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I am a 50+ year old woman who has always been cautious sexually. I didn't have sex for the first time until I married.  Two weeks ago, I engaged in what I consider to be casual sex with someone with whom I had been out a few times.  A few days later, I was diagnosed with HSV1 on my genitals from oral sex. I feel so irresponsible, ashamed, and dirty. I know it's not fatal, but I am so depressed. I talked with the man and he was apologetic and nice but doesn't want a serious relationship. I knew that but everything feels so weird right now. I don't know how to negotiate a relationship with him now and dread the prospect of having to share this diagnosis with anyone in the future. I am an open book about everything in my life but this is something I can't share and that makes me sad, too. My sister passed away a few months ago ... she is the one I would have gone to for support. I was just starting to feel a little bit of joy and this has been a huge setback. I worry about future outbreaks and what I can expect in terms of the number of outbreaks and severity. If you are reading this and have anything that you can share that would be helpful, I would so appreciate it. Thank you, thank you. I am crying as I write this. 

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@Btru2urself I’m so sorry to hear this, but I can honestly say that after getting diagnosed 1 year and a half ago I no longer feel ashamed, dirty or less than. It’s really not a big deal and can/will happen to almost 80% of the population. When disclosing, just be open and honest. Frequency and severity can differ greatly, but there’s lots of medication to help. I take a complex b vitamin and immune boosting supplements that help. I watched the “you probably have herpes and that’s okay” YouTube video and it completely changed my perspective. All things considered, it does NOT change your worth - sending love ❤️ 

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Big hugs to you, @Btru2urself (Love your screen name, by the way!)

I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your sister. That's hard. All of us are giving you a big group hug with you in the center sending you a lot of love ... Whew. 

Know that this is not the end of your sex life. Quite the opposite! You'll find that herpes will help to weed out the riff-raff and bring you and your partners into a deeper vulnerability, trust and intimacy than you might have imagined. And it's not that herpes is some magical thing that changes your life for the better (it's just a virus that manifests as an occasional skin condition) it's who you are becoming in the face of this perceived setback. Don't let this dash your dreams. Hold onto those dreams and dig even deeper. Set your expectations even higher for the right man who, instead of seeing herpes only, he sees your courage and vulnerability and falls in love all these qualities in you. It's what Herpes Opportunity is all about. It's the deeper vulnerability that becomes the opportunity here. It's scary as hell to go there, but so so freeing and empowering... Here's a video that might resonate with you about how keeping partners herpes-free can actually be quite sexy: https://www.herpesopportunity.com/post/keeping-your-partner-herpes-free-can-be-super-sexy

And about genital HSV-1 specifically, it sheds 5x less than genital HSV-2, which means less outbreaks and less chance of passing it to your partners (in fact, even Terri Warren once told me she hasn't actually heard of a patient who transmitted HSV-1 genital-to-genital). Check out this article for more on that:
https://www.herpesopportunity.com/post/genital-hsv-1-herpes-and-oral-sex

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7 hours ago, Ellie88 said:

@Btru2urself I’m so sorry to hear this, but I can honestly say that after getting diagnosed 1 year and a half ago I no longer feel ashamed, dirty or less than. It’s really not a big deal and can/will happen to almost 80% of the population. When disclosing, just be open and honest. Frequency and severity can differ greatly, but there’s lots of medication to help. I take a complex b vitamin and immune boosting supplements that help. I watched the “you probably have herpes and that’s okay” YouTube video and it completely changed my perspective. All things considered, it does NOT change your worth - sending love ❤️ 

@Ellie88,

Thank you so much for taking the time to reply, and your kind words. I so appreciate the benefit of your experience and it gives me some hope that there is light at the end of this tunnel. I will certainly pay it forward to someone else who needs some support once I get a little bit more comfortable with it myself. 💜

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@Btru2urself I’m so happy to hear that my comment helped a little bit. The beginning is certainly a roller coaster, but as the days go on so do you. Life is all about bumps in the road that force you to evolve, whether you like it or not : ) While I cant say that I’d wish HSV on any one, I can honestly say that I may not have stopped unhealthy patterns without it. Just as Mr.  Hopp said, HSV weeds out the riff raff. You’ll realize very quickly who you feel safe and comfortable disclosing to and who can just move along. There’s a big learning curve, but the more you learn the more you realize it’s no biggie. I’m in the happiest relationship I’ve ever been in and having the best sex of my life! That’s something I never thought I’d say after receiving my diagnosis. Be gentle with yourself, Big hugs ❤️

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@Ellie88

Thank you again for such wise words.  As for bumps in the road, I've never been much good at change but it's looking like it's here to stay and I will adjust because I have to. A relationship and sex are about the last things on my mind these days but hoping that will change with time. I'm so glad that you are in a fulfilling relationship and hope it and your good health continues! Big hug back to you! 💜

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@mr_hopp A big belated thank you for your kind post, the encouragement, and the helpful links. I am sure that the website keeps you plenty busy and it means so much that you took the time to give me such a thoughtful reply. Still not feeling quite like myself and the last thing on my mind is a romantic partner but I am hoping time will help with that. I am still in disbelief that I got it the first time I had sex with first sexual partner I have had in 10 years and given how careful I always am. He had no fever blisters and said he hadn't had one in over a year. Didn't even know I could get it orally. He acted concerned at first but he's pretty much out of the picture now. Still feeling dirty and now I can add used to the list. So hurtful. Anyway, I digress. Again, thank you for your reply and thank you for this forum. #grateful. I hope that you have a good Fourth! 

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