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Dating and Disclosing
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Dating and Disclosing

I just told my new boyfriend that I'm HCV+. He totally freaked out and gave me the boot. He's all paranoid thinking he's already getting sick and has whipped himself up into quite a froth over the whole thing. (And this from a medical professional!) Yes, I should have told him before we had sex the first time. But I didn't think I was deceiving or victimizing him, given my understanding about the risk of transmission being so low and the fact that we have been using condoms for all but the first couple of times. My question is this: When you are dating, when should you disclose your diagnosis? Do you have any experiences you can share? Any tips for dating with Hep-C are greatly appreciated. (P.S. I'm better off without him - his only concern was for himself.)
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Avatar_f_tn
my understanding about the risk of transmission being so low
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LOW = POSSIBILITY and don't you think you should have given him a choice - HIS choice about HIS possible future health problems if in fact he did contract it?
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P.S. I'm better off without him - his only concern was for himself
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No sweety - he's better off without you- YOUR ONLY CONCERN WAS FOR YOURSELF


Ps and all the members that want to jump up and down and say I'm not being supportive on a 'support forum,' - go right ahead. This woman was very irresponsible, but those that want to hug her and say how awful her boyfriend was in how HE treated HER - go right ahead.
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Avatar_m_tn
Yeah. You either should have told him in advance, or used condoms from the beginning. The risk of transmission is very low even without condoms, but that should have been his choice not yours.

-- Jim
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Avatar_m_tn
I think it's a bit early in the morning to "jump up and down" don't you :)
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179856_tn?1333550962
Honestly it's a very personal decision but if not telling one should probably insist on using a condom.  Doctors will tell you there is an extremely low possibility BUT it's still about 3% which makes it POSSIBLE.

I was very fortunate when I was diagnosed the guy I was with was more mature and he knew he wouldn't be getting it from me as long as we practiced SafeRRR sex (you know not during period, no anal sex things like that).  He ditched me for completely other selfish reasons.

I think you're better off - you still should have told him or used a condom but - most of the people in here who have been in completely monogamous relationships none of them seem to have ever given it to a spouse.

Lesson learned ok?  Just DONT do it again. You were selfish but he was too - he should have spoken to a medical professional too to learn how things really are before he judged you but c'est la vie.  You both sound kind of young and have a lot to learn.

If you had AIDS it would be a really big deal but HCV not to much.

Sorry - my opinion and what my doc sort of said to me.

PS Your better off without him for sure.  You have to admit - it's a VERY good test to find out if a man is into you for real or not.  Just tell them before you do it and see what he says and USE A CONDOM or if you are in a monogamous relationship use SAFERRRR sex and you'll be fine.
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Avatar_f_tn
Nah, I seem to have a knack at being able to induce adrenaline surges at any hour of the morning. My ex boss can testify to that.
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Avatar_f_tn
He had a choice, too. He didn't use a condom and didn't ask. We both were irresponsible.
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179856_tn?1333550962
But it wasn't really his call to ask - you should have TOLD as YOU are the one WITH the disease.  It's just the better way to be. Until you treat and get SVR for sure....and maybe even after that.

I intend to tell whomever that I had it, treated it, killed it and am safe.  Unless I relapse and then I'll do the right thing anyway.  I don't want to be responsible for givng this to anyone else. It's called the SILENT KILLER for a reason, you know?
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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks for writing. I acknowledged in my original post that I should have told him before the first time. I'm sure the fact that I didn't give him the choice is what bothers him most. But he and I are both old enough to know better and to practice safer sex.  If he cared all that much about his health, he could have been more responsible, too. (It takes two to tango.)   I'm not asking for absolution, just advice about how and when to broach this subject when dating. I was about to write you anyway to ask about "SAFERRRR" sex - not familiar with this term - what's with the extra R's?
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Avatar_m_tn
And thanks for the pre-emptive strike against the obligatory "the guys a ****, dump him" posts on what appears to be a heavily weighted female discussion group. Trust me, there ARE two sides to the story in male-female relationships :)

-- Jim
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Avatar_f_tn
He had a choice, too. He didn't use a condom and didn't ask. We both were irresponsible
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sorry but I never bought into that thriving fallacy,"No Fault Sex Insurance by Allstate."

The person that is sick, should disclose that information and you have a sickness as do most of us on this forum. Maybe if you go through tx someday and all the appointments, aggravation, possiblity of NEVER clearing the virus - maybe then you will understand that if there is even a 1% chance of contracting the virus - you will see why that information is important to disclose.

