Sexually Transmitted Diseases/HSV2


I'm 26/female
I was with a 27/male

We dated for a month before our first sexual contact. I told him several times I was positive. The first time we were intimate I told him again. I told him we didn't have to have sex.

That was a month ago we had our first sexual encounter.

He now refuses to talk to me because he tested positive. He called me dirty and a slut. I am feeling so bad. I told him. More than once. That condoms aren't 100%

Did I do it wrong?? What should I have done differently?

Hello Des,
It is possible that even though you were without symptoms, you might still be shedding herpes virus. Oral, vaginal, and anal sex can spread herpes, and it's not certain whether herpes antivirals (such as acyclovir or valacylovir) in daily, viral suppressive doses,  can prevent the virus from being spread during sex. Did you have an outbreak at the time of sex? Or past infection involving your mouth, vulvovagina, or anus?  Where was his infection? Did his discovery occur within 3 weeks (the usual incubation period for a new infection) of your last sexual encounter with him?

The same thing goes for HIV infection, with a few differences. It is far more common that an HIV positive guy infects a woman, than the other way round. Not impossible, however. If a poz person is on antiviral meds for HIV, and has an undetectable viral load, than it is very very unlikely to spread the virus during sex.  If the other partner wears condoms and is also taking PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) with the medication Truvada, than risk is further reduced to near impossibility!

But sex is a two way agreement, and both persons must take due diligence to protect themselves and their partners as best as they can. Communication about being "positive" must be pretty explicit.  You may have a "positive attitude" but you must specify "herpes positive," "HIV positive" (or hepatitis C, human papilloma virus, etc.) so there is mutual hearing, acknowledging and understanding. It is also helpful to the presumed uninfected person to have general STD tests, including gonorrhea/chlamydia, and HIV testing before you have sex for the first time. Your responsibility is to inform your partner as I mentioned, and also to protect yourself from getting pregnant or another STD; his responsibility is to inform his partner(s) (you) what his status is, and to protect both himself and you from other STDs and potential pregnancy.

The implication is that you may have infected him, yet he may have been infected from someone else before your first encounter with him, and that he's blaming you for something you didn't do.

Sorry you had to experience this.  

Good luck!

Sexually Transmitted Diseases

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Mark P. Behar


Almost any question or concern about gay men's health issues, sexually transmitted infections, abnormal Pap smears, anal cytology (anal "Pap smears"), etc. There is no such thing as “d/d free” or “clean” (free of infection), so why do so many of us deceive ourselves into thinking that some people are indeed totally free from a potentially infectious disease, like HIV, herpes, hepatitis, syphilis, chlamydia, warts, gonorrhea, etc., just because they say so? Clinical laboratory tests are not perfect, and having a “negative” or “nonreactive” test does not mean that a person is free from infection. Perhaps at the moment the test was taken, the person was uninfected; or, perhaps, the test wasn’t sensitive enough to detect presence of the infection. There is really no way that anyone can determine that they are truly “disease free,” and there are over a hundred of infectious conditions that can be spread without your knowing anything. Rather than trying to “pre-screen” or “serosort” a potential sex-mate with deceptive questions that are impossible to know by today’s technologies, a wiser option may be to consider everyone infected with something, and either use appropriate protective measures (“safer sex”), or accept the responsibility and consequences of possibly “catching” something from someone who’s hotter than expected (pun intended!). There is much research that supports the contention that an HIV positive person reliably taking HIV medications, and having an undetectable viral load, presents a lower risk for transmission of HIV than people who may think or say they are HIV negative, but are not. Food for thought!


Family Practice PA since 1981; Volunteer Clinician for Brady East STD (BESTD) Clinic, Milwaukee, since 1977; answered STD questions submitted to their web site. Professionally lectured at national and regional Physician Assistant and Nurse Practitioner conferences, and at national gay & lesbian health conferences on topics including HIV/AIDS, herpes, hepatitis, STDs, human papilloma virus (the cause of venereal warts), abnormal Pap smears, gay and lesbian health issues, among others.

Co-Founder, Lesbian, Bisexual, & Gay Physician Assistant Caucus of the American Academy of Physician Assistants, Inc.; American Academy of Physician Assistants; Wisconsin Academy of Physician Assistants; National Co-Chair (2012-16), National Association of Black and White Men Together: A Gay, Multiracial Organization for All People (NABWMT)

Journal of the American Academy of Physician Assistants (JAPA) Q Visions, Quarterly Newsletter of the NABWMT

Bachelor's of Arts, 1972 (University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI) Graduate Credits Experimental Psychology, 1972-75 (Tulane University, New Orleans, LA) Physician Assistant, Bachelor's of Science, 1981 (George Washington University, Washington, DC); Masters in Physician Assistant Studies, 2000 (University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE)

Awards and Honors
Colposcopy Recognition Award (CRA), the American Association of Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology; Distinguished Fellow, Clinical Preceptor, American Academy of Physician Assistants; Fellow, Wisconsin Academy of Physician Assistants

Past/Present Clients
Brady East STD Clinic, Milwaukee, WI Milwaukee Health Services, Inc. (Martin Luther King Heritage Health Center), Dept. of Family Medicine and Early Intervention Program for HIV Infected Persons

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