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smithconfused

Anyone living with genital herpes for 10, 15, 20 plus years and how do you cope?

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smithconfused

Hi,

I wanted to know if anyone has had genital herpes for over ten years and do living with H get better with time? Do outbreaks lessen? Do the stigma lessen a little? Does life get better than when you were first diagnosed?

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Tiny

Nine years now.

I don't know about my outbreak pattern because I am on anti-virals.

But my life is good...I have had good relationships, I have attracted quality men... I have a beautiful daughter...job, house all that stuff. The herpes I have for the most part got used to it--I tried to ignore it for years but now I am facing it head on and am rebranding myself as the poster girls for genital herpes.

I find the more I talk about it and the more confident I am about who I am and what I have the less it affects me. Also the more I talk the more people I discover who are living with this--it make me feel less alone. That being said I still have times when I become slightly obsessive about it--normally when other things in my life are not going well. We all have our cross to bear...but I am extracting that tendency to be a victim from myself...it is unproductive!

What I can say for sure is I have become a better stronger person for learning to cope with this virus. I certainly like who I am now better than who I was before--the herpes has definitely played some part in that.

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smithconfused

Thank you so much for your honesty. This year will be the 3rd year since being diagnosed. I was on suppressive meds during my pregnancy last year and now only during outbreaks. I am trying to stay of anitvirals which I have to see how my body reacts toward the virus. Yeah, I become overly obsessive at times. I pray that things get better. I want more children and just pray for a normal life even with this virus.

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Fairy dust

Hi Smithconfused

I have had HSV2 for 27 years! Unfortunatley I am one of those who has almost constant OB'S, I guess some people's immune systems cope better than others. The first attack was by far the worst and I know lots of people do not get many OBs after the the primary one - this virus seems to have affect people in many different ways!

I finally went to a Sexual health clinic last year and am now on Suppresive meds - I can hardly believe it but I have not had an OB since!! It has been so nice not having that constant drained feeling.

I have got a gorgeous partner (been together 14 years and he does not seem to have contracted it or if he has, he has no symptoms.)

We have two lovely children one of which was born during an OB which was rather painful but she is fine.

Life just goes on and I learned to live with it - not always easy I have to say but it could have been a whole lot worse!! The stigma is not really an issue as I am in a settled relationship and I have not told anyone other than sexual partners over the years. I guess it would be a bit weird if I was single again and had to go through 'the talk' but I found ways of doing it which seemed to work quite well.

Wishing you all the best for having more children - don't let this get the better of you -it is only a small part of who you are.

Take care x

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itsbeentoolong

I've had it for 18 years and haven't had an outbreak in 17 years. I've had a few things going on (itching, discharge) that I worried was herpes, but never confirmed. I've never taken any type of medication for herpes. I guess I just have a good immune system, I havent' dealt with transmission as I haven't been sexually active for a number of years. However, when I was (this was before it was revealed that you could infect even without an outbreak present) I had two partners over the time period and never infected either of them. For me, I basically live in denial and push it out of my head. Not having OB's makes it much easier to do. I'm mad as hell I have this, but grateful I don't deal with the OB's serving as constant reminders. Being on this site is actually the first time I've talked about it in years...

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mamidetres81

I was diagnosed with genital herpes in 2000 when i was pregnant with my first daughter. I took valtrex for the rest of my pregnancy so that I wouldn't have anymore outbreaks and could have my daughter vaginally. I use to get at least 2 outbreaks a year for the first 3 or 4 years but I have been outbreak free since 2005. I no longer take any medications, don't even know the last time that I did. I have a very stressful life (Marine Corps wife, mother of 3 girls ages 1, 3 & 10) and I have remained outbreak free. Things do get better

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dankenstein

i have had it since i was 18 and i am 44.. does it get better? lower your stress and go on meds if you can there is generic valtrex now thats tons cheaper. stigma not in my experience. telling someone you love that you have it is not easy but two responded by staying with me one not sure yet but dont think she is going to. my outbreaks are triggered my emotional stress and the season changes. had my first outbreak in 9 months this wk. the pain generally varies. i am new here but not to H. im sorry and it sucks i have yet to really feel like a normal person since i got it. even when my partner had it i still felt bad cuz i she got it from me. really get on valtrex or its generic it will make you feel so much better about yourself.

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BeachGirl00

It's been almost 20 years since I got HSV 1 oral AND genital. I just joined this support group today, 20 years later, so obviously it is still affecting me. In one way having HSV completely changed my life for the better...I take care of myself, eat well and don't let things bother me. It's also the reason I became a nurse. But 20 years later I'm in therapy dealing with all the crap that I "didn't let bother me." It's like you have this straight line and if you deviate you get an outbreak. One time I ate 3 Oreo cookies and the next day I got an outbreak! It's like come on, seriously??!! If I stay out in the sun too long, I get a cold sore. So I have to be so careful with what I do. But then it's like, so what, I have a cold sore, who cares? But I care. It's like I'm wearing my failure on my face..."I can't take care of myself, see???"

