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The horrors of it all, new case of herpes.

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Okay, I've got both the HSV1 and HSV2 forms of herpes. My first thought, since tested in March 2013, was no way was this possible. So got retested, and guess it is. Not sure of what may have caused it as did have an old BF who is being as uncooperative as someone could be. And had a sternotomy to remove endocarditis in my heart in which many pints of blood were immersed into me upon having it. Yes, read that it is highly unlikely, but still have no clue so looking into the records of the hospital as well as asking the old BF about it.


So now in a prison of sorts. I had a current BF whom ran the other direction when he heard that I had this. A long story on that one as he claimed to have loved me for over two and a half years, but I was seeing someone at the time. So he waited, and waited until we set a date to meet at my shore house for a week. I was more concerned about his welfare, so said I would test as well. His reputation a bit more scarred than mine. And, neither of us were expecting this result. Ugh.


So now have a lifetime STD and don't really know what to do about it at this point. My first thoughts that I would be okay on my own, not young as I'm 53. Don't know about spreading the disease and I've not had a reaction to this date. Am extremely careful with my own body and know I've never had a sore on or near the mouth, and certainly nothing in the genital area. The numbers are high, so even with no reaction, have to assume this is a bad time for any sort of activity as they were 14.4 for the HSV2. Went to the gyno as well who saw nothing. Not very helpful nor was my doc. Was given a script for valtrex which is supposed to help. However, I've no clue as to how much as the most I've read about is 50%. And, without knowing when I'm having a reaction, it seems more than a little dangerous to be with someone who doesn't have the virus.


Don't even know what being with someone who does would do? Would different strains cause more of a reaction? Guessing oral sex for me out of the question, and not sure about for him? Many, many questions to be answered. More than a little confused by all of this.

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Hello katef and welcome.


The early days with H are the hardest. You've done the right thing by coming to this site. Download the handbook and read through it. Lots of helpful info. Maybe you can try to find a doctor in your area who has good knowledge of H. Sounds like you have not had much luck with them so far.


As someone whose had this 27 years now I can tell you it will yet better. Once you come to understand the virus you'll be in the drivers seat.

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Don't give up....don't say its a mistake...that's a cop out. Be patient. Sometimes you just have to get the right person responding.


Here is what I will say to you...I am in my 40s....think I have GHSV1....anyway, same age group, so maybe you can relate....Dancer is the site expert....but for now you have me.


I would say deep breath. Great! You have no outbreaks! You are extremely lucky! Yes, it makes it difficult to know when you are shedding, but its hard for everyone to know they are shedding, sometimes you have no symptoms...so everyone on here is going through the same thing.


Read the stuff on this site, people's stories, it will help. You will not be alone the rest of your life, unless you choose to be...lots of people on here have success stories and although now it is a shock to your ego and you are emotionally upset, time heals as they say and it will get better.


Using condoms and taking antivirals and not having sex at the time of your outbreak reduces the risk a lot!!!!!!!!! You can have oral sex and vaginal sex, just disclose and take normal sex percautions, condoms and dental dam if you want.


It's a rollercoaster wiht a diagnosis especially one that surprises you....be patient, I am on this site alot reading people's posts and it helps knowing other people are out there. I particularly like discussions from Dancer and Herry the Herp....you will have your favourites.


Get educated and you will feel better.


Good luck.


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Hello and Welcome


First - your sex life is definitely not over (Oral OR Gential!). I've had H1oral since I was 3 (there's a good chance you've had it since childhood) and H2gential since I was 17, and I'm 53 now. Had a 20 yr marriage (did pass it to the Ex, but didn't know that my rash was Herpes... it was the 80's and there was no education about it at all), have had two 3-year relationships since and didn't pass it on to them - one on antivirals and one without because he wasn't concerned about catching it. I've also had a few shorter relationships that just didn't work out in the long run who accepted my having H.


You may well have had this for quite some time ... so your ex may or may not be where you got it. I've had a client in my office (I'm a Massage Therapist) who had it for over 30 years (in a monogamous marriage) before her first OB.... and her hubby is still H- . And there are other cases like that out there.


I would suggest that you don't take the antivirals unless you are in a relationship seeing as you are not having OB's ... you would only need to take them for the other person's benefit. I get mild OB's nowadays and only take them when I feel something coming on.


