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(h)ello, world!

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I (28 y/o, F) am honored to become a part of this forum, which I recently found while dealing with a disclosure crisis. I have had herpes for about one year, and in this post I want to tell you a little about how I contracted it, and summarize my first, and so far only, successful discloser. I also have a second and failed discloser, but since that is more along the lines of “current events” I will post that separately. I've done a lot of reading here, and I am really impressed by the kindness and insightfulness of this community.


So I contracted genital herpes from a guy I was dating, who was open with me from the start about his status. I liked him, and am hesitant to judge or write off people so I didn't reject the idea of dating him because of it. (I also was working on a degree in public health, and had an idea of the disease's prevalence.) I wanted him to go on antivirals to reduce the risk of transmission, but he didn't have health insurance, and though we did get him to a clinic for the uninsured, the clinic didn't have a pharmacy. Maybe he could have had his Rx filled for a reasonable price elsewhere, but he never made the effort to find out. Not that this makes a huge difference, but it does tell you something about the state of health care in America, and our relationship. Like many people I've known, he didn't really enjoy sex with a condom, and it was cramping our style. I knew the odds of catching it unprotected, and decided to take them. Within a week of forgoing the condom, I had it. For mostly unrelated reasons, we broke up shortly thereafter.


My initial OB and the following two or three were very close together, maybe really all one OB, I’m not sure. My NP put me on acyclovir for the short term, but when it came back again and again over the next two months, she put me on it long term. I've been on it since. Actually, one of the hardest things about this has been dealing with medical professionals. I don't know about you all, but they seem pretty judge-y to me. I get things like, "He didn't tell you he had it, did he?" No, he did. I messed up, I didn't take care of myself. Why is that so hard to believe? What do you want from me? Things like that.


(I don't know whether I have HSV-1 or HSV-2; I was told it wasn't worth testing because it wouldn't change how I lived my life. I actually think it would, since HSV-1 is typically less virulent and less contagious when contracted genitally. Anyway, if I had to guess I'd guess it's HSV-2, because my OBs were pretty bad at first, and my ex reports getting OBs up to 6 times a year, which sounds like a lot to me.)


It was hard, as you all know, at first. I was mostly mad at myself for not taking care of myself, for letting it happen to me, for a guy I'd just go on to break up with. But overall I'm impressed with my resilience. Oddly, and perhaps tellingly, I've been in psychotherapy for over two years while this happened (for depression and anxiety), and I never told my therapist about it. (Or my psychiatrist, who should probably know what medication I am on (even though I'm not on any psychotropics at the moment)).


Only a few months later I began a new relationship. My first disclosure came at the end of a dinner of lasagna I'd made, at the bottom of an excellent bottle of wine he'd brought. It was our third or fourth date. We were kissing. He was a great kisser; very gentle but not passive, and I never felt pressured. I cried a little, but I got it out. He didn't even flinch. It was like nothing. We dated for 8 months and used a condom or dental dam at all times, and as far as I know he never contracted it. We broke up, because we were not compatible for the long term.


As you can see, I am terribly verbose. I will regale you with the story of my second and failed disclosure in another post, probably in another sub-forum. I hope this offers readers some insight into how a person might react positively to being told about herpes; I guess that's the theme here. Anyway I am glad to meet all of you, and am willing to answer any questions to the best of my ability. I look forward to getting to know you.

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Hello and Welcome!


Thank you for sharing your story ... it helps far more people than you will realize (we get over 30,000 hits a month on here... most just lurk) to see that H isn't the end of the world.


Just as a heads up, in future, if you are paying out of pocket, google "Online Prescription Card" and you will get a bunch of sites that can save you a ton of money on scripts (Up to 60%). As I recall my last Acyclovir was about $12/month.... I think it would have been close to $30 normally.



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