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makepeacewithit last won the day on August 11

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  1. It's very possible that the bumps are actually ingrown hairs or cysts, or something else altogether. Can you get to a doctor or clinic and have them checked out? Herpes can be mysterious at times, and while it's true that it doesn't always follow the same patterns, what you describe doesn't really fit the way ghsv usually presents itself. When we have herpes we tend to forget about the multitude of other issues that can effect our bodies and blame the virus for everything. I am an advocate for knowing as much about our bodies as possible and seeking to know the truth whenever we find our minds spiraling into worry--you need to be armed with the truth in order to move forward. If bumps are causing you this much worry then spending a little time and money on discovering the truth about them is very important to your mental health. Explain to your doctor how worried this has you, and ask for his/her help in sorting out what is going on down there. If a trip to the doctor is not possible, look into getting an online consultation with a herpes expert (I always recommend Westover Heights online for this, it can be incredibly reassuring to consult with a medical professional who is an expert on herpes).
  2. These are really great points and I want to personally apologize for any comments or posts I've made that contributed to you feeling this way and the divide between the 1/2 designations--I realize that much of my sharing with others dealing with HSV-1 has leaned heavily on the trite "if you are going to have it, this is the best kind to have" statement, I even put it in all caps at one point in an effort to be upbeat and reassuring, and instantly regretted it when I found I couldn't edit it to be tamer. I have absolutely no desire to contribute to the stigma of any variety of H, but I totally see OPs points and will endeavor to keep this in check in the future. There are so many variables, every individual is different, and each experience of this journey is highly individual--but we share a common enemy--stigma. I was initially diagnosed as having 2, spent two years believing that before I had my western blot confirm the variety. It's true that the nurse used the same trite line to reassure me when she told me, but also true that it's not felt very much different to me either way.
  3. One thing to consider if it's taking a long time to get a positive reading on blood tests . . . if you'd had an outbreak doctors will often give you antiviral medicine like Valtrex to deal with the symptoms. Being on antivirals delays the initial seroconversion process even if you have outbreaks, so you have the infection but blood tests like IGG and WB take longer to detect it (or won't show it if you are on a daily suppressive dose). Just thought I'd mention this, in case anyone is awaiting blood tests while also taking antivirals.
  4. I have struggled with this, too. I have GHSV-1, too, and despite knowing (and repeating over and over to myself) that it's pretty minor, I get obsessed with it and let it ruin my fun. While I technically have had this for at least three years, I spent about two years with an initial misdiagnosis of it as HSV-2, so I've experienced the ups and downs of that, too. After I learned it was really hsv-1 I didn't actually feel much relief, there is something about the idea of being contagious that is incredibly unsettling. But there are moments in which I find peace with the situation and right now I am working on figuring out how I am going to move forward with this situation with more grace and certainty for myself. I think the first thing to do is accept and honor where you are at in this moment. Right now you are adjusting to something new in your life, and you have to experience all the overblown fears before you can move beyond them. When you are afraid to get in the pool and it feels "real" to worry about it, allow yourself a few seconds to listen to what that fear really is about, listen to the fearful self for just a moment to get to the heart of it. Then sit on the edge of the pool and put your feet in and kick and splash a little bit, enjoy the water and look at the pregnant ladies and smile at them and at yourself, because your overblown fears are just your incredible caring nature in disguise. Give yourself some credit. You care so much that you over-compensate in the form of fear. I do this, too. Start to ask yourself "what's it going to take to be satisfied that I'm not a walking infection?" Only you can really find the answer to that question. Maybe it's doing more research. Maybe it's filling a journal with facts and figures about transmission, or affirmations that this virus doesn't define you and it's not such a terrible thing (think of how many others have it, too!) Maybe when you are going into a meditation you can use a mantra that opens yourself up to hearing the truths that reside within you: that you are pure, that you are love, and that you are absolutely okay.
  5. If you end up needing additional support, for instance if your therapist or your husband doesn't understand some of the basic facts about how herpes can lurk around for years without you knowing it, Terri Warren, a expert on the issue, can be consulted for a small fee at Westover Heights Clinic's forums, and her or other doctors can explain the truth of your situation for a fee at the forums at askexpertsnow There's a lot of misinformation and misunderstandings about how herpes works, and the internet is a confusing and murky place sometimes, but sites like those I mentioned can be helpful when you need a "straight from the expert's mouth" sort of thing. I consult the Westover forums all the time because I trust the info she provides and appreciate the incredible patience she shows with the paranoia and upset we H folks are always spewing at her. Additionally Terri Warren has written a good book on herpes called "The Good News about the Bad News" that includes the sort of situation you are dealing with. It's possible she might have something about it in the free downloadable Herpes Handbook, too. I can't remember for sure. Good luck, we're rooting for you!