To compare yourself to him "he didn't ask," is very irresponsible. If I contracted TB from a waiter at a restaurant handling my food, should the Manager say, 'well you never asked if the waiter had TB?"

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Avatar_m_tn
NY: I intend to tell whomever that I had it, treated it, killed it and am safe
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Isn't that somewhat redundant :) If you've "treated it, killed it and (are) safe" then why feel obligated to tell? I do think SVR affords many of us the responsible privacy we may want, as do condoms if we're not SVR. Of course, in a serious relationship, you'd probably want to share something like this. Or maybe some wouldn't.

Be well,

-- Jim
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Avatar_m_tn
Just as a side note -- after going through 54 weeks of treatment, I've become a big condom fan -- not for the other person's sake, but for mine :) Lots of stuff you can catch out there other than Hep C, and I've had my fill of infectious diseases for quite awhile. So, unless I'm in a monagamous relationship and someone can show me a complete STD panel, it's raincoat in the shower!

-- Jim
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Avatar_m_tn
"I've become a big condom fan " Did you outgrow the small ones as a result of tx? finally, a positive sx...;^)
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Avatar_m_tn
As we all know, interferon can enhance pre-existing conditions.

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179856_tn?1333550962
Lots of stuff you can catch out there other than Hep C,


hahahahah  I wouldn't say I'm a 'fan' (actually I haven't had the opportunity post tx to find out) but that is so true.  It's not until finding out you have hep that you realize how many other things and how easy it is to get them it REALLY is.  How many of us didn't even know we had THIS for over 20 years?

Some scary stuff.
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Avatar_f_tn
Let me try asking my question again: Does anyone have any tips or suggestions about how and when to broach this subject when dating?
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276730_tn?1327966546
I think if you dating someone and know it will be serious...you just tell him that you have a blood borne disease that was contracted by blood. I would mention also that there is only a 3-5% chance of getting this sexually.

there's one one way- to spit it out and tell the truth. Its a disease----just like all the rest.
Unforunately this one is totally mis- interpreted by ignorance and knowledge.
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Avatar_f_tn
I don't know how.  I think that every person and situation are different and you just have to play that one by ear.  

As to when to tell - I'd say that you definitely tell before ANY body fluids are exchanged.  Me, I couldn't have sex with somebody even with a condom without telling first.  I would tell whether or not I believed that the activity was safe, out of consideration for the peace of mind of my partner.  Ultimately ofcourse it's for my peace of mind too.  I don't want a partner freaking out on me but if that still did happen then at least I'd know that I had done nothing wrong, had given him the choice and had definitely not infected him.  It's my self-respect at stake here as much as anything.  

Jim - you are right on with the full monty STD panel.  I used to ask a long-term partner to do a mutual HIV test with me but now that I know about some of the nasties that are out there well ....... maybe we could just drink tea instead of getting all biological?  

dointime.    
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Avatar_f_tn
To put this in perspective, here in Europe somebody has already been convicted and jailed for knowingly infecting a partner with HIV and HCV.  It's a serious offence if it can be shown that you were aware and still put another person at risk.

  
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Avatar_m_tn
If you care enough about a person to want to have sex then how hard can it be to just tell the truth about HCV?  If that ends the relationship it probably wasn't ever going to be a rewarding relationship. And, if you're not sure whether you want to be honest with this person, then don't have sex. Spend some more time and see if you grow to feel differently.  I'm assuming that most of us aren't teenagers - they often can't wait for anything, especially sex and neither could I was I was that age. But, I'm older and wiser now ... and I'm more honest - most of the time anyway. Mike
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Avatar_f_tn
heck i had a hard time telling my hubby, we were only married 1 yr. but he is the best support person i ever have..he is great and went to class and learn about it and we just have regular sex, he says if its meant to be for him to have it he will, and if not that awesome too..he really loves me unconditionally..Thats what a person should do to everyone.. he has alot of faith in the LORD.. If a person loves u truly they will accept it, i have been fortunate even my parents and family has been so suuportive,great since i did a u turn around about 15 yrs back... Iam great now, i couldnt do it without them.. Even my church family knows and they still treat me the same..its awesome..I know how cruel people can be, but we have to be honest on ourselves..Its still hard for me to tell people but i do it and gulp with a sigh, i just hate saying that word hepatitis C.. But i keep having grace when i tell people, like my dentist..its hard.. But GOd has carried me thru..  
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Avatar_m_tn
I have been married faithfully for 24 years and we never used a condom but when I found out I had Hep C for many many years I started using them for my wifes sake.She has been tested and is neg for A B or C.If there is .0001% chance of passign this on I won't take it and I would want to know if I was dating someone before we had sex but then I would have a condom on as someone here mentioned there are to many STDs out there now.The time to tell them???right before you reach the stage you might consider sex not after.I know its got to be a ***** to try to build a relationship with this HCV but if you get to know someone first before the bed flop maybe you'll find one that wants to stick it out anyway and thats the support you need.I have another question along these lines,I haven't started treatment yet,should this month,does the treatment shut down sex completely?My wife is 12 yrs younger and we are or were pretty active but I worry  I'll even care? thanks God Bless
Bob
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206807_tn?1331939784
Let me try asking my question again: Does anyone have any tips or suggestions about how and when to broach this subject when dating?

