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bk3

newly diagnosed

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bk3

I was diagnosed less than a month ago with HSV-1 genital herpes. The guy I was seeing and I ended things, he slept with someone, and then we got back together and he transmitted it to me. The first doctor who diagnosed me told me he "saw no need to tell anyone" about this because the genital region isn't HSV-1's region of preference, and that the chances of me having another outbreak are slim. Afterwards, I spoke with two other nurses separately and both essentially gave me the "herpes is herpes" talk. I've come to terms with the diagnosis for the most part but I am both confused and discouraged about future conversations with potential partners. I feel like everytime I meet someone it has to be an all-or-nothing situation, there's no hope for having flings.

I feel as though I am going to have to settle for someone who's okay with the diagnosis, and part of me just wants to listen to what the first doctor told me, but I realize this is irresponsible and probably couldn't go through with it.

Anyways, I just wanted to say hello and see how you all have dealt/are dealing with new relationships.

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victor

HSV-1 is not a big deal at all in society. Approximately 60-80% of the population in the U.S. have HSV-1 (mostly oral), so it's extremely common. There is a very good chance that your future partners will have HSV-1 orally already, which makes them extremely unlikely to get it in another location (some docs actually say immune), but since there are no absolutes in biology, we can never say never. However, a person or you has a better chance of winning the lottery or getting struck by lightning then catching HSV-1 in another location after having an established infection.

It's possible, although unlikely that your boyfriend acquired genital HSV-1 from sleeping with one person one time, and then transmitted it to you through genital-to-genital sex. The reason I say this is because 90% of new genital HSV-1 infections are results of oral sex while only 10% are acquired from genital-to-genital sex. It's very likely that he had it orally and transmitted it to you via oral sex even if he didn't have a cold sore present or if he doesn't remember ever having a cold sore because only 20% of those infected with oral HSV-1 get recurring cold sores or obvious symptoms. He could have had one as a young child and never had another cold sore after. The only way to know if he had it genitally would be if he got a positive culture from a lesion on his penis because blood tests only tell you that you have HSV-1; it doesn't tell you the location of the infection.

Your doctor is completely right, it is likely that you won't have another outbreak again. About 40% of those who have genital HSV-1 never get another outbreak and the 50% that do, they get 1-2 over a span of three years. Very, very few get recurrent outbreaks like with HSV-2 (HSV-2 recurs 10 times more often then genital HSV-1). Genital HSV-1 is rather mild excluding the primary outbreak, so if you do have another outbreak, it'll probably be unnoticeable or quite mild. Genital HSV-1 sheds less than 12 days per year (3% of the year) while HSV-2 sheds 15-30% of days per year. Oral HSV-1 sheds 9-18% of days per year. So, for the nurses to say herpes is herpes is a little inaccurate if you apply those terms. According to STD expert Dr. Handsfield, if a person is to have herpes, genital HSV-1 is the one to have because of the reasons above.

Disclosure varies for everyone in terms of their morals, and I too have heard STD experts say that there is no reason to disclose genital HSV-1. A large amount of the population (60-80%) has HSV-1 cold sores/fever blisters and most of them don't tell their partners that they have it, and since oral HSV-1 sheds up to five times more than genital HSV-1, you'd think that if anyone is to disclose, it should be those who have it orally. Unfortunately, they usually don't disclose, which is why we see genital HSV-1 infections sky rocketing since about 20-40% of those in the U.S. don't have HSV-1. I think you should tell your partner especially if you see a future with him. If you feel really uncomfortable telling him then just say I carry HSV-1 and don't specify the location and tell him that 60-80% of adults have it, and he should get tested to see if he has it. If he has it (high possibility that he does), there are no precautions that need to be taken during sex according to STD experts/Herpes experts. Even if a future partner doesn't have it, the chances are rare that you'll transmit genital HSV-1 to him, and typically all it takes is to avoid sex during in outbreak since asymptomatic shedding in the absence of a genital HSV-1 outbreak is quite rare. From the information in this paragraph, you probably are thinking, "Why should I have to disclose if those with cold sores don't despite their oral infection being much more contagious than my genital infection?" I really don't have an answer for that, and it's up to you what you want to do with the whole disclosure thing since this is your life, and no one should influence your decisions besides yourself. However, I want you to consider if the tables were turned, would you want to be told? The first step is to have your future partners get tested for HSV-1 (you don't even need to bring up the fact that you have it IF you aren't having sex yet until their results are back), and if they have it then you can tell them you have it too without specifying location since it's extremely, extremely unlikely to get HSV-1 in multiple locations.

You really don't have to settle for anything. 60-80% of Americans have HSV-1 and only about 10% of us make it out of life without catching HSV-1; the same can NOT be said with HSV-2 since less than 20% have it and that number remains consistent through life. Like I said, many people with oral HSV-1 don't tell at all, and I'm glad that you find disclosure somewhat important, but it's up to you how you want to tell partners; don't let anyone influence how you want to disclose. Your doctor's words are accurate and he probably said that most of the population has HSV-1 and most of those with cold sores don't disclose so why should you? Personally, I think you should at the very least tell partners you have HSV-1 without specifying the location since oral and genital sex are common in a sexual encounter.

I suggest you visit MedHelp.org and go to the herpes community forum or herpes expert forums where you'll find essential information about herpes from the leading STD and Herpes Experts in the country. Below are a few threads for you to go over for future partners. If you have any further questions or concerns, feel free to ask or send me a message.

http://www.medhelp.org/posts/STDs/Partners-have-different-HSV1-genital--oral-/show/1129351

http://www.medhelp.org/posts/Herpes/Oral-Sex-exposure/show/1837909

http://www.medhelp.org/posts/Herpes/Spreading-Cold-Sores-or-HSV1/show/1822568

http://www.medhelp.org/posts/Herpes/Genital-HSV-1/show/1843133

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Acesheart
I was diagnosed less than a month ago with HSV-1 genital herpes. The guy I was seeing and I ended things, he slept with someone, and then we got back together and he transmitted it to me. The first doctor who diagnosed me told me he "saw no need to tell anyone" about this because the genital region isn't HSV-1's region of preference, and that the chances of me having another outbreak are slim. Afterwards, I spoke with two other nurses separately and both essentially gave me the "herpes is herpes" talk. I've come to terms with the diagnosis for the most part but I am both confused and discouraged about future conversations with potential partners. I feel like everytime I meet someone it has to be an all-or-nothing situation, there's no hope for having flings.

I feel as though I am going to have to settle for someone who's okay with the diagnosis, and part of me just wants to listen to what the first doctor told me, but I realize this is irresponsible and probably couldn't go through with it.

Anyways, I just wanted to say hello and see how you all have dealt/are dealing with new relationships.

Hey bk, welcome to our site :wavey: . I have had ghsv2 for 24 years and I'm married to a non h man. I have lived a very normal life with my h. We don't give it any powers or any control over what we would or could have. It does take time to absorb coming to terms with getting h. I understand how hard that is. I was newly married when I received my h. Please take time for you. Be good to you. You will get old you back. It took me a few years, but divorce is hell on a person. It was good to read your post. I also agree that your h does shed less, its less contagious and should , usually does, have fewer outbreaks. You can have whatever kind of life you choose. Take care and once again welcome. Hugs, Ace :hithere:

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SheIsBlue

Hi bk, I understand your confusion and discouragement. I find myself back on the dating scene and am wondering the same. So I will wait until the opportunity presents itself and figure out what to do then. Feel free to message me anytime. Maybe we can compare notes. This is a great site for knowledge, understanding, and support. Welcome!

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