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This topic has been posted and commented on before, but most of them were more than 2 years ago and I thought it might be good to get some fresh eyes on it. 

Long story short, I've had HSV-2 (genital herpes) for just over a year....I've been on Valtrex (valacyclovir) once daily for almost the entire time, and other than the initial outbreak I've only had one small outbreak when I was off the Valtrex for a few days around the Christmas/New Year's holidays. 

Tonight, a buddy and I were having a text conversation and he basically said it was "fucking deplorable" that I was fucking guys bare without telling them about my HSV-2.  Obviously it doesn't feel good to hear someone talk about being disappointed in you and calling your behavior deplorable.

When I was first diagnosed and deciding whether to disclose to guys or not, I based my decision on the following:  if a guy is willing to fuck bare without asking about STD status or in a situation like a bathhouse or sex party where there is little to no talking anyways, then they should understand the risks of what they could catch and perhaps they already would have it anyways.  Therefore, I decided to keep on hooking up bare without disclosing, as most of the men I was fucking fit into that category.  I still stand by that initial decision, but there are times like tonight (after the text convo) that I wonder if I should re-think my disclosure habits.

So...what are your thoughts? Should I disclose to everyone I'm with?  Is my initial decision (to not disclose unless asked) and reasoning valid? If I disclose in some situations and not others, what is the dividing line?  For those of you with HSV-2, how do you handle disclosure?  (NOTE:  I respect that some of you actively chase STI's, but I'd rather NOT receive any responses about actively giving/chasing infections)

Thanks guys, I appreciate the variety of opinions and lines of thinking on this site and look forward to your replies.

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I think that disclosing you have herpes to someone in Don't Ask/Don't Tell environment like a bathhouse or sex party is unnecessary as long as you aren't having an outbreak or the tingling sensation that warns of an upcoming outbreak. You are taking the suppressive medicine and your partner has almost certainly been exposed to the virus already. Most people do have antibodies for herpes in their system. 

If you meet someone and you want to actually date him, you probably should disclose before you fuck the first time. That situation requires more honesty, if for no other reason than to find out whether or not he is a judgmental asshole. 

I recommend listening to this discussion between Dan Savage and Dr Anna Kaminski from Planned Parenthood. The herpes talk starts around 11:00. 
 

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I feel that if they go bare to begin with they to know the possible end results and why else be on this site which mainly caters to people that like Bare sex and want to give or take anything someone has or wants to get  

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Just because some of us have a preference for bare, it doesn't mean we're expecting or deserving of communicable diseases, especially from partners in which there ought to be a basic level of decency and trust. Deceitfully passing something along isn't the same as "well, it comes with the territory." It's possible I'll have a tragic car accident because I drive. Closing your eyes and running someone off the road does not just come with the territory.

I don't know the exact herpes pathology and how/when its communicable, but if you have a fair chance of spreading it, you should say something. If you're in the midst of an outbreak, you shouldn't be having sex at all. It isn't the same as being undetectable and knowing you're not contagious. 

The line, I say it only exists in totally anonymous situations where the partner doesn't care or have any interest in who is entering them. There's intentional negligence from both parties on that end.

Edited by topstud127
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2 hours ago, drscorpio said:

I think that disclosing you have herpes to someone in Don't Ask/Don't Tell environment like a bathhouse or sex party is unnecessary as long as you aren't having an outbreak or the tingling sensation that warns of an upcoming outbreak. You are taking the suppressive medicine and your partner has almost certainly been exposed to the virus already. Most people do have antibodies for herpes in their system. 

If you meet someone and you want to actually date him, you probably should disclose before you fuck the first time. That situation requires more honesty, if for no other reason than to find out whether or not he is a judgmental asshole. 

I recommend listening to this discussion between Dan Savage and Dr Anna Kaminski from Planned Parenthood. The herpes talk starts around 11:00. 
 

 

Great recommendation! Must listen.

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I listened through the first two topics HPV and HSV and then got too annoyed listening to Dan Savage interjecting and making this twice as long as needed.  It was pretty much what I already have heard.  Both viruses are VERY common, and sexually active gay men have most likely been exposed or WILL be whether they like it or not.  You can get HPV skin to skin and HSV just from a bj.  A good friend who's a pharmacist told me herpes meds are the NUMBER ONE prescription at his pharmacy.  Personally, I found out that I had HSV2 with a routine full std check about 13 years ago.  I knew that my ex had it since he disclosed to me and had frequent outbreaks he took daily meds for, so I was not surprised, but still didn't like to hear it, and actually felt like "damaged goods", and like I now had to disclose this.  I didn't know of any outbreaks, so I decided to wait till I had an outbreak to see where on my body it was and take the meds at that point.  Well - after 12 years of waiting for an outbreak (and not having one), I finally found out this spring.  I had some small but annoying welts around my ass crack.  I googled it and sure enough the pics of HSV2 around the ass looked just like what I had.  I stopped having sex, and in less than 10 days they went away on their own.  I guess my bottom line is that I don't really ever disclose it - I honestly forget I even have it since I virtually never have an outbreak (it took 12 years to figure out where it was).  I don't think most people realize how common both these viruses are, and if you are sexually active (and especially a bb slut), you are almost definitely going to get both of these things, but neither is really a huge deal - as stated in the podcast.  And quite honestly in 32 years of gay sex and no idea how many sex partners, no one except that one boyfriend has ever disclosed to me that they have herpes.  Regarding HPV, I've had anal warts twice in my life, which is a symptom of HPV.  The doc told me almost every sexually active adult (80% +) has one or more of the MANY strains.  That's why they vaccinate before becoming sexually active.  It's so easily transmitted they need to vaccinate before sexual exposure.  He also told me there is no test for HPV since there are so many strains, and almost everyone has it.  So if anyone tells you they are HPV neg, they really don't know what they're talking about......there is no test for it.  Many people never get the warts, so they just don't know they have it.....anyone barebacking almost definitely has it and just doesn't know.

