How Do I Disclose My Herpes Diagnosis?

by Sukele Lewis
(Brooklyn, New York)

I contracted genital herpes from a sexual partner.

I am not sure which one because I had multiple partners. I feel uncomfortable about disclosing my status and I need help with a approaching this subject with my new partner.

Sukele Lewis

Welcome and thanks for sharing your question with our community!

If I had a nickle for every time I've been asked this question! I'd, well...

Let's just say, I'd have a lot of MONEY!

Anyway, I have some very good advice for you...don't share it until you are comfortable. What I mean is that communicating your condition needs to come from a confident place from within your soul. Until you are confident, you can't communicate it effectively.

I can give you tips and advice about when, where, the atmosphere setting, etc but it wouldn't work until YOU become comfortable with your condition and are able to tell someone without them freaking out!

Look at it from your partner's perspective...if you can't communicate with confidence then how can your partner respond confidently. How can you expect your partner to trust you to protect them, if you show signs of an un-confident person (is that a word?)?

You see, it really doesn't matter when to tell someone or even the method that you use. It's the way the information is communicated that's important.

I've told people while talking on the phone. I've told people in the privacy of a quiet setting. Heck, while I was doing the online dating thing, I told a few before I even met them!

Not one time was I ever rejected. But you see, I wasn't nervous and I wasn't uncomfortable. I didn't expect to be rejected...quite the opposite. I expected that it wouldn't be a big deal. And it never has been. The reason is that I never made it into a big deal. You shouldn't either.

If you can learn to tell someone about your herpes diagnosis in a manner that allows them to soak up the information slowly and without sounding like you have leprosy then you will not have a problem either.

Prepare for the herpes talk by practicing it. Make sure that you have some information for your partner to read. Ideally, you should be so knowledgeable about HSV that you won't need to have additional information on hand.

As long as you are not having sex with this person, there is really no rush. Take your time and build up a little more self-confidence, knowledge about HSV, and practice having the talk many times and be prepared for his/her response.

Good Luck to You!


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