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  #11  
Old 11-15-2009, 06:09 PM
sunnydee sunnydee is offline
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Originally Posted by Ceoli View Post
There is evidence to suggest that it can be transmitted without skin to skin contact but how often that occurs is hard to track.

Viri by their very nature are tricky things and most species can survive outside of bodies for a considerable period of time.
No evidence that I have found.

If that were true, then, for myself at least, I would, indeed, place this in the category of things "too impossible to prevent to worry about." One must live life, after all.
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  #12  
Old 11-15-2009, 06:12 PM
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I think it's great to discuss safe sex but I see HPV being in no special category; considering the prevalance of herpes.

"There's no reporting system for herpes in Canada, but figures from the US suggest that genital herpes affects about 25% of women and 20% of men. In other words, approximately 1 out of every 4 women and 1 in 5 men have been infected.1 out of every 4 women and 1 in 5 men in canada have been infected with genital herpes."

http://bodyandhealth.canada.com/chan...ation_id=10884.
These facts, which are pretty much the same in the US, depending on which study you consult- (1 out of 4, one out of 5), are really scary, added tot he fact that 90% of people don't know(or don't say!) they have it, and condoms can be ineffective for herpes type 2, genital herpes as well if the infection site is outside of the coverarage area of a condom, which it frequently is.

Lots of the information out there pairs HPV with Herpes strains, because both are so common, and if you have one, you are more susceptible to the other.

Confronted with this information, it is easy to see why there is so much fear attached and why people who have these diseases have a terrible time both dealing with and talking about their condition.

Of the 300 or so active members on this forum, the numbers would indicate that 75 or so have herpes. Yet the OP is right, we never talk about these things specifically. And I know there are people out there dealing with this, in addition to all of the other special challenges of polyamory.

There are so many psychological effects as well as physical and ethical issues. People who have STD's are treated with revulsion and the stigma is great even though I see that Sunnydee has made the point that the likelihood of contracting these diseases is high for everyone, acting responsibly or not. Just the sheer amount of people that have the diseases that don't know is a huge factor- they may be judgmental toward someone who admits to having an STD, not realizing they may have it too and be asymptomatic.

The sad thing is- STDs are not viewed as what they are by most people who don't (or think they don't) have them- as a disease, a common, manageable (though highly transmittable!)disease. Because the disease affects the genitals, in our heavily hypocritical puritan society it is unmentionable, dirty, and must indicate poor character.

I am one of the 75. It's very difficult psychologically more than anything. People make jokes about it around you and it makes you feel like an outcast.
People talk about safe sex and misunderstand the large portion of the population that has to confront the fact that they have an STD, and do their best to treat and prevent the spread of the virus.

The fact is, when someone tells you they have herpes and is educated about it, you are actually in a better position than you may be when someone says they don't because there are so many people out there who have no clue. The only way to get clear, whether you think you have the diseases or not is to get blood tests done and determine if you have an STD and what type it is, so you can receive medical treatment.

Thankyou, Sunnydee. I was thinking about starting a similar thread last week but didn't have the guts. It's a big issue for me, especially in considering sexual relationships outside my dyad, and I have been very anxious about dropping the double bomb of poly and herpes on a potential partner. It's very hard to deal with, but I'm glad we're talking.

I don't expect anyone else to "come out" with such a private thing, but even though I am scared to reveal this about myself, I have to change my way of thinking and not play into the stigma. I have to be the first one to reject the notion that this disease is any different from any other. My responsibility is to be educated and manage my disease honestly. My hope is that someone who I've established a connection with that cares about me will not write me off when I share this information.
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  #13  
Old 11-15-2009, 06:20 PM
sunnydee sunnydee is offline
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Rarechild -

Thank you so much, and I truly hope people will pay attention to what this "silence" does to people. In the poly community, it should not take "guts" for us to be honest with each other. Our communities should not be scaring people that way. Honesty and acceptance is supposed to be what this is all about. We should not, in effect, by acting like this is "nothing to worry about," be actually encouraging people NOT to be honest.

I was even scared to bring it up as a topic for discussion at all, knowing people don't really want to be open about it. You have been really brave. Thank you, darling.


And for HPV, it's probably at least half of the people here.

