lots of people got cold sores as children. Did I expect my sexual partners to let me know if they'd ever had a cold sore? No. If I was to expect them to, would it be before we kissed since that's the most likely time they would pass it to me? How many people honestly tell people they have had a cold sore before they kiss someone? As 1 in 10 people have HSV 2 and 6 in 10 have HSV 1, I had to assume I was coming into contact with people who had herpes. And, as most people with HSV2 are asymptomatic carriers, I had to assume I was potentially coming in to contact with people who had HSV 2 but didn't know it. They could not disclose even if they wanted to as they weren't aware they had it.

    Essentially, if you are kissing or having any type of sexual contact with someone, it is more likely than not that they have herpes and you are at risk of contracting it. It is also more likely than not that you do too. Just think about that.

    The good news is that herpes is a minor skin condition. I've had UTIs and thrush that were far worse. The worst thing about herpes is the stigma, which, you might be interested to know, is a very new thing and emerged as a way to market antiviral medication http://herpes.org.uk/stigma/

    Now on to the decision to disclose....

    When I had my outbreak, I told me partner. He apologised for giving it to me and I said, he didn't need to be since there is always a risk when you have sex and I take responsibility for my choices. I have since had sex with a couple of people and didn't tell them because I was blackout drunk and don't even remember having sex with them (which is a whole different issue...). I felt guilty at first, but then I realised:

    1) They probably already had herpes as a child and if they did, I couldn't give it to them because of my type.

    2) They may be carriers of HSV but asymptomatic so either I couldn't infect them or they could infect me with HSV 2

    3) It's a minor skin condition

    4) The risk of me passing it on to them is around the same as a condom failing. If a condom fails, I get a baby or an abortion. If they get herpes, they get sore bits for a few days or a cold sore.

    Should people tell? I think it's generally a good idea and I will tell future partners. I also won't have sex if I have an outbreak (although the chance I will is small). The thing that really gets to me is the double standard. People with cold sores often don't consider themselves to have herpes yet they are more likely to pass it on than people HSV 1 genitally. I actually casually told an ex fuck buddy that I have herpes and he started freaking out in case he had it. I explained I got it way after him and also asked if he had ever had a cold sore. He said yes. I told him he has the same type of herpes as me. He was not happy that I said he had herpes.

    The nurse at the GUM clinic said not to bother telling casual partners. It's no worse than a cold and the risk of me passing it on is pretty much zero as I've never had another outbreak and it is in its non dominant location. If a person takes antiviral medication and uses a condom, the risk of them passing it on is negligible. The asymptomatic carrier however...

    When more people have a virus than don't, realistically you've got to assume the person your sleeping with has it. Just like you have to assume the person you are sleeping with has HPV (which we don't test for yet can cause cervical cancer).

    I think honesty is a good move, but I believe everyone is responsible for their own health and that means minimising risks (using barrier methods) and being aware of the fact even taking precautions won't remove all risks.

    In summary: It's a bloody cold sore.

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    popk1n [sign in to see picture]
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    Interesting hearing from someone who has more of a first-person perspective on it Friday13 :)

    And thanks for the comments Slinky, Kitten and Rosy :)

    Just a couple more thoughts, mainly from Friday13's response (and I am not disagreeing with what you are saying! Just merely having an internal discussion/debate):

    -If we want to be reeeeeeally safe, then yeah we probably should say if we've got cold sores even on our mouths... but generally nobody cares XD I guess if it's on your face, it's kinda like other skin problems like acne or something, but I feel a little more protective over my genitals. Can't fully express why, I'm just used to having facial skin issues, but having things wrong with my genitals... nah.

    -If people do not know they are carriers, then obviously the whole do/do not tell rule doesn't apply, since I couldn't be annoyed if they didn't know themselves. I would just find it lacking in common courtesy in a sexual partner if they didn't tell me when they knew. I always use condoms anyway, but if I were to have casual sex with herpes, I would use a condom. I think it's a bit rude to not tell AND have unprotected sex too. That's like a double-whammy. At least have one, please.

    -In regards to double standards/stigma, yeah it is out there. And perhaps that stigma is worse than the actual herpes. She said herself in the post that she has had enough people still have sex with her, even knowing, so there are still people out there who will have sex with someone with herpes. That's kind of why I don't understand what's wrong with just going for THOSE people. Also, this stigma has changed this woman's life, whether she likes it or not. I just find it a bit odd that she wouldn't want to for definite stop anyone else experiencing this stigma by her hand (or genitals I suppose) without prior consent, because to write that blog post, she must feel it is a burden in some way.

    Once again, this is all discussion, I am genuinely interested in people's thoughts about this :)

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    popk1n [sign in to see picture]
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    Btw, she has said in comments that she will tell regular fuck buddies and relationships etc.

    I still feel with one night stands it could still be a nice gesture though.

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    Friday13 [sign in to see picture]
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    My point is that if you have oral herpes, you can pass it on to another person genitally. That is how I got it.

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    mysteron [sign in to see picture]
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    No I don't think you are being over sensitive.

    In my eyes not declaring an ST I to a partner is as bad as cheating .

