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Herpes lawsuit

Have you ever thought about suing the person who gave you herpes? Or threatening legal action knowing that the reason you were gifted was do to a non disclosure?

In my state I can have her charged criminally and if convicted she will be labeled a sex offender for the next 25 years

Is pursuing either spiteful revenge or my responsibility aka to ensure she doesn't do this to someone else?!?

Comments

  • Not knowing the circumstances.
    You could expect legal action to be expensive, time consuming, and yield no (or negligible) profit for you.
    It would cause anger to linger on more than it probably would otherwise.

    If these sacrifices are truely made to protect others, then they may be worth enduring.
    If it is for vengeance, I think you would find that you would not be satisfied with the results anyway.
  • @RegularGuy I swear you give some of he most sound, down to earth advice. I long for the day that I can think as reasonably as you about being H+.
  • edited January 7
    RG and L&C

    Exactly my first thoughts - until I asked myself: would you give the same advice to a rape victim? What if this victim was your sister / wife / mother?!? Then I thought: was this the advice rape victims got in the 1960's?!?

    Laws are in place to protect society - ignoring transgressions and walking away meekly could be the very reason I'm here with a life long sentence

    This could be a stepwise process - setting the authorities off to do their job does not take a ton of cash or effort... but I hear you too / this is something I have to live with either way so does it matter?!?

    Exactly my dilemma
  • @regularguy, you are a rock star!

    I don't think you can compare contracting HSV to rape. Yeah, it's pretty crappy to have sex without disclosing but it does not come close to rape. When you engage in sexual behavior you assume the risk of contracting an STI. Absolutely someone should disclose but considering most people who have it don't know it's difficult to police. Having sex has risks, but the alternative is celibacy. I think most people agree the risk is worth it.

    I know you're hurting and I'd be extremely pissed off if I contacted it from someone who knew and didn't disclose. You had your choice taken away and that's terrible. There is no excuse for that but the next person you slept with could very well have it, not known, and passed it to you.

    Furthermore, people don't always expect folks with oral HSV to disclose despite it being the exact same thing! Our culture just gets all uptight when it shows up on the genitals because we shame for having sex.
  • Did you really just compare contracting HSV to getting raped?

    Was the sex that you had with this person consensual?
    Did you use protection?
    Did you ask her beforehand if she had any STD's?
    Can you prove that you did? (if you did) And if you did, did she flat out deny she had any? Can you prove (or your attorney prove) that she knew she had HSV before you two had consensual sex? Can you prove (or your attorney prove) that you absolutely did not already have HSV before you two had consensual sex?

    These are just a few questions you will be asked by any attorney before they would even agree to take your case. In a court of law, you have to prove, with evidence, she did this to you knowingly, and that you did not already have it.
  • I want to remark also from @kittenchops comment that even if you did alllllll of the above, it is still your word against hers. If you could prove that she knowingly had it you would then have to have a negative HSV test result from the day before the sex occurred for yourself to prove you were negative before contact. EVEN THEN it is only your word they could go on that you hadn’t had sex with anyone else between the time you were tested for HSV and the time you had sex with her.

    I believe in the case of HIV the people who have been prosecuted for exposing others are those who repetitively expose without disclosure and are aware of their status. Prosecuting those people is important for the safety of the general public because of their consistent lack of disclosure. HIV is also farrrrr less common than HSV so it is easier to track who exposed you.

    It sounds like you really have not come to terms with your status. Idk if you are suffering any physical symfoms and if you are I am sorry. I am one of the lucky ones who has never had an outbreak so I can’t relate to that. But if you are having physical symptoms those will get better over time and at some point will prob completely go away once the antibodies build up. It can be hard, but I try to think of myself as lucky that the only medical problem I have is herpes, and even then it effects me emotionally only. Yes it sucks, but it will not kill you, you don’t need to take medication to continue living, it doesn’t impact your ability to eat, travel, work, sleep. It really helps me to think of it that way personally.
  • Don't give me too much credit. The other side of the discussion does have plenty to consider.
    If pursuing legal action would prevent more people from being victimized, then it would be good reason to do so.

    I think that the opposition to you following through with pressing charges against this person are rooted in the thinking that it might be damaging to your ability to accept yourself as you are. And accepting yourself as well as your situation is important. The anger, depression and shame are serious states of mind that you have to work to libe with. They will only fade after you find a way to appreciate yourself.
    Taking action for the sole purpose of vengeance would hinder that process, and not help.
  • The thing with pursuing legal action is, there's no way to tell if someone have it to you , like yeah if you tested negative before your encounter and has sex with the person get the outbreak in the incubation period but if you don't you will never know unless you have sex with one person ya whole life, honestly had I known who gave it to me , and I could sue or press charges I probably would because of the emotional damage it did to me more than the physical just so that person would think and disclose before they have sex with people and stop spreading it, I hate people like that with a passion just running around having sex with everyone they can with no disclosure and putting uneccesarry people at risk but it might be more stressful on u than anything
  • If the erroneous stigma attached to genital HSV wasn't there no one would even think to sue. Bringing lawsuits only add to the stigma by saying this is such a terrible thing it's worth taking legal action over. I think most can agree this is psychologically more difficult than physically. Even the medical community agrees that HSV is clinically insignificant in most cases.

    Most people don't care about cold sores even though it's the same virus. The difference is only where on the body it's found resulting in one being stigmatized and one not. The reason? Our culture's outdated and puritanical ideas about sex.

    If you really want to make a safer world start with education about HSV so that when some teen gets it s/he doesn't contemplate suicide. Or when this shows up in a long term monogamous relationship it doesn't blow up a family. Or when you disclose to someone their response is, "it's all good that's just part of having sex."

