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Still Trying to Feel Like It's Real.


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I was just recently diagnosed in July of 2010 with type 1 genital herpes. It came as a big shock to me and I still havn't been able to come to terms with it. I'm not sure who to blame though most days I feel like it's me. After the doctor took a sample of one of the sores it was determined that I have actually had this for years and had no idea. One of my big problems is that i've been with a few people and I have no idea who I got it from, some days I wish I knew and others i'm glad I don't.

One of the hardest parts in dealing with this was telling my parents. The reactions I received wasn't exactly what I was hoping for. I could tell that there was a little bit of disgust on their faces and my father even told me it was my fault for sleeping around and should deal with the consequences. This crushed me, the one thing I hate doing is having to feel like a disappointment to them and that was exactly how I felt.

I was with a guy for a little over 2 years and was with him when I was diagnosed. He was really supportive at first and told me that I had nothing to worry about and that we would get through this. Well to my surprise not too much longer after this convo he broke up with me and started dating someone else. This was a huge blow to my self-esteem because i'm not sure how other guys will react and i'm not ready to have to go through the disappoinment of things not going right.

I know that having herpes is not the end of the world but when you go around thinking that it can't happen to you and then it does, it's a big reality check. Some days i'm ok with it but when I get too much alone time it's all i can think about. Like why did this happen to me, how long have I had it, who did I get it from and how could I have not known someone i was with had it, did my ex leave me because of this, and then the big one is who is going to love someone like me. All of this takes a toll and it's exhausting.

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Take a breath.

There are worse things...it will not kill you...so the alternative is that it will make you stronger.

I'll tell you a secret, how people react is weird! I have genital HSV (most likely 1 but I am still getting to the bottom of that)...my boyfriend has it on his lips...and even though I have anti-bodies and I know it is unlikely I can get it again it still worries me kissing him. The paranoia is the worst thing about having herpes. But it does get better, you do learn to live with it. I have had it 9 years I have had a child, I have had 5 sexual partners in that time. Three of them HSV 1 positive and 2 not...and absolutely no rejections. Sure my latest lover and I are involved in some "negotiations" but it is not about me having herpes (he is HSV 1) but more about the fact that I was too afraid to tell him.

Just be honest with yourself, and be confident.

I have had better sex since I have had herpes as I have learnt to appreciate the people who will sleep with me more...rather than just using sex for instant gratification.

Suppressive medicine is a good short term solution and one day there will be something better.

I read somewhere that there are scientists who believe that the herpes virus may someday unlock the secret to curing cancer...if that happens then everybody will want herpes :-)

Mono, Chicken pox, shingles, cold sores...these are all herpes...I'd be surprised if there is a person in this world who has lived an entirely herpes free life...

Don't let it ruin your life, there is so much more out there for you than living your life worried about something that causes you pain every now and again, hell we survive periods once a friggen month...bet you most guys wouldn't cope with that ;-) Tally up your days...and keep your days herpes free unless you actually have to deal with it :-)

Good luck

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I was diagnosed he same time you were. It was devastating too me too so i feel just as you do. I didnt wear a condom one time out of the 7 girls ive had sex with and i got infected. I never wouldove thought this would happen too me because my friends have had sex with alot more girls then i have and have no std's at all. Life goes on so dont let this one thing keep you down.

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I didnt wear a condom one time out of the 7 girls ive had sex with and i got infected.

Condoms are notoriously unreliable in preventing herpes. It's essentially a skin infection that can be present orally and/or anywhere in the "boxer shorts" area. It's not transmitted in body fluids.

I never wouldove thought this would happen too me because my friends have had sex with alot more girls then i have and have no std's at all.

A couple of points here:

a) Why wouldn't it happen to you? 80% of adults have oral herpes. 25% have genital herpes. Some have both. It's more unusual NOT to have herpes!

B) Many young men of your age are extremely prone to bullshitting about their sexual prowess and the number of women they've had sex with. Chances are that your friends are not the Lotharios they claim to be.

c) How do you know none of them haven't got any STDs, or that they haven't had any? Do you think that for some reason they'd want the world to know, and broadcast the fact? And if they have genital herpes, unless they've had a specific blood test or a swab for it they probably won't even know about it. The vast majority or people who have hsv are either asymptomatic, or have symptoms that are so minor that they go unnoticed or are mistaken for other conditions such as "jock itch".

Life goes on so dont let this one thing keep you down.

That I agree with.

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Hi Karlek,

I know how you feel, I was just diagonosed with genital hsv-1 yesterday, after freaking out for a week. There has been a lot of crying, freaking out and feeling down. But now I have done some researching, educating myself etc, and found out that genital hsv 1 is usually less severe and not as easily transmitted as oral hsv1 or genital hsv2. And like 80% of the US population already have hsv-1, by having cold sores. You most likely got yours from a guy who had cold sores, or didn't even know he had them, and then gave you oral sex. It sucks to have it, it makes life annoying, but you just have to think that most of the population already has the same virus, they may just have it in a different spot.

As for your father you should tell him exactly this, would he feel the same way if you had cold sores? You now just have cold sores in a different place. It is not the end of the world, and it didn't come from sleeping around. You could have gotten from one partner. And as for your boyfriend, he is just being a jerk, he may already have hsv1 and he may even have given it to you, without knowing he has it.

Just hang in there, it will get better. And for any future partners you have, just educate yourself and you will be able to tell them in a rational way what genital hsv-1 is. And that they can only get it from you via genital sex, or them having oral sex on you, although the risk is thankfully low. And if any of your future partners already has oral hsv1, even better, they already have the virus, so you can't re-infect them.

Here are a few good websites that talk about herpes http://www.cdc.gov/std/Herpes/default.htm or http://www.cdc.gov/std/Herpes/default.htm

It will be ok, its just a cold sore in a different part and you will be fine =)

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    • 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.
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