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    KittenFeatures [sign in to see picture]
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    @Friday13, honestly I find it hard to agree. Herpes in incurable. I would not like someone to withhold that they have herpes from me if I plan to be intimate with them because of that alone. Also, I haven't ever heard those statistics and I'm going to assume a lot of other people haven't either - this causes the issues that I didn't know the majority of people in the world possibly have it. I don't. I know I don't because I was tested during pregnancy and have had one partner since who is clean and I am still seeing them now.

    Yes, I am responsible for my own health, but if you are ignorant of those statistics (like I was) you're not going to assume someone else has herpies. I've never had a cold sore in my life and I know they're not particularly nice. I know that genital sores aren't pleasant from what I've read and you can spread it to other parts of your body if you aren't careful. Why would you withhold an incurable STI from someone who then doesn't know that they could potentially get it? You know the statisics. You know the details and you know best how bad it could be. People without it most likely don't and won't unless you tell them. It's your responsibility to let people know what they could be getting themselves into if you aren't ignorant and they are.

    To include, people have different tolerences to different things, what is bad for you could be absolutely awful to someone else or could be absolutely nothing, so you also can't really assume it will just be a cold to someone else. Herpes can lead to loads of problems with pregnancy, for example. It can lead to miscarriages, medically required C-Section and you can pass it on to your child - I'm not sure about you yourself but I wouldn't want to be the reasons that someone else caught it because I didn't tell them, they didn't know and now their child has it too because there isn't a lot they could have done.

    I don't want you to think I'm being aggressive here - really, I am totally ignorant and I'm sure you know better than me so please do correct me if I'm wrong, I don't want to upset you or anything. Please don't take any of this badly. I would want to know if my partner had herpes. I've always seen on medical advice that if you have an STI it is best to let your partner know as well.

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    popk1n [sign in to see picture]
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    Friday13 wrote:

    My point is that if you have oral herpes, you can pass it on to another person genitally. That is how I got it.

    Then if you're gonna go down on someone, declare it if you know you have oral herpes.

    Maybe more education should be available (I mean like at school, not like the internet, where often you'll search stuff and find out things when it's too late) regarding these types of infections that can still lead to STIs of some form, since we know of STIs in general, but little ins-and-outs like that would be useful to be told in like sex ed or something (bit off topic sorry).

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    Friday13 [sign in to see picture]
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    I agree people should tell. I have chosen not to have penetrative sex or have people go down on me before telling them. The people I did have sex with and didn't tell are in a weird situation because arguably I couldn't give informed consent as I was that drunk and by being that drunk I couldn't tell them. There's a hell of a lot of grey area in those situations and I'm not even sure who was really in the wrong.

    I also believe people should be responsible for their own health. If you are having sex you should be aware of risks. It's 2016. We have the Internet, there are GUM clinics, helplines... It's not hard.

    Yes, there are risks during pregnancy. These risks can be mitigated with antivirals in the weeks before the birth. There are also risks to babies from other adults who carry oral herpes and kiss the baby. Those risks are there even if a person isn't symptomatic. It's the herpes virus that is dangerous, not just genital herpes.

    I'm not saying people shouldn't tell, I am saying

    a) People with all types of herpes in all locations should tell before they put another person at risk (so before kissing if oral herpes).

    b) People should take responsibility for their own health and assume the person they are kissing or having sexual contact with has herpes as the majority of people do.

    I'm sincerely hoping that everyone who had a cold sore in childhood and is saying people with herpes should disclose it are practicing what they preach. I know for a fact most people don't disclose herpes. I've slept with somewhere in the region of 35 people and kissed probably over 100 people and not one person has told me they have either oral or genital herpes. It's extremely unlikely none of them did.

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    popk1n [sign in to see picture]
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    Also, can i just say I do actually follow this blog and she seems actually really nice and I enjoy her blog in general. I just feel uneasy with this post and disagree with it.

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    KittenFeatures [sign in to see picture]
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    Yes but for arguments sake, if most people don't know and if most people don't care to disclose it or are not bothered to disclose it, how accurate can those statistics really be?

    I do agree with responsibility, and have never ever and would never ever let a stranger kiss my child - whether they have herpes or not. Common sense and decency there. I've told people not to kiss her if they aren't closesly related and only actually feel comfortable with myself, my partner and her grandfather giving her kisses.

    The other thing is by not disclosing it - and this is probably the reason its so common - people are spreading it. Simple as. At least people are better informed if they are told beforehand and told of the risks. As someone who is very young and hasn't had more than 10 partners in my life, I've never been on to upfront ask whether someone has an STI, I find it rude to do so. But I also haven't assumed they have one just because 'It's my responsibility'. I'm the ignorant one. Why expect someone to outright ask? Should I asked about every single STI because of statistics on those too?

    I can't speak about experience with it, I don't know what its like to have it or what it really does to a person, I only know what I've read and do not like the sound of it at all. Sex is a precious thing to me and I don't want someone to feel that getting some easy action is more important than risking giving me an STI. Sex doesn't last that long and herpes lasts for life. On that alone I'd want to know about it but like i said, ignorance about it leads to me not asking. Could probably put that down to bad sex education as the only thing I remember being taught in it was how to properly put a condom on a foam penis (ironically I have rarely ever put a condom on anything and don't use them any more).

