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ivoryrain

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ivoryrain last won the day on June 11

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  1. Hey there! I'm going to tag @hsucks, too, since I feel you can benefit from this post, too! I'm 21 (female) and was diagnosed at 19 during my 2nd year of college. I'm 99% sure I got it from my boyfriend at the time, possibly due to his cheating (I contracted chlamydia at the very least from it). I have disclosed to at least 50 guys and have told other people just as an educational thing or to correct stigmatizing mindsets. I've only been rejected maybe 3-5 times. I've had a few others who initially rejected me and then came around after giving it some more thought. For what it's worth, pre-diagnosis I had had 3 partners. Post-diagnosis I've had 7. I've disclosed to every partner. I like to joke that I'm typically the one doing the rejecting! My disclosure method is 1) do it early - hence the many disclosures, and 2) maintain a matter-of-fact approach (i.e. keep emotions out of it, give them the relevant facts, etc). A lot of people say disclose in person, but you know as well as I do that we millennials can't handle face-to-face interaction and confrontation as well as texting lol. I typically do it by text because I feel it takes pressure off the person. They can read the text, take some time to think as opposed to feeling pressured to immediately respond, re-read it whenever they need a refresher on the facts, etc. Plus, if *I'm* more comfortable, my disclosure delivery will go better, and I feel most comfortable doing it by text. Please PM me if you would like (applies to you, too, @hsucks). I don't get on here often, but I'll try to remember to check this over the next few days/weeks in case you reach out to me. You can also look through my post history to see more about my experience if that helps!
  2. Like what @MMissouri said, I'm one of the jokingly put them in their places types because that typically embarrasses them way more than me haha. They're just uneducated. My best friend used to think she could never be with someone with H, but after I shared my experience and general info with her, she no longer feels that way. That's the reaction I've gotten from like 95% of people. Try not to let it get to you (easier said than done) and use it as a teaching moment.
  3. Being diagnosed with H is scary. Being diagnosed with H at 19 is extra scary. I wanted to share what I've learned in my nearly 2 years post-diagnosis. I feel like I'm forgetting a lot since I'm so used to it now, but I'll make a part II if I think of anything else. 1. It is 100% okay to stand up for your sexual health. Prior to H, I never felt comfortable standing my ground when a partner would try to pressure me to not use condoms. Now, the quickest way to be kicked out of my bed is to not respect my choices...the FIRST time. 2. No, you will not be #ForeverAlone. This is not the end of your dating or even casual sex life. 3. No, you will not be rejected instantly. For what it's worth, I've disclosed to ~40 men, and 3 have rejected me. I've had a few other rejections where the guys later came around after thinking about it. 4. Figure out your disclosure style. What works for someone else may not work for you. Personally, I disclose very early (hence the large number of disclosures) and take a very matter-of-fact approach. Not gonna lie, I practiced disclosing to people from Tinder first hahaha. 5. If someone's first question after you tell him/her is, "How did you get it?" that's rude, none of of his/her business (unless you choose to share), and typically (in my experience) a veiled attempt at seeing if you sleep around. It CAN be genuine curiosity, but it's still rude for that to be the FIRST question. Proceed with caution. 6. You don't need to feel embarrassed, ashamed, dirty, etc. You are none of those things. You got a little virus from skin-to-skin contact? No big deal! YOU are NOT herpes. Okay, so you know that, but you feel embarrassed picking up your antivirals? Chances are the pharmacist at the register didn't even look at the script - just checked for your name. Even if s/he did, s/he probably sees antiviral scripts at least several times per shift. 7. H can be a confidence boost! You have to have a lot of guts to disclose. You have to have a list of good qualities to remind yourself of when you start feeling down or if you meet rejection. Standing up for your sexual health is also another boost. 8. Letting go of anger and resentment towards your giver will do wonders. 9. Letting go of anger and resentment towards yourself will do even more wonders. 10. Eventually, you will hardly think of H except during the occasional OB or disclosing to a new partner.
  4. @Danaaaaaasaur The first time around was from PP. It also was a different GYN in the office who prescribed them (mine is only af that location one or two days a week). Either way, I guess it doesn't matter :P @WCSDancer2010 I figured it may just be a difference of opinion as well. Either way, having the extra pills on hand makes me feel much better because going to the pharmacy on my school/work schedule is a hassle lol
  5. I think that it helps me heal more than anything. I was out of refills and seem to heal super slow without antivirals. I decided to take lysine, and the one sore that wasn't healing very quickly improved a lot after that.