Last edited by sunnydee; 11-15-2009 at 06:22 PM.
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Old 11-15-2009, 06:38 PM
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Thank you, darling . I really am struggling with how to do this, as I have not had to have this discussion with a potential partner since my partner discussed it with me at the start of our relationship.

I have actually directed one potential to this site in the past, and writing on here means he may find out from this thread.

I have been waiting to discuss it until I am sure that there is a possibility of sexual interaction, not wanting to assume our relationship will get to that point. The rub here is that I want to trust a person's respect for me before I tell them about my disease, but don't want them to feel as if I've been dishonest because I don't want to bring it up in small talk right at the beginning when I don't know where it's going.

I don't feel brave most of the time about this, and always feel like I should speak out more- it's just so hard to expose yourself to the reactions that people have whether they are fair or not.

One positive thing about having herpes is that if you can get through this conversation with someone well, and there is compassion and clarity on the facts to begin with, it is a really profound bonding experience, creating trust, communication and intimacy that few budding romances contain that early on.
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  #15  
Old 11-15-2009, 06:46 PM
Ceoli Ceoli is offline
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I didn't mean to suggest that it's something that doesn't need to be talked about or "nothing to worry about". I guess I'm used to such things being talked about normally in the circles I run in. However, I don't like the idea of creating a lot of fear around the topic. While vigilance is good, contracting HPV isn't the end of your sexual life and people who have it shouldn't be disqualified as a partner, etc. It is something that's VERY treatable and there is a LOT going on around researching newer and better preventative measures and treatments for it. And it's about time they've started considering that men need testing and treatments as much as women.
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  #16  
Old 11-15-2009, 06:59 PM
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Wow, thanks for all this info. I must admit I hadn't even considered all this... it sounds rather like scabies. Couldn't you get it then by sitting beside someone on a bus for more than ten minutes?
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  #17  
Old 11-15-2009, 07:01 PM
Ceoli Ceoli is offline
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Wow, thanks for all this info. I must admit I hadn't even considered all this... it sounds rather like scabies. Couldn't you get it then by sitting beside someone on a bus for more than ten minutes?
HA! Not quite. When I talked about getting it by touching things, it was more about when the virus shows up orally. But it should be noted that you can contract genital HPV strains without explicit sexual contact.
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  #18  
Old 11-15-2009, 07:09 PM
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AAHHHH!!!! sorry Rarechild, I missed reading all you wrote! I was talking about HPV!!!! damn! sorry girl!

I had a date with a guy once with herpes and had a friend in university that found out she has it. I didn't sleep with either of them, but they talked a lot about the stigma and I witnessed it with my friend. She went from being a popular lay to nothing.

Thanks for beind brave Rarechild. Any info and life story about difficult subject matters makes others normalize it and then treat people with more respect and dignity. Good for you putting yourself out there to help make that a possibility!

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  #19  
Old 11-15-2009, 07:15 PM
sunnydee sunnydee is offline
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Wow, thanks for all this info. I must admit I hadn't even considered all this... it sounds rather like scabies. Couldn't you get it then by sitting beside someone on a bus for more than ten minutes?
No, absolutely not. Now if you make out with the person on the bus for ten minutes and the person has in the last few months given oral sex to someone who was actively shedding the virus... yes, but will it hurt you? Maybe. But probably not.

HPV is something like a flu virus that just happens to affect our private parts as well as oral area, lungs, etc. Most people who get the flu will fight it off but some people will not and will eventually develop other complications like pneumonia.

There are some behaviors that a little knowledge may incline you toward like don't sneeze on premature newborns and maybe don't make out on a bus with someone who's recently given oral to someone who had an active virus.
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  #20  
Old 11-15-2009, 07:16 PM
Ceoli Ceoli is offline
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And yes, I totally agree with Rarechild about the stigmatization of STI's. Like any other infections or diseases, they are a part of life. Contracting chlamydia does not equal being an irresponsible slut.

And honestly, most STI's are easily treated when caught. Yet they do so much damage (like any other infection can) if it's not caught. Nobody should have to feel shame when going to a doctor to seek treatment. More people would be getting this stuff treated much sooner if that stigma wasn't there.
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