Very disturbed

A friend of mine confided in me about having herpes. I'm not a judgmental person, it is what it is. I personally do not have it but felt I needed to vent here. This person has told me they have recently had unprotected sex and did not tell the other person, and does not plan to. What the reasons behind that, I will never understand but this DOES NOT sit well with me for obvious reasons. For one, I am friends with both involved. Closer to one, but regardless, both are my friends. I am not too familar with this disease but I do know, it's not a pleasant thing to have. What concerns me is that the person left in the dark has a right to know. I swore to secrecy I wouldn't say a word so I pretty much feel trapped. I tried considering both sides and wondered what I would do if I were in either situation. I feel that because of reasons like this, the disease keeps spreading. One's health should not be taken lightly and quite frankly I don't know what to do because at the end of the day, it's really none of my business. I just wish I didn't know. It's been bothering me ever since I found out. Should I just keep my mouth shut?

xo, July

Can someone please give me some feedback?

as someone who just tested positive for herpes-2, i think you should first suggest to the concerned friend that he/she get tested for stds in general. say you will go with her, just to be safe and maybe you can take the test too to help her feel comfortable about it. if nothing shows up in her results, then maybe you won’t have to tell her about your other friend who is positive. but if she does test positive, then you should get both of them together and sit down with both of them to make sure they talk about it, and to make sure that they stop spreading this. i think you have every right to do something about this situation because the infected friend clearly told you about it. good luck

This is one of those times I personally wouldn't keep the secret. A person has a right to know. The person who asked you to keep this secret is definitely in the WRONG.

I really wish there were tougher laws concerning this. It is not fair for someone to play Russian roulette with someone else’s life and without their knowledge.

I am also quite sure that this one person will continue in this behavior too. This person has done this before and will do it again. I have heard that these individuals feel they have a right to do this because it was done to them. B S.

Also, this person has probably more than just herpes. I'm sure they might have something like HPV too.

I have personally met women who have had herpes and they were up front about it. I had a lot of respect for them because they told me. I also felt their anguish. Herpes is very painful according to what they told me.

Yeah I agree. Along with your reasons, I got the “I keep up with my medication” and “you can’t spread it unless you have an outbreak” bullshit excuse. None of it sat well with me. If it’s so hard to spread then why do so many people have it??? It’s a type of deception that really really rubs me the wrong way. Thanks for responding, I needed to hear someone’s opinion and I hope I get some more. It’s hard because I don’t have it, so I don’t relate to the difficulties of telling someone, dealing with the rejection, pain, hassle, whatever else comes with having the disease. I try very hard to put myself in their shoes but I just can’t. It’s wrong. Period.

July-

i am sorry that you are put in the middle of this situation. one of my sibs friends has it, but she is very responsible, always uses protections and always, always tells them she has it before they get physical.

When it comes to health and possibly giving someone a disease that cannot be cured i think you should say something. its one thing to give someone a cold that can go away, but herpes doesn’t go away. I would talk to you friend first and tell them that you are uncomfortable that they did not tell the person because it is a very big deal. Let them know that you feel they should tell the person they slept with. If they get upset or are non responsive then let them know you will tell the person they slept with instead.

I know this will put you in a bad situation, but when it comes to STD’s it is plain wrong to not tell someone what you have. A good friend of mine slept with a man and later found out he had HIV and never told her. I was sooo upset and wanted to have him arrested because he could ruin her life. Luckily she tested negative, but if i ever meet that guy i would punch him in the face (sorry i don’t mean to get violent, but when you hurt my friend you hurt me)

please let us know what you decide to do. good luck with everything.

Victoria,
I hate that I’ve been put in the middle of this. As I’ve said earlier, I really wish I never knew. I know what I ‘should’ do, but it’s so much easier said than done. If I could be an advocate for this topic, I would but I’m not. I was told this information in confidence and I kept a promise to keep my mouth shut. I am faced with a decision of ‘do the ends justify the means’? My initial reaction to that question is, yes of course. But then I think even further and realize the amount of damage and drama I would be creating, further involving me beyond what I already do not want to be a part of. The only thing I’ve come up with is me confronting my friend with the disease and trying to reason with the fact that what is happening is wrong and hopefully convice that person to come forward and do the right thing. Does that sound like a waste of my time? Am I being a coward? I just feel this is such a sensitive topic and I should stay out of people’s personal business, even though I am involved by default. UGH, I hate this!

Friends come and go. You will always meet people in life.

However, you can think of it like this: Do I really want to surround myself with people who lie, deceive others, harm others, etc ...

Personally, I dump this type of friend immediately. I don't care what overwhelming qualities they posses or what they done for me. I don't want to be around people like that. It will reflect upon me at some point in the future if I continue to do so.

Some can sum it like this: You Are a Product of Your Environment.

I know what you are saying, and most of the time it’s definitely true. But how often are you faced with something like this? Where someone confides in you, because they trust you, then you go and betray their trust. I’m very torn between my loyalty and my conscience here.

july-

it is a difficult situation, and of course it is hard to do what you want to do. I would definitely talk to your friend with the disease and explain to them why it is wrong. See what they say and then you can go from there.

Good luck with everything. I know that this is a very hard thing to do and could potentially strain your friendship.

Keep writing and let us know how this goes.

I’m planning to have a talk… I’ll keep you guys posted. Thanks for the support.

