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Recent HSV2 diagnosis, feelings of confusion and isolation

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New here (29F) and want to say an upfront thanks to whoever runs this community. Much appreciation for making this forum easy to navigate and keeping it a non-judgmental, supportive space.

I’ve spent a lot of time staring at a cut-out magazine photo of a beach scene the last few months. My gynecologist taped it to the ceiling for patients to look up at when they lay uncomfortably with their feet in stirrups as she does exams.

I found out I was 8 weeks pregnant there in April. I was handed my first clear ultrasound printed photo there in May. I got confirmation that I had lost my pregnancy there in June. In July, I laid there as I was told I tested positive for HSV2.

After that most recent appointment, I sat crying in my car in the office parking lot. I was in a lot of pain from my first OB, but it was a different kind of inexplicable pain that had boiled to the surface in me causing the ugly sobs. There was a knock on my window. The nurse from inside asked if she could give me a hug before I went home. I’ll always appreciate her for that.

Needless to say, I am struggling currently with my recent diagnosis. I can relate so much to many of the words I’ve read on here from other users trying to describe where they are emotionally after testing positive. Even though technically I’ve gained something (a virus), it feels a lot more like I’ve lost something.

I had blood work done in December 2022, which I do annually, including tests for both strains of herpes. Both were negative. I’ve had the same partner for 5 years. Our first and only time having sex post-miscarriage was early this month. Seven days later my symptoms began to appear.

I feel so lost and have so many questions that I probably won’t get clarity on. He says he has never had symptoms and does not think he could be carrying the virus. I don’t have the energy or bandwidth to push back on that right now. Does it even matter? I don’t know. Right now it feels like yes.

I know it’s possible to be asymptomatic. I don’t know how it’s possible we had consistent unprotected sex for 5+ years and it’s suddenly one time and I catch the virus?

I am feeling quite alone, and I really appreciate this space to share my diagnosis and feelings. I don’t currently have any major breakthrough thoughts or mature takes on how to best handle a herpes diagnosis, but I do feel hopeful things will get better with time, as they usually do.

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First of all, I am so sorry for your recent loss of pregnancy.  I couldn't image going through something like that. 

I will tell you that I tested positive for the HSV1 antibodies in 2015 and didn't get my first outbreak until July of 2022.  So it is possible to have this virus lay dormant in your body for years and its also possible to pass it on at any point at any given time.

Has your significant other been tested at all?  Its possible that he has had this virus lay dormant and your loss of pregnancy with the stress and everything could have triggered an outbreak. 

I would also have a talk with him on the possibility of what he has been doing.   I know that this isn't something a lot of people bring up but I know its the first thing I would do under these circumstances. 

When I found out that I had herpes, I was devastated and it took me a few months to realize that life with herpes is manageable.  I have been lucky with not having any reoccurring outbreaks but I know that there are people out there that have them quite often and deal with this frequently. 

This group is a great place to start, it has helped me tremendously. 

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Hi @worriedlily,

I'm really glad you found your way here, and I want to assure you that you're in a safe and supportive space. We're all here to lend an ear and offer a virtual shoulder to lean on.

I'm truly sorry for the loss of your pregnancy and the added weight of receiving a herpes diagnosis. It's a lot to process, and it's okay to feel a mix of emotions right now. Grief, confusion, and a sense of loss are all completely valid reactions. Remember, you're not alone in this journey. (After finding out about my herpes diagnosis, I also cried in the parking lot for a long time, in my mom's lap.)

As for the timing of your symptoms and the possible transmission, herpes can be tricky and unpredictable. It's indeed possible for the virus to remain dormant for years and then decide to make a grand appearance. It's not an exact science, and the circumstances surrounding outbreaks can vary from person to person.  

Having open and honest communication with your partner is important, but I understand it might feel overwhelming at the moment. Take your time, and when you're ready, sharing your concerns and experiences can help both of you gain a better understanding of the situation.

And thanks @AlliKat12 and @My_dog_is_hungry for sharing your story and support. Hearing from others who have walked a similar path can be comforting and reassuring. And yes, absolutely life with herpes is manageable, and while it may take time to adjust, many people find their way and live fulfilling lives. It also took me years from when I was first exposed to herpes (my then-girlfriend cheated on me and we had unprotected sex during her first outbreak) before I had my first official outbreak. I've also been in relationship with my wife for 6+ years and she remains herpes-free.

You're part of a caring community now, filled with folks who are here to listen, share their insights, and provide comfort. Feel free to lean on us whenever you need. There's no pressure to have it all figured out right away. Healing, both physically and emotionally, takes time.

Take care of yourself, my friend. You've already shown strength by reaching out and sharing your thoughts. Remember, we're here to support you every step of the way. Sending you a warm virtual hug and positive vibes. You got this.

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Note: This is for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute medical advice or diagnosis.
I'm not a medical professional, so please take this as friendly peer support. 

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Thank you all so much for your responses. 

@AlliKat12 I have talked to him and he says he has been 100% faithful and I do believe that. We’ve spent nearly all our time together the past few months with everything surrounding the pregnancy. He has not been tested for herpes (when he originally told me clear for stds many years ago it was the standard panel). Since I have been negative for the antibodies tests annually since we’ve been together, we feel it’s safe to assume he has carried it but has been asymptomatic. There must have been some shedding or a low symptom outbreak for him around July 4th, when I contracted it. Likely due to stress. Thanks for your encouraging words, this group seems awesome. 

@My_dog_is_hungry Yep I think that’s exactly what has happened. It’s crazy how this virus can work, ugh. 


@mr_hopp not the parking lot tears!! (Kidding, but really, that moment is not an easy one for any of us - I’m really happy and hopeful reading how far you’ve personally come from there to now). Your words made me breath a sigh of relief and refocus on getting healthy from this first OB so I can start educating myself on the virus and taking back control over my health and happiness. Thank you 🙏🏼 

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