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Hello. I've recently been visually diagnosed with HSV. A culture and blood were taken to determine type and antibodies and I'll find out the results later this week.

It's daunting. Yes, I've cried. The thing that I worry most about is telling future partners. Genital Herpes, be it 1 or 2, is without question a social taboo. People are afraid of it. Many people will have nothing to do with someone who has it. Like I said, it's daunting. I'm 36, never been married, have no children. I am 36, would like to be married someday, and would love to have children. This diagnosis has just changed everything. I'm obligated to tell any future partner, which means that there will be those who turn and hightail it on outta here. Rejection is never easy, and I now having to get myself emotionally prepared for more rejection than normal.

I try to think of this as just a skin disease that is treatable as some do. (Yes, I read many posts before registering.) The worst thing about GH is, of course, the social stigma that ultimately looms over my head. I'm not alone. My doctor told me (and my research has backed it up) that one out of every four people have Herpes of one type or another and only 10% of those people know they have it. That means that I am in good company. That doesn't help, though, does it? Emotionally speaking, I mean.

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Also, I've been on Valtrex (500 mg 2x a day for 10 days). This is my fourth day on medication and I'm still in a lot of pain with a lot of swelling with the same three or four lesions. How long does it normally take for the meds to kick in?

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With an initial outbreak, healing takes two to three weeks. On day four of your antiviral, the pain should start to lessen a little. Pay attention to the areas that are swollen, because you can get a secondary bacterial infection. If you suspect this, call your doctor and inquire whether he/she thinks you should come in and be examined. You can use an over the counter antibiotic ointment (bacitracin, neosporin, polymyxcin) to treat the infected area. You want to keep the area clean and dry. Two warm tub baths a day followed by blow drying the area on low heat should be helpful.

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Thank you. I am paying close attention to one very swollen and painful lesion. I do think maybe there is an infection there. I'm trying to keep it dry there, but it's been difficult to do - my natural lubrication I guess is keeping things moist. Fortunately it was the weekend and I could afford to be run back and forth to the bathroom to use the hair dryer when needed.

I have some neosporin, so if it doesn't get better, that's okay to use, huh? Good to know!

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If you can use a triple antibiotic, it would be better (polymxcin, neosporin, bacitracin), but start with what's on hand. If you start to run a fever, or there is heat and continued swelling, contact your doctor to see if she/he thinks you may require an oral antibiotic.

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I'm glad it's improving! I wanted to correct myself on the antibiotic ointment, and I apologize for not being clearer. You don't want to use the ointment on the vaginal tissue (some people have a reaction), but the exterior outbreak is ok to treat this way, especially if you have a lesion on the buttocks that is infected. Most times herpes doesn't become infected, but it can occasionally.

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