So - the main thing is to make sure you tell a potential partner, and do what you can to protect them. Yes, you can perform oral sex. Yes you can have genital sex. The point is that you give the partner choice and you do what you can to protect them.


not young as I'm 53


Well, personally my sex life has got better with age ... I'm not about to give up on that. ;)


Hang around here, read the handouts and the FAQ section and ask all you need to ... I try to get on here a couple times a day ... it's all volunteer here so some days I'm more on top of things than others :)



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Thank you for the commentary. I know I had none of this in March of 2013, as tested after my 3 year relationship ended. Guess it may have been dormant for the time being. Never would have believed I had either of them and simply testing before beginning a new relationship.


I'll read some more on the site. Don't really understand how I could avoid giving it to another even with the medication as the best I've read to this point is 50%. If you know differently, please share. I thought oral with him would be fine since the medication is the same for throat herpes. Not really into the barrier protection, so thinking for me it's just not possible. With sex, then I suppose condoms would be the only way of affording more protection to him. Certainly would never want to give this to another. The doctors have told me 80% with both the medications and condoms.

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Ah - you are mis-understanding the stats:


The rate of transmission Female to Male is 5% for HSV2 ... when you use antivialrs you cut THAT rate in half to about 2% ... use condoms as well ( I know , getting a 50+ yr old guy to use condoms is a challenge because of the increasing ED issue that comes with age :( ) and you cut it by another 50%...down to about 1% risk.


So your Dr's are about right 80% reduction of 5% would be about 1% I believe ;)


Read the handouts to help you understand it more:


Handouts + disclosure e-book:




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Interesting, and thank you. I'll have to investigate the transmission rates, a chemical engineer, so just something we do. :-)


If just 5%, then the meds would bring to 2% which is not that wonderful, but nice to know. Thank you very much, WCSDancer2010!

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2% is only just a bit higher than your risk of pregnancy on BC, and your lifetime risk of death while driving a car (your risk of injury is MUCH higher). You get in a car every day and don't even think about whether you might die or get injured. While I wouldn't recommend having sex with H and not considering the risks, I tend to put things this way...


And 2% is one hell of a lot better than 50% ;)


If we get in our car, we do certain things to reduce the risk of injury to ourselves and others. We get a license. We wear a seat belt. We buy a car with Airbags... some also have traction control/all-wheel drive/warning systems/etc. We maintain the tires and brakes. We obey traffic signals and laws. And hopefully we don't drive impaired. Now, in spite of all that, we might be in an accident some day. Does that automatically make us a bad driver???? NO. Often the other person was impaired/didn't maintain their vehicle/ran a light/etc. But WE live with the consequences, and some of those consequences are life changing. Do we beat ourselves up for getting in the accident? Probably not. Would our friends ride with us in future? Most likely. EVEN IF you were "that guy" who is known for not being the best driver, most people would stand by you and be there for you. So why are STD's any different? Because once someone has that "accident" (whether it's their fault or not) they go into a closet and don't come out, don't talk about it, and don't get support while they heal. Imagine if that happened after every car accident? :/


Like everything, it's all about reducing the risk of harm to yourself and others, and then getting on and living your life. IMO we don't really have any other choice, with OR without Herpes ;)



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Yes, 2% much better... but the next question deals with no outbreaks. What are the transmission rates for someone that recently was infected and hasn't had an outbreak yet? My last test was 15.3 so assume that means shedding? It's so hard when one has no symptoms of the virus. Even the gyno said nothing to suggest it, even scraped an area to make sure. And, do know that I'm in the first year of having it, both the Herpes 1 and 2.


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Your test just means you have a healthy dose of antibodies ... I have not heard of any correlation between test numbers and amount of shedding. Yes, you are more likely to be shedding in the first year, and an outbreak is just shedding on overload.


If they swabbed an area and it was shedding (ie, they found the virus) you may want to wait a bit... but that just gives you the excuse to be intimate in other ways. That's one of the "gifts" of Herpes - we learn to find other ways to be physically and emotionally close to our partners when our risk of passing it on is increased ;)

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No, they found nothing. The current BF wants us to get back together, so doing that even with a new set of rules. Much better than losing so many tears over him as heartbroken doesn't even begin to describe it. Still seems to be many questions in his mind and I'm getting the result that he simply wants to make me happy. Nothing wrong with that, just hope he is as much interested in us as I am. So will spend some time investigating this issue, find a better doctor in infectious disease and move on from there. Thank you very much for all of your answers!

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