I confronted the friend and I was reminded it was a secret and to keep my promise of keeping my mouth shut. Clearly this person has made a decision of not telling the other. I have to accept that this isn't my business and it's out of my control. I asked my best friend what to do, and she told me also to keep my mouth shut, even as infuriated and repulsed as she may be, she told me it isn't my place to tell the other person. I keep reminding myself that we are responsible for ourselves, and it is our choice to have healthy sex. They both should have suggested getting tested prior to sleeping with one another, and if neither felt the initiative, then perhaps neither care enough about contracting diseases. I don't know, not my cup of tea. I'm going to hope they take care of themselves.

July, that's pretty serious and I am so sorry that you got stuck in the middle of a very unpleasant and tough situation. I honestly can't believe that your friend wasn't honest with your other friend about having herpes, as that's a very serious thing. You don't play with other people's health and well-being ever. This could effect your friend for the rest of their life. Ugh. Such a tough situation. I can completely understand how and why you are so infuriated. I would tell your friend that if they plan to have sex again, then they have to disclose it. One of my friends has herpes and it's no joke, she contracted it from someone who didn't disclose it and it affected her for the past 10 years. As well, it will affect her for the rest of her life. It's so incredibly sad. But, she is totally and completely upfront with every sexual partner that she has. She said that she never ever wants to put anyone through what she has gone through, and for that I commend her.

Again, I am so sorry that you have been dealing with this. It's quite disturbing that you're friend's not stepping up to the plate. I really hope that they come around and start being honest.

Yes I’m sure everyone who contracts it has a sad story, as does my friend. I mean who really wants herpes right? But there is a serious problem that many believe they are an “exception” to the rule and that they will be responsible blah blah blah. Clearly not responsible enough if they found a way to contract it. I feel horrible saying this because I’m sure there are horrendous circumstances (ie rape, being cheated on) whatever the case may be, but for the majority of people who have it, what is their excuse? Behavior such as this one makes me trust NOBODY. Which makes it so difficult because how do I expect anyone to trust me if I barely trust them? Sex should not be taken lightly and I don’t want to sit here and lecture, but I have lost a lot of respect for how this situation is being handled by my friend. Unless people are tied down and committed to one another, people sleep around!!! No wonder the statistics are so high. It should be illegal to keep this type of information from your partner, it really should. If herpes is so difficult to contract, and can only be spread during an outbreak, why do 1 in 4 have it? (think those are the odds, not sure) Regardless, that’s high enough if you ask me. And how do you keep such information from someone you care about? I had another conversation again with my friend because the issue has gotten much bigger than before because the other person involved, is sleeping with other people!!! BIG NO NO. So now, my friend is more focused on the fact that the other person is sleeping around and not focusing on the betrayal and the huge issue at hand. This is a ginormous mess, I just want out!

I totally agree with you July; I was seriously going to write the same about it needing to be illegal. I know that you're friend's not the only one out there doing this, but it's just so disturbing to me.

Wow, the situation with your friends is quite a mess. Ugh, I am just so sorry that you're dealing with this. Can you just bow out or do you feel like you need to enlighten both of them about what's going on. They both really need to come clean and be done with it.

It’s so wrong to me. So so so wrong. But I can’t force anyone to have a conscience or understand right from wrong in this situation because most people in this world are just plain selfish. I would be devastated if someone betrayed me like this. How my friend plans to live a lie like this, I’ll never understand. But what kind of pattern is this creating, will my friend continue not telling others because they got away with it once type of attitude??? I’ve made my feelings about this situation abundantly clear, and now I feel there isn’t more I can do. People should be having responsible safe sex. Condom or go get tested. What is so difficult about that? I hate to lecture but I am! I’m sure more chaos and drama will come, will keep you posted.

xo, July

You are right in your feelings and everything that you've stated. You have done your part and I just don't know what more you can do at this stage. You were open and honest with your feelings to your friend, if she doesn't see it at this stage, then it's a sad sad sad scenario for her. I really do believe in karma. And, that we can only control our own actions, and not that of others sadly enough.

I really encourage you to post something about this in Healthy Sex if you would like to do so, because this is a very important topic that should continually be brought to light.

Im sorry july. Its sad that your friend doesn’t understand the seriousness of their situation and how it can spread to soo many people. They should also know that they can spread the virus without an outbreak and that condoms don’t protect against all STD’s. They do need to be more responsible. This is a good lesson to all of us. How many times to we ever ask a partner if they have been tested or have an std?

You would think this is all common knowledge by now, it isn’t as if we aren’t informed about the severity of diseases. It’s never worth it to me. A lot of people can’t even be bothered to visit their obgyn on a regular basis, or take birth control for that matter. And condoms, yeah right. Do whatever you want, but just make sure you’re clean and have some respect for your partner. Not too much to ask, my goodness.

Now that you know, it is your business. The mindset of not getting involved, even though you already are, I do not get. Maybe inform them in a anonymous way, or set it up to where you can just suggest that they check for a breakout. Take a stand for what is right, you seem to get that it is wrong, tell your friend that trusts you that either they say something or your going to. By not taking a stand and letting your friend manipulate you, you are allowing the behavior to continue, like a S T I enabler. An anonymous letter to the potentially infected may be a way of doing what is right with out escalating the drama. Just write that you may have been exposed to Herpes in the past year. I would tell them though, after giving the infected person a last chance to do so.