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New here. Overcoming initial shock and shame of getting herpes

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Hi everyone. I got the call from my doctor last Friday informing me of my HSV2+ diagnosis. I was, of course shocked, then scared, and ultimately ashamed. I'm 38 years old, separated from husband of 15 years about a year ago and have since tried to start a new life for myself. Adjusting to being single after 15 years has been hard enough and NOW I've added HSV2 to my single status. Joy. What's hardest for me right now is trying to figure out how I got here. I have had no outbreaks. I'm asymptomatic. My doctor informed me that most likely I've had this for awhile given my antibodies are at 8.1. I realize there's no way of knowing, but I haven't had many encounters except with a girl about a month ago and before that a guy who I've had an off and on relationship with for the past 8 months. He said he had a blood test previously and was negative. So I don't know, but I'm going a little crazy trying to figure it out. Along with trying to psych myself up to tell him and the girl, which makes my stomach turn a little. Anyway, I know I may never figure it out and I need to just continue working on accepting this new little friend I've acquired. I've seen it as a wake up call to respect myself more, take care of myself and put myself as my first and most important priority. I have told no one yet. I'm just not ready. So I am incredibly grateful to have found this site and read all of your amazingly supportive and informative posts here. I've consumed SOOO much information and suggestions on how to cope with this since my diagnosis, which has been helpful. This is just a tough blow after having already been through a really tough year of single life adjustment. I can only hope and tell myself it will get better.

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Also...I am a hot yoga addict, typically going 4x/week. I also like to bike when the weather is warm. I've been somewhat nervous about keeping these activities up, as I don't want to trigger an outbreak. But I also don't want to deprive myself of the activities that help me stay present-focused and help me release stress, so I'm going to keep going and just shower immediately after and hope for the best! Even though I haven't really had any symptoms aside from what I thought was a yeast infection (although now I'm questioning EVERYTHING) I have decided to start the daily suppressant (Valtrex) for peace of mind more than anything. It helps me feel like I am tending to this new diagnosis in one of the few ways I can. I have also read diet is important. Luckily I eat a ton of fruit and kale and stay away from sweets generally. Any thoughts on daily suppressant therapy even when not sexually active? Any other suggestions on ways to embrace this and take better care of myself are most appreciated!

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Sorry to hear about your diagnose, but welcome to our community. I am in a very similar situation to you as far as catching this while being separated. We are even about the same age. I was looking forward finding a new mate, but H has definitely put a stick in my spokes. I know I can still find someone really great who accepts H, I may just have to work a little harder at it now.


By the way, 8.1 is quite a high number and shows you have had the virus for some time. Any chance your husband may be the giver? It's not unheard of the virus staying in hiding in some people for as many as 20 years.


Apart from my initial ob I have decided to stay off any meds until I am in a sexual relationship again. I also want my body to build as many antibodies as possible, but since you already have a high count it may not matter that much for you. You taking valtrex may simply reduce shedding, more so than preventing actual obs. Instead of meds I take Super Lysine, zinc tablets, C vitamins and olive leaf extract. It has not kept me from getting reoccurring ob's, which I mostly thank my divorce for as we are in the very stressful final stage of things, but maybe it would be even worse if I didn't take these supplements. Besides, these supplements are all good for your immune system anyways so they won't do any harm.


As far as excercise I have had some bad luck getting obs after exhausting my body. I am hoping that once I put this stressful period of my life behind me, and fiving my body some more time to adjust to the virus, that heavy exercise will not be an issue for me.


Best of luck!

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Thanks you @ihaveittoo1975. You're response and suggestions are so appreciated. You're literally the first person I've talked to since finding out. I've been wondering about my antibody level in regards to what it means about how long I may have been walking around with HSV2 unknowingly. It makes me question everything and everyone I've been with for the past however long. But from everything I've read and what my doctor told me, I guess I'll never know for sure just how long I've had this. She just said it's likely I've had it awhile. Definitely not likely I got it from the encounter I had a month before my diagnosis. No idea about whether my husband could have given this to me. He had cheated on me years ago, but said he used condoms. So I guess he's suspect considering condoms aren't a sure thing. I also caught him having an emotional affair back in the winter of 2013, which led to our eventual end. But he swears they never did the deed. Who the hell knows.

I just feel so defeated. This past year has hit on just about every major aspect of my life: marital separation, legal issues, having to sell my house and relocate, etc. I actually joked with a friend not too long ago saying "the only thing I'm missing is something medical or physical going on!" Sure enough, I guess I jinxed myself. This is definitely the final blow. I'm scared of what the future holds. I felt so liberated and free after finally separating from my husband and now I feel trapped all over again. Im also scared that others will judge me and look at me differently. I'm already judging myself differently, but trying to stop. I know it's not helping my shame whatsoever. I also know it's not true. But damn. Coming to terms with this is TOUGH!

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Hello and Welcome!


Definitely sounds like you've had this awhile... I have a client who had it 35 years before her first OB ... so it's entirely possible you either had it pre-marriage, or your hubby gave it to you awhile ago - definitely that number wouldn't occur in 1 month post exposure.... AND, at this point it doesn't matter exactly when you got it... tho you may want to tell the ex hubby that he sould get a blood test done too :(


Regarding taking Valtrex... personally, if you are not in a relationship and not having OB's, I don't see the point ... once in a relationship, sure... take them if it makes you , or the other person, feel better. Your body is don't a great job of controling it... so IMO, if it ain't broke, don't fix it! :)


I want to keep this short as I have a lot more to check in on and I'm out of town .... but DO know that you will be fine (I've had it 35 yrs and that big-assed speed bump that I hit at age 17 is generally a tiny bump in my rear view mirror.). The videos and links below may help you to see things from a different/better perspective :)







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@GingerRita, I still do hot yoga regularly, although not 4x/week. But typically 1 - 2x/week. Not sure about biking, but I would just make sure you have a comfy seat. Actually my prodrome symptoms feel a lot like being saddle sore. But if I'm understanding correctly, you've been aysmptomatic? Has this changed? If not, I'd say keep living life the way that works for you! If it was working before you knew, there's no reason why knowing should change that :)

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@GingerRita I am 41 and have had the virus for over 15 