Jump to content

Living with herpes...


Recommended Posts

I was diagnosed several years ago. Not a day goes by that I don't think about my condition and the uncertain relationship future it's created. Upon initial diagnosis I wasn't at all ashamed; I felt like I had it coming to me and I've long believed everything happens for a reason. Over the next couple years however, I've become extremely self conscious and stressed out about it. I take recommended over the counter vitamins, eat lysine rich foods, workout in some form everyday...and don't dare touch chocolate or caffeine. Herpes has made me OCD. I can't help but feel like a prisoner in my own body. My life once revolved around sex. It's not so much the half dozen or so outbreaks I've had in 3 years it's the social stigma of feeling like I have leprosy. I'm not dying and my condition has made me all the more conscious of diet, and reducing stress in life, in a way it's been a blessing. That's my best attempt at a silver lining. Worst of all, it's made my philandering ways worse. I can't maintain a relationship without telling her. I'm too ashamed to tell a partner yet can't go without sex. I feel so selfish and irresponsible yet in the 11 bed partners I've had in those 3 years no woman has ever been infected or as my mom would tell me "maybe they just didn't tell you". well mom, I think they'd stop calling me to * by now lol-

Sexes on both sides will immediately rule you out upon hearing this when in reality there are so many other aspects of a relationship that can cause equal or worse pain. In conclusion...I'm selfish but also extremely careful and meticulous...yet overall grown extremely tired of keeping my condition hidden...responses encouraged

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi shadow and welcome. My guess is that your attitude has changed about it than how you initially felt because you have had to deal with your dates reactions/opinions over the matter. Herpes isn't always food trigger related but it does help to have a good diet and it sounds to me like you are doing everything right. Although you do mention you get very stressed out, and 'stress' is one of the Herp's best buddies ;)

A lot of herpes suffers feel like they have leprosy but I blame that more on the public who treat them as if they do. You have nothing to feel ashamed about. Remember that herpes is essentially a skin virus, nothing more than. When you tell a likely sex partner before the event, you are doing everything you can to avoid transmitting it and you are also giving them the choice, which is rightfully theirs. They should appreciate your honesty. Some may run, well let them. Put on their sneakers for them. They aren't worth your time. There are many people out there though who will accept it as part of you and it will be no big deal to them.

You shouldn't feel that you have to hide your status at all. A well known member from here simply tells his dates he gets cold sores, just not on his face. That says it all. There is no need for a serious talk with them because they are likely to act the way you do, so keep it casual but informative and chances are they will respond more positively.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I really like your insight- Sadly I haven't told any of my 11 bed partners at all:( I feel horrible but my selfish lust for sex and closeness with a woman has long trumped everything. Put me in this predicament to begin with. I feel my OCD about my condition has made me hypersensitive down there and consequently know/feel an outbreak coming. I've never been able to maintain a relationship...simply have several women that I go out with when I'm (seemingly) in the clear. I know you can be shedding and not know it etc but I believe I have my condition dialed..or at least I've convinced myself so...If I had a choice I'd rather have em' on my dick than lip since that's way more visible yet...everyone has em' on their lip and it's societally accepted lol what a world we live in;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh dear :o thank you for at least owning up to that. I'm not sure how old you are but if you are young (say anywhere from late teens to 30) well it is not uncommon to not want to settle down with the one woman at this stage of your life. You obviously haven't met that special someone yet because if you had, you would want to commit to just her and protect her as much as you could. Take the time to really get to know a girl. You should know yourself well enough to realise whether or not she is suitable for you and if she makes your heart flutter or that you dread her calls or texts!

I have oral herpes and yes, they are far more visible. If you think you have your herpes dialed then you must know your triggers for an outbreak? If you have regular outbreaks, you could go on suppressive therapy which further decreases the chance of transmission. I would still advise you tell bed partners 'before' things turn physical with them. Wouldn't you want to be given the choice if you were in their position? Also by what you have written in your above posts, its obvious that you feel guilty when you don't tell them which is probably one of the biggest reasons why you feel that you can't maintain a relationship with any of them. You will feel much better within yourself if you tell the truth. Don't lie to yourself and don't lie to them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just turned 25 this month. Funny, you mention the part about meeting someone "special" and subsequently handling it differently. A woman who I've had my eye on + work with recently showed interest in me. We spent 4 nights together and I repeatedly fought off her sexual advances. I used the excuse that I really care about her/us which is true but not the reason I refrained from having sex p; Because of her I joined on here for support, advice and even the potential of meeting someone. Sure, I have feelings for her but I already have my suspicions on her seriousness, plus working together I feel all the more reluctant to open up. It's ironic that sleeping around got me into this predicament and now with my condition...I feel like I'll continue to do just that as a consistent, sex like rabbits is something I've definitely "dialed" to be the worst of triggers. Tell me about yourself;) your story

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Happy Birthday! It's nice to hear that you have met someone that you would like to further things with. It will be confusing for her that you fight off her sexual advances. Perhaps you could just say you want to get to know her a little bit more first. During that time, you can work out if she is decent and trustworthy enough to tell something so private to, especially since you work together. You would be surprised how many members on here have had very few sex partners but have still managed to get herpes. It can lay dormant for years so people will unknowingly pass it on. It can also be transmitted through oral sex (when the 'giver' has oral herpes) which is also not very well known. So being a rabbit with sex is a trigger for you hey? It is just typical, if not cruel that the things we enjoy usually become our main triggers!

