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My Herpes Story with Questions Inside


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Warning: Long Post Ahead lol. Here's a little back story I'm 23 and I recently found out in April 2014 that I have hsv2 on my genitals. What a shock that was to me as I've always gotten checked for stds, so for the dr. to say yep its herpes I went through so many emotions. I immediately bust out crying, then I was angry, and I was hurt. I was so emotional I had to stay in the dr.s office and couldn't drive home right away. That same day the dr. suggested that I get blood drawn, and I had a swab done and they both came back positive.

 

I had met the guy at work (1st time hooking up with a co-worker) and we clicked right away. Since I didn't know him like that I didn't want to have sex rightttt away so I waited like a month; what can I say? he was a charmer. So from December- April non-stop sex unprotected, kicking myself because of this. I talked to him about it and he admitted he had a herpes scare back in Nov. or Dec. and it was negative, but he never mentioned it to me. If he would have I wouldn't have had sex with him.

After all of this our "friendship" "relationship" became strained. I was stressed from school and work and he had family issues going on, and his phone got turned off. I haven't heard from him in weeks (2 months or so) until last night. I guess he went to the dr. and he had a swab because he had a bump and blood work done twice and that the blood work came back negative for herpes. I suggested that we both go to the dr together either his or mine he said he's ok with that.

 

He said his dr. said that his bump looks like hpv so we're waiting on his results. That'll be really awkward if he has hpv only and I have herpes and possibly hpv? don't know if that's part of std check up...goodness *long sigh*. So I've had 2 outbreaks since April not too painful, yet painful enough, and I've been taking the generic version of Valtrex. Valtrex helps with the itching and lessening the outbreaks but I can only take the meds with milk as it tastes metallic like, but lately Valtrex has been making my stomach hurt. I usually take 2 a day but now I'm trying out once a day again, after doing this a few weeks ago that's when I had my 2nd outbreak. I'm trying to see how my body will react without the meds as I am not a pill taker. Don't like pills.

 

My questions are why isn't herpes included in routine std check ups? If I asked to get tested for everything, then dammit test me for everything!! Is hpv tested by doing a pap smear? Because when I noticed the bumps..blisters (sorry for the ignorance) I went to my obgyn immediately. Dr. did a swab, blood work, and a pap smear. Positive for herpes, they called about pap smear I had bv also, and negative for everything else...He wants to see me tonight so maybe I'll have to settle with him for the mean time. I also have a different guy friend whose interested in me but it's a sticky situation at the moment. Also he likes to give oral and receive oral. I'm paranoid now about what-if I have hpv....If I continue taking Valtrex is that ok with or without condoms? since we can't re-infect each other? And he is SO in denial about the herpes, But I got herpes a few months after being with him so I assumed it was him, but I honestly don't know who I got it from...had a total of 7 partners in my life.

 

Sorry for the very long post I needed to vent. I'm the type of person where I keep everything bottled up then explode. I'm not angry with him as it was part my fault to, but I feel very misinformed. Maybe I should've paid more attention in health class. There's so many things I didn't know about herpes and there's so many stigmas attached to it. Now it's a part of my everyday life.

 

~Taylor01

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Hey there, Taylor!

 

Why isn't herpes included in routine std check ups?

Good question. The CDC doesn’t see herpes as a societal health risk, so it’s not included in the standard STD panel. That's the double edged sword to it "not being a big deal" healthwise (because we won't die from having herpes), while at the same time not taking into consideration the unfortunate stigma the people have toward this innocent little bothersome skin condition. ;) I believe if herpes were to be included in standard STD panels then the 80% of people who have herpes yet don't know it will know it and herpes itself won't be swept under the rug. That in and of itself will reduce the amount of stigma tremendously. The more people know about it, the less of a big deal it will turn out being.

 

If you both have the same strain of herpes, then you can't reinfect each other. Once each of your immune systems have the antibodies built up, then it's much harder to autoinoculate (spread herpes to other parts of the body). Just use common sense when it comes to avoiding touching actual herpes sores. Other than that, asymptomatic viral shedding won't spread herpes to other parts of your body unless you have a weakened immune system.

 

Here's a blog article on why it's so confusing trying to figure out who got what from who. There's a mixture of denial, ignorance and just plain bad medical field that all mixes together to create quite a bit of question marks and resulting frustration:

http://herpeslife.com/partner-said-they-didnt-have-herpes-how-did-i-get-it/

 

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. 

Helpful resources:

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Is hpv tested by doing a pap smear?

 

Pap smears will catch *some* of the 40-something strains of HPV, but there is another test that they do at the same time as the Pap that is HPV specific ... you may want to check to see if you got that done.

