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I had no idea I had herpes for so long.. . . .


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Since my freshman yr. of college I developed a really bad cold sore that usually placed itself on the right corner of my lip/mouth. I was never sexually active in college. . . .I am twenty-five and have never been in a relationship either . . .I guess I was just destined to be alone . . . .these sores, usually happening during winter, were big, red and had the white bumps on them.

In the beginning I thought I should stop smoking bowls, blunts and sharing my 40's with the crew . . .I thought it was just because I was sharing my saliva.(can herpes be transmitted by sharing drinks?)

It wasn't until I was a junior that I got a real bad rash on my inner thigh . . .again, I thought it was my underwear that caused it, or the soap I was using. Again, I still had not been sexually active. The whole time in college I saw everyone get with someone, no one wanted to be with me . . .I guess everyone knew I had herpes and stayed away from me . . .I never knew.

My grandfather was mudered when I was seven. My older brother was murdered when I was seventeen, my uncle was murdered when I was seventeen, I was mugged and hit across the face with a 45 magnum which penetrated my chin and left a gash, when I was seventeen . . . .I always felt like no one wanted to be with me because I was ugly and unattractive. I attributed my lonliness to this and also dwelled on the facts that my homelife was very unsatisfactory.

I had SEVERE acne all through Highschool . . .which worsend my self worht and increased my self hate.

Those years have long passed but the scars(both aesthically and pychologically)still fester . . . .

It wasn't until recently, age 24, that I had my first sexual experience with an older black man from Nigeria. . . .in May of 2003.

It was not until that follwing November that I noticed a small bump on my right buttcheek.

It slowly became larger and had a fluid in it. . . . . .

About two weeks ago I realized after seeing pictures of exactly what I had on others, that I had herpes . . . .

Now that I know that there was a good reason why people walked away from me, this whole time I thought it was just a negative outlook, a sort of tattooed expression I was carring from all the baggage I carry, but no. The saddness I harbor is with merit.

There were countless times in college where guys put me into situations that screamed sexual intercourse or just plain oral sex, but my lack of self esteem and distorted body image always made me decline or doubt that these very attractive, very heterosexual guys had ideas about me that were sexual. . . . Now, at most, I know I spared them a life with what I now carry.

I just see it as, out of all the other hardships I have been through, this is one more. . .possible the icing on the cake. I didn't want anyone to get near me before because I thought I was ugly. . . .now I simply cannot get near anyone . . . .and now for a very real and valid reason, I am a poison.

It is strange how, if you have nothing to complain about, but complain anyway, God will give you something that will make you appreiciate what you had before . . . .I think it was Alabaster Reid who wrote, "Only the sick are aware of thier health".

I don't know if any of the people who will read this will understand, but there is a character I identify with now that I never thought I would, Rouge from The X-men.

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Wow, I admire your strength!!- but don't be so hard on yourself. This is not to minimize anything that you have experienced, but I believe life is all about perspective.

First, I really think you should get tested if/when the sores reappear. You can't accurately diagnose yourself simply based on a picture.

If you find that you do in fact have genital, herpes, you're right - It's just one more thing to deal with. I haven't dealt with the same hurt and pain that you've experienced in life, but I have dealt with quite a bit. The point is, you made it through all of that stuff. You may experience recurrent sadness, or maybe you haven't worked through all of the emotional pain, but you're still here. In fact, you're doing more than just existing. You've worked or are working your way through college. Many people who experience such loss as yourself, just give up. They don't try to live and many become delinquent. But you didn't make that choice.

I really urge you to look at the positives in your life. I use to have a bad habit of looking at all the negatives in my life and seriously feeling sorry for myself. My dad was in Vietnam, has a few loose marbles, walked out on my mom and left her with four children to raise on her own. Mom was extremely physically abusive towards my sibilings and I and there was no one there to see it. At times, she would wake my sister and I up for school by beating us with a wooden broom, and this is not to mention all of the whippings with extension cords we received in the bathtub. I never really had a childhood., I was always anxious and I stopped trusting my own mother when I was about five years old.

Of course there is so much more that I could tell about the bad things in my life. But I learned to focus on the good when I realized, despite all of the crap I've been through, I'm still standing strong. I also realized that many other people go through so much more than I did, and they're still making it through this life with a positive attitude. You can too!!! And you should, because, it's a choice that only you can make. I have a good friend whose father murdered her mother when she was an infant. She grew up with abusive relatives who mistreated her because she resembled her father. Then she lived in a foster home, and finally has been on her own since she was 15. But she's now working her way through law school. She's channeled some of her pain into strength. Although she may cry on mother's day or refuse to leave the house, she won't allow those experiences to define her.

You cannot allow yourself to be defined as the person who has a coldsore, the person who may have genital herpes, or even the person who has experienced a number of tragic deaths in life. Although these traumas may affect our lives, we can't allow them to dominate or determine which way it goes.