  6. Planned Parenthood gave me an Rx for acyclovir for recurrent herpes outbreaks - 400 mg, one pill, three times a day for five days. That's pretty standard, and I usually see improvements within a day or two. I ran out of refills and asked my GYN to send one. She sent 400 mg, two pills, five times a day for ten days. This is standard dosing for shingles, not recurrent HSV-2 OBs, which the office did verify that I take it episodically for HSV-2. I'm not sure if it was a mistake on my GYN's part or if it was intentional so that either I feel less awkward filling the Rx (which I no longer care) or so that I can have more pills on hand while avoiding potential refill/insurance conflicts, etc. I plan on taking the one pill, three times a day for five days regimen since that works just fine, but has anyone else had these shingles-like dosing instructions or have any idea why my GYN would send such a heavy duty Rx?
  7. Personally, I have decided to only tell doctors if 1.) they are dealing with my vagina (GYN, Planned Parenthood when I can't get into my GYN, etc.), or 2.) I decide to switch to suppressive antivirals (drug interaction concerns). Any other time, I do not feel obligated to disclose because it is irrelevant to whatever health concern I am having. For example, I have narcolepsy and see a neurologist every 3-6 months. He prescribes medication for it, but I know that there is no interaction; therefore, there is no reason why I feel that he needs to know that I have a skin condition in an area that he will never be dealing with. The only other doctor who I may disclose to is my PCP because he deals with my overall health, may one day need to prescribe me antivirals (if I can't get into my GYN, etc), and I know that he was very compassionate when my mom was diagnosed.
  8. @fitgirl Thanks for clearing up the liver damage for me! I thought it was almost a sure thing that at least some damage would be done, especially because I hardly drink water. That makes me feel much better! @WCSDancer2010 Thank you! That's a bit too expensive, though :\ @2Legit2Quit I figured that was the reasoning. That's so dangerous. H itself isn't, but it does increase the risk of contracting HIV or, as you said, people with autoimmune disorders may have a rough time with it.
  9. @WCSDancer2010 Thanks! You always know just what to say! He probably won't do the Western Blot if it's expensive. He doesn't care within this "relationship" because he either has it already or may potentially contract it from me. It's a bigger deal to me because if he already has it, then I would be able to be more carefree. For example, I stupidly had sex with him while I had prodromes because they were atypical - more like what I experienced when I had chlamydia or yeast infections (more of an all over and internal itching than a localized place, increased discharge, odd sensation when urinating - none of these are typical of my OBs). We used a condom because we know there's a possibility he has chlamydia (and if he does, I more than likely do, too, by now), but I had two tiny blisters (size of a ballpoint pen, if even that) the next day. Luckily, I doubt he had any skin-to-skin contact with that area, but that makes me nervous. I can't talk to my friends about it because they kind of guilt trip me about not taking precautions with him, even though I've made it clear that it's primarily his choice. Sooo I'm kind of on my own with my worries
  10. I apoligize in advance how long this is probably going to be - I just have a few different yet related concerns lol. I've finally met someone who I'm interested in. We've been talking/exclusive for about a month, but we aren't using any official labels until school starts and we know that we'll have the time to commit to each other. Anyway, we've talked about precautions over and over. My policy is to primarily leave it up to the guy. He is okay with the risk without condoms and doesn't want me to risk liver damage with antivirals. Basically, his view is that him potentially contracting H (assuming he doesn't have it, which I will get to in a second) is much less serious than me potentially damaging my liver. I'm happy that he cares about my health, but it also makes me nervous. As time goes on, I have less noticeable prodromes. Granted, I rarely have OBs, but I worry more about shedding now. If my OBs have less noticeable prodromes, I may shed without even tingling sensations. I just need to be comfortable with his acceptance. There is a decent chance that he already has H based on the number of partners he has had. I'm not saying this in a only-people-with-a-lot-of-partners-get-STIs way; I mean that, statistically, he has been exposed a fair number of times. That kind of eases my worries a bit, but I'm also worried because he either has a UTI or chlamydia right now (waiting on the results, but Planned Parenthood gave him antibiotics to take care of it if it is chlamydia). If it's chlamydia, that would increase the likelihood of transmission up until the chlamydia is cured. In addition, I would likely have chlamydia, too, since we've had unprotected sex (likely he gave it to me because he's the only person I've had unprotected sex with since my last tests; he had unprotected sex with another girl since his last tests). Whatever the case, I've been tested as well and should know my results by Wednesday. Planned Parenthood wouldn't test him for H, even after he explained that I'm H+. They told him that they use the less accurate blood test and that they only recommend testing if he has a suspected OB (with a culture of course). I'm not sure if this is because they know he's with someone who is H+ so he doesn't have to worry about giving me H asymptomatically or if it's because they view that the negative psychological aspect of knowing would be worse. I've heard of PCPs refusing to test for H but never Planned Parenthood. Basically, what I'm asking is for advice on how to worry less. Also, does anyone know how much chlamydia would increase the risk? Lastly, if he tries to get tested for H again, where should he go/what should he say to get past the reluctant doctor? I doubt he'll try again because he doesn't think it really matters other than if I were to decide to take antivirals (to avoid taking them unnecessarily if he's already H+) and he's a bit apprehensive about knowing for sure, but just in case he does decide.
