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Question for married/ serious relationship people.


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First, I have a question to those in a relationship in which one person is infected and the other not..

What I struggle with is the following:

1) How do you live the rest of your life with a partner, always using condoms, dental dams? Don't you lose the spotaneouity, freedom...isn't it like having a third person in bed with you...a constant reminder of your problem, everytime you reach for protection, every time you go to bed, every time you want to intiate sexual activity??

2) And even more frightening for an uninfected partner- they would always be worried and thinking that every pimple or cough might be a sign of your reoccurence, or on them their initial infection?? Won't this take away from the love making?

I don't have a problem telling someone (so much). What I can't imagion is living with it ....and expecting someone else to live with it with me, every morning, every day, every night. I always read about 'how to tell', and I hardly hear about how to cope with it in a monogamous relationship!

I am a positive, happy person, but I don't want to have to wear barriers the rest of my life when (and if) I am married. Am I just doomed to this? It just doesn't seem natural. Being a woman I think it is harder because unless I wear a female condom, my husband would have to put it on everytime (again, a constant reminder of the problem). Do you or does anyone have any advice on this?

Then, for relationship couples that both are infected..do you still wear condoms and barriers even when there are no outbreaks? I am just learning about HSV and want to understand the realms for long term relationships..THANKS for any guidance!

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Guest Anonymous

Herpes and my love life

Hi. I've had "mild" herpes for a few years, and over the last 8 months the OB's have become constant. I take valtrex but it doesn't supress it. My fiancee' has had herpes for 10+ years, and valtrex totally supresses his herpes.

Ever since my OB's have become this bad, our sex life is affected. He loves me and never complains, but he's definately short changed sexually.

We can't have oral sex at all.

Herpes is definately a handicap to my sex life since I have such a serious case of it. I'm swollen, itchy, and sore most of the time so sex is pretty uncomfortable. I get flu-like symptoms sometimes during these OB"s and depression also.

I feel guilty constantly being sexually impaired, and hopeless because the doctors have no suggestions. For me, herpes has hurt me physically, emotionally, and relationally.

As for condoms, whenever we do have sex, we don't use them. Since his herpes is under control, he seems to be unaffected by mine.

If I weren't with my fiancee', I would remain single. I think for someone who has controlled herpes or only moderate OB"s , it wouldn't have to stop you from having a partner. That's my experience. :)

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I have been in two relationships since I contracted what I believe to be HSV-1 genitally. I have a very mild case so far...one main ob followed by like 4 years of nothing. I'm really sorry to hear Layla's story of 8 months of ob's. It reminds me that this is a complex virus and there are no guarantees.

I believe I contracted it from the first guy, from him orally shedding HSV-1. We didn't use condoms and he never got it from me, which I have learned may be because he had sufficient defenses against the virus, having battled it orally. The reason we didn't use condoms after that was that we were engaged, and we had had sex right previous to my major 1st ob, so we decided (perhaps erroneously) that if he was going to be exposed he already had...turns out that was possibly when HE gave it to ME, lol In truth I'll never know for sure. My summer fling before him had it orally, too.

Here's how I'm currently living with it: After the above guy and I broke up and I entered a new relationship about 3 months ago. I am kind of in the same boat you are now, circumstances are so different from the first. I don't know how it is going to be but I know that so far the worst part was not actually the telling (as I thought it would be) but the worrying about giving it to him. Truthfully, I nearly wrecked my health with worry after we had sex the first couple of times. As murphy's law would have it, after years of no symptoms, I started feeling funny and prodomal down there and nearly became suicidal at the prospect that I may have been shedding when we were together. We did oral and everything. So the surprising thing to me was that - the worrying. I don't imagine that will go away soon, although I think that if we are together a year or so I might start to assume he's been exposed and his body handles it really well, either through already having been exposed or natural high immunity. I hope that happens, anyway. I have learned I have a low tolerance for guilt.

