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Freaking out about this news.. Devastated.. And have a million questions.. Please help!!!

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Hello there! I am brand new to this community, as I was just diagnosed this past week. I am going through all of the emotions, as you all likely know so well: devastation, denial, anger, sadness, hopelessness, confusion, feeling "dirty" and as if my life is over. My life was already in a crazy transitional state (separated from my husband for almost a year with a 2 year old daughter), and now this happens.. One bad night can really change your life in ways you never imagined.. I have plenty of friends with H, and I am pretty sure they lead normal, fulfilling lives, but I never thought it would be me, especially since I was committed in a relationship/marriage for the last 7 years. For the last few days, I've been struggling to seem normal and stay positive, but each day I find myself more and more numb to life. If it weren't for my daughter, I do not know if I would have the strength to go on.. I can say I was lucky enough to be proactive at the sight of a tiny red bump and made an appt ASAP and have been on Valtrex since then.. Really hoping it kicks this OB out fast!!! Well, that's pretty much my story and where I am at the moment.. Now for my questions.. I have a million :-/ I have done nonstop research since the diagnosis (probably the reason I cannot sleep), but personal advice from people with H is what I am looking for! Thanks so much!!


1. How easy is it to spread the lesions? Can I spread them wiping or washing if they are open ulcers? I started off with 1 bump and now I have more and I've been very careful not to touch them, but I'm paranoid that I'm spreading them myself :-(


2. I am an avid runner.. I run a few half marathons a year.. Can I still run with herpes or will it cause bad outbreaks?


3. Do I need to change my towel every day? I do not dry myself there with the towel anymore, I've been using toilet paper.


4. Can I use tampons during my period? If I do during an OB, will it spread the lesions up there?


5. Does anyone have any OB remedies to share.. Anything you do aside from antivirals that helps your OB subside quicker, make the symptoms less severe, or that you've found helps eliminate them and make them less frequent?


Thank you so much for reading! If anyone has anything to add, any advice or just anything positive, please feel free to share! I am in need of support ASAP!!! Thank you so much!


Trying to keep my "chinup"

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ive only had one sore each OB. an havent spread it. i shower twice daily an use the same towel. an have still never spread it. if you do touch the sore wash your hands with soap right away.

i have a very physical job an im not planning on stopping because of H.

i also use tampons. my period actually seems to be my trigger lately.

i dont take meds. i take 1000mg lysine daily. if im having an OB i increase it to 3000mg an after each shower i put tea tree oil on a qtip an rub it in on my sore. i also take epsom salt bath at night before bed. it definetly relieves the itching!!! an calms me down!

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Thank you so much for your feedback!! Do your OB happen in the same place each time? I've read a lot of different information online and some of it is very contradictory.. I am really trying to come to terms with this! I actually started my period today and I'm terrified to use tampons.. And I've been a tampon girl since my teens! Not taking any meds, how often do you have an outbreak? I certainly don't want this to hold me back or put my life on pause! I'm a health fanatic who works out almost every day and runs whenever I can.. I cannot and will not give that up! I'm 4 days into my first OB and luckily (when I've had the courage to look) I have only noticed a few bumps. That might be because I got on the meds so fast, but I'm hoping it clears up fast. How often do yours usually last? Also, do you have any problems shaving?


Thanks so much!!!

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i havent had it for that long ( well truth be told im not sure exactly when i got it. coulda been april or ive had it for awhile an was asymptomatic) my OB have been in 2 spots. first an third OB were in the exact same spot

i only get one sore. an each OB the sore has been smaller an smaller. from the day i notice it till its completly gone is 5 days. i had an OB in april. one in july an one in august.

i shave. although it could have been timing or the shaving... im not sure if it helped to cause my last OB

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Well I'm happy to hear they don't seem too bad for you.. Do you have any personal coping advice? Anything you've done to help come to terms with this? It's only been a few days for me, but each minute I find myself thinking about how my life is "ruined"... I keep trying to suppress these thoughts, but I'm STRUGGLING. I'm having trouble eating and sleeping, and that's not good for healing these things... Really looking for support and guidance.. These forums are encouraging and helpful!