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    Friday13 [sign in to see picture]
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    KittenFeatures wrote:

    Yes but for arguments sake, if most people don't know and if most people don't care to disclose it or are not bothered to disclose it, how accurate can those statistics really be?

    They take blood samples from large groups of people to ascertain an estimated prevalence

    The other thing is by not disclosing it - and this is probably the reason its so common - people are spreading it. Simple as. At least people are better informed if they are told beforehand and told of the risks. As someone who is very young and hasn't had more than 10 partners in my life, I've never been on to upfront ask whether someone has an STI, I find it rude to do so. But I also haven't assumed they have one just because 'It's my responsibility'. I'm the ignorant one. Why expect someone to outright ask? Should I asked about every single STI because of statistics on those too?

    There are some people knowingly putting people at risk of HSV but the majority of people are infected by people who don't know they have it.

    Personally, I don't understand why it is rude to have a conversation about sexual health before having sex. I think having a conversation is a very sensible and responsible thing to do. Of course you don't have to ask about every STI individually. I usually ask about STIs generally and then specifically about last HIV and hep C tests since those tests aren't necessarily routine (I'm hep B immune so don't need to ask about that). I then use condoms. If I'm seeing someone regularly and we intend to stop using condoms, we get tested.

    I'm confused by your use of the word ignorant. Being ignorant isn't a good thing in my books and if you are old enough to have sex, you are old enough to take responsibility for yourself. I'm reminded of the 1987 HIV and AIDS campaign 'Don't die of ignorance' (before I was born too). Do we have to go back to scare tactics to get people to take personal responsibility? It's not about "can I be angry with them if they didn't know?" It's about avoiding infections.

    On that alone I'd want to know about it but like i said, ignorance about it leads to me not asking. Could probably put that down to bad sex education as the only thing I remember being taught in it was how to properly put a condom on a foam penis (ironically I have rarely ever put a condom on anything and don't use them any more).

    I didn't go to sex education. Everything I learnt I learnt from books, leaflets and the Internet. I believe knowledge is power and being informed allows you to actually make informed choices. People lie, cheat, and are just in the dark. I can't rely on other people to keep me safe.

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    Friday13 [sign in to see picture]
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    popk1n wrote:

    -If we want to be reeeeeeally safe, then yeah we probably should say if we've got cold sores even on our mouths... but generally nobody cares XD I guess if it's on your face, it's kinda like other skin problems like acne or something, but I feel a little more protective over my genitals. Can't fully express why, I'm just used to having facial skin issues, but having things wrong with my genitals... nah.

    Apart from the stigma, I'd much rather have HSV 1 genitally. It rarely recurs, unlike oral HSV 1, and my face is seen by everyone, whereas I generally wear pants.

    -If people do not know they are carriers, then obviously the whole do/do not tell rule doesn't apply, since I couldn't be annoyed if they didn't know themselves. I would just find it lacking in common courtesy in a sexual partner if they didn't tell me when they knew. I always use condoms anyway, but if I were to have casual sex with herpes, I would use a condom. I think it's a bit rude to not tell AND have unprotected sex too. That's like a double-whammy. At least have one, please.

    Is it really about being annoyed? Surely the important thing is avoiding infections? Being careless with someone else's health is not good. I agree not using a condom (although condoms won't 100% remove risk) and having sex during an outbreak is careless but if you aren't insisting on condom use, you are being careless with their health too. Things like HSV and HPV aren't tested for. Are you really just going to assume you are free from all infections?

    -In regards to double standards/stigma, yeah it is out there. And perhaps that stigma is worse than the actual herpes. She said herself in the post that she has had enough people still have sex with her, even knowing, so there are still people out there who will have sex with someone with herpes. That's kind of why I don't understand what's wrong with just going for THOSE people.

    The thing that's wrong with just going for THOSE people is that the majority of people who reject people because they have herpes have herpes themselves, they are just asymptomatic, don't consider oral herpes to be herpes or don't recognise a sore for herpes (they think it's an ingrown hair, overzealous wanking, a labial tear from bad thrush etc). There are only around 30% of people who DON'T have herpes yet people blindly accept people's word when they say they don't have herpes. Nobody can really say they don't have herpes, only they have no symptoms.

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    mf77 [sign in to see picture]
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    I think that blog is just a troll baiting people. It cannot be seriously true unless that person has serious mental issues. There is so much bait out there on the interwebs designed to trigger people.

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    Friday13 [sign in to see picture]
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    KittenFeatures wrote:

    I don't. I know I don't because I was tested during pregnancy and have had one partner since who is clean and I am still seeing them now.

    There is no way you can know if your partner has HSV as they don't test for it at GUM clinics. The only way you could know is if you paid to have a private test. I'm also very surprised you were actually tested for HSV during pregnancy, The NHS doesn't recommend it unless there is a high suspicion but swabs of sores were negative.

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