My story? oh its boring compared to most peoples on here lol. I have had oral herpes for over 8 years now. I would still tell a future partner about my cold sores because there is always the risk of giving genital herpes to them through viral shedding, although as I am also on valtrex suppressive therapy, transmission rates further decrease. I have learned so much already on here since joining in April. When I learned that most genital herpes cases are caused by oral sex, I contacted my ex and told him everything I knew about transmission risks, just so he could keep himself safe in the future. He surprised me when he said that he had 2 cold sores in his childhood! Just shows how very common it really is.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This whole viral shedding thing I think is hogwash lol. If we're to believe that... 100% of the time we're contagious and I got 11 women who will testify differently....ps a part of me kinda takes pride in that. Not in the amount but the fact that while everyone is poo pooing their situation I'm still living. I only brag now because I've seen the light, matured and plan on handling it as an adult with full disclosure from this point forward. It's funny my parents each had "cold sores" father giving it to my mother. And you see numerous older people with it especially being a golfer...isn't sun exposure a trigger for it. Shit...what isn't a trigger;)

Anyways my story is a bit juicier and in a way...unlike most people here...very deserving. In high school I had chlymidia, some other wierd lesion thing... and got successfully treated. I had this wierd sexual fetish or pure bad luck for sleeping with girls that we're not only ****s but slept with older men. Having a totally clean slate I started junior college and subsequently met an older asian woman at a golf class. We went on to have the most unbelievable sex rampage for 6 months that to this day and my present condition I can at least say I enjoyed myself. I thought I loved her...catch 22 was she was married p; I didn't know it the 1st day I invited her back to my house but learning of it over the next week I couldn't suppress my feelings. Her husband was a disgusting old, fat man who she said she was leaving once she gained citizenship and ultimately did. One thing led to another, she was 44, became clingy jealous, started coming to my work etc which ended up with me breaking it off. A month or so later I met an 18 year old nugget in a yoga class; daughter of the local jail warden. I thought I had really found someone- while we weren't necessarily serious I most certainly didn't know she was banging 2 other guys. To make a long story short she called 2 weeks into our relationship and said she had blisters, bladder infection...strongly implying I was the cause. Upon hearing of this and the induced stress I got a couple bumps down there. Being a package shaver it was pretty similar to razor burn. Anyways she blamed me and was very emotional, I sincerely denied and was scared to death. Never talked again, lifes never been the same:) This definitely makes me feel better- I suppose if I'm to stick to being truthful, unselfish I'll have to wait on fucking till I know they like me...although in this day and age you can't really say you know/love/commit to someone till you have sex...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How long ago were you with all these women though? It may be too early for exposure to the virus for some of them. I wish viral shedding was hogwash! But as statistics even here with some members will show you..it is alive and well!

Yes..sunlight is a huge trigger for oral outbreaks. I'm not sure about genital as I don't imagine most of us sunbaking nude much lol. My newest doctor has told me to apply a sunscreen every day which I do, and I have also started taking a vitamin c supplement. This is because she believes that sunlight and lack of vitamin c are the two main triggers for cold sores. Since following this, I have not had an outbreak so I don't plan to stop this anytime soon!

I believe that everyone's story is deserving here. Not sure what you mean by your comment. How could that 18 year old you were with blame you for her contracting genital herpes since she was also sleeping with two other guys? They probably just told they didn't have herpes. Do you know how many people say they don't when they actually do but not even know it themselves?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm sorry to see that you may be in a bit of denial about asymptomatic viral shedding. It has been proven that herpes sheds without symptoms. Studies have been done and the evidence is clear.

However, if you look at the information on that, it is not even close to 100% of the time. If I recall correctly, the average is about 10% of days in someone with a new infection, less with those who have an older infection. But even then, a person doesn't shed all day long. It might be a few hours on any given day when it happens. (At least, that is what the case studies I've read say.) So anyway, maybe you have been lucky with those 11 women and just didn't hit on a day when you were shedding. Or maybe they have not had any recognizable symptoms, which is quite common.

So no, a person is not contagious 100% of the time. Viral shedding doesn't happen 100% of the time. The problem is, there is currently no test that can tell you when you are or are not shedding with fast enough results for it to be useful.

I'm even more sorry to read that you are out there having sex without disclosing you have herpes. I hope you are at least on suppressive meds, but that isn't enough. If you have herpes, and you know it, you should always disclose.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can relate to a lot of things that you have said..I too joined to find some comfort and support in others living and dealing with this ongoing and never ending pain in the rear disease.. You spoke on a lot of things that really hit home even though we are of the opposite sex I can truly relate.. thanks for the post and blessings for the future

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm certainly a bit naive and a little ignorant about the seriousness of my condition but at the same time "living a normal life" has (until now) trumped everything. I think there's a lot of phobia and misconceptions with herpsters and society. I take suppressants, wear condoms and examine each day. Not to be too graphic but I'm hung enough to where I don't even put "it" in all the way. Only place I've read and researched for men to have an outbreak is at the base and pubic region.

