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Your herpes stories helped me. Time to share mine.

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Hello, everyone. This is my first post, but I have read through several of the discussions already. This has been a very supportive site. I am glad you exist and even more glad I stumbled upon it.


I found out about a month ago that I have HSV-1 genitally. I was dating a guy (let's call him Sam) who told me he had cold sores. Although, I do not claim to have the knowledge of herpes then as I do now, it did not bother me. I was very attracted to him. I felt that in the grand scheme of things, cold sores seemed like such a small thing. I did know it could be passed on through oral sex but I didn't know about the viral shedding. I have been very careful sexually with my partners, always using protection. We used condoms, but failed to protect when it came to oral sex. He was always very careful not to make contact or share if he thought he was getting an outbreak, so I thought I was okay.


As I was getting more into this relationship, I decided I wanted to get checked out because I wanted to begin having sex without condoms. I saw my doctor and she noticed my cervix was inflamed. She took swabs for my regular pap smear, gonorrhea, chlamydia, and bacterial vaginosis. All came back negative so I came back in and retook all those tests plus a swab for herpes. I honestly thought the herpes was a long shot. But sure enough it came back positive for type I genital herpes. The whole time they kept telling me even if it was herpes, it was probably something I contracted as a child from an older relative... yada yada. It is not an STD and a lot of people have it, etc. They definitely played it down and when I got the results back, I was confused because I was assured that it was NOT an STD. I had many questions, and I called my doctor back to get some clarification. She answered my main questions, and I did the rest of my research online.


The initial research was very disheartening. I found many sites but I was still filled with so many questions. I had difficulty finding specific information about HSV-1 genitally. I eventually found what I was looking for, but the sites weren't encouraging at all. When I came across this site, I knew this was what I needed. I went through a phase of anger and depression. After everything I would say aloud, I would finish in my head with "And I have herpes." I know it sounds bad, but it was kind of humorously theraputic for me. After several pints of ice cream, I began to accept it. It hasn't been bad for me, because I have never had an outbreak, or if I have, I haven't noticed. It was more the fact that I had a virus in me that I couldn't get rid of and I had the chance of passing it along, even if I took precautions. I found that reading the transmission rates actually gave me more comfort than all the rest of the information I came across. It is still a risk, but the numbers weren't as high as I had thought they would be. I learned so much.


Taking the story back to Sam -- I of course, cannot say with 100% certainty that he was the one who gave me herpes, but I think that it is highly likely. We were having some relationship issues. Before my diagnosis, I broke up with Sam. The next day I called him back immediately, and expressed my regret. He said he needed time to think about it and said he would contact me. Three weeks later I sent a message to him asking what was going on. He called me and said he didn't realize I was waiting for him. We had a discussion about everything and he promised we would have a conversation face to face. That day came and I heard no word from him all day. I called him again and he told me he didn't want to be with me, using several reasons and excuses for why we wouldn't work out. I know everything he mentioned was not the real reason for his decision. I suspect he lost interest in me and was attempting to spare my feelings. It was not easy for me because he was the first person in a long time that I had real interest in being with. I made myself vulnerable, and I am normally a very shielded person. I also know I should not want to be with someone who has so little regard for me. I am not angry at Sam for giving me herpes -- I am however upset at how he has treated me. Everyday since I've found out about the end of our relationship, I wake up in the morning wondering why I was feeling so down. Then I remember what's happened.


It seems like I am more devastated by the heartbreak than the herpes. I'm not very afraid of being rejected because of herpes. Not as much as I thought I would be. I've already told some family members and friends. I never expected them to look down on me or treat me differently because of my condition. I have always had a very strong support system, which I am very grateful for. I decided to finally post all of this because I wanted to release the poison, so to speak. I feel better, although I know I'll be sad for awhile. Thank you for reading this, and thank you for the existence of this site.

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I am so glad you are here. You have such a sweet spirit about you. Your post was such a sincere expression of your experience. I know what you write here will help others find comfort too. Sharing our stories in a safe community...and you are safe here...is such an important part of healing and moving forward. You are healing.


If you read my story, you will see I had some heartbreak mixed in with my diagnosis as well. I completely understand your sadness. Getting the diagnosis and then realizing the person you cared for and want to forgive and work through this new reality with doesn't want to be a part of your life anymore. It hurts. Keep posting here when you feel that and know you are loved. Love yourself and be gentle with yourself right now. Give yourself what you wanted Sam to give you. I am learning to do that when the sadness comes of feeling alone and isolated. The work of being the love of my own life. Sometimes its giving myself rest. Sometimes it's getting a pedicure or buying some new music and dancing all alone. Sometimes it is cooking something I like and lighting candles and curling up with good movie. In fact, I did that last night for New Year's Eve and I didn't have sadness. I was surprised I wasn't sad, but I really felt good. Peaceful.


Anyway, so glad you are here, Duckie. :) Keep posting and thank you for your vulnerability. You will find your way to a peaceful place about Sam. You will look back and have new perspective over time if you stay with yourself.


Sending you a warm hug...




[p.s. I deleted your extra post for you]

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I did get a chance to read your story. I related to your story on so many levels. It was very touching and I have so much respect for how well you dealt with a bad situation. I wish you hadn't been taken advantage of, but it has happened and you have moved on with your life. It tells me how far you have come to see how much you help everyone on this site. I appreciate your words of encouragement. It really does help me with my healing process. :]

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  • 1 month later...

Hi Rubber Duck,

I had similar experience than you seventeen years ago. While I went to doctor suffering from painful symptoms he prescribed some antibiotics and did not mention anything about the risk passing the hsv1 to someone else. At this point maybe Internet and computers were not as present as today in our lives, so I did not worry about it and the years passed.... I had two long term relationships and never had any issues with herpese. Never had cold sores or anything down there...


With my two partners we had unprotected sex and they never had any symptoms of herpes neither. I also have been pregnant and have healthy child. While I was pregnant I discussed with my gyneco and he also told me to not worry about it...


Recently I am reading a lot about hsv2 and found it very confusing while hsv1 genital infection is mentioned. I spoke with a close friend of mine who is doctor and she explained to me how different the two viruses are and that the hsv1 even transmitted genitally is rare to give an outbreak and remains a different than the hsv2 virus. That most of the people had hsv1 exposure while kids and have antibodies... Finally that the hsv1 is not so easily transmit able via sexual activity as the hsv2 if there is no outbreak...

Perhaps talking with your doctorswould help more than worrying while reading the information at these forums. Not certain that you need to take the same precautions as if you had the hsv2 And most importantly you are risking while disclosing to your future partners to freak them out about something that may not be a concern.



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