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Learn from my mistake


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No shame in HSV

The way I got herpes was probably one of the worse life experiences I have ever had when I was 20.  The guy I was dating told me he was having an allergic reaction, therefore his puffy lips.  I didn’t think anything of it since herpes is easily recognizable by a canker sore on your lip, usually red, blister, or scab of some sort.  In his case, he just had puffy lips and was putting Carmex on his lip periodically so it was always shiny.  I had just shaven myself down under and nicked myself towards the lower part of my vulva.  He had gone down on me and because of that opening, the virus got in and a couple days later, blisters grew around that nick.  

I went to the doctor right away and they took a sample out of the blister and diagnosed me with HSV1.  HSV1 is commonly herpes on the lips but because of my situation, it is genital herpes.  HSV2 is normally genital herpes and the blessing in disguise is that since i already have HSV1, I can not contract HSV2.  Its like an immunity defense, if you have 1 you can’t get 2.  Nonetheless, It was painful, sore and even wearing panties hurt because the fabric would get stuck to the blisters.  I was angry, depressed and felt like it was the end of the world.  I felt as if I will never love again, and no one would ever love me. 

First year I had 2-3 outbreaks, second year I had 1-2, third year maybe just one to none.  Then years went by and I never have a flare up that I almost forget I even have it.  If I feel a tingling sensation at the area where I usually have an outbreak, I sleep and eat better, take an antiviral and it usually doesn’t flare up.  

It wasn’t until I met my then husband and we were about to move in together that I finally told him.  He didn’t mind and continued to have unprotected sex with me.  He was a man with a very high sex drive and didn’t even wait until my outbreak was done to have sex with me.  Even then, he didn't finally get his first outbreak until after 3 years.  Things didn’t end well with us and we put an end to our marriage after his many affairs came to the surface and I started realizing I was waiting for a narcissistic sociopath to change and that was never going to happen.  (Second most traumatic experience of my life). 

I got the courage to leave him, and some time after our divorce I was ready to date again.  I honestly didn’t think I was going to pass Herpes around unless I had a symptom or outbreak.  I was told by my doctor that as long as I have no symptoms or an outbreak it is very unlikely to pass it to your partner.  But at some time it can be active again, so if your partner are getting serious… you should definitely have the talk.  I met someone and we were a really good match.  He was everything I would hope for in a man, a gentleman, we finished each other sentences, had a lot of common interest and we just clicked.  He was single for 4 years before me just waiting for the right one and when we met, we both felt w were a match made in heaven and believed that it was destiny.  He was very clean and careful with his past partners and showed me his test results before we got intimate.  I was too scared to tell him my condition since I really liked him and didn’t want to scare him away.  We started having sex, and since I was allergic to latex we decided to have unprotected sex.  3-4 months went by and my mind was just heavy everyday, dreading the talk but know that it needs to happen sooner rather than later.  

One day, he told me he has a painful red bump on his shaft of his penis that he thought was an ingrown hair  My heart dropped.  I really care for this guy and was mortified with the thought that it could be Herpes.  But how???  I was thinking… I haven’t had an outbreak for years!  But then I read online some more and saw that it’s possible to still pass on the virus during dormant phase through something called asymptomtic shedding.  I start to panic but stay calm and asked to see it.  It really didn’t look anything like Herpes since thats usually recognized by clusters of blisters.  So I was a little relieved but still felt uneasy.  I finally get the nerve to tell him.  He remained calm but I can tell by his face and reaction that he was hurt and pissed that I betrayed his trust.  No matter how much remorse, regret, or apologetic I was, no explanation is excusable for not being up front about a life long infection that incurable.  No, HSV is not life threatening and very common but I still shouldn't have put him at risk.  What he needed was time and space to process the news.  He needs to get tested to be 100% sure if that bump is herpes or not.  If he already got the virus, and after that decide if he still wants to continue our relationship.  So far, I did all i can do, said all i can say, and let him make his choice. 

