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as i sit here after a sleepless night, sure of my recent discovery of contacting herpes 2 (i already suffer from 1), i am simply in disbelief. i am a 31 year old gay male who, after a rather sexually excessive holiday last week (indeed, a rarity for me), i have somehow managed to connect with another who left me with a lasting gift.

i have always had a fear of contacting a virus - primarily hiv - and so i am prone to heightened anxiety surrounding sex. for the last week i was sure that my mind had been playing games with me, that my body could not REALLY be itching, burning, communicating with me that something was happening inside of me. until last night, when i saw what looked like lone pimples scattered on my thighs, my upper chest, and my head/face.

i cannot even begin to imagine what these sores will look like in an hour, later today, tomorrow, or even next week. i am obsessed to know how it will all play out. will this first outbreak be as nightmarish as the photos i see online? what will i say to others when they undoubtedly recognize my head/face? what and how will i tell others before a sexual encounter? my mind races with how this virus will stigmatize me. i answer the questions over and over again in my mind, unhappy with every response.

in flashes of worry, i feel sickened by all of this. i feel dirty, ashmaed of what i have done, of what my body will continue to do as the virus progresses. i cannot reconcile the fact that some virus is wreaking havoc deep inside my nerve cells.

i wish i could go back and do it all over again. i wish i could heed the warnings of stds more effectively, rather than worry solely about hiv. i wish my mind--and my body--would stop playing games with me. i wish, i wish, i wish.

i wish for hope. i am eternally hopeless right about now, trying my best to make peace with this unfortunate reality. i'm not sure if i am able. i'm not sure what to do. this is all so new to me, so i know i am still in shock.

what will the next hour look like? how about later today? and then, tomorrow? what about next week? i know that only time will tell, and yet it is time that i am so unsure of right about now...

--working through

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work, I understand you are worried at the moment and it's a feeling all of us here can relate to, but I could highly recommend to get tested since the rash all over the body might not be HSV2 to start with. But if you do have HSV2 you should learn is not that different from HSV1 which you already had.

The virus works differently on al of us, that is why I can't really tell you you'll have the aspect of the people that post pictures online, I did and even if it didn't look pleasant I can say it wasn't that terrible.

educate yourself, come into chat, ask questions and don't feel ashamed, the stigma to this is the worst part we are normal and will have wonderful lives after this.

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    • WilsoInAus
      Hi @CathM if you received oral sex in the days before the sores first appeared then it is important to be sure of type - culture tests do not type. Ask to see your result and see what it says. Is your partner going to test? This is also helpful.
    • CathM
      Hello@WilsoInAus I only know that they took a swab and then I was notified that I was positive for HSV 2. I don’t know have any knowledge about whether it was a culture test?
    • WilsoInAus
      Hi @CathM and welcome to the website. Yes there is little doubt you were infected by this new partner. This would have happened 2-10 days before the sores appeared. There is one question to settle quickly. Was your swab test a PCR with a result of HSV-2 detected. Or was it a culture test?
    • CathM
      Hello. Just been diagnosed with HSV2 after a swab test. Absolutely devastated at the diagnosis. Had symptoms after sleeping with my new partner. Symptoms started about 6 weeks after our first encounter. Did I get it from him? We split just before the diagnosis. I feel like my life is over, please help 😥
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