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College student, really struggling. need advice!


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Hi everyone! this might be long. I was diagnosed with HSV1g/o in December, im a junior in college and turn 21 next month. I got it from a guy I was “talking to” our first time meeting in person:/(we had talked for a couple months) he had HSV1 orally but said he didn’t know, he didn’t have visual symptoms except for his gums being inflamed a few days after... my first outbreak was very severe with sores genitally, all in my mouth, one on my lip, and even on my nipples. I’ve always had a weaker immune system but was just getting over having covid in Sept. so it was very weak. I was bed ridden from the pain. When I told him what was happening he took it very well and went to get tested to see if he was +, I pretty much knew it had to of been from him since I hadn’t been with anyone for 6 prior to him. i had the outbreak 2 days after sex, that’s how weak my immune system was, it even showed up in my blood just a week after. He was supportive and would say things like “we’re gonna get through this together.” seeming like he was sticking around. since we were still seeing each other the diagnosis didn’t hit me TOO hard because I still felt wanted/attractive to him. Well, a month later his true colors sorta showed and things ended. I instantly went to the darkest place i’ve ever been to, I had never felt so disgusting in my life. Especially getting it from a guy I thought cared for me but ended up changing his mind so fast. I was severely depressed for a week. not eating or showering. The only people that know are my mom, sister, and one friend who got it last year. At first I felt like my world was completely crushed, my sex life ripped from me this young. i know it isn’t, but it’s now really different forever. especially being a 21yr old with 1 1/2yrs left of college being surrounded by pure hook up culture/stigma (college boys aren’t the nicest or respectful...) I have always been a sexual person, not in a way that I slept with a ton of people (which is ok if ppl do) but that my love language is physical touch and I do love the intimacy of sex, causal or committed. I did enjoy casual hook ups along the way, always safely, so this hit hard feeling like “I always use protection, yet all my friends sleep around and never use any and i’m the one who got it.” you know, the “why me” feelings. getting it from oral didn’t cross my mind. I also sadly fell for the stigma prior to my friend getting it. not that I judged people or thought they were gross, but in a way that I felt bad for people who had it. I am sad that’s how I felt about it, i was just uneducated. & i know all of my friends are too, so i haven’t told them, atleast yet. I was the person that helped my friend through her dx and that’s when I started to become more educated on it. not completely, just that I never looked at her differently and she was still the great person i knew in my eyes, but i did still feel bad for her at the same time. (but she’s still w the guy who gave her it) i’m seeing a therapist but this consumes my mind, i’ve obsessively read to learn everything I can about HSV. i’m at the point where i truly don’t think the virus itself is big deal, but how it’s looked at by society is. it’s so messed up that something this small is made to seem so disgusting to all of society. especially by ignorant, uneducated, and immature college students. The thought of ever telling a guy about this eats at me , especially guys around my age. Also having my sex life completely change. i enjoy going out with friends/drinking so the fact I can’t even legally walk into a bar yet and find a “cute boy” for a fun night anymore kills me. I’m aware that I should’ve been more educated on STDs and the risks of sex, but truthfully I never really thought of it, that’s so bad. neither do any of the people around me (shows how sex ed fails us) People hook up ALL the time and don’t even think twice about STDs. I know my hsv has a slim chance to spread genitally, but the fact i have it both places just feels so unfair since everywhere says it’s “rare” 😞 oral feels out the window and that’s the one thing i really enjoy with sex. i don’t want to have a condom all up in my mouth if i were to give someone oral:/ I was wondering if anyone knew the exact chances of transmission for both O and G if i were to be on valtrex? I guess i’m just struggling with the stigma and guys finding this out, also how I can’t just casually hook up w someone i find attractive without disclosing anymore, which i just can’t do yet 😕 so sex feels over for me. HSV does interfere with the natural relationship process because you are forced to share this and it is a deal breaker to many. i just worry because guys are even more uneducated and immature at my age than more mature men who realize this kind of stuff is common. I don’t want to be alone for years 😞 there’s no way an early 20yr old will want to risk getting something permanent from me, and honestly before getting it i don’t think i would’ve taken the chance:/ mainly bc ppl enjoy hook up culture and no one wants to commit anymore. it just sucks that when were diagnosed were told “it’s so common, it’s not a big deal” yet we’re told “but you have to tell everyone before sex because it’s a huge deal if you spread it!!!!” you know what i mean? is it a big deal or not? would it be wrong to explain that i just carry the “cold sore” virus and that i get them sometimes but take meds for it that make the chance super slim? do i have to give specific details of every place i get sores? mainly because my oral is higher risk than genital, since there’s less frequency/shedding for type 1? am i twice as contagious since i have it both areas? It just doesn’t seem right that people with oral HSV1 don’t have to disclose, yet when it’s on the genitals you have to, even though it’s more transmittable orally. 

So if i had only hsv1o i wouldn’t have to disclose, yet it sheds 9%-18%..but if i had only hsv1g i have to disclose even though it’s only 3%-5%..it doesn’t make sense. so if i have both can i just focus on it orally since it’s the bigger risk? 
 