Now, friends of mine who have it are in happy, relaxed relationships and they just live with it. One couple I know they both have it but in different areas, and they haven't worsened either one of their conditions by being together. The other couple, she has it, her partner does not, and her partner has not gotten it. They just take the sensible precautions - no sex during ob/s. They both serve as good role models for me that there is hope to have normal happy relations with this virus. I would imagine if there wasn't such a stigma attached to the virus more people who have it would share similar stories. I'm sure you'll have your own stories - positive, I hope - and you will find your unique way of dealing. Good luck and good for you for asking questions.

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  • 3 weeks later...
Guest Anonymous

married w/ h

Yes, I too felt guilty having sex with my husband. Telling him was very hard, but after that I kept feeling that he might be acting differently for fear he might catch it or I felt like every weird sensation was a sign of H. I remember my panic after 6 months of dating when he got a cold sore on his mouth. I naturally assumed that I gave it to him. I was mortified. It turns out that he had HSV-1 on his lips for years. It is weird how HSV-1 has such a less stigma when it is just as contagious. I believe this is why he was so accepting of me, but I still wish he told me about it when I told him about my problem. Anyhow, we have been together for 10 years and I have never gotten it on my lips and he has never gotten it down below. On a different note, I remember a friend's opinion was she'd rather have it below than on the mouth for all the world to see. I also read the article on one of these forums that the "good" type 1 can cause more complications.

Also for Layla, I have heard that continued suppression therapy can actually lower your bodies resistance to h. I would try to see how your body handles it w/ no meds. Also try yoga, it did wonders for me and I think has really controlled my ob's. I get it about once a year, and as soon as i feel the tingling I take echinacea w/ goldenseal. It works very well for me and my symptoms go away within a couple days. I hope the best to you all. Believe it or not it does get better after a while.

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Guest Anonymous


You just mentioned that suppression therapy lowers resistance. I'm really curious about that. I had recently asked my nurse practictioner and she had said there's no correlation between suppression therapy and lowered resistance. I was about to go on Famir but maybe I'll just try the natural route. I had recently gone to get re-diagnosed because it just didn't seem natural to have this chronic of a problem. They did a blood test and "H" is definately my problem down there. Since Valtrex isn't working for me I hate to go on Famir and then end up some old lady with horrible herpes some day. Who knows what to do? I just am having a terrible experience with this whole thing.

- Layla

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Guest Anonymous


Your doctor knows best and you should get a second opinion before you make any changes on your own. Maybe even a viral specialist. 8 months is too long to go through that pain. My doctor mentioned the resistance idea to me (and that was 10 years ago) and not taking the meds has worked for me. But everyone's different. I actually heard that it has been shown that daily Valtrex reduces transmission to partners by 50% (http://my.webmd.com/content/article/79/96057.htm) and that's something to ne said for it. Do some research, maybe you need stronger meds. But talk to your doctor. I may be wrong.

But it does sound like something has affected your immunity which has caused you to have such an extreme outbreak after 2 years. I think you should have an overall physical. Maybe you have Lyme, Lupus or some other ailment that is compromising your immunity. But see your doctor! I had lyme and did suffer from more outbreaks.

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Guest Anonymous



Thanks again for your reply. I'm really at a loss at what's going on with me. After I read your post I was scared to death. I have been getting some strange skin rashes. I think I'm going to try a dermatologist and also a viral specialist if I can find one. I hope I don't die while trying to figure this out. The doctors just give quick answers and don't try to get to the root of what's going on. I've also told 5 doctors that I get a sharp, stabbing, internal pain that comes out of nowhere and makes me scream. They just shrug. I can't imagine being so casual with someone's health. I guess I just have to follow whatever leads I can get and hope to get treated. I honestly can't believe this is happening. The doctors I've tried so far are not helping at all, and I just don't know who to gamble with next. Self-diagnosing isn't always a great idea either. I'm already seriously thinking I've got Lyme disease. Thank God for health insurance!

Sorry "TO" that are going off the subject. But I do appreciate Mooncat's thoughts.

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