I would say the perfect time to "broach this subject when dating" would be before the relationship moves to the Bumping Uglies Stage.
You will have to figure out how to tell them on your on.
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12773_tn?1328916786
I think you got enough responses telling you that you SHOULD have disclosed your disease BEFORE having sex.. not after.   If he didn't mind that you had HCV, then a rubber should have been used.   How would you like it if , it was reversed ?    What if you he had it, and told you after the fact.  You would freak I am sure.  For those unaware of the disease, as far as they know it could be just an STD.   they should know of any disease you have that could be contracted even in the slightest way.    Its really amazing how many people just have sex, never thinking of the consequences.   Look at all the AIDS / HIV cases.   If people would learn to be more responsible, non of us would be going thru this.   Of course there are some like myself that got it from a blood transfer from the Hospital in the early 80's...   Others are born with it.    Its still a silent killer and should be disclosed.    Get to know someone a bit better, and let them get to know you, before jumping in the sack next time.   Disclose your disease, and if they freak, well then it wasn't meant to be.
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186344_tn?1278268245
To balance things up, in my country, Sweden, hep C goes under the law of contagious diseases, and for some of these diseases disclosure to partner before sex and condom use is required by law. This is true for hepatitis B. For hepatitis C neither disclosure nor condom use is required. It is however pointed out that having multiple sex partners and/or an STD are risk factors, and when any or both of these risk factors are present precautions should be taken.

To tell the truth, I consider the risk higher that I will catch an STD from a new partner than that I would give them hep C. So condom use would have the main purpose of protecting me, with the benefit of giving my partner protection as well.
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Avatar_f_tn
It's very difficult to tell someone about being Hep C+- but it's better done sooner than later. I have not always been an honest person- I've done many wrong things in the name of ignorance, denial or just plain not caring. So I'm not gonna judge. I'm married now- hubby has Hep C to so it's pretty simple.
  I guess I would use this as kind of a way to control the early sexual impulses and see who's worth your while. Obviously you must tell someone before you have sex, but you don't wanna just meet someone and blurt it out on your 1st date, especially someone from your town or mutual circle of friends who might really spread the word about your Hep C. So maybe go slow and spend time together letting the person get to know you- and why you're so much more than just "Hep C+". Get to know if this guy is trustworthy, as far as telling your secret to- if you don't trust him to keep his mouth shut about your confiding in him about Hep C, you sure as h=ll don't wanna have sex with him! I think this may weed out a lot of guys that would just be a waste of time, because you'll have to look beyond the usual superficial qualities to the deeper ones right away- is this someone you can be comfortable with and trust, and will he be a good friend and stick around when things aren't perfect?
  That said, I would wait until you've spend enough time with the guy to know he has all the good qualities you need to trust him, and you know that he really likes you and sees you as a whole person- then pick a quiet time to tell him about Hep C and that you have it. Give him the facts, and try to keep upbeat about it rather than tragic and "I know you'll run for the door when I tell you this, but..". You know what I mean. Fact is, my gyno told me she doesn't reccomend condoms in a steady relationship when 1 person had Hep C- but the other person still has a right to know. Also, I would not wait SO long that the relationship has actually gotten serious to the point of discussing the future. In other words, if you meet a guy with old-fashioned values who is willing to wait awhile for sex, I wouldn't keep quiet about Hep C for so long that he starts talking about love, thinking you are just holding off on sex because you are shy or waiting for marriage. Don't let the not telling drag on forever, or the guy is likely to feel betrayed if you've told him EVERYTHING about you but that.
  I'm sure you will meet someone great who is understanding about this. And you will feel good knowing you're being honest and doing the right thing.
  Best of luck!
-Dee
  
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217229_tn?1192766004
LMAO - Myown --- Uhm ok... Maybe you're perfectly correct - but LMAO  ---- ah well - I just adore you!