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honestly.. i kinda just accepted it from day one. i admit i do struggle sometimes. as time goes by it gets a lot easier especially when youre not having an OB. im pretty okay with having H the only time i get upset is when i think about disclosing. but i even know thats not the end of the world. all id say to you is that change your negative thoughts the second they pop into your head. an remember that 80% of people have this. its an annoying skin condition

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Hello and Welcome! Glad you found us!


First thing. BREATHE! As you said, you have friends who have it .... do they act like their life is over? Would you know they have it if they didn't tell you? My point is, you just joined the 15-20% of the population with genital herpes. That means 1 in 5 or 6 of all the people around you has it too. Yes, it seems scary now....but believe me when I say you can get back to a normal life where H barely affects you. I'm a 35 yr veteran and it's not even a blip to me any more.


So - to your quesitons: Many have been answered many times... you may want to check out the FAQ's and read the handouts and such (links below). And get the hell off Google - there's soooo much crap out there about H. Only go to trustworthy sites (here, the CDC's site, Westover Heights, my blog SupportTruthAndDialog, Medhelp, etc.) Be careful of any group where negativity is allowed, or any site that tells you there is a magical "cure" for herpes.


A few quick answers and links for you


1) Yes, you *can* spred them for the first few months until your body develops the antibodies ... BUT, soap and water effectively kills it quickly. So you can touch and wash the area ... just make sure to use soap and water after on your hands (ie, normal sanitary practices).


2) It may cause issues for the first few months while your body acclimates to controlling it. There are a number of runners on here who I am sure will chime in with their experiences. This is a relatively recent discussion on exercise and Herpes: http://herpeslife.com/herpes-forum/discussion/comment/16714


3) No. The virus generally dies in cool or dry environments


4) Generally you should be ok - if your lesions are right on the edge of the vagina you may want to try to keep the applicator from touching the area for a few months as you insert it but after 4 or so months you should be fine...


5) http://herpeslife.com/herpes-treatment/#more-2122




http://herpeslife.com/herpes-forum/discussion/1624/herpes-medication-genital-hsv-1-how-to-keep-herpes-outbreaks-clean-dry#Item_22 My discussion amonium Alum)






6) shaving http://herpeslife.com/herpes-forum/discussion/comment/16220


As for coping. Come here. Ask for support. Talk to the friends who you know have H. Get into a support group. Use the Search bar on the right to find answers to your questions even faster.


There are sooo many great discussions on here.... read as much as you can ... I don't think you will find a more "Positive" place to be with your H+ status ;)








Handouts + disclosure e-book:



Herpes facts video
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Thank you both SO MUCH!!!! I've been reading as many posts as I can on here in my free time to help cope! There really is a lot of positivity and it's really magical! Thank you so much for all of your input and advice! I will certainly check out all of those links!!

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Oh @wcsdancer I watched that video last night and it brought tears to my eyes... Although I'm not sure anything will make me "feel better" at the current moment, it definitely helps! I've thought about contacting someone that I know, but I'm not ready to disclose to anyone yet.. My life is in a VERY transitional state (separated with a 2 year old daughter..) and I'm not ready for anyone to know yet. I've been trying to find a local support group, but I'm not having any luck.. People keep saying that these groups are hidden on meet up.. Not sure how you find them lol!!!

