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15 y/o daughter diagnosed HSV-1


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my 15 y/o stepdaughter has been diagnosed with Herpes 1, but the breakout was both oral and genital. She has had a very rough 10 days, as this outbreak was diagnosed at the same time that she had to admit to her mother that she was sexually active.

She has been to the emergency room twice, and has a GYN appt for next week. Her initial outbreak has subsided, and she is on Valtrex and Lortab, as well as Peridien (sp?) and doxacycline (sp?).

Her 16 y/o boyfriend was with her and my wife when they went to the emergency room (they were on vacation, of all places), and she tells her mother that this was her only sexual partner. The young man has no symptoms, but his mother has admitted that she has HSV-2 and has had most of her life.

Here is my concern: now that the symptoms are in remission, she thinks things will get "back to normal". I heard her asking her mother "if I kiss a boy, as long as I don't ahve any cold sores in my mouth that should be OK, right?" She is also quite defiant in her insistance that she loves this young man and he loves her. And she swears he didn't give her Herpes.

When my wife talked to this young man's mother, she said the mother was first concerned that my step-daughter might be pregnant. When she heard it was Herpes, she admitted her HSV-2 condition, and said that unless her son was exhibiting signs of infection, then there was no reason to get him tested.

I have found a good pamplet on this site and given a copy of it to my wife, her mother, and my mother. As you might imagine there are lots of questions about this condition and possible transmission and contagion.

But I am concerned that my step_daughter will try to move on and act as if nothing is wrong. She is already convinced that once the blisters go away (and she had an intense case, discharges and sores and urinary problems), she will be able to resume "her life". I am also concerned that if she did indeed get this from her boyfriend, who else could he possibly pass it on to - uninformed, and now sexually "active".

I'm sure I have lots of additional questions, and am most likely over-reacting and misinformed about many aspects of this disease, but I would surely like to hear from other parents about their teens and "where do they go from here?"

What if she starts "going out" with other boys? Does she need to "tell them" immediately? How can I monitor that? Should I? When she has girlfriends over for spend-the-night visits, should I inform the visitors parents of "the problem" prior to the visit?

Any help and feedback would be sorely appreciated

Concerned StepDad

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I'm sorry you are going through this. It is difficult. I was a teen parent so I know where this can go.

Warning - I am not trying to offend you but your interest gives off red flags and could be mistaken by professionals to indicate a personal interest in your step-daughter. (I have undergone extensive training on identifying potential patterns for child sexual abuse)

It is not okay to talk about your step daughters sexuality with people outside the immediate family. This is a violation of privacy.

It is normal for teenagers to be interested in sex and to experiment. A responsible parent should be aware of this and take steps to provide factual advice to help the teen to make good decisions. If you provide too harsh of boundaries you will find that she will rebel more. If you do not provide enough boundaries and support she will often display destructive behavior to see if the adults in her life care enough to step up.

Of course, she thinks she is in love, sex is complicated and confusing to teens. Their bodies and hormones are at full strength and they are searching for ways to deal with this while trying to navigate an adults world. It would be a mistake to ban her from seeing him or to tell her she doesn't know how she feels. It is a little late to establish boundaries but if you don't do it now and follow through you could be in for a power struggle.

Hsv is contagious through skin to skin contact. There is no cure. There is no vaccine. Condoms will not prevent transmission. Yes she can pass it to others through kissing etc.

Ultimately her sexuality is her responsibility. I think you and her mother should sit down with her and have an adult conversation about the rules of your house and how it relates to her sexuality. I believe it would be a mistake to encourage her to have boys stay the night or to think it is okay to have sex under your roof. I do not know the laws in your state but in my state it is against the law for a minor to consent to sex with anyone. As a parent you need to be responsible to uphold the law and to provide guidance to the child in your home.

She should be provided a means to obtain birth control and condoms without judgement or punishment. She has already chosen to have sex and that cannot be erased. Human sexuality is natural and is not wrong. It is simply not always a good choice for teen. Failing to provide her with protection and information is not healthy. Judging or punishing her will lead to resentment and more rebellion.

Here is a helpful link explaining the two kinds of hsv.


