Your story is similar to mine. I am also 60 years old. Seven years ago I was infected with genital herpes during the second year of a relationship with a physician. We spent several months getting to know one another prior to starting a sexual relationship in which he assured me on more than one occasion that he had no STDs and no need to use a condom that would have provided some protection. He later tried to condone his lie by saying that he did not believe it was possible to infect a partner with asymptomatic herpes despite articles in the Journal American Medical Association and the New York Times in the early 2000s stating otherwise; he subscribed to both. In hindsight, I feel that he was too embarrassed to tell me or he didn't care (he has had multiple relationships since). In later discussions, he confessed that he infected his ex-wife.
Unfortunately, I have other health issues caused by herpes and still live with frequent outbreaks even on acyclovir. Nor, did I seek civil damages within the period prescribed by the law to cover my health care costs as most states recognize that innocent victims are entitled to do so.
According to an article in the New York Times, http://consults.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/06/18/giving-your-partner-herpes/, a condom alone is roughly 30% effective. Antiviral drugs alone are roughly 49% effective. The combination of both provide more protection; however not 100% effective. Even if I met a partner who was willing to gamble with his health, I know that I would not feel good about myself if I transferred this virus to someone else. I also know that the virus is transferred to uninfected partners 70% of the time without any symptoms (asymptomatic shedding) of an outbreak. On occasion, I see on these sites how infected persons try convince uninfected partners they are taking antiviral drugs and cannot infect them; or, have the virus under control (wishful thinking).
There are date sites for partners seeking other partners with herpes. An estimated 20% of the male population has HSV. This percentage also includes persons already in committed relationships; with other diseases that could further ruin my health; and addiction, honesty and/or money issues that I don't want to take on at this point in my life.
Despite the unfavorable odds, the universe may have a plan for me to meet this person someday. It will happen if it is meant to be and living life on life's terms. This life lesson has taught me to work very hard at achieving the other things that bring me happiness. I know one day I will not be here. Good luck to you.
Thank you for sharing your story with me. It is a very difficult thing to go through, and I think men of our generation have a hard time dealing with STD's in general so they tend to push it under the rug, and pretend that it just isn't there, and are in denial about what it is doing to their partners. I am thankful i did not get HIV or something worse. I wish you the best as well. I wish there was a cure for us both, but ind the meantime I am not looking for that kind of relationship right now. A good committed friendship however would be nice.
Best of luck to you as well.
Thank you for responding. Unfortunately, people infected with asymtomatic herpes do not realize the person they may infect may end up with an extreme case, especially those with weakened immune systems. I don't want to take anymore risks although I didn't realize that I was at the time. I certainly agree just a nice committed friend to do things with would be nice. Best of luck to you too.