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The Stigma With Herpes


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The more I spend time on sites like these or researching herpes, I myself realize how it is truly not a big deal. 

The unsettling thing still is that others who do not have herpes or have partners with herpes do not understand herpes. They believe it is a nasty disease when it is merely a skin disorder. it is comforting for me to know how manageable it really is and how people can live normal lives with it, yet other people do not view herpes this way.

The stigma created by herpes between the media and gossip has made it difficult for ignorant people to view herpes as I do. Which is why I am greatly fearing telling others of my condition. Of course I'm going to tell them 'it's not a big deal, really, it's a manageable skin disorder with medicine' yet what is going to make them believe me when all they have heard is about the 'big bad herpes'. I want to educate others on this, but people would wonder why I even take an interest in herpes or why I care - then my secret is exposed. 

This is the dilemma herpes is giving me right now. I have come to terms with myself having it, but I greatly fear the social stigmas.

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I agree with you 100% this virus does not discriminate and the more I read, the more I discover how common it is for people in monogamous, long term relationships to acquire it (myself included), it definitely does not just target people having causal sex or people who arent in relationships. It can happen to anyone and can present in many ways. This virus has no boundaries and people shouldn't be quick to judge or assume things based on their ignorance. It is just not fair!

i am glad you are at the accepting stage of this as it will only get better for you :)

im yet to get there but I know I will one day

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You guys feel same way i do.. Excepted that some faulks on here get blisters every month and that's when its more than just a skin diseases or when you have it in your eye balls.. Or give it to your kids...yes its not big deal but in some points it is. Also if you carry herpes u can catch easier HIV .. Just keep mine that it's nothing but for other people physical pain or out breaks every other week is everything

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. Also if you carry herpes u can catch easier HIV .. Just keep mine that it's nothing but for other people physical pain or out breaks every other week is everything

Just wanted to point out that it's easier to catch HIV because HSV causes open sores...it'd be no different than if you had a cut, and exposed yourself to it. Oh, hold on - that's not entirely true unfortunately...

The only special property that's unique to herpes is that CD4 T-cells (a type of immune system fighter cell) actively suppresses the HSV virus. Unfortunately, this is the type of cell that HIV prefers to infect - so this raises the chances of an HIV infection, due to the CD4 T-cells proximity to the site of entry for HIV.


All the same, you would take the same precautions to prevent HIV infection whether you were infected with HSV or not.

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    • WilsoInAus
      I really suggest that the best thing is for both you and your boyfriend to obtain the Westernblot HSV test. He has a 50%+ chance of being positive and you have a 50%+ chance of being negative. Only the Westernblot can sort this out for you.
    • WilsoInAus
      Hi @kpn the first thing to note is that it is all OK to have HSV-1 or indeed any HSV type. It is not negligence, it is just being human. Oral HSV-1 is not an STD in the sense that the primary transmission is non sexual and the majority of it occurs between parents to children. If any of your children contracted HSV, you would know it. It wouldn't be a silent infection for children. HSV-2 tends not to shed from the oral region for people who have it there in any event. At age 73, about 80% of the population has HSV-1. There is no reason to believe that your mother isn't one of those people. About half of all carriers of oral HSV-1 do not realise they have it and have no living memory of cold sores as they were infected when very young. The most logical explanation is that your mother has oral HSV-1 from her childhood and that your daughter doesn't have oral HSV. Not that it is relevant to anyone but yourself, but your wife might find she actually has genital HSV-1 having had an untyped swab when she was diagnosed.
    • WilsoInAus
      Hi @Dylan86 and welcome to the website. First note that you cannot pragmatically become infected with HSV-1 from sharing a drink. If you carry HSV-1, it did not come from that episode. As such it is extremely unlikely HSV-1 is the primary cause of your issues. Can the WB miss a HSV-1 infection? Rarely but its feasible in less than 1% of carriers who test with WB. Note that the WB does not have values, it has positive or negative as you say. It is way more accurate than IgG as it looks for all 30+ antibodies that are in your blood for HSV. Could you have HSV-1? Yes it is feasible, but it would be a very old childhood infection. Could HSV-1 be causing your oral issues? No herpes will not cause the burning mouth syndrome you describe. Could some of the lesions be herpes related? It is feasible if you are a carrier. But it is unlikely to be the primary cause of the issues, but its an opportunistic virus that can cause issues when something else is taxing your immune system. The best thing you can do is the PCR test on a oral lesion and that will be pretty definitive. Either way, in summary. I'd suggest there is <1% chance you are part of about 70% of the population that has HSV-1. Further there is less than a 1% chance that herpes is the primary cause of your issues.   
    • kpn
      My wife has had hsv 2 for around 8 years. We have two young children 3 years old and 18 months old. My wife only had one outbreak when she was first infected so we didn't worry too much about passing it on to our children. I understand the risk to be pretty low under those circumstances. I don't believe my wife took antivirals during either pregnancy. My younger child has diaper rashes pretty often and has had what I thought was hand foot and mouth disease. That was going around the daycare a while back. I haven't really given it much concern though.  About a week ago, my mother kissed my youngest on the lips. My kid was congested at the time but they pretty much always are. About 3 days later, my mother developed a cold sore on her mouth. She has never had cold sores in her life and she is 73 and happily married so she is not going around messing with anyone. She pointed to the fact she had kissed my youngest and presumed that is where she was infected. At first I said that's not possible since my child has never had any cold sores but since then I have really started to consider that maybe it is possible she contracted it from my daughter. This has me worried that my daughter does indeed have hsv2 and was shedding in her mouth. Does anyone have any experience with this? I am really losing sleep about this. Two people I care so much about got hsv from my negligence. I am fine if I were to contract it, I am not worried about what others think at this point in my life. I just don't want anyone else to have it. 
    • CHT
      Hello DavidGua.... based on the two pictures, I'm not seeing anything that resembles a typical herpes outbreak.  I am not sure what those spots are on your penis.  Please have a doctor take a look and I'm sure you'll get a proper diagnosis.  Have you ever received an HSV antibody test (IgG)?  Again, I doubt your symptoms are herpes-related but, if you'd like some peace of mind, you could request the IgG antibody test for HSV2.   Best of luck.... let us know if you have any other questions/concerns.
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