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56 minutes ago, justsexnowatl said:

I listened through the first two topics HPV and HSV and then got too annoyed listening to Dan Savage interjecting and making this twice as long as needed.  It was pretty much what I already have heard.  

Yes, I think Dan Savage has done some very good things for our community and for sex positivity in general, but he really loves the sound of his own voice. 

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I like the above very informative posts! I wonder how many hypocrites who use language like 'neg and disease-free and you be too' in their grindr profiles, don't even realize what all they have already, just sitting dormant. In the 'Deep South' where hypocrisy is widespread, a lot of guys have NO CLUE they are actually poz. And as far as herpes and HPV is concerned, the percentages are in the... what? Double-digit ranges? 30, 40, 50% I actually went to the doctor to get a shot for HPV but no telling if the fucker is already there dormant... and oddly, teenage girls were the first to be urged to get the shot. Teenage boys are just recently featured in commercials, but even the health insurance adjusters (mostly amateur bean-counters) kicked the claim back the first time around as 'medically unnecessary'... yeah right! Now, the thing is this: I'm of the school of thinking to be FEARLESS BUT RESPONSIBLE! Being a public health hazard seems to be a big obsession in chat here! (I sit back and cringe as that fails to 'rattle my cage') Now the thing with herpes is: people get it often without knowing it. Then it goes dormant for a long time or maybe forever. With HPV a long-term consequence is potential cancer; for guys in the butt and for chicks in the coochie I guess... Well I say: for optimum engine performance - check the oil, the transmission fluid and don't drive a clunker!!! Get my drift!??? It's not 'sporting' but negligent!

I look at bareback fucking as a MAN SPORT, competitive and spectator sport. I still want to see 'tasty things', not sores and puss! Well just my thing, my hydraulic would fail!!! I like 'rugged warriors', jaded champs, and not twisted sisters who crawl on the field huffing and oozing,  like 'tore-up-from-the-floor-up veterans of the sexual revolution'. I don't EXPECT a guy to disclose his POZ status, although him doing so IS a big TURN-ON... especially when he has a bio-hazard tattoo... 

Beats the holier-than-thou hypocrites who might be more 'broken' than they say they can tolerate others! It all comes back to the hydraulic... if it doesn't work, the game is no fun!

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11 hours ago, drscorpio said:

... is unnecessary as long as you aren't having an outbreak or the tingling sensation that warns of an upcoming outbreak. You are taking the suppressive medicine and your partner has almost certainly been exposed to the virus already. Most people do have antibodies for herpes in their system. 

If you meet someone and you want to actually date him, you probably should disclose before you fuck the first time.

I recommend listening to this discussion

Yes, this has been my line of thinking so far - I wouldn't have any sex during an outbreak. I agree on the disclosure prior to dating.  However, the tricky part comes in if I fuck someone first and it turns into more.  I'm listening to the discussion now...

10 hours ago, topstud127 said:

... but if you have a fair chance of spreading it, you should say something. If you're in the midst of an outbreak, you shouldn't be having sex at all. It isn't the same as being undetectable and knowing you're not contagious.

@topstud127 I appreciate your response and agree with most things you mentioned.  I certainly wouldn't have sex during an outbreak, not only because it's the decent thing to do but also because it would be painful.  However, I do hesitate on your comment about being HIV undetectable and not contagious.  In both situations (HSV and HIV), the virus is present in the body, in whatever concentration, and thus able to be possibly transmitted. I have seen a couple of articles online just now that are saying that the risk of passing on HIV without condoms between an undetectable partner and a negative partner is zero...but really?  That's almost like saying if a person drinks a can of Coca-Cola each day they won't get diabetes - some certainly will and others won't, depending on a variety of factors. (I know some of you will say it's not the same at all, but my point, after completing a master's degree in statistics, is that the results of a study are highly variable depending on the sample and data collection methods. One famous statistician asserted that there was no link between smoking and lung cancer based on early studies, but after years of repeated trials the medical world finally accepted that there was.)  I keep a healthy skepticism when I read one or two studies that say it can't happen when it seems (to me at least) that there is always going to be a chance of passing on the virus as long as it's in your body (i.e. until there is a cure).   Now, of course, that applies to my situation with HSV-2 also, so I'm not trying to suggest I'm in any better of a situation. I'm merely suggesting that your reasoning of "any fair chance of spreading then you should disclose" should apply to ANYONE with an incurable infection, including HIV undetectable persons.  Further, it is a legal requirement in a lot of places that partners disclose their HIV status - but that's another topic for another time (how does that work with a bathhouse or anonymous encounter?).