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Mmm...I have to say that I detected NO evidence of an unhealthy interest in his step-daughter's behaviour. Just worries of a concerned step-father. Which were heart-warming to hear.

I don't have children so I'm no expert on how to handle this situation! The thing that struck me was that yes, you're going to have to educate her, and I guess that her positiveness is based on ignorance. BUT at the same time, herpes is not a death-sentence. She still has her mobility, her personality, she is still attractive. So what I'm saying is that it's a fine line between giving her the facts, and not eroding all her optimism.

What I would say is that it is TOTALLY inappropriate to disclose this to anyone without her permission. And once she knows the facts and some simple rules re hygiene, there's absoluelty no reason why her girlfriends need to know when they stay over.

Just be sure to work on this, however way you're going to go about it, with her mother.

Are there any support groups for children/young people with this virus?

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concerned_stepdad - I gave that warning because not everyone will see your interest as genuine and you should be aware rather than have something backfire on you. I was not in any way making an accusation.

I parented step children as well parenting my own child and it is complicated. I don't know how long you have parented your step-daughter but I know that step-parents can take the brunt of a lot of the abuse and I want you to still be able to parent and be concerned but without having the added agony of dealing with any negative fall-out as a result of your efforts.

This is why I offer my heart felt advice that is based on having been a teen who didn't get the proper support and guidance when it was crucial.

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Caliope - there was no need to start giving him child abuse warnings..

good god. the blokes a concerned step dad..

as a professional - are you ment to tell people that are you?

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Caliope, i really do agree with tothefuture and gutted, all that came over was a concern for a child, never once did i feel it was an unhealthy interest in his stepchild.

It saddens me that the word/thought came into your head, we live in a very sad world when, if we turn a blind eye on our children and let them live as they please,it is classed as a form of neglect,yet if we do show concern above the norm, then the word child abuse crops up!!

To the concerned stepdad

I am a mom of 3, 2 of them being teenagers, i know and understand what hard work it can be in setting guidelines and boundaries, and also not being to over protective, it keeps me awake some nights!!!

I really think the best way forward is to sit her down and try to educate her,regarding hygiene,shedding and transmitting herpes,try not to blind her with science at that age, they just shut off.

I know teenagers think they know it all, probably underneath all that bravardo, is a scared little girl.

She does not need to disclose this to her friends,you and her mom, try and educate yourselves, so you can pass this on to her in teenager terms!!!(i know they have a different language).

I hope it all works out

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You're not listening.

In the US, in my state, when a minor child is admitted to the Emergency Room for treatment for an STD the Hospital is required to report this as potential sexual abuse to Child Protective Services. This will often lead to an investigation of an innocent family.

I don't want innocent people to be harmed because they don't know that they could be blamed for something they did not do.

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  • 2 weeks later...

thanks for the responses....

I appreciate the positive responses I've gotten to this thread, and even am appreciative of the posts by Caliope.

So far, so good for my step daughter. She has not had another o/b, and she is moving forward with her life. I have listened as she cries to her mother about how some of her friends have disappeared, and she made the mistake of telling a friend of hers that she believes will now spread "the word" around her (former) school.

She is learning some hard lessons, her mother and I are being supportinve, and we have crossed hurdles together. Like telling my brother and his ex-wife because their daughter will be spending the weekend with us at a family reunion..... and her mother made her tell the dental hygenist when the question was asked "has anything in your medical history changed since your last visit?"

Perhaps her oldestfriend came to spend the weekend with us after she heard this news, and she was hardest on my daughter about what she had done, but also was the only friend so far to wrap her arms around my stepdaughter and tell her that they are life-long frriends, no matter what.

I will remain active in the threads, and look forward to learning more about this disease and what can be done to help our loved ones as they learn to deal with this menace.

Thanks again, all!

Concerned Stepdad

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You seem like a great dad and husband keep it up your thoughts are uplifting to say the least, Good luck, and good future to your and your family

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      To give everyone confidence that it wasn’t herpes related and conclude as the doctor did that it was a dermatitis issue to refer back to the dermatologist to continue with investigations.
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