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my son

son has herpes

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I found out yesterday my 19 yr old son has herpes. I am absolutely devastated by this news....only slept an hour last night. I am angry and hurt with him that he would put himself at risk. Is this normal a feeling for loved ones? He has been demonstrating self destructive behaviors for many years, just constantly rebelling, and ends up having to pay the consequences. This is a lifetime consequence. I have Lupus and been very sick, one of the symptoms is I am afraid of germs, bacteria, viruses, etc...so now, I am afraid of him. He does not have good hygiene, and I'm fearful that he is going to pass it on to my husband or myself. I want to be supportive to him, but I'm mad, hurt and scared. Any advice please would be much appreciated.

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It passes by skin to skin contact. If he has genital herpes I very much doubt that either you or your husband would be at risk. If his hygiene is not up to par you can simply request that he wash his hands when he visits and provide something like Purell antibacterial gel for him to use before touching you.

We can raise our children but once they are adults we cannot decide how they live their lives. It is unfortunate that his behaviour is disappointing to you but giving him a hard time will probably only cause alienation between family members. It is best to provide him with advice if he asks and to let him know that you support him.

70% of more of the population has some form of herpes simplex virus and it isn't because they are dirty, promiscous or destructive. Many people you meet and interact with daily could have this virus but that doesn't mean that you are going to get it from them. Coldsores and fever blisters are the most common herpes infections and as long as you don't kiss someone who has the virus you are probably not at risk.

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Thank you

Thank you for helping ease my fears. Good to know that we should be safe from getting it. It's sure not easy watching him make a harder row to hoe for himself. But it's his life, his choices, his consequences. I'm trying to read up on it to gain some knowledge about this disease (in between crying, of course). Thank you so much for your help. I truly appreciate it.

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Try to keep in mind, that while he has this incurable disease it's not the end of the world. He can still get married, have kids and do anything else he chooses. Herpes is far more devastating emotionally than it is physically so if he confided in you that he has this disease (he didn't have to say anything) he may have been looking for support but just didn't know how to ask for it. Continue doing your research because he probably isn't and if he decides to reach out to you, you may be able to help him. Also, a lot of 19 year olds think they are invinceable and he's just learned that he isn't so just try to be there for him.

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I found out by the history on the computer, and then asked him. He then told me. That was hard for him, I am sure. I understand now that it is not the end of the world, just a disease he is going to have to learn to live with. Thank you for your feedback.

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Son with Herpes

Dear "Son with herpes"

I completely understand ALL the emotions you are experiencing. When I first learnd my daughter had been diagnosed with GHSV I was mad, sad and scared for her and sooo disappointed. I cried for days!!

then I had to muster up the strength to tell my husband and her father. He was angry and deeply hurt. My daughter is not promiscious, and she was with someone she trusted completely. She had just gradated college and was looking forward to continuing her studies. She has now moved on after several months of pain and emotional scars. She is a strong girl, and we have prayed with and for her. Her doctor recommended a GYN workup, which she had.

The GYN did another culture for Genital Herpes which was negative. While the blood test was positive for the herpes antibody, she was misdiagnosed. She had been on Valtrex since her diagnosis. Now she is being treated for a simple fungal infection (she has always had sensitive skin). Her gyn also told her that even though she may have tested positive for HSV with a blood test, this was not conclusive to say she had genital herpes. The doctor said the blood test is based on an antibody in your system. You can kiss your boyfriend who has a cold sore and get the blood test for herpes and test positive. She also said that 70% of the population could go get a test for HSV and test positive. with no genital herpes. I am sure I don't still need to mention practicing safe sex, but even that's not 100%.

We are relieved for her, but I have to wonder how many others have been misdiagnosed. Medicine is not an exact science we all know that. Get a second opinion. My daughter never exhibited the "class outbreak signs" and even on the Valtrex she still had skin irritation. We now know that the Valtrex didn't work because it was not the correct medication. She has been on an antibiotic and an antifungal medication. Which is working very well.

But before we got here, we had to make sure she knew her Dad and I still loved her, and we know she is not a "loose girl." Her biggest fears was that we would think differently of her. We never did nor could we.. she's our baby. Our love if endless! And so is our support. Don't misunderstand, we had a firm talk about responsible behavior and "never" trusting someone saying, I don't have anything! But she has learned a painful valuable lesson. Her decision now is to wait for marriage before having sex again!

Be encouraged parents. Love your children. They are hurting and scared for the most part.

Hope this helps!

Mom in VA

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