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My child has HSV1. How do I talk to her without scaring her?

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I feel like it just keeps getting worse. It's bad enough I have HSV2 - I'm still trying to cope with it after 2 years.


I noticed that my 16 year old daughter has a cold sore. She lives with her dad part of the time so I had never seen this before. I asked how long she's had cold sores and she said whenever the weather gets hot but she didn't want to talk about it. She has a boyfriend but isn't sexually active with him - we talk about this and I don't think she's hiding anything from me. She said she got it before she met him so it's not from kissing him. I'm also mad at the person who gave her HSV1 although I have no idea who it is - it could be a friend she shared a drink or lip gloss or anyone. I've tested negative for HSV1 twice so I'm pretty certain that it's not from me because I've shared food and drink with my kids.


My children don't know about my situation. I don't feel comfortable telling them and two of them are younger so they don't know what STDs and herpes are. I don't know how I should talk to my daughter about HSV1 and HSV2. Should I just not say anything to her about cold sores being a form of herpes?

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I think your daughter is old enough to talk about herpes and cold sores. She is 16 and she's had a boyfriend and that is a perfect time.


My daughter is 11 and I've already talked to her about it but at a level she can understand.


It's only a matter of time your daughter is sexually active if she isn't already and she needs to know how to protect herself and her partner since she has HSV1 orally.


I know it's hard. You don't have to tell her about you if you are not comfortable, but you need to open the lines of communication so you can protect her from getting worse things as well. Also, talking to her about intimacy and trust and when the right time for sex is. This is all part of becoming adult and she is definitely at the right age.


Don't know what everyone else will say but that's my opinion.



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I'm also mad at the person who gave her HSV1 although I have no idea who it is - it could be a friend she shared a drink or lip gloss or anyone.


Honey - 60% of young people have H1 oral by the time they are young adults. This is because young people share drinks and babies "kiss" and doting Aunties plant big smooches and none of them know about how H1Oral is spread... and many don't know they have it. So let go of your anger at the person who gave it to her....they were likely another kid who had no idea about it.


@whitedaisies is right. Your daughter is at an age that you need to have these conversations, because the Sex Ed classes in schools are woefully deficient and teach that condoms protect from EVERYTHING .....


Let her know that while Oral sex is often popular (and kids think it's a "safe" alternative to sex) with kids, that it carries the possibility of passing H1 to the genitals and that 50% of all new cases of genital H is from oral sex. Tell her it's nothing to be ashamed of, just that she needs to be educated and become aware of how to protect her partners when the time comes. If she knows her prodromes/triggers, she just plain needs to avoid kissing and oral sex during those times. And yes, this may be awkward, but she'll thank you later.


I told both my daughters about my status when I talked to them and I think it helped them to understand why I was insisting that they make sure to always be tested for everything ... in fact, my youngest got Chlamydia from a BF (they didn't have a test for guys at the time so he was an unwitting carrier from his last relationship) and it took 2 tests to get it but she knew to ask for it and got it cleared right up.


Perhaps you can print out the handouts from here for her too






... and facts from other sites about STD's and testing. Don't rely on the Sex Ed classes to help. And also, get into her head that even if she's on BC (and make sure she knows to come to you when she feels she's going to get sexually active ... mine both did) that she HAS to insist on a condom not only because of STD's, but to avoid pregnancy. My oldest got pregnant on BC. I tell young guys all the time , you don't want to be a Baby-daddy ... wrap it up and don't rely on the girl to take all the responsibility ;)


She may sigh and act embarrassed but she'll thank you later when one of her friends confides in her that she's pregnant or got an STD .... ;)

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