Also, as a side note, I'm technically undetectable for the HSV-2.  My diagnosis was during the initial outbreak when my doctor took a swab of a sore and the lab returned with the results.  I started taking the Valtrex daily, but my blood tests (mentioned in the Dan Savage discussion) for HSV-2 have always come back negative. 

2 hours ago, rawsatyr said:

...It's not 'sporting' but negligent!

...I don't EXPECT a guy to disclose his POZ status, although him doing so IS a big TURN-ON... especially when he has a bio-hazard tattoo... 

...It all comes back to the hydraulic... if it doesn't work, the game is no fun!

Sorry, but I'm not fully sure of what you're saying here with the mechanic metaphors.  Are you saying people should get tested and disclose all the time?  Are you saying one should only disclose when they have symptoms? 

 

Again, thanks for your responses so far, including the link to the discussion. 

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Maybe what I'm saying is one should see that one stays in top shape for fucking and not be too dismissive when noticing 'something is wrong'. If you feel like something is wrong, go see the doc. And no, no need to disclose everything. The thing is that not everybody can get hard and excited discovering symptoms of or willfully getting syphillis although it is a hot fetish for some. Years ago a favorite play-mate who I used to fuck (not telling me he was poz) passed that mess on to me (possibly not knowing) I say MESS, because of the awkward events that followed for someone with a long-time physical adress and a real name. Well I go to the doc and next thing I know I get a barrage of letters and phone calls from the health department, even though I already got a shot. Apparently it is 'reportable'. .. a shocker for a novice. I was very embarrassed then, although my skin has gotten thicker about all that now. Back then I got clear instructions to 'give the shot x number of days to work' which I did. But on the second to last day I got a handsome stallion with a big crotch who wanted to get naked with me... I made up an excuse and regret it to this day. I did not tell him why I was a prude, made up some BS about 'the first date'... I have to say that after reading all the 'failed efforts' of guys on here to GET HIV in vain after YEARS of barebacking, I WISHED I had played harder! Now I'm seeking out all the ones who I KNOW are poz. As a former 'mostly-top' I CRAVE the tainted cum of really hardcore guys. If they passed on something by chance, so be it. I'll deal with it!... so maybe that brings some clarity!

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I would say yes it is kind of deplorable because there's still that chance of passing it on and you are knowingly doing it. Regardless of the situation, You should at least warn the guy unless he says he takes all loads no matter what. I'm sure you'd have wanted the same warning before someone passed it to you. 

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No one ever goes on a date and says, "Oh by the way I get cold sores sometimes," over dinner. The fact is herpes, for most people in good health, happen very rarely - makes it something that I don't think needs discussion unless you know you're getting frequent outbreaks. Since you're on Valtrex that's very unlikely.. and you're obviously not hooking up while having outbreaks.

The only time I could see it being an issue is if you had a long term partner and needed to explain why you were out of commission for a bit. Otherwise just be responsible with taking your meds, and act appropriately during an outbreak, and there's really nothing to feel bad about otherwise.

Also - A huge fuuuuuuck off at the dudes here trying to slut shame you.... on a website full of dudes who are poz and take anonymous bareback loads and all kinds of other shit... for having a STI. I expected more from people here. Y'all judgey bitches should be ashamed of yourselves find somewhere else to hang out. ;)

 

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I appreciate all of the replies, positive and negative, to my original post 6 months ago.  A little update on my situation...I mentioned earlier that every test I've had comes back positive for HSV-1 and negative for HSV-2. I discussed this with my doctor, and we re-examined the test results from the swab they did on my initial outbreak. It seems as though it might've been a HSV-1 infection on my dick rather than a HSV-2 infection.  This can happen, although it's not common.  If our assumption about the true nature of what I have is correct, it would be slightly "better" in a way, in the sense that I may not be shedding as much as I thought I was if I had HSV-2.  I am still taking the Valtrex daily.

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15 hours ago, hungandmean said:

No one ever goes on a date and says, "Oh by the way I get cold sores sometimes," over dinner. The fact is herpes, for most people in good health, happen very rarely - makes it something that I don't think needs discussion unless you know you're getting frequent outbreaks. Since you're on Valtrex that's very unlikely.. and you're obviously not hooking up while having outbreaks.

The only time I could see it being an issue is if you had a long term partner and needed to explain why you were out of commission for a bit. Otherwise just be responsible with taking your meds, and act appropriately during an outbreak, and there's really nothing to feel bad about otherwise.

Also - A huge fuuuuuuck off at the dudes here trying to slut shame you.... on a website full of dudes who are poz and take anonymous bareback loads and all kinds of other shit... for having a STI. I expected more from people here. Y'all judgey bitches should be ashamed of yourselves find somewhere else to hang out. ;)

 

This is the answer I would go for; and give, had it not been already given. Thanks hungandmean.

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