I just really hope that he didn’t get it.  Life lesson learned for sure to not have unprotected sex no matter what, even if I am showing no signs of an outbreak.  It is just not worth the risk, and is straight up selfish and irresponsible on my part.  The worse part is: I hurt someone I really cared about and saw myself possibly with this man for the rest of my life.  How could I have done this to someone when I was so depressed and angry when someone did that to me when I was 20?  That makes me such a huge hypocrite!  I can’t keep beating myself up over this and can only own that I made a huge mistake.  If he was the one, and it was meant to be, it will be.  He will find it in his heart to forgive me.  If not, I have to let it go and move on.  

I can not do this again with anyone else.  Learn from my story guys, it is not worth it to protect yourself from being ashamed to let your partner know, and risk transmitting the infection to someone else.  That is stripping them of their choice and simply withfolding information that affects their life.  That is the guilt I have to live with that I wish onto no one.  I am just hoping his results come back negative.  For now, all I can do is pray and hope and write this down and put it in the universe that I had no ill intention and honestly didn’t even think it was possible.  Be informed and educate yourself of your condition and make mindful choice to let your partner know before you two get intimate.  Better safe than sorry next time around.    

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Thanks for sharing your story.  Please let us know the results.  It does not seem that very many people pass it on, if they know they have it and they are being very cautious.  Prayers and good luck.

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Thank you for sharing.

In my opinion, not enough people realize how easy it is to pass this virus. 

Some will post statistics on here about how low-risk the transmission is, but I believe that to be inaccurate. 

Edited by blurneworder
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3 hours ago, blurneworder said:

Thank you for sharing.

In my opinion, not enough people realize how easy it is to pass this virus. 

Some will post statistics on here about how low-risk the transmission is, but I believe that to be inaccurate. 

Once again, what one person may choose to believe is of no relevance against scientific research of thousands of couples and hundreds of thousands of sexual episodes.

What the OP needs is confidence that the transmission rates are low and that there is a big chance that her partner has not been infected (they might already carry HSV-1).

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Not telling a partner is a big mistake and why many people carry this virus.

One point of clarification: having HSV-1 does NOT protect you from getting HSV-2. You can still contract HSV-2

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    • WilsoInAus
      Hey @Lcj987 and welcome to the website. You can be sure that isn't HSV-2, looks nothing like it. It is much more likely to be folliculitis or inflamed fordyce spots.
    • WilsoInAus
      Hey @JackThrowAway herpes causes an outbreak where it enters the body first and maybe a progressive spread. If it doesn't cause an outbreak at the entry site then it won't cause one elsewhere, it also won't 'jump' upon infection - it would be more likely that the lesions are continuous from the penis to the anus. Nevertheless, testing trumps symptoms or any interpretation of symptoms. The correct conclusive result arises when: you have a positive swab; or An IgG HSV-2 level over 3.5 (Herpeselect test).
    • Lcj987
      Slept with someone unprotected, roughly 2 weeks ago now. I felt generally unwell the couple of days after but I’d been drinking the whole weekend and didn’t have much sleep either of the days of that weekend so put it down to that. 6 days after I noticed these spots appear on the shaft of my penis. Along with symptoms of discomfort in my shaft in the couple of days prior to them appearing. No pain when urinating at all that I have noticed. They don’t hurt, itch or tingle and they don’t have fluid in from what I can see or feel if I squeeze them and have never burst? I went to a sexual health clinic to get checked up, they took bloods to do a full test and looked at the spots but said they saw nothing that concerned them but I’m not sure about that, any advice? The smaller spots under the shaft are just follicles I had diagnosed years ago and non-sti related.
    • JackThrowAway
      She tested positive for HSV2. No, there was nothing of that sort in that area.   However I also have ulcerative colitis so I’m on medication that makes me immunosuppressed. I have been bleeding a bit when I pass stools during the time of redness, so I’m unsure if I’m getting a flare from the colitis (from all the stress of everything) or if it’s due to the virus making it’s way to an already inflamed area and popping up as blisters that I can’t see and hence the bleeding.    I had two equivocal results (at 4 weeks and 6 weeks) that then went to a positive result (7 weeks after exposure). Combine that with some flu symptoms, redness, tingling etc. makes me feel it’s conclusive that this points to a hsv2 infection.
    • Anonimus
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