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Maybe this will help:




Yeah I dont know how to find them either... I tried putting in HSV or Herpes with "any distance" and none showed up.... we need some kind of "underground" system to get the word out about them to the people that need them ... I get that the whole idea of "invitation only" is to protect the members but it's keeping so many that NEED the support from finding them :(

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Yea, unfortunately it's not a possibility for me at the moment... Although I would love to attend! I have another quick question.. So today I got the official diagnosis.. HSV2 positive.. I already knew deep down, so it wasn't much of a blow to my heart. I've really been doing my best to stay positive and come to terms with this.. I just keep telling myself that it really could be WAY worse.. But anyways, the doctor didn't offer to put me on suppressive meds.. She told me to call if I have another OB.. WHAT???? I was immediately put on meds when I got my first bump... And 4 days later it's gone.. I don't want to wait for another OB!!!! Is it not my choice to be put on meds if I have insurance and am willing to pay the cost of the meds?? What's everyone else's experience been with getting on suppressive meds? Part of the reason I was able to cope was because I was under the impression I'd get right on some meds and be "ok" for the most part. :-(

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Well, if you are not dating and you are not having OB's or they are pretty minor, I don't see why you would want to be on the meds. I think its useful to have them on hand in case you DO feel an OB coming so you can take them for a few days to help your system gain control, but if your body is controlling it on it's own, and you are not worried about passing it to a partner, why would you want to be on them full time? It IS your choice (at least, should be in the USA - Canada and Europe often won't put you on them unless you are having a lot of OB's.) But it certainly sounds like your body is fighting it well ... a 4 day turn around is great for a first OB so I would be tempted to see if you really need them ;)


As for being "ok" - if you mean for dating, you still should disclose - the meds will lower their risk by 50% from whatever your starting point is (F-M transmission for HSV2 goes from 5% to 2.5% .... about the same risk as getting pregnant on BC) but it doesn't remove the risk completely ....

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Well I think the only reason I had a 4 day turn around was because I got on valtrex as soon as I saw the bump.. Literally 24 hours after I saw it for the first time I was in my OBGYNs office getting tested.. I have no idea how it would have turned out if I waited it out to be seen :-/ the dr just told me to call if I get an OB.. I guess I'll just have to wait and see what my body does.. And that terrifies me!! I am not "dating".. But I do have a husband that I'm currently in a sep from.. We were possibly going to see if we can work it out, but I can't imagine him wanting to be with me now.. And as for "ok", I just hoped for minimal OBs.. Trying to make life as normal as possible.. I have a 2 year old to run and play with.. I have a job to thrive and succeed at.. Was hoping suppressive meds would make that more of a possibility.. When I was originally seen last week, the dr who checked me even asked me if I would like suppressive therapy.. I guess that's why I was under the impression it was my choice. I guess I'll just see what happens!!!! :-/ thanks for your feedback.. You're a great help!!!!

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Certainly the sooner you get on the meds the better they work - the studies say something like within 72 hrs from onset is optimal and many are in denial or can't get to a Dr that fast.... so good for you for being proactive ;)


Hmmm - the separation from the husband is a sticky wicket... you will certainly have to face that at some point if you consider reconciliation, but don't write him off. Hate to say it but he's a guy and you don't know that he hasn't turned to someone for comfort as well ... he may have just got luckier than you in the outcome :/


Again, suppressive meds are not necessary for a "normal" life. MOST people with H don't use them unless they are in a committed relationship or just can't control the virus through a good lifestyle and diet. You *could* insist on them ... but why do it if you are just taking them "just in case" as opposed to it being a necessity ;)



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Oh, he's been in a few "relationships" since our separation... So it's no secret there lol! Only time will tell about a reconciliation.. I only plan on fully disclosing to him if we get to a point where we are ready to fully recommit to eachother.. Otherwise, he never needs to know, in my opinion. I am really trying to stay positive and tell myself constantly that ths does NOT change me.. It does NOT change who I am.. I can and will still live a normal life. I just have to do things a little differently than I did before. I keep trying to count my blessings and just be thankful that I don't have a life threatening disease.. I have all my limbs.. I have all my senses.. I have wonderful family and friends and the most amazing daughter who I have the pleasure and joy of watching grow up every day. It really could be MUCH worse. I'm pretty healthy, so I'm hoping my body and mind can help control this as much as possible without meds.. But I'm still going to call and see if I can get a script "just in case".. Just to have on hand if an OB starts.. Especially with the long weekend ahead and my meds run out on sat. I also bought lysine yesterday.. Have you have good experience with that??

