[Question #5025] Advice regarding disclosure

24 months ago

Hello Doctors,

 

I understand that my questions have come across as neurotic in the past but I am only just recently beginning to be informed about STIs and my history and the potential risks, etc.

 

I had my first cold sore about 6 years ago and never really understood that it could be transmitted to someone’s genitals.  They were always mild and my last one was over two years ago.

 

Going forward now I will always disclose my oral HSV1 status.

 

However, I am curious as to the ethics about disclosing to past partners, partners I had when I wasn’t informed of the risk of transmission.  How should I handle this? Does my past non disclosure make me open to lawsuits? I am just really confused.

 

Thank you so much for your unwavering patience and invaluable information. 

24 months ago
I just want to handle this as ethically as possible. What would you do if you were in my situation?
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
24 months ago
I do NOT think it is necessary to go back and disclose to past partners.  About half the population has HSV 1 so there is a 50-50 chance that people with whom you have had sex are already infected with HSV 1.  I do not feel that your past non-disclosure puts you at risk for legal action, no

Terri
---
24 months ago
Is it my responsibility to notify them of the potential dangers associated with this and that they should all get tested? 
24 months ago
Can cold sores be transmitted via shared lipstick if applied to active cold sore? How long can the virus live on the lipstick?
24 months ago
I just want to make sure that they will not suffer any detrimental consequences to their health or put their other partners in serious harm? How should I move on from this?
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
24 months ago
I appreciate that you are concerned about the possible consequences of your HSV 1 infection to prior partner, but again, I don't think it is necessary to go back and discuss this with previous partners.  If you did, and they were asymptomatic and they went and got tested and were positive for HSV 1, they could not know if their infection was oral or genital.  It isn't wise to share lipstick when a cold sore is present, no.  And yes you should move on now. 

Terri
---