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Should You Tell Your Past Partners about Your Herpes Diagnosis

Alexandra Harbushka  |  Mar 06

Should You Tell Your Past Partners about Your Herpes Diagnosis

Do your past partners even need to know that you have herpes?

When you’re just recently diagnosed with herpes hundred-and-one questions go through your mind. Usually, a top one is where did I get this from. In some cases, you may know exactly who you got it from for one reason or another but most of the time we don’t really know who it came from or when we got the HSV virus. 

I know when I was diagnosed with herpes I was going crazy with wondering who gave me this. I was still in the victim mode and really wanted to point fingers. I wanted to blame someone soooooo badly for why this happened to me. OK, so this whole blame game and victim thing really don’t help with your recovery or processing your herpes diagnosis so contact me if you need support with this. 

At some point, the thought of reaching out to past partners and ask them if they have herpes will probably cross your mind. There’s a ton of reasons why you might want to reach out to them. It could be because you’re in a really pissed off mode and just want to reach out to them to yell at them or you might reach out to them because you want to get back with them or you might reach out to them because you want to tell them what to do. There’s a lot of reasons that are swirling around. I get it.

You could also be in the position of never wanting to talk to your ex again or thinking that you’re too embarrassed to even tell them. The thought of them telling their friends or making a mockery of you probably will stop you in your tackes. 

I get it. These are all great reasons to either call up your contacts in your little black book or run and hide. 

Here’s what I decided to do when I found out I had herpes. I decided to call my past partners and tell them. I went pretty far back because I knew that the virus could have been dormant in my system for a while. And I really wanted to know who gave this to me. I was on a mission. My thought process in making extremely embarrassing calls as if someone else had the courage to make a phone call, I might not have herpes. Let me explain, one of the reasons why herpes is so rampant and continues to spread is because we’re too embarrassed and don’t want the rejection, so we don’t tell our current or past partners. The way I look at it is if someone made a call to one of my past partners and told them that they have herpes then he would have hopefully gotten tested and known about his diagnosis. Thus I would have been allowed to make a decision. 

So here’s what to ask yourself when telling your past partners about your herpes diagnosis.

Ask yourself why you’re telling them. There’s no wrong answer. Is it to call them and point the finger? Is it to rekindle something from the past? Is it to find out if they were the ones who gave you herpes? There’s no wrong answer with this, I just want you to admit to yourself why you’re telling them. Oh, and be honest. 

Then I want you to think about what you’d want if you were in their shoes. Like I mentioned earlier I truly believed that If someone else had the courage to tell my past partner the I believe that I would not have been diagnosed with herpes. I looked at calling my ex' as paying it forward. 

At the end of the day, it’s totally up to you. Me personally, I’m very firm on disclosing and that includes both past and present. With future partners, I don’t believe there is any grey area for not disclosing. However when it comes to you and your life and how you want to follow up with your ex’ I’m going to leave that up to you. What I do ask of you is to get crystal clear on your decision and then go for it. 

Let me know your thoughts on this. I’d love to hear what you’re thinking. Of course, if you need support with this I’m here to help. I do have a toolkit that’s available for you if you’re stuck in this situation. We discuss different types of relationships, ways to tell your current, future, and past partners, and some other great tools to deal with your diagnosis. You can get more information about it here.

Originally posted on Life With Herpes.


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