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Well if you have both been playing the field, then even if he used a condom he *could* have been exposed to H as well ... and you are right, he doesn't need to know otherwise.


I always think it's a good idea to have the meds on hand to knock an OB down more quickly... studies show that if you get on them within 72 hrs of the first symptom they are more effective ...


I don't use L-Lysine because my body has it well under control but many do on here and they report that it works well for them ;)

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Yea he had an std test after the first girl friend.. I'm wondering if he knew to ask for a herpes test.. Doubt it. One positive thing about my estranged hubby is that he's all about the facts.. If I disclose to him, I know he will research the mess out of this and really make an informed decision. I think he will be hurt and upset about the reality of our "separation", but at this point, it is what it is. I am hoping if we get to the point of reconciliation and I decide to disclose, he will take his time and not just dismiss the idea of a new life with me. I have to admit, I feel extremely guilty about how I've thought about my friends that have this.. Not that I thought negatively if them or anything, just that I wasn't there more for support.. It's so sad how uneducated we are about this "skin condition" until we end up with it. It sickens me the terrible stigma that comes along with it!! And the fact that it's not included in general std testing.. Something really needs to be done!! Anyways, calling the dr this morning to beg for an "in case of an emergency OB" medicine... Wish me luck!!!! So far though, 1 week into this whole thing, I'm feeling pretty good! I've never paid more attention to my body and how I'm treating it. Time to really treat it like the temple it is!


I'm glad you have it under control!!! You are a great source of positivity on here! What you and Adrial are doing is great.. More positivity, facts and awareness really needs to be put out there!!!

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And I just got a suppressive script called in!!! 90 pills with 3 refills! Dr said I can take them daily if I want, or just have them on hand for when I feel an issue approaching.. I think I'm going to take my current pills and finish it out, and then wait and see how my body reacts to no meds.. If I feel it coming on, I'll start taking the meds daily. Going to give my body a shot at fighting this on it's own!!! Feeling relieved though that I have back up, just in case!!! :-)

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I found my local meetup groups thru googling support groups and checking their links. I don't think any show up in meetup search. just an fyi. and while I have no knowledge because I just had my diagnosis, ive read in here that going off suppresives can sometimes bring on OBs, seems like its a cold turkey thing. might want to look into it.

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Yea I was just diagnosed a week ago and have been on valtrex since.. My script runs out on Saturday, but I have a suppressive therapy prescription ready to be picked up and used how I see fit (per my dr). Not sure if I should start right away on them (one 500mg a day) or just see what my body does.. Honestly, I'm terrified to stop the meds.. I've been taking 1000mg twice a day for almost a week! I think that's why I've felt so "normal" the past few days. But anyways, I haven't had any luck finding local support groups, unless I'm just not looking in the right places. :-/

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hey chinup. I did a google search for herpes support groups. I found sites that listed them by state and then looked in my area. im in the tampa bay area and we have one here and one in Orlando on meetup . however you will not find them by searching meetup and they are password protected. I had to contact the local website and then make a meetup account. I used a different email as I had an account and wasn't sure how it would display. they sent me a passcode and wala, im in. I have yet to participate as I was already busy. its more of a social group here, get out and do things to feel normal again. the Orlando one has an actual support meeting every 2 months but that's almost 2 hours away for me. I did talk to someone from the meetup group, we spoke for 3 hours and she was very helpful and comforting. has had H for 5 years, a nurse, etc.between her and my disclosing to a friend I have settled down considerably. plus dancer is always there and whitedaisies also. gotta give those two props, no two lovelier nor better women have ever lived.

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