If anyone has advice on how to deal with this while being around the social stigma in college please let me know. 😞 

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***what i meant was is it wrong when disclosing that I talk about it in a more general sense and just sharing that I carry the cold sore virus since spreading it G to G with HSV1 is rare. Since 80% of people have it I am mainly worry about giving someone else it from me orally on their genitals. 

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Hey there.  Unfortunately I don't have any advice for you since I'm newly diagnosed at 40 years old with HSV-2, but I definitely understand how you feel when you say that you feel that your sex life is over.  I think regardless of age, many of us feel your thoughts.  It's definitely not something any of us signed up for and it's sad that we are the knowing ones who now carry this burden on us to have to disclose to other people.  I hope you can somehow find a way to get through this and know that this doesn't define who you are as a person, you just need to make small changes in the sex department.  Chin up. 😉  

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@NJRunnerMom  Thank you for your words, I agree this is an unfair burden that we’re forced to carry while others don’t. Oh how I wish it was included in STD panels so people knew...I did not mean to make it seem like my sex life is more important just because i’m young, because everyone deserves a fulfilling sex life no matter what age. Just was hoping someone could give some advice on how to get through my personal situation. So, hopefully it was not taken that way. I hope you also find the healing you need to get through this tough time 🤍 One day at a time. 

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@snowflake123 Nope, not taken that way at all.  You're young and these are the years to have fun, so to speak, so I definitely understand what you meant.  I was kind of the opposite.  Got in a long term relationship at 20 years old and never had that experience of just casual sex so when I got divorced and then left a bad relationship 1.5 years ago, I took a break and then entered the world of casual sex last year and unfortunately that's how I ended up in this position.  So I do get it, I just experienced it later in life.  

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HI,

Yes. Every person who catches it gets the dilemma you are dealing with. However, I would approach in a different way:

1. I got genital herpes, but the nicer one. HSV-1. The recurrences are low. Worst case scenario is one per year. Most people have just one outbreak of HSV-1 and nothing else.

2. Viral shedding of genital HSV-1 is so low and transmission is barely insignificant, that disclosure of genital HSV-1 is more trust than transmission. Genital to genital transmission of HSV-1 is extremly rare. 

3. 80% of the population has HSV-1, 67% or 50% of americans has it. I just need to ask my partner to get tested, the chances he has HSV-1 are high.

4. Get into a bus, imagine you are in a stadium. Imagine that at leat, half of the stadium has HSV-1.

5. Blame your parents for not kising you enough when you were a kid so you didn't catch it and your first exposure to the virus was with oral sex.

Stop thinking soooo long and beging to make it short in your mind. Accept that you got it.
 

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@My thoughtsThank you so much for replying. i’m still early in so the acceptance part is clearly where i’m struggling. It’s like one part of me is telling me everything you just said, while there’s that bad part of my brain that’s telling me my life is over and no guy will accept me for this, risking having it this young for good... atleast anytime soon. I guess that’s where i also struggle, that hsv1g is such a low rate of transmission (i know not 0%) that the bad part of my brain makes me not even wanna bring it up to partners, but that I would tell them about having it orally? I know that sounds awful, but i’m just being honest that those thoughts happen 😕 Ugh. I hate these thoughts. do you mind explaining what you mean by the “more trust than transmission” part? I really appreciate you taking the time to make these points for me.  

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Yes. No problem. I don't know if you are into science, but HSV-1 genital shedding is 2% of days, while hsv2 genital shedding is 17%. That's why. Transmission of genital hsv-1 occurs from oral sex.

Also, the chances your next partner has hsv-1 are 50% at least. If he already has hsv-1, he wont't get it. Once you get it and build antibodies after 6 months-one year, you are not likely to get it in other place of your body.

Also, if you don't get an outbreak in the next year with genital HSV-1, you are 80% likely to never again have one.

Probably you also wanna know if your partner has hsv-2? So you should take care of yourself. 

I don't know if you are into science, but here are two helpful links:

https://www.std.uw.edu/pdf/pathogen-based/hsv/core-concept/all
 

 

REgards,

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NO problem. I'm glad I helped you.
So, yeah. Disclosing HSV-1 genital is even more controversial than disclosing hsv-2 genital.
Scientifically, you won't transmit HSV-1 genitally from genital to genital. Also, the chances your next partner has it are high.
As you listened to this researcher in the podcast, she said, "I don't know if you should disclose hsv-1 before kissing, but you should disclose it if you are gonna perform oral sex".
It gets complicated, isn't it? That's why I said "Disclosure of genital hsv-1 is more trust than transmission". 

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NO problem. I'm glad I helped you.
So, yeah. Disclosing HSV-1 genital is even more controversial than disclosing hsv-2 genital.
Scientifically, you won't transmit HSV-1 genitally from genital to genital. Also, the chances your next partner has it are high.
As you listened to this researcher in the podcast, she said, "I don't know if you should disclose hsv-1 before kissing, but you should disclose it if you are gonna perform oral sex".
It gets complicated, isn't it? That's why I said "Disclosure of genital hsv-1 is more trust than transmission". 

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