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Is Oral Herpes chopped liver?

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Hey There,


I've just found out that I have HSV- 1 of the ORAL variety. First let me say that this site is amazing. You just never think about what support is out there until well, you need it! Anyway, I've been spending alot of time researching H as we have all done I'm sure and I'm noticing that many of the sites focus mostly on Genital Herpes and just refer to Oral as "cold sores". Even the dating sites that I've been on don't seem to have many Oral H carriers. Why is this? Ideally, if I were to connect with someone on herpes dating sites, I'd like them to have the same condition. Do people who get cold sores just shirk it off and not consider it a big deal? I know that many oral carriers don't know they have it but I'm reading that 80% of the population have it! Where are my oral peeps? I've seen one friend with a cold sore, once. I'm sitting here almost wishing I had Genital because it seems like that's the focus of these sites and at least the public can't see your problem. Date, kiss, whatever. It's only when sex comes up that you have to have a discussion. I feel like I can't even kiss someone before telling them and how much trust and loyalty am I going to build on a first date? I've been staring at the same ugly cold sore for 3 weeks and it seems like everyone else is too. I would really love someone's perspective on this.

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Hi Mikey,


Sounds like the stigma has got you! you are giving a wee virus that 80% of people in the western world have way too much power.


There's a strange thing that goes on: oddly enough, oral herpes is so normal that unless you have an obvious sore (ok I get that you do right now), no one thinks twice about it. Genital herpes is seen as not only dirty and icky, but sign of promiscuousness by many. It's just the general cultural strangeness about sex showing up in another way. Strange because there are much worse STDs, but I think the stigma comes because H is forever, it's treatable but not curable.


So here's the thing: if you have the same cold sore for 3 weeks, your body is struggling. You need to get healthy! Learn about healthy food, quit or cut down on drugs and alcohol, learn how to build your immune system. Use H as your call to up your game in looking after yourself. Usually an untreated cold sore is gone in 10 days; with Zovirax, if you get it fast can be 3 or 4 days, so 3 weeks is a real red flag for self care. Then you need to clear on your emotional response to it, e.g. even calling it ugly means you are thinking of yourself as ugly. So use H as your prod to heal yourself physically and emotionally.


It's your call whether you mention HSV1 before kissing. Until I got rejected for HSV2 about 6 months ago, I'd never thought how bizarre it is that no one ever mentions HSV1 before kissing. Given 80% of people have it anyway, apart from keeping your mouth to yourself when in prodrome or sore, I dont' think I would. I'm in my late 50s, been sexually active since teenager. No one has ever asked or told about HSV1 to me before kisssing, nor to anyone I have asked, and I have asked around. Hang in there Mikey, it gets easier.

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dear Mikey... welcome. I understand your confusion; been there myself. I'm 40, very healthy, and have had HSV for 10 years now. Confusion and rage might rear their ugly heads once in a while, but it gets better... you will find a way to manage this, live from a place of integrity and self-love, and learn to protect your sexual partners.


I have a problem with the word promiscuity: the negativity around it seems to imply that because we're HSV+ that we're sluts... well, news flash, that is so not the case (as you read the many forum discussions, you'll see what I mean).


HSV1 can be transmitted to the genital area by way of oral sex (no sore may be present, 70% of transmission cases that occur are due to an asymptomatic HSV+ person)... Stigma tells us that HSV1 is the "good herpes" while HSV2 is the "bad herpes". Pardon the language but that's bullshit. The strands only differ due to where they prefer to reside: HSV1 in the lower part of the brain; while HSV2 at the base of the spine. YET HSV1 has no problem residing in the genitals (boxer short area including buttocks, i.e. wherever there's skin). HSV2 can also be transmitted from genital to mouth but the chances of that--for unknown reason--are less likely.


The best way to minimize asymptomatic shedding is by using suppressive meds (valtrex or homeopathic) plus diet and exercise to crank up the immune system (although HSV is a nervous system virus that sheds through skin). Vitamins and aminoacids than aid skin health, e.g. Lysine and Vitamin E should become part of your regimen.


If you want to protect your sex partners, I recommend Valacyclovir 500mg daily plus Lysine/astragalus/olive leaf as a natural anti-viral addition. That's what works for me... try it! :) Our bodies are so different that you will have to try many remedies to manage HSV until you find the right combo.


Don't be fooled by miracle cures. It's time to crank up that inner wisdom thing, baby.

If you ever wanna chat some more... write me up. And welcome to the forum!! BIG HUG.



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Hey Carlos!


Thanks for all this advice! I don't really want to take meds if I can avoid it but if it protects my partners then I certainly would. Right now I'm just not sure how to start dating. I've heard that oral herpes is not as big of a deal but how can I even go on a first date if I can't kiss anyone without telling them first? I already feel bad because I've traced my initial infection to over a year ago and i've been with women since then. Plus this damn cold sore just won't go away and I feel like the world is looking at it. It's keeping me in my apartment like a hermit. Have you had any luck with std dating sites like Positive Singles?

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Dude, mikey! I'm simultaneously flabbergasted and inspired by your commitment to disclosure and getting to know this little virus. And yes, you've stumbled upon the strange conundrum of our beloved herpes virus: Depending on where it's located on your body, one place has zero stigma (unless you decide you want to serve it up for yourself) and the other place "down under" has quite a bit.


And yes, 80% of Americans have oral herpes. There was a great discussion on these boards a while back about whether people with oral herpes should disclose or not. Ultimately, I would love to open that discussion back up again: If 80% of a population has something, then doesn't it fall on the 20% who DOESN'T have it to reverse disclose (which might sound something like, "Hey, do you get cold sores? Because I'm the extreme minority who doesn't have it [yet] and I'd rather not get it.")


Mikey, my suggestion? Don't sweat it, bro. I know it might seem like a big deal sitting there on your lip for the world to see, but as far as society is concerned, it's nothing. If you catch someone looking, play along, laugh, point to it and say, "I know, it's a doozy of a cold sore, ain't it?" If you want to live like a hermit, realize it's you creating that for yourself, not the herpes. ;)


(Now if only we can get oral herpes' clear lack of stigma to spread — pun intended — to the one that pops up down there, we'll be golden.)

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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Adrial, You are the man. I don't say this because you just made me feel a million times better but because of this incredible support system you've put in place. You've taken a problem turned it into a purpose! I know that there are people out there that have it way worse than I do and they, we, are lucky to have you leading the charge! Thanks again for all that you do! Cheers!

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hey M-- to answer your question about herpes dating... I've been on and off for some years now but while i was ON i never made a conncection that was strong enough to cross into a face2face date. but that doesnt mean that things cannot be different for you. I think online dating requires patience... people dont seem to take it so seriously. and what i discovered at PS is that many people i might be interested in dont post a picture [?]


i dont like the clb/bar scene too much... its sooo expensive here in NYC and redundant. i might try other venues to meet people who are interested in dating... when i come across some prospects, i'll let you know 🙂

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