  11. Way to go, Mom! You've raised a wonderful daughter! I'm a 20 year old (female) at a major university. I had my first HSV-2 outbreak at 19, but as I'm sure you know, it's possible that I may have had it longer (18 at earliest). My mom knows, and she has been my rock. At the time I was diagnosed, I was in a very bad relationship (I believe I got it from this person). She is HSV-2+ as well and said, "I wouldn't let having H keep me in a bad relationship. I'd rather be alone with H than in a relationship and unhappy just because someone accepts it. I love myself too much for that, and you should, too." Her words always ran through my mind every day until I finally got the courage to face the single world as a 19 year old HSV-2+ college student. I'm telling you this story because no matter how strong she is, it can be easy to settle for the first person who accepts her status. I didn't have H in high school, but I can relate to the bullying. I was sexually assaulted at 14, and because of who one of the guys is, it made the news. Everyone found out and gossiped and said creul things to me. I lost friends, and some parents wouldn't even let their kids hang out with me anymore because I received the blame as many victims do. It is an incredibly lonely time to go through something hard, whether it's a sexual assault or being diagnosed with H, and it can really affect how you feel about yourself when others are gossiping. Please keep a watchful eye on her bevause any teens don't feel comfortable asking for help. If you can, have her read this: I CAN promise you that everything will be okay. It may feel like your dating life is over right now, but I PROMISE you that it isn't. High school is hard for everyone, but the good news is that it doesn't last forever and everyone grows up. The next juicy gossip will take the attention away from you, and things will get easier. You are doing the right thing by being up front and honest with potential boyfriends. You are also educating everyone that even oral sex has risks, even when there aren't symptoms. The good news is that GHSV-1 doesn't shed as much as HSV-2 and is believed to be less contagious genitals-to-genitals. There also is a bit less stigma in my opinion. At 20, I have disclosed to about 25 potential partners (I choose early disclosure to avoid wasting time/feelings) and rarely get rejected. In fact, I do the vast majority of the rejecting after that because only a few of those have met my standards :P A lot of my success I feel is attributed to a very factual disclosure where I frame it as what it is - H is just an inconvenient skin condition. Things will be easier, especially in college after everyone grows up a bit. Love yourself. Know your worth. Never settle for anything or anyone that you wouldn't want for your own future daughter. Either of you can feel free to PM me :)
  12. @2Legit2Quit Sorry for the late reply - my narcolepsy is getting the better of me lately so I've been sleeping constantly lol. I'm 20. The guys I date are typically a few years older than me (2-5). I'm at that age range where probably 3/4 of guys still want casual sex if they can get it, so they may just think I'll graciously throw myself at any guy who takes mercy on my HSV-2+ self haha.
  13. At work some people were talking about how gross it was that a client had herpes. I just interjected with tons of facts until the conversation was no longer "fun" for them. I just stated that a family member has it (which is true) when I could tell they were wondering how I knew so much about it. The best is when it's a group of 4+ women and you say 1 in 4 women have it. You see the uncomfortable glances everyone exchanges lol.
  14. I have had tons of success with disclosure (disclosed to ~25 guys and only three of those rejected me), which is lovely of course, but it seems as though guys who just want sex try even harder to convince me. I'm not sure if it's because they think I'm either a slut because I have an STD or that I'll throw myself at anyone who accepts me having an STD. All too often, when I disclose to someone to see if they're serious about *being* into me or *getting* into me, I get a reply along the lines of, "Sooo, we just have to use condoms?" Either way, H is still my wingman because if that's a guy's first reply after telling him I have H, he's probably not someone I should be intimate with lol. Perhaps it has to do with my early disclosure practices. I disclose much sooner than most people it seems to avoid investing feelings and getting hurt, so perhaps it sends a message that I'm down for sex when I bring it up so early. I'm sure that a lot of it just has to do with me being in the age group where guys are still sex-crazed, etc., but it gets really hard to not take it personally when they seem to think that I'm an easy lay or something because I'm telling them that I have H. My question is has anyone else experienced this, and, if so, were you able to find a way to get around it (i.e. change of tone, word choice, waiting longer before disclosing, etc.)? It's not a super pressing issue right now because I believe I have found someone who I will be dating in the near future, but it's just something that I have been thinking about a lot lately.
  15. @Anna01 I'll private message it to you because I know he has been researching a bit and I don't want him to recognize my text if he ends up here lol. I just feel weird about him reading through all of my posts on here at this point in time. @WCSDancer2010 Oh yeah, I meant to put that I waited until he was done with class and at home :P I was still at work but not busy haha.
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