  6. Her taking a daily dose of anti-virals to suppress both outbreaks and shedding would be something to consider.
  7. @LoveLiveLonely, can you talk to your doctor about the symptoms you are having, and also about getting testing that would reveal the type you have? It's really good to have clarity about your status and it sometimes takes some footwork to get there, but knowing your true status should be a right that your doctor will help you with, and then you can more easily figure out what is happening for you and whether it's truly an outbreak or something else. @MarsAttack there are a lot of things that can happen with skin that have nothing to do with H, but if it's an ongoing issue or if it's causing you concern it would be good to have it looked at by a doctor who can help you find clarity. About the leg pain, sometimes H does cause people nerve pain in the leg, but if you have had a hernia from strain I think it's safe to assume it is related to the muscles (I am not sure if H interferes with muscles at all, but I do know that when we have H we tend to focus on it as the reason for a host of physical symptoms when it's not really the problem . . . it's just so mysterious to us that we worry, but our bodies are going to have all the same normal aches and pains, too).
  8. I get lots of bumps too, whether from shaving or just random, I know how hard it is to not worry about them. I use a product called Bump Stopper now, it's very good at soothing bumps that occur as well as stopping them from happening in the first place, and so it goes a long way toward helping me recognize every bump isn't H! I highly recommend it.
  9. I've been turning this question over in my head for a while . . . a recent conversation with a friend got me to thinking about it. She isn't in the H Club, and she doesn't date much. She talked about wanting to ask a potential partner to get STI tested before they get intimate--I said it was a great idea and she should always honor herself, that I thought that if he was the right person, he would respect her for caring so much about it. I really believe that, so why do I struggle to ask for the same from the people I date? I hear about people doing this, and I've always wished it was more normal to do this. To just have a calm, honest, and business-like discussion about risk factors, testing history, and current status seems like a pipe dream (just based on my dating experiences as an older woman--I'm 50 and have found that the men I've dated are all over the place about how they handle risks and testing, only once have I met a man who was willing to go hand-in-hand to the clinic for testing together.) Now, after this conversation with my friend, I feel very confident that I will move forward in my dating life requiring standard STI testing (my area even has free testing for residents, so I don't feel bad about asking for this), but I'm still uncertain about the feasibility of requiring potential partners to test for HSV. I know what a can of worms HSV testing is . . . but it's starting to feel like not testing or having clarity about their own status needs to be a deal breaker for me. This issue was a huge problem for me in my most recent relationship, which has now ended; a big part of the breaking up was because I just couldn't get comfortable with his "I don't really care" attitude about HSV and other STIs. On the one hand, it was comforting that he was fine with the smalls risks my G-HSV-1 presented, but he didn't really care to know his own HSV status. I couldn't really blame him for opting out of testing for HSV, after all, it's the CDC's guidelines that advise against testing in the absence of symptoms, and I myself had a roller coaster ride to uncover my true status over a period of several years. Knowing personally that testing is imperfect and expensive as well as confusing and angst-producing, I decided to accept his feelings as gracefully as I could. But not knowing whether he has HSV-1 or 2 ended up weighing on my mind for the year we were together--I didn't want to give him my virus, nor did I want to acquire a new one. I took anti-virals to protect him from acquiring my virus, but in the end I felt bitter that I didn't really know whether I needed to bother with that--and despite being on the antivirals I still felt a lot of discomfort, especially about receiving oral sex, I just couldn't let go of having an overblown feeling of responsibility on the matter. Furthermore, I felt very torn up about not knowing if I was also risking acquiring a new virus from him. I tried to push my own worries about acquiring 2 away, tried to get comfortable with the reality that you can never really know, that intimacy always carries risks, etc. The final straw for me was me having an outbreak and finding myself angstfully wondering if I had newly acquired HSV-2, knowing the anti-virals would now serve to muddy the waters on finding out if that was the case. I broke up with him, in part, so I could get off the anti-virals and wait the 3-4 months to see if antibodies to 2 develop. In the end, I was kicking myself for getting into this uncertain situation again, and kicking myself for letting my worries interfere with what was otherwise a great relationship. So moving forward, I want to be like my friend I mentioned above and require more transparency from potential partners from the get go. Does anyone here have a policy about HSV testing status for potential partners? How has it gone for you?
  10. Most people who get hsv-1 genitally got it from receiving oral sex from someone who carries the virus orally. When someone has hsv-1 orally, they shed and transmit the virus more frequently than when hsv-1 is genital. There is smaller risk transmitting your genital hsv-1 to a partner's genitals because the hsv-1 virus doesn't "prefer" the genital area (difficult to wrap your head around when you DO have it genitally, like you and I do, but it's the nature of the virus to be more active when it's oral). It's a little complex, but generally the rising rate of genital hsv-1 is due to oral sex transmissions, not intercourse transmissions--it's all Sex in the end, but the two viruses just have different tendencies .