You won't spend the remainder of your life alone unless you choose to do so. There is no invisible sign lingering around you that scares people away. Your own self perception affects what other people see in you. With or without genital herpes, you should really work on your self-esteem. I would suggest seeking a professional counselor if you think that would help. I did it, and it helped a great deal. It's funny how on the one hand you think everyone strayed away from you in college, and then on the other hand, you mention that you've been in a number of situations where you could have been sexually intimate. Well, ya just can't have it both ways :p

If you need to talk more you should. We're here for you. If you find that you do have genital herpes, you can make it through this, just like you made it through everything else. The most important thing about all of this in my eyes, is that you get to help someone else along the way by telling your story of success and triumph. You definitely helped me.

You're in my prayers,


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just keep your head up, and remember that it could always be MUCH MUCH worse.

I did volunteer work at AIDSline a couple weeks ago when this whole thing was really really bothering me and it totally changed my perspective on it all. Im still bothered by the fact that I have to deal with an incurable virus living in my body...and like yourself Ive never been in any sort of relationship really (sporadic friends with benefits, at best) but I am determined that anything that has happened in the past will not make me give up. I cant. It just means you have to work harder...and when you get thru this, you'll be an extremely strong person because of it, and people will admire it. Find someone to talk to about all of this. You'll be suprised how much it helps.

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hey I know how you feel. Several years ago my brother was murdered, soon after my sister in law was diagnosed with AIDS, I went through a divorce than got herpes. sometimes I look at other people and they seem so clean so innocent like they have never experienced pain and loss like me, and i't seems these people are always complaining. Despite all of this I still feel joy, I have a full life, and love myself. After I got this I realized just how wonderful I really am and how much I had sold myself short in life. I deserved so much more than I ever allowed myself. I grieved for so long, was miserable for so long wasted so much time being depressed and angry. I have finally learned to appreciate life for what it is and all it has to offer. I've felt the lowest depths, so now when I experience happiness it is that much better. I am done feeling bad about myself. I deserve as much happiness as anyone else. no one is going to make me happy, only I can do that. And I do. don' give up on this world yet, and especially don't give up on yourself!

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    • CHT
      Hi "Jeremy"..... I agree, the topic of your HSV status does not need to be something you disclose too soon in a developing relationship..... get to know each other first....see how it's going and as it progresses, then the HSV issue will naturally need to be revealed.... it's my personal opinion though that before there is any sexual encounter you ought to disclose your HSV status.... I know some will disagree with me on this but, I think it is morally wrong not to disclose first.  This can be a make/break situation for most people but, again, I feel it is simply wrong not to give the other person the whole story since your decision not to disclose could put their health at risk.... that is simply not an option in my opinion.  Looking back to my "pre-HSV" life I most certainly would want my partner to disclose their HSV+ status before intimacy so that I could make my decision as to whether I want to take that risk or not.... 
    • Jeremy Spokein
      Thanks, CHT. I appreciate the feedback. The whole trauma of going through this has led me to figure out a lot about myself and my attachment wounds, so I'm taking courses to come out of this better. This girl really was my dream woman in so many ways, it's been the hardest heartbreak to deal with ever. I'm truly in a lot of pain, but using the pain as fuel to launch that new business and work with coaches. I also opened up to my family about HSV, so my parents and sister know now, and they were very loving and accepting of it. Since opening up about it, I feel way better around this thing. After opening up, I also found out that some mutual friends in our family have discordant couples who are married with children, so HSV hasn't stopped them from living a loving life. The thing is... all of these couples I mention did not disclose until 6-8 months into the relationship. So now I'm thinking it might be better not to disclose until I know things are very serious. I'll of course stay on the medication and use protection, but maybe this is a better route than disclosing upfront and scaring women off.
    • WilsoInAus
      Hey @Lcj987 and welcome to the website. You can be sure that isn't HSV-2, looks nothing like it. It is much more likely to be folliculitis or inflamed fordyce spots.
    • WilsoInAus
      Hey @JackThrowAway herpes causes an outbreak where it enters the body first and maybe a progressive spread. If it doesn't cause an outbreak at the entry site then it won't cause one elsewhere, it also won't 'jump' upon infection - it would be more likely that the lesions are continuous from the penis to the anus. Nevertheless, testing trumps symptoms or any interpretation of symptoms. The correct conclusive result arises when: you have a positive swab; or An IgG HSV-2 level over 3.5 (Herpeselect test).
    • Lcj987
      Slept with someone unprotected, roughly 2 weeks ago now. I felt generally unwell the couple of days after but I’d been drinking the whole weekend and didn’t have much sleep either of the days of that weekend so put it down to that. 6 days after I noticed these spots appear on the shaft of my penis. Along with symptoms of discomfort in my shaft in the couple of days prior to them appearing. No pain when urinating at all that I have noticed. They don’t hurt, itch or tingle and they don’t have fluid in from what I can see or feel if I squeeze them and have never burst? I went to a sexual health clinic to get checked up, they took bloods to do a full test and looked at the spots but said they saw nothing that concerned them but I’m not sure about that, any advice? The smaller spots under the shaft are just follicles I had diagnosed years ago and non-sti related.
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