No matter how you slice it there's no easy way to tell a partner and in my generation..."seriousness" of a relationship doesn't develop till after intercourse. I've heard there's an immunization shot in the development stage. Similar to people with other ailments ie: cancer, HIV...I can't believe... not necessarily that there's no cure but at least a way to not transmit so easily:(

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Donate

    If Honeycomb has helped you, please help us by making a donation so we can provide you with even better features and services.

  • The Hive is Thriving!

    • Total Topics
    • Total Posts
  • Posts

    • WilsoInAus
      Hi there @ScubaSteeve and welcome to the website. If you have had genital HSV for 10 years there is a chance the testing did not distinguish type. The answers to the following questions will help a bit: - where are your outbreaks specifically and what frequency? - have you had any IgG antibody testing for HSV?
    • CHT
      Hi LLS.... I'm very sorry you are having so much discomfort from this outbreak.... the first outbreaks are always the most troublesome but  they will get less aggressive as time passes.  I personally find that valacyclovir is much more effective than just acyclovir so you may want to ask your doctor about switching and seeing if that helps.  Ask your doctor on Saturday if you really need to take a higher dose.... and as WilsoInAus suggested, I would ask for a 1,000 mg tablets with at least a 90 day supply to start.  As for pain, you may want to ask your doctor for a Rx of Zovirax ointment.... it contains acyclovir and the ointment form calms the sores down and reduces friction.... it should lessen the pain down there. As for diet, many people, myself included, learn what foods often act as triggers for outbreaks.  I can tell you from experience that the following are big outbreak triggers for me:   1. Too much caffeine (I've basically stopped coffee and have learned to enjoy a variety of decaf teas) 2. Any kind of nuts - including corn and even popcorn 3. Chocolate 4. Too much alcohol - particularly red wines  5. If possible, avoid any kind of steroids/immunosuppressants like prednisone in high doses.... anything that suppresses your immune system will give the virus free rein to run amuck - I learned this the hard way! 6, Stress.... although easier said than done, it will help with your overall health.  Studies show that stress is a common HSV outbreak trigger.... try to find a way to lower your stress levels. 7. lack of sleep.... personally, if I get less than 6  hours of sleep this often leads to an outbreak within a day or two.... work at getting a good 7-8 hours of solid sleep each night (I often use melatonin to help here). Some people find certain vitamins that boost the immune system, like zinc, help with overall healing and can lessen the severity of outbreaks and possibly prevent some outbreaks.  I personally take a number of antiviral/anti-inflammatory/anti-oxidant herbs/vitamins not so much for my HSV2 but for overall health (I don't have the healthiest of diets so, I feel I need to supplement to offset my lousy diet).  A google search of supplements that help with herpes will provide you with a long list of vitamins/herbs that may be of benefit but, try not to get carried away - many/most won't make much, if any, difference.... but, you can always experiment. As WilsoInAus also mentioned, a healthy diet is likely your best option. I should also mention that while some find vitamin C to be helpful, I found it to have the opposite effect.... the more I took the more it seemed to provoke outbreaks.   Things are always the toughest after initial infection.... it's going to get better, trust me.  Stick with the antiviral meds daily, try not to obsess on the fact you've contracted this virus, and try to avoid some of those triggers relating to outbreaks.  With time the number of outbreaks starts to decline and when you do have an outbreak, they will become less virulent. As WilsoInAus mentioned, a lot of your achiness, pain and overall flu-like symptoms are related to the fact your immune system is adjusting to this virus.... these lousy symptoms are just your immune system in action working to do its best to fight this virus... with time these symptoms will also lessen and disappear.   I hope this helps in some way.... please let us know if you have more questions.... and remember, go easy on yourself right now.... turn to those things in your life that calm you and also distract you from obsessing over the virus situation.  You are going to be just fine.... just give yourself some time to get past this initial unpleasant phase.... it will get better, I promise.    
    • Justme88
    • ScubaSteeve
      I was diagnosed with HPV2 ten years ago, which I contracted from an ex-girlfriend who was unaware she had it. Since then, I've lived a reserved life, not really opening up to others. There was only one person I felt interested in enough to share this with, but it didn't work out. There have been a few instances where I've let my guard down, had a night out, and ended up sleeping with someone. I know I should feel guilty about not discussing it beforehand, but I found it challenging because they know my family, and it felt overwhelming at the time, and I had alot of pent up desires from not ever being with someone for a long time.  After finally opening up to someone and realizing it wasn't the end of the world, I now understand that finding the right partner might be a matter of numbers. I desire to have more intimate relationships but need to find better ways to approach this topic and ensure I never spread it.  Thank you all for providing a space where I can be myself.
    • i82much2young
      My swab results won’t be ready for another 5 days. Is there any harm is continuing the Valacyclovir? I was prescribed 1gm tablets for 10 days.
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.