  11. I am a woman, and so I can't give you the male support you want, but I do want to offer some reassurance. First off, there is a HUGE segment of the whole population that gets oral cold sores and they don't even think of it as herpes, so that's a plus--they can't get the same virus again. That's the virus you have, but you have it in the BEST place in terms of low transmissibility (I got this info from one of the experts in the field, so it's the truth!) We had the misfortune to acquire the virus genitally, but it can be a blessing in disguise--since this virus doesn't *prefer* the genital area it is definitely not as easily transmitted to others. Oral sex is the biggest potential transmission activity, and that is important to know . . . but there is a strong likelihood that a person you are dating already has the same virus (maybe they get cold sores regularly, maybe they got them as a child, etc), and the chances of them getting it *again* in another location are incredibly small. To be honest, I've not had anyone be so concerned with my genital hsv-1 that they chose not to be intimate with me, but I did also find that most of the people I've connected with had it already (orally) or have already dated someone dealing with it and they feel comfortable with it. The biggest problem for me is that *I* am not comfortable with the idea of transmitting it. So I take a daily antiviral when I have a partner who is negative or does not know their status. That cuts the already small risk even lower. When you have the hsv-1 virus I think it's easier to start off talking about cold sores. When it's time to have the talk, do touch on the basics about how often you test for the other forms of STIs (and if you don't test regularly it's time to start, because you want to walk the walk on this issue). Then say something along the lines of "of course, there are some STIs that don't get included in the regular STI test panels, like herpes. Have you ever had a herpes test, or dated someone with herpes or cold sores on their mouth?" Just introducing the topic of cold sores is exactly the ice breaker you are looking for! "Oh! I had a cold sore once!" and so on from there you can say, "well I have the cold sore virus, too," and as you talk more you can find the right time to explain to them your situation. One word of advice, though, don't just go looking for girls with cold sores and jump into bed with them. I made the mistake early on of thinking I didn't really need to disclose to a guy who was sporting a huge cold sore, but he was later a bit unhappy that I chose not to tell him first, even though he knew the risk that he could have transmitted it to me and didn't say a thing! The truth is that people DO think there is a big difference when you carry the virus genitally, and they simply need a gentle education. It freaks people out, and so we should acknowledge that and handle the news with care, but then ALSO tell them our great secret: it's actually very difficult to catch it from us from intercourse.
  12. I've been dealing with a lot of the same things. Sex isn't the same for me. While I feel like I've moved past the shame and disgust with my situation, I can't enjoy sex thoroughly, I feel very distracted by thoughts of transmission, and lots of frustration that my former self seems dead to me. I've had good sexual experiences and bad since beginning my journey with H (GHSV-1) but I've not had orgasms and I've not felt safe.
  13. As rayofsunshine said, yes, you can get HSV-1 both orally and genitally (though it's somewhat rarer to get it genitally it does happen, I have it this way), and yes, you can also get HSV-2 in both places (though it's somewhat rarer to get it orally, it does happen). You will want to get a sore from each area tested to get confirmation of the virus type, the earlier you can swab a sore the better for conclusive results, otherwise the swab may not catch the virus and show negative even though you carry it. Talk to your doctor to arrange to have the ability to come in immediately at the signs of new sores for swabbing or use an urgent care facility, you won't have time to wait a few days for an appointment. If you are not producing new sores you can try IgG blood testing once it has been 3 months or longer (as long as you haven't been on continuous antivirals, which slow the formation of antibodies), this will confirm the establishment of antibodies for the hsv-2 virus BUT blood tests miss 30% of hsv-1 cases, so it's not good for confirming HSV-1 (ask me how I know). IgM testing is still sometimes used, but it's not a good test so insist on the IgG. It would be good for you to get some testing done so you know what you are dealing with.
  14. No problem! I'm glad I helped!
  15. I wouldn't worry about the navel piercing--if it has been many months since your primary outbreak you are not at risk of autoinoculating any longer. Generally the risk of that is restricted to the first few months of having it, and even then clothing is never considered to be a potential carrier of the virus. There would have to be significant rubbing contact for there to be any transfer, too. Soap and water kills the herpes virus when it's not already making its way into your skin (so handwashing right after touching an active sore is always a good idea, but you don't need to be overly concerned with "shedding" types of situations, random light contact with a shedding skin area is very different from the friction required to pick up the virus from asymptomatic shedding). You took the precaution of washing the string and I think that was good enough. I think you can let go of this worry.
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