    I'm sorry you're dealing with this, I know it's not easy. I hope you find the answers and acceptance you need.
  • Good answer dumfonded
  • If you really want to make a safer world start with education about HSV so that when some teen gets it s/he doesn't contemplate suicide. Or when this shows up in a long term monogamous relationship it doesn't blow up a family. Or when you disclose to someone their response is, "it's all good that's just part of having sex."

    I apologize to the OP for hijaking the thread, but I have to say I just I love this comment. I’m approaching the two-year anniversary of my diagnosis, and I can’t shake the feeling that I need to do my part to improve education and understanding in some way. I’ve occasionally attended a new church in the last year which offers a sex education class, and sometimes I think to myself, “Hmmmm...maybe I should have a chat with whoever is teaching it.” Or I think I might be more open about my status with a few close friends (I’ve only told one). I have such admiration for @Adrial for standing up to the stigma and really doing something about it. But I do wish I had more ideas for chipping away at the stigma in smaller ways.
  • If you really want to make a safer world start with education about HSV so that when some teen gets it s/he doesn't contemplate suicide. Or when this shows up in a long term monogamous relationship it doesn't blow up a family. Or when you disclose to someone their response is, "it's all good that's just part of having sex."

    I apologize to the OP for hijaking the thread, but I have to say I just I love this comment. I’m approaching the two-year anniversary of my diagnosis, and I can’t shake the feeling that I need to do my part to improve education and understanding in some way. I’ve occasionally attended a new church in the last year which offers a sex education class, and sometimes I think to myself, “Hmmmm...maybe I should have a chat with whoever is teaching it.” Or I think I might be more open about my status with a few close friends (I’ve only told one). I have such admiration for @Adrial for standing up to the stigma and really doing something about it. But I do wish I had more ideas for chipping away at the stigma in smaller ways.
    @hikinggirl, thanks for the shout out! I too have admired what @Adial has done and have also wondered what I could do to help. I've thought about volunteering with Planned Parenthood but I'm still feeling very protective over my privacy with this. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    From: username (previously known as dumfounded)
  • It takes two to tango. Did you ask her to get tested before you had sex and see the paperwork? If you didn't its just as much your fault as hers.

    I was lied to and not disclosed to but I chose to believe him and not actually get testing done before we had sex so its my own fault. Is he a piece of crap for not telling, well, yes but, I had to accept my own part.

    Why would I sue when I am responsible for my own body and behavior? We have to accept our own responsibilities in this.
  • True too 20plus , I just feel sometimes some people do take it over board with the lawsuits especially when you have unprotected sex without seeing any type of paper work , other than that, I just feel like people would be more scared to have sex with out disclosing if they see people start suing people over these things , if I had the opportunity of knowing who gave it to me then Idk what the hell I would do honestly I would be too upset to even think about including a court and suing them I probably would have took the law into my own hands honestly ...
  • IMHO, I think it's more likely legal penalties would act as a deterrent to people getting tested and/or seeking treatment. This is why some HIV disclosure laws were changed in California recently. When testing is voluntary but knowledge of positive status carries a significantly greater penalty than not knowing one's status, some people who might otherwise get tested or seek treatment opt out of testing which creates negative health outcomes for those individuals and the community.

    Also, considering 80% of adults (and a fair number of children) have HSV and it's being passed around all the time, routinely suing people for this would be a tremendous legal burden.
  • A few comments:
    1) I liken getting hsv from someone who KNOWS they have it (and don't disclose) as a form of sexual assault. As stabbing someone with a knife is not murder / passing hsv is not = to rape. My comments about rape were based on the victimization reponses to my question. So hard to prove, you asked for it, it was your fault... all of these responses are the same excuses of why not to pursue rapists...
    2) yes I take responsibility for my actions. Wearing a low cut shirt does not mean that I want to be verbally assaulted / having unprotected sex does not mean I want your disease.
    3) I am amazed at the victimization attitude 'woes me I have it and it's my fault'. My situation is obviously different in that I was infected by a habitual liar the reality is: someone infected you.
    4) yes I have accepted myself and my life long disease / but that doesn't mean that I have love for the person who gave this to me. Having hate for this person does not mean that I hate myself

    you can pawn off herpes as no big deal but the reality is that it is a life long disease with no cure.
  • edited 5:52PM
    @stillstanding I guess it all goes back to the original question and why you posed it to begin with...

    "Is pursuing either spiteful revenge or my responsibility aka to ensure she doesn't do this to someone else?!?"

    It comes off to me like your urge to pursue legal action would be more vengeance based than "I am doing this as a service to society". In my opinion, doing it to get back at this woman is the wrong reason to move forward.

    You said your situation is different because you were infected by a habitual liar but you have yet to mention the circumstances surrounding your diagnosis. I have discussed with another user here that it would REALLY bother me that a partner of mine who may find themselves HSV-2 positive in the future might assume it was me who gave them herpes because I know I am positive. Im sure u know this but...people who dont know their status pose far greater risk to HSV negative people. So again, dont know your circumstances but it sounds like you are making an assumption it was her. Very few people with herpes can say with 100% certainty who was their giver.

    I think the nature of your original post and subsequent responses has said it all about WHY you would be doing this. You didnt pose the question and say "I know without a doubt this person was my giver. I know she has infected multiple other people before me. I know she is actively sleeping with other people without protection and without disclosing". THAT would be a reason to pursue legal action in my opinion. That is the reason legal action is every once in awhile taken in HIV cases.

    You still sound very sad and very angry that this has happened to you. Thats normal. But I think a lot of us on this site will agree that when you truly accept having HSV, you will also find the anger toward this person will lessen.

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