 

That said, the CDC reckons anyone who is sexually active at all will get at least one strain of HPV in their lifetime. Thankfully, only 2 cause warts, and 4-6 cause cancer (and it's very slow growing and very treatable if caught early) and the rest are just a nuisance and don't *seem* to do anything (there are some studies going on to see if there is any effect with getting more than one HPV strain ... if that changes anything.... we *still* don't know everything about STD's :( )

 

And I hear your frustration about testing... it's something we are working on over here to change in the future ;)

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Adrial- Thanks for the blog article and if I knew who gave me herpes it'd help me to cope just by knowing. Even though it wouldn't change that I have it.

 

WCS- I'll check to see if the dr. gave me the test for any type of hpv..probably not and that's crazy that the CDC does that. Maybe if everyone was informed and the way technology is progressing maybe just maybe there could be a cure in the future...wishful thinking...

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Taylor - Totally supporting you in your search to find out. I just have seen a lot of people go off the deep end trying to figure it out and sometimes it's a fruitless search with no definitive answers. There's certainly a happy medium between searching for the answer and then at some point knowing when it's time to put it to bed and move on. I trust that you'll get a feeling for when that time is if it shows up for you. Just wanting you to have the smoothest healing journey possible. :)

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. 

Helpful resources:

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Taylor..

 

The reasoning around the HPV with the CDC (that most people will get at least one strain in their lifetime) is in part because there are so many strains, in part because they don't have tests for all the strains (only for the cancerous ones), and in part because condoms are only 50% effective in protecting you from it.

 

From the CDC website:

 

There is no test to find out a person’s “HPV status.” Also, there is no approved HPV test to find HPV in the mouth or throat.

 

There are HPV tests that can be used to screen for cervical cancer. These tests are recommended for screening only in women aged 30 years and older. They are not recommended to screen men, adolescents, or women under the age of 30 years.

 

Most people with HPV do not know they are infected and never develop symptoms or health problems from it. Some people find out they have HPV when they get genital warts. Women may find out they have HPV when they get an abnormal Pap test result (during cervical cancer screening). Others may only find out once they’ve developed more serious problems from HPV, such as cancers.

 

http://www.cdc.gov/std/hpv/stdfact-hpv.htm

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  • 4 weeks later...

I will try and update in this thread or ask questions here

 

Thank you for all of these facts. I've been busy with work lately and school starts back up soon. But new question.....Should I feel guilty??

 

I was recently diagnosed in April of this year with hsv type 2. I recently started thinking of getting to know people as I'm learning to love myself all over again. I did take Valtrex twice a day but I've gone down to once a day.

So there was this guy I met online on facebook so I wanted to see if I could get to know him better. We meet up and we're talking, and asking each other questions. And he literally kisses me and pulls down my pants and goes to town. I did try to stop him but by that point its obviously to late. I am really feeling like he will catch herpes now because he performed oral on me with no condom or dental dam. I feel guilty. Should I feel guilty? I did tell him no and tried to push him away but I think he thought I was being a tease or something.

I have noticed that this guy didn't ask about any sexual related questions reguarding stds or anything prior to giving me oral. I should've seen his intentions with the kiss.

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@Taylor01

 

Well, #1 - NO means NO - not that you are teasing, not that it's maybe. NO means NO. Period. You are lucky that he didn't get violent friend. You should ALWAYS meet new people in a public place where you can get away if you realize your intentions are different.

 

So - guilty? Well, yes, you should have stopped him and you need to learn to be stronger with that. However, you have HSV2, and it rarely transfers to the mouth (only 1-2% of all new Oral HSV cases are HSV2... it just doesn't like it there at all).... so he's probably ok.

 

HOWEVER .... HE could have given YOU HSV1 if he carried the cold sore virus. So you really, REALLY need to start learning to insist on the STD talk, and preferably SEE their papers before you get frisky in the future :(

 

(((HUGS)))

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Everything just happened so fast. And my mom always said "trust your gut feelings" I should've left since it wasn't a public place. But I definitely have learned from this experience and do not want it to happen again. Now I'm thinking what if he has hsv1 ughhhhh. I'm usually good with the std talks and testing but it didn't happen this time,or with the guy who I think gave me herpes. It was a turn off for sure. Lesson learned.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I feel really lonely and vulnerable lately. So I just wanted to feel loved,a basic human trait after all. So the guy who I feel gave me herpes has denied denied denied to no end and we've had numerous amount of conversations about it. So a few days ago I got a chance to feel loved and it was wonderful. My mind set was he gave it to me so he can't 're-infect me. And if he was so adamant about not having it then why have sex with me. Not really an angry vent a mini success for me I guess. I have one of my best friends back before all of this happened we were stuck together like glue. I guess we've both had time to think about things these past few months

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Glad you are feeling better. I totally get your desire for feeling loved.... believe me (I've been single for several years now with a couple "false starts" so I'm TOTALLY there!)

