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The Ethical Dilemma Of Herpes

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YoungCock1234

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Hey y'all.

tl,dr; in what way should someone change their sexual behavior when they (probably) have herpes?
...
I was recently diagnosed with genital herpes aka HSV-2. The doctor said that his visual diagnosis is only about 80% accurate, but they didn't ask if I wanted the swab test when I first came in, so supposedly I can't do that now until I have another outbreak.

I live in Bangkok, Thailand and am moderately sexually active. Obviously this was a huge bummer emotionally. I'm going into counselling (I think I need to make some other life changes anyway, but I digress) to deal with it, but what I'm trying to work out now is a game plan going forward. The biggest dilemma I'm facing is that from what I can tell there is next to zero awareness about GH in Thailand, so potential partners are not likely to understand what I'm telling them.

From what I can tell, all three of conventional wisdom, personal anecdotes, and scientific research more or less say that transmission while there is no outbreak is very rare, especially when condoms are used.

More colloquial info can be found at: STD Risk and Oral Sex | STD | CDC
and Can HSV2 Be Transmitted Orally?

whereas scientific studies can be found here: Condoms Reduce Women's Risk of Herpes Infection, But Do Not Protect Men.
and here: Herpes and Oral Sex: Women’s Risks.

So, the first draft of my plan of action is as follows: (and for what it's worth, I only sleep with women)
1) Avoid all skin contact during any future outbreak
2) Always, always, always use condoms for penetrative sex (I already do this)
3) With any "short-term" partner, do not bring up the topic, but avoid oral sex in both directions
3a) Reduce the frequency of short-term partners and casual hook-ups
4) With any long-term partner, discuss the disease, the facts, etc. and try to come to mutual understanding and comfort.

Obviously the thing in question is the morality of not bringing it up with a casual encounter/ONS/etc. From what I can tell in my research, I would estimate the likelihood of me transmitting it while following these guidelines to be microscopic, somewhere in the 1 in 10,000 range. (It was estimated to be transmitted male to female in 8.9 in 10,000 sex acts which INCLUDED unprotected. 45% of infections were with couples that never used condoms and only 5% were those who did, so I'm extrapolating that to say condoms reduce the risk by 9x.)

I'm a very mathematically-minded person though and see 1 in 10,000 or 0.01% as basically zero or "statistically insignificant," but I recognize that isn't how everyone sees things.

Please let me know your thoughts or any other experiences you'd like to share regarding herpes. I just ask for a little compassion as I'm trying to figure out something very confusing.
 

mark.der.typ

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I think you should definitely inform all partners, which of course ruins some of your dates. But wide your horizon: what if you infect any (long-time) friend, just only cuz you were drunk and wanted to fuck? Everyone knows alcohol plays a role.
Or you later may hear someone died cuz of that? Maybe in combination with another disease/s? There are lots of possibilities

For notice, i never had any sexual disease, so maybe its easy to talk for me like that.
But i know for sure my conscience will kill me if something happened described above
 

MickeyLee

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Uummm you probably caught herpes through asymptomatic transmission. One in 10,000 can hit pretty close to home.

You have to tell the people you get naked with. Withholding information of a communicable infection, one you are aware might sway their choice to be intimate with you, is compromising thier ability to consent.

Does that suck? Yep.

If someone had given you the same information you might not be posting here today.
 

DiamondJoe

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Hey y'all.

tl,dr; in what way should someone change their sexual behavior when they (probably) have herpes?

  1. Refrain from sexual activity with others
  2. Get tested
  3. Get treated

On the plus side, it is perfectly treatable and I'm sure you won't die if you don't make a move on anyone for a couple of weeks :)
 
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halcyondays

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Uummm you probably caught herpes through asymptomatic transmission. One in 10,000 can hit pretty close to home.

^This. It spreads easily.

In some studies as many as 50% of five year-olds are seropositive for HSV1. By age 30 as much as 70% are seropositive

HSV2 is less common. From 10-40% of adults are seropositive.

The good news is that lesions form in a single digit percentage of those infected (<10%).

It's important to note that HSV1 can be genital and HSV2 can be oral. Overall 70-90% of HSV1 is oral and 10-30% of it is genital. This means 70-90% of HSV2 is genital and 10-30% of it is oral.

Always wearing a condom for penetrative sex and avoiding contact during outbreaks is a good way to go.

Always know you may transmit the virus through casual contact even when you're lesion-free. I remember seeing a picture in an old medical text of lesions on the nape of the neck of a male who had carried a naked partner on on his shoulders. Lesions may form at the point of infection anywhere on the body.

I always inspect genitals for anything obvious before cunnilingus or fellatio.

 

Tight_End_SC

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I hooked up with a dude years ago and a few days after the hookup he called me and said you may want to go get tested for any STDs. I dodged that bullet. The only thing I would add regarding disclosure would be that both people, or entire group if it's a group thing, should realize the risk and inquire about any STDs before getting down to business.

Your situation is not the end of sex. Like you say, outbreaks are when to avoid contact.
 

nailz

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On the plus side, it is perfectly treatable and I'm sure you won't die if you don't make a move on anyone for a couple of weeks :)

:confused:
Umm.. unless there's been some miraculous discovery recently HSV-2 is totally incurable.

I would definitely want to be informed if someone had genital herpes even if they were asymptomatic, especially considering that as a woman I'm twice as likely to be infected. The reason so many people get infected is partly because of ignorance and partly because both HSV-1 and HSV-2 are treated as "casual" STIs : unamused:
 

Swallowu

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The sad truth is many people don't get tested for HSV. They only worry if they might have it if they get a breakout or bumps. If everyone on this site, Tinder, Grinder, etc was tested for HSV 1 and HSV2, I'd wager odds more than half would come up positive for one or the other. Most carriers are asymptomatic (that is my case) and would have no clue unless they specifically asked to be tested for HSV. Most transmissions happen from asymptomatic people, although I've read research that says some asymptomatic people have a type of T-Cell that stops the virus from reaching the skin's surface after infection. It's the basis for vaccine research from a company called Genoca. In either case, people who have lots of sexual partners will always be taking a risk, be it HSV, HPV or HIV. Understand the risks and act accordingly.
 
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