Anyhow - sisterbabymama - you need to be upfront and honest.

If you're going to date someone - be honest.

If you're going to sleep with someone BE HONEST TO A FAULT.

If the person you're dating doesn't want to sleep with you after you tell them - then they didn't care enough to go through the research.

My hubby and I have had 12 wonderful years PLUS --- of unprotected sex --- in every imaginable way or situation - and he's not caught it.

So the risks are slim... BUT THEY ARE STILL THERE.

You have to give the person you're with the OPTION to choose.

You should have told.

And how you do it is up to you. Usually honesty - humor - educated information works the best.

Be open - be fair ---- and be careful.

Good Luck!

Meki
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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks so much for your thoughtful response. I found it very helpful indeed.
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148987_tn?1287809526
on that is consistant. Date people you hate till you get the cure.
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Avatar_f_tn
I agree with MyOwn.  Hell hath frozen over.  ;-)
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You're welcome- glad I could help- I know it's quite an awkward situation to say the least. You may not read this, since it's been a couple days- but if you do, I wish you the best of luck with finding Mr Right and in dealing with your Hep C. And remember, when you do find The One, everything will turn out just fine- and he won't run away when you tell him- cuz it's meant to be!
-Dee
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86075_tn?1238118691
Call me a goober but I don't agree with most of the posts in this thread. I feel that if youre just going out on a "date" with someone, you don't owe them all that much, it's just a date with a relative stranger.

One of the main purposes for "dating" (for me) is finding out about a person, only to the extent that you want to find out *more* about that person.....otherwise, it was just a date that will go nowhere.

Do you have a comfort level with them? Do you share a lot of the same outlooks on life? if not, which ones don't you share, and would that be alright *if* you were to get to be more serious? Is it enjoyable being with this person? Do you think there is a possibility of getting serious with this person? All these questions we ask ourselves.

Or is it just more of a diversion?, and you just want to have fun dating this person, with no real view to anything serious?

If you get a "no, not really" on most of those issues, then just take a polite pass the next time the person calls you, no harm, no foul.

In the latter of these cases, where youre really not interested in pursuing anything with this individual, why do you owe them an explanation of a condition you might have? That you might want to possibly keep private? I live in a big enough city where I might not keep running into that person, but others might not. And besides dating is only dating.

Now, if you do think that this relationship is actually *going* somewhere, and you think you might want to take things to a more *intimate* stage.....then of course you need to disclose that you have a blood borne illness, with all the facts.

In this other case, this person youre dating has developed some kind of a relationship with you, and has been able to see more of the "whole" person you are, not that you're merely this guy or gal with an infectious disease that they can identify you with, not knowing much of anything else about you.....which would be the case if youre just telling everyone willy nilly whether you know them or not.  

In other words, wait till you know someone better, and they know you better, before you go around disclosing this stuff, you don't *owe* this person anything unless you have a real view to get more seriously attached to them....and sex usually goes along in that equation, sometimes it doesn't.,,. Then they can decide for themselves if they think youre "worth it" to them.....to take things to another level whether you have this disease or not.

And yeah, always disclose these types of things before sex, and use protection with anybody, unless you're in a monogamous relationship with them, and they've earned that trust, and you've earned it as well. Just my take on all this, people are of course, free to disagree....
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86075_tn?1238118691
realize I'm just reiterating some of your thoughts as well...hope youre well while I'm at it...
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Avatar_f_tn
I agree with MyOwn.  Hell hath frozen over.  ;-)
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LOL
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Avatar_f_tn
LMAO - Myown --- Uhm ok... Maybe you're perfectly correct - but LMAO  ---- ah well - I just adore you!
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Thanks sweety.....
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Avatar_f_tn
There we go, thinking alike again- lol. I'm doing fine- just got back from New York. I'd never been before and I really loved it. I hope all is well with you too!
  
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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks for your comments. I concur with everything you wrote. I really blew it this time. Won't make that mistake again. Best to all who responded.
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