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

Dr. Wendy Walsh

Written by: Dr. Wendy Walsh

Dr. Wendy Walsh

Known as America's Relationship Expert, Dr. Wendy Walsh is an award-winning television journalist, radio host & podcaster, and the author of three books on relationships and thousands of print and digital articles. More than 1.5 million people follow her sage advice on social media. She holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and teaches in the Psychology Department at California State University Channel Islands and has been the host of "The Dr. Wendy Walsh Show" on iHeart Radio's KFI AM 640 since 2015. Walsh is also a former Emmy-nominated co-host of "The Doctors," as well as former host of the nationally syndicated show "EXTRA." She was named a Time Magazine Person of the Year in 2017 after speaking out about harassment at a major news network.

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Edited by: Lillian Castro

Lillian Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro brings more than 30 years of journalism experience to ensure DatingAdvice articles have been edited for overall clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement. She has worked at The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, The Gwinnett Daily News, and The Gainesville Sun covering lifestyle topics.

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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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