I Have Hepatitis C. How Do I Bring This Up Online?

Dr. Wendy Walsh Dr. Wendy Walsh • 9/25/14

Reader Question:

I don’t know how to say this online, but I found out around 2001 I had hepatitis C. The biopsy showed it to be a one on a one to four scale. I never drink and don’t need medication for it.

I haven’t had sex in decades, so I’m guessing I may have gotten it as a teen who, very briefly, tried some drugs by injection. I would like to enjoy sex in this life.

How do I bring this up online?

-William (New York)

Dr. Wendy Walsh’s Answer:

Dear William,

I’m so sorry to hear you are suffering physically, but I’m more concerned you have suffered so much emotionally.

Like so many people living with health issues, you can and do deserve a healthy sex life. And it will come when you can let go of your shame and trust someone enough to share this with them.

Your biggest attribute is you have been so cautious and, I assume, are concerned about infecting someone else.

But your question, “How do I bring this up online?” also indicates you still want a degree of separation, a computer between you and the person you are attracted to, as a safety measure.

I suggest you do not bring this up online. This is personal information that should be shared only with a trusted loved one.

And that’s your mission: To get close enough to someone you can trust with the vulnerable parts of yourself.

That means developing a non-sexual intimacy. In this age of fast sex, there are still plenty of people out there who will be relieved to practice slow love with you.

Become friends first. Learn how judgmental someone is. Learn how compassionate someone is. Then you’ll know if it is safe to disclose.


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