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New Diagnosis - please help me feel not alone!

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I have recently been diagnosed this week, I have been in a committed lesbian relationship for the last 5 years and I can confidently say 110% that neither of us have cheated, the doctor said I could have caught this years ago and it has stayed dormant. Safe to say it wasn’t fun telling my partner of 5 years I have an STI but she took it incredibly well and understood I could have gotten it in the past and has stated dormant until now. She really was amazing. Also my dad gets cold sores so I was looking up passing it through genetics and maybe this can be it? Either way I’m trying not to figure out where it came from… (unsuccessfully).

Basically I am aware there is a huge stigma with this life long virus and I feel disgusting. I have ulcers on my labia which my doctor took swabs but is quite sure it is Herpes as I got ulcers a year ago and both times was after I was unwell with a cold. It’s painful but I’m getting by with Sudocreme, Vaseline and soon Instillagel (as they sting when I pee).  She said the swabs may come back with nothing as they weren’t weeping (gross). 

I cried for hours when I was told, as it’s something you hear about but never think you get. I’ve always been a safe person and just can’t believe I got it. Any words of wisdom, similar situations, please comment. I just need to talk to people in the same boat here. I feel like my partner says she doesn’t feel differently but I’m worried she will be nervous to touch me once it goes down. 

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No words of wisdom as such but definitely hear your concerns and recognise how I felt when diagnosed - bawled my eyes out saying I'm disgusting and then found out my best friend had it too - such a relief. Now we're the herpaderp sisters lol. Trying to think who could have given it to you will drive you stir crazy because of it being able to lay dormant for a long time - you can't control it and it won't make a difference to your diagnosis or how you feel so it's wasted energy. You're early on in your experience with it so one thing many people would say is not to worry as the number of outbreaks drastically declines after the first year and you may only have one or two outbreaks. You're not disgusting! your body just needs some further support to handle a condition. There's medication that can help reduce outbreaks and shedding if you wanted after a while which can support your partner too but one thing I learnt is time will tell what your body needs so annoyingly you do have to be patient. Stress is a trigger for my outbreaks so one thing I have to do is not stress about it lol Instillagel is great but if you run out or get caught out - wetting some tissue and holding over your sores to pee can provide some relief.


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Hey @YorkshireTeaLady,

First off, so sorry it's taken me so long to respond here. I've been knee-deep in Christmas!

Secondly, you're absolutely not alone, and feeling shocked and upset is totally normal. But let me tell you, having herpes doesn't make you disgusting – not one bit. It's just a super common skin condition, and many people don't even know they have it because it can chill out without symptoms for ages.

Your partner sounds like a keeper, understanding and supportive. That's exactly the kind of reaction you want. And remember, cold sores are typically HSV-1, which many folks catch in childhood via innocent kisses from the grandparents, so it's possible to have it without any romantic stuff involved.

It's really tough trying to pinpoint where and when you might have gotten it, and honestly, it might not help much to dwell on it. What's important now is taking care of yourself. Sounds like you're already on it with the creams and stuff. For the stinging during peeing, @Cookieees tip about wetting tissue is super handy!

Give yourself time to adjust and heal, both physically and emotionally. You're not any less of the amazing person you've always been. And it's okay to have all these worries and feelings – talking about it, like you're doing now, is a great step.

Keep the conversation going with your partner, too. Openness and understanding go a long way in managing this together. And who knows, over time, you might just find that this doesn't change your relationship or how she sees you at all.

Sending you lots of positive vibes and virtual hugs!

This content 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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