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MY STORY- Living and dating with herpes


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I am 26 and have had Herpes type 1 for about 6 years (from oral sex). The initial outbreak was awful. I could not urinate without screaming in pain. Since then, I have had a few prodromes, but no actual outbreak. I consider myself to be extremely blessed. Many people have to watch what they eat/drink and their stress levels, as well as take medication to suppress the virus. I, on the other hand, have been blessed with either an extremely mild case or a very strong immune system. I eat anything and everything and take no meds. Although I don?t deal with Herpes on a regular basis in a physical way, it is still a very emotional issue for me. I refuse to put someone in a situation where they don?t have a choice about taking the risk of having sexual contact with me. I never do anything that would put someone at risk without first telling them that I have Herpes. I have had both good and bad experiences in telling, mostly good. My most recent experience was the best. I would like to share that story with you.

I met Greg (name has been changed) on an online dating service (non STD-related). We hit it off immediately, and met in person within a month. Our first date was great?we found each other to be attractive, conversation flowed naturally, and we had a lot in common. Things progressed quickly between us, and before I knew it, I was falling in love. After opening our hearts to each other and letting the other know how we felt, the relationship took a more physical turn. I knew it was time. I had just had another STD test to make sure I had Herpes (after 6 years of no OB?s, you begin to wonder?) and that everything else was clear. One night we were at my house hanging out, on the verge of making out, and I told him. I said something to the effect of, ?Greg, I really care about you and that?s why I want to share something with you about myself, something that has played a major role in shaping me into the person that I am today. I have Herpes.? I then went on to explain that I have type 1 and that his having type 1 orally lowers his risk. I gave him some background info, very much like the first part of my story that you read. He was completely fine with it! The first words out of his mouth were, ?I love you?it?s okay?. The look on his face was one of great concern, not for himself, but for what I was going through. I was amazed!

This was the easiest time I have ever had telling someone, not only his reaction, but the way I said it. In the past, I put too much emotion into it and generally freaked the guy out more than if I would have just calmly explained it to him, coming from a centered, safe place. I have learned that half of a person?s reaction has to do with the way that you tell them. Now that I have accepted that I have Herpes and that it doesn?t change who I am (actually, I am a BETTER person because of it!), it shows in the way I carry myself and the way that I share with/educate others. I believe that everything happens for a reason and the issue is the way that you relate to the issue. I have focused on having a positive attitude and have learned the reasons that I contracted Herpes. The first thing I noticed is how strong I am. I believe that Herpes both helped me develop my strength and brought my attention to it. I learned how to deal with it on my own (with the help of an online support network) and worked through the emotions of it. I am in graduate school to be a counseling psychologist and feel that my experiences will help me be a better counselor. One of my focuses will be people with STDs. I have found that having an STD is a very personal issue and that you have to go through it yourself in order to truly understand where a person is coming from. I have not found a counselor who understands it enough to help. I hope to be the counselor that I have been searching for. If you need a person to talk to who understands how you feel and is learning the skills necessary to be a counselor, feel free to e-mail me. Tabularasa77@yahoo.com. I am here for you and happy to help!

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest Anonymous


Thank you tabularasa for sharing your story. It gives me hope about my future. I have had HSV for three years now and have not been with anyone. I recently became involved with someone, and told him about it. To my amazement he also was completely accepting of it. He said, "In life there are risks, and you are risk that I'm willing to take." I nearly fell to the floor! It has made me feel closer to him. I am hoping and praying for a bright future. In so many ways it is the emotion that we place upon this rash that does the damage, not the rash itself. We have not slept together yet and I'm kind of scared... for him, and I fear this might cause me to pull away or think about it too much. Does anyone have some insight into how I might overcome this?


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You have nothing to fear but fear itself

One thing that has really helped me in this area is becoming more spiritual and learning about metaphysics and the effect that your thoughts, words, and actions have on your reality. I don't know if you subscribe to any of my beliefs, and if you don't, maybe you can take it or leave what you don't agree with. I am simply writing this to let everyone know what I have done to completely turn my life around. The basics of metaphysics say that your thoughts, words, and actions all put energy out into the universe. The more that you have the same thought, more of that particular energy goes out into the universe, until it grows heavy enough to crystallize/manifest into physical form. Words have heavier/more powerful energy than thoughts, and actions carry the heaviest/densest/most powerful energy. Fear is the most powerful emotion/type of energy of all. What you fear, you attract toward you. When you have conflicting thoughts, words, or actions, the universe is confused, and you recieve conflicting feedback (sometimes you will get what you want, sometimes what you fear, but MOSTLY what you fear, because it is stronger. The first thing I did to change my reality and turn my life around was to start watching/being more conscious of my thoughts, words, and actions. This helped me become more present and centered. I have always tried to be as optimistic as possible, but you and I both know how challenging that can be. Becoming more present and focusing on the past and the future as little as possible has helped minimize my fear. Understanding that I create my own reality has helped me even more. Do whatever you can to protect him. Take suppressive meds if it makes you feel better. Anything to help minimize your fear. Try to focus on other things. Do your research, really understand the risks involved and know that whatever happens, happens for a reason. If he contracts herpes, it is supposed to be like that. Know that he is making the choice, taking the risk to be with you. He is taking the risk to be with you because YOU ARE WORTH IT. I have never given it to anyone in the 6 years that I have had herpes. The last guy I was with wanted to have unprotected sex. It was a choice he was willing to make. I believe that my contracting herpes was a definite blessing in disguise. It has brought so many opportunities and positives in my life that i am now GLAD that I have it. I AM GLAD THAT I HAVE HERPES. There, I said it. Wow, that is liberating. I hope I have helped you. Namaste!

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    • EssenceL25
      I’m going to force him to get tested ! Thanks for your help ! 
    • WilsoInAus
      @EssenceL25 there really isn't a question mark around the source, it's your latest partner. The median time from infection to an outbreak of lesions upon initial infection is 4 days.  The only thing that isn't certain is the type I suggest.
    • EssenceL25
      I asked if it was hsv 1 or 2 and the doctor said it was Hsv2. I’m not sure i just asked him when he was tested last he said this year I said I think we should go test together and he agreed . I’m going to bring it up again cause I really need to know if he gave this to me I wasn’t sure since it was so close to my previous relationship.
    • WilsoInAus
      @EssenceL25 then it is all beyond reasonable doubt that the current partner is the source. A 'perfect' fit in terms of timing, symptoms and swab. It may be though that the type is not technically known. Culture swabs are very often not typed and just assumed to be HSV-2 if taken from a genital location. If you received oral sex in the days leading into 7 March then it is 50/50 as to whether this is HSV-1 or HSV-2. You could contact your doctor and confirm if the swab was actually typed (which is a second test where fluorescent antibodies for HSV-1 and HSV-2 are added and see which one 'glows').  If that test wasn't done then you do not know type. If you have oral HSV-1 yourself (cold sores) then this will be HSV-2. Does your partner have oral HSV-1? It is somewhat strange for him not to rush and test - many people have a 'reaction' if they truly do not know their status and have concerns that you infected them etc. (not initially rational of course). This indicates he may know his status - or maybe he just isn't simply the sharpest tool in the shed!?
    • EssenceL25
      I had flu like symptoms and ulcers on my vagina . They did a culture and I tested positive for hsv2. I asked my partner to get tested he agreed but I’m not sure if he will cause he hasn’t said anything else about it. 
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