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Merlin

Just Got Diagnose

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Merlin

I just got diagnosed today - I don't even know how I got this. My BF and I broke up 4 months ago and we supposedly were monogomous. The doctor's office called me with the test results of the culture I had last week and they could not have been less sensitive. The woman's demeanor who called me was like she was telling me the weather and then she was like - so, o.k., so that's that, and I was like, what- isn't the doctor going to prescribe something? Aren't there any instructions? (THis wasn't my regulare doctor; she was out of town when I got this problem that required me to go in and get checked out.) So I talked her into calling me in an Rx for something and she did me the favor of explaining they only treat short term unless I keep getting break outs but I don't understand why she didn't explain any of that without my pushing for it. I'm upset enough about the dx, but even more so by the way it was delivered. I'm single, 50 and I guess staying that way now. And how did this happen, that's what I want to know. I'm so confused, upset, angry....I don't know what to do.

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WarriorKing

You may have carried this virus silently for a long time or the BF could have. Most adults carry this and most do not know. Most have the HSV1 strain, but millions have the HSV2 strain as well ... 1 in 5 women, and 1 in 10 men.

You won't have to stay single or not dating. Stay with us awhile and ask lots of questions.

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Merlin

Thank you MrHonest,

I know intellectually everything you are saying is probably correct but I feel devastated. First of all, like I said, the Dr.'s office really could have handled it better and that didn't help. That aside, I have a lot of other health issues so as far as relationships go, this might sound weird, but I feel like I already wasn't the best "catch" in the world because I lot of people don't want to deal with that kind of stuff. This just makes it that much harder. As far as my ex-BF, we were together for 4 years and I wasn't with anyone else during that time. Maybe I had it from someone before him? Or maybe he didn't know he had it? I guess now I have to call him and tell him about this dx, right? I know this isn't the worse thing in the world, and honestly, it's not the worse thing that's ever happened to me, but I just wasn't expecting it. I'm having a hard time with it right now and I feel humiliated.

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SuperFreak

Merlin, you come to a place where you can learn to embrace your gift and move on living your life. We are all here for support and we understand your fustration. Its not the end of the world.

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RealisticGal

Merlin, like MrH said, HSV can remain dormant and asymptomatic for years. Some folks do not know they have it because they have never had any recognizable symptoms. In fact, it is estimated that applies to about 70% of those who have herpes. Makes it really tough to keep it from spreading, not to mention nearly impossible to identify when/from whom one acquired the virus.

The feelings you are having are totally normal at this point. Most of us know very little about herpes because it wasn't taught (not even mentioned back in our day in sex ed). So all we know about is the stupid (manufactured) stigma surrounding it.

Here's an article that might help a bit:

I Was Ashamed of My Herpes Until I Found Out...

Also, the links on the right side of this page offer a wonderful and balanced resource for learning more about the facts of herpes simplex. >>>>

Hang around and ask questions. Knowledge is power and there are plenty of knowledgeable folks here. :wavey:

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Merlin

Thanks SuperFreak and RealisticGal. The initial shock is slowly giving way to acceptance and I've been spending a lot of time reading, both about other people's experiences here and also about what I can do to boost my immune system to try and take back some control of my life. I think part of what is scary with finding out I have this is feeling like I've lost some control of my own body but someone somewhere (maybe in response to another of my posts or to someone else's - I can't remember, I've read so much) said that in some ways, this can turn out to be a good thing because it will force me to start taking better care of my body. I already eat pretty well and don't smoke or drink, but I'm realizing already how much better I can be doing and I'm ready to do just that. It won't happen overnight but I'm not backing down from this challenge. I called my ex last night to tell him and he was shocked because we've been monogomous and he's had no symptoms, but it was a very supportive conversation, so that was a blessing as well. And happily, I've found this forum, so.....one day at a time, right?

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RealisticGal

Merlin --- glad you are starting to get your head around things.

I don't think you mentioned whether you know which type you have (HSV1 or HSV2). If it is HSV1, there is a really good chance you could have gotten from oral sex. HSV1 is the strain more "at home" in the oral area.

About 80% of the North American population has oral herpes, and about 70% of them don't even know it because of lack of symptoms. So there is a high chance your boyfriend could have had that since he was a kid.

Hang in there and ask any questions you might have. :wavey:

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Merlin

Funny you should ask. I just posted a thread in another section asking about this because I clarified with my doctor today that it is HSV1. Even though she said it could have been dormant in my system since childhood, I don't think that sounds right since I've never had a cold sore till this unfortunate event. So I'm thinking someone (maybe this BF or maybe someone before him) gave it to me through oral sex - is that right - is that how it would have been transmitted to me? And does that mean that now that I have HSV1 genitally, should I plan to abstain from receiving oral sex from here on out to prevent passing it to anyone else orally? Thanks.

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WarriorKing

Getting HSV1 genitally has become very common from oral sex. It usually doesn't flourish there and is less likely to transmit. You don't need to abstain. People get it from kissing constantly, and they don't abstain from that.

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Merlin

Well that's good to know at least. Now just one more question, if you don't mind. I asked the nurse from my doctor's office (I can't seem to get a call back from my doctor herself no matter how hard I try - don't know if she's away or just real busy) whether I could get a blood test to get the numbers to determine how long I've had the virus. She said, "we don't have the technology for that." But on this and other sites, I see people talking about numbers and and IgG test. Did I just ask her the wrong question or is she just uneducated about this information? How do I call her back and tell her - yes there is a test if she thinks there isn't one? Thanks for any information anyone can provide about this?

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WarriorKing

To my understanding, for the herpes specific blood test, sometimes if the IgM test shows positive now, and the IgG negative. Then in a few weeks the IgM is negative, but the IgG is positive, that indicates that you had just recently been introduced to the virus. If it is very important to you then maybe find an STD clinic or specialist that knows this area of medicine well.

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RealisticGal

A lot of folks want to know when and from whom they contracted herpes.

The fact is, there is no way to pinpoint exactly when you got the virus.

As MrHonest mentioned, IgM versus IgG results can sometimes suggest that it is a "fairly recent" infection. But it cannot pinpoint anything exactly. It can take as much as 6 months for IgG antibodies to be detectable, so it may only narrow things down a bit. And if you already got a positive IgG test, then you can't use that anyway.

If you have had more than one partner, it becomes very difficult to be sure.

My personal opinion is that most folks who get hung up about "when" are looking for a way to blame "who." The blame game seems pointless to me. The only valid reason I can see to try to figure out how long a person has had herpes, is so that they can make notifications of past partners who might need to know.

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RealisticGal
Funny you should ask. I just posted a thread in another section asking about this because I clarified with my doctor today that it is HSV1. Even though she said it could have been dormant in my system since childhood, I don't think that sounds right since I've never had a cold sore till this unfortunate event. So I'm thinking someone (maybe this BF or maybe someone before him) gave it to me through oral sex - is that right - is that how it would have been transmitted to me? And does that mean that now that I have HSV1 genitally, should I plan to abstain from receiving oral sex from here on out to prevent passing it to anyone else orally? Thanks.

It is possible for the virus to be dormant, and asymptomatic (no sores at all) for years. So whether or not you have ever had a cold sore means nothing.

Question: When you say "cold sore," are you speaking of lesions in your genital area? I'm under the impression that you had a culture done of sores in your genitals. If that is the case, unless you became sexually active at a very young age, then you would not have had this particular infection since childhood. Most folks who have HSV1 since they were kids have oral herpes, not genital herpes.

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