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I am feeling so sad right now. I am 21 yo girl and was diagnosed with hsv-1 genital herpes a month ago. I think I am having my second outbreak right now. I feel very itchy everyday. I am thinking about this every single day and the discomfort brought by herpes has ruined my life. I am struggling whether I should tell my parents but I don’t see any benefits of telling. I can gain medical help on my own. I am scared that they will be super angry of me doing something sexual with a guy before my marriage. I tell my 2 close friends that I have herpes and luckily they are supportive. 

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I am so sorry. I also contracted herpes at the age of 20ish. It's a freaking emotional roller-coaster for sure! 30+ years ago we didn't, or I didn't know about forums such as this one, so welcome to the "club".  I just joined not too long ago, and it's been a comfort to know that we're not alone in this.

I hadn't had an outbreak for many, many years. I divorced after 22 years and the stress of all that, plus the terrible weather brought on an OB. That sent my head spinning! As one part of my life comes to an end, I wonder if there will ever be a new beginning with someone else. Till then I stay as healthy as possible and try to exercise every chance I get.  

It's hard to share this kind of news with anyone,, let alone your parents. I think as time goes by and you're more comfortable with this new change in life, you'll be able to inform your folks and be armed with facts about Herpes and hopefully they will be understanding of the whole situation. 

Do not let this define who you are! You are beautiful, unique and a child of God. There is a reason for all things under the sun.( I think I'm just coming to grips with that term.) Please stay as positive as you can. Get medical help and counseling if you feel the need. There are suppressive meds that can help control the onset. Stay connected to this group. 

Take care of yourself. HUGS

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Hey there @Em298,

It's really tough to hear that you're going through this. Remember, you're definitely not alone in this journey. It's okay to feel overwhelmed, and it's great that you have supportive friends.

Your feelings about telling your parents are completely valid. It's a personal decision, and only you can gauge how they might react. If you're managing fine on your own and don't see any benefits in telling them, it's okay to keep this to yourself for now. But never underestimate the power of a parent's unconditional love! All of my family was super supportive of me when I told them; I cried in my mom's lap in the parking lot of her job for a couple of hours right after I got the news. 

It's fantastic that you're finding support from your friends. In times like these, having people who understand and stand by you makes a big difference. And remember, the discomfort and itchy feeling won't last forever. There are ways to manage it, and it does get better. The main defense you have is taking care of your body so your immune system can naturally suppress the virus. That'll take some time before it has it under control (approximately 6 months to a year), and taking daily suppressive meds can help if you find yourself having more outbreaks than are manageable.

As for @AnnieO's experience, it's reassuring to know that others have been through similar situations and have found ways to cope and live fulfilling lives, isn't it? Her advice about not letting this define you is spot on. You are much more than this diagnosis. And the suggestion to stay connected with supportive groups and seek medical help if needed is really wise.

Lastly, focusing on your health, both physical and emotional, is important. Whether it's through medication, exercise, or counseling, taking care of yourself is key.

Sending you a virtual hug and lots of strength. 💖 You got this!

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Notes:

  • My mother is now in hospice with end-stage cancer, so I am at her house a lot these days helping where I can until she passes. Thank you in advance for understanding if I am not as quick to respond as I normally would be. This is a precious and bittersweet time …
  • 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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I think telling your parents depends on how close you feel with them. In my case, I feel comfortable talking to my mother, because she is very supportive, but is a very different situation with my father. If you feel your parents are not going to be supportive, but instead they are going to judge you, I would prefer not to tell them.

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