I have been on Valtrex 500-1000 mg daily for YEARS and still get outbreaks. However....I ran into an Infectious Disease doc at work and he said to take the Valtrex alone, not with any multivitamin/minerals because the minerals can bind to the medicine so you don't get proper drug levels. So maybe that's why I was getting outbreaks on 1gr. Just started taking 500 mg at night for a few weeks and so far so good.

I am very happily married with a super supportive husband. Having the support is really helpful. It's something you have to live with forever, it is a part of who you are. I am trying to be "one with it" instead of trying to fight against it. Just know you are not alone. Good luck!

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BeachGirl00

Were you on valtrex your entire pregnancy? Planning on having kids soon and the OB said it was fine, but would be nice to hear from someone that actually did it.

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writemegirl

@ BeachGirl00 ...

You still take the multivitamin/minerals, just not at the same time as you do your antivirals, correct? I've had HSV2 for 15 years; the first seven I was asymptomatic; the past 8 years off and on OBs; the past year, I started antivirals and supplements to boost my immune system = constant OBs. Logically, it makes absolutely no sense at all. I take my antivirals at 8 a.m and 8 p.m. So, I guess I shoudl take my multivitamins and supplements midafternoonish. Hmmm...worth a try, 'cause I'm at the end of my rope with this thing. Thanks!

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sportbiketerrorist

40 years here..Born with it, back when Hippie colonies would birth at home. Didn't have an SS card till I was 18.

Everyday is the same ole same ole. Some days it will effect you , others it won't. Hardest thing for me is not having to tell someone before sex, but if rejected, who will they tell. Social embarrassment. I've been married and have a child. She never tested positive, so you can be safe. Divorced now, but not because of the condition. Actually she appreciated it, and showed her how much I cared about her to tell her. She has had a couple friends newly diagnosed call me for support and direction. I chose to see it as a gift. Helps me be selective in the people I chose to surround myself with, and the ones I chose in intimacy. It has given me a non- judgmental attitude, and a healthy aspect I probably wouldn't pursue. Eating right and exercise.lol

It is very manageable and will only effect you if you let it. I call it the "flu" down under lol. for a week or 2 I sustain. I wouldn't want sex after puking up a lung from the flu either. I wish you the best, biggest advise I can give. Be aware. learn about it and know your body. The feelings precursor, the feelings on it and if you look back on it..you can see it. life as normal, you don't think about it much. dwelling on it just adds to stress "paranoid" and another possible OB.

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gardenchild

My husband gave it to me

Before we got married, my husband never told me he had genital herpes. I did not find out until AFTER we were married and I was infected. The first outbreak was excruciating and I became depressed. I would get outbreaks about once a month for awhile. Then maybe every two or three months, then I was pain free for almost a year!

I am currently in day 11 or 12 of the most severe OB I've had since the first one and it doesn't look like it is going away anytime within the next day or so. I have been very angry since the outbreak and it is really affecting our marriage. Every time I urinate it feels like someone is holding a lit cigarette to me. I HATE him right now.

He knew he had it but didn't say anything because he didn't want me to leave him. Instead, he affected me and negatively affected my life. I am thinking of divorcing him but then what? Spread it to someone else perhaps? Stay single the rest of my life? I feel ruined!

I truly respect those of you who tell potential partners that you are infected. My husband chose to be selfish. I just do not see how there is any love in that.

I have had it for about 5+ years now.

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overcoming

Hello, I am glad to read that I'm not the only person with herpes for 10+ years to experience frequent ob's. My job is stressful and I'm sure that contributes to it.

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Accratoday

I have had HV2 for 15 years. First outbreak was relatively mild (told this by the Dr. as the GUM clinic) Over the years I continued to get repeated mild outbreaks, sometimes monthly or every few weeks. I was lucky if I went a few months. I found by chance that 1grm Vit C helped and this is when I seemed to go a few months inbetween outbreaks. However, the outbreaks worsened when I went through the menopause & had them much more frequent, in spite of taking Vit C, B6, B3 & Cod Liver Oil & garlic capsules to help boost the immune system.

My doctor prescribed Aciclovir on a supressant dose which I have been taking for the past 8 months and it has been much better.

I am interested in your comment that the Doc at your work said to take the Valtrex without the vitamins so the dose is not affected.

I may take less of the vitamins for a while and see how I get on.

It is good to hear other peoples experiences on this site. As, like many on here, very few of my friends know I have Herpes.

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