 

My only *caution* is that if he is so adamant he doesn't have it, then he should be ok with getting tested. He can deny all he wants, but without a test to prove it, he is just avoiding the truth (either way). I've noticed that there are many who would just rather not know. They *think* that you HAVE to have an OB to have Herpes and they don't understand (or want to understand) asymptomatic shedding/carriers.

 

If you are ok with his refusal to get tested, that is your prerogative. Just know that people don't change that kind of behavior easily ... and men will show you exactly who they are in these situations ... so you now know that likely if things get tough he may be an "ostrich" type ... will stick his head in the sand and not want to face the truth (which in this case is getting tested to get to the truth ;) ). It doesn't mean he's a "bad" person ... but it's something you should recognize and choose to be ok with.....

 

Just don't ever compromise yourself in the search for love an affection.... ok???

 

(((HUGS)))

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  • 1 month later...

So, I've been doing good lately. I'm in a good place mentally, emotionally, and physically; and have been for awhile. I have my bad days every now and then but who doesn't. I've been lurking on here alot and post every once in awhile. I've disclosed to the guy who I feel gave me herpes,my male best friend, my 2 female best friends, and my mom. I told her first since I was a crying hysterical mess. But life is good! I was even thinking about writing a blog but I need to find time to do that.

Quick question: Will taking antiviral once a day rather than twice,with the use of condoms and no sex during an active outbreak help protect your partner? Or should I up my dosage of valtrex to 2 times a day?

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So good hear taylor!! Yay!!! Must feel pretty good to have the closest in ur life in on what u went thru, i know it has deffinatly helped me by telling my one guy friend and my one girl friend!

 

As for the meds.... im only on vacyclocir (cheap valtrex) 500mg a day.. for suppressive and to lowrr transmission to my bf....

i dont think u have to up the dossage... f*** that would get expensive over here in canada!!! Eeek!

 

 

 

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Thanks willow! And I'm also on the generic of valtrex..don't know how to spell it. But it does add up so instead of refilling my prescription every week it's every 2 weeks since I take it once a day. And I feel relieved to know that the people I've told thus far hasn't judged me.

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Valtrex/vacyclocir was created so that people would only need to take it 1x/day (as opposed to 2x/day for Acyclovir) ... well, that and the fact that they then had another 20 years worth of patent time to rape people for as much money as possible :p

 

Have you looked into getting an Online Discount Prescription Card? Just google that or Discount RX card ... it cut the cost of my meds down by 60% ...

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It's $10 per prescription. So if I take it twice a day...that's $10/week...$40 a month but lately it's only been $20/month because I'm stretching the meds out to two weeks.

 

So I had another talk with my "giver". I again suggested that we can both go to the Dr together. We've both had second opinions I'm + he's not, but I have a gut feeling he is. We've been having sex lately so now I really want/need him to go get retested. But I gave him alot of facts from this site and I'm going to print out the handouts :) I hope he was soaking up all of the info again. He asked alot of questions like:can you get it from sharing towels? Can you have genital herpes and get it orally? If someone has it could they live normally?...so I answered all of the questions that I knew the answers to,and the ones I didn't know I told him I'd find out.

I also wanted to go to the Dr with him because his dr seemed like he was annoyed that he came back twice to get tested for herpes...basically told him if a test comes back negative then it's negative and gave him a cream for what looked like hpv..idk though...I told him there is a such thing as a false negative. I think he's scared to really know.

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I *think* with the prescription card mine was about $16/month for Acyclovir ... but I haven't filled a script in a year because I only take it episodically now...

 

@Taylor

 

Blood tests are rarely false negative as long as the person is 3-4 months post exposure.... there are a *few* people who may take up to a year to come up positive.

 

Do you know what his results numbers were?

 

And you DO know that you may have carried H for many years and not had an OB? So it IS entirely possible that your partner is H- ;)

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No I don't know what his numbers were but thinking back it IS possible that he's negative. I just figured it was him since everything showed up 4 months after we had been intimate. We also had a conversation about STDs and he always said if he ever got herpes that'd be the worse, and he knows I have it and continues to have sex with me. So the wheels in my head were turning like he must have it

..Lol....so I don't know

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Hey hunny. I work in the medical field and Dancer is right. When you get your yearly pap smear they do not test for hpv. However, they do look for any abnormal cells. If there are any abnormal cells then they will bring you back in to do further testing. Hpv is very common. I do not have it but majority of my friends do. It can be dangerous since it can turn into cancer but that is why we have to get checked every year. Hang in there hun! It will get better!

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I get pap smears every year and so far no abnormal cells. I need to get another pap smear or check up soon since my Dr won't refill my birth control until I do. I still have a few more refills though.

I got a swab,visual diagnosis,and blood work. I guess I've been so stuck on who gave it to me, that I was content just knowing who I thought gave it to me. In a way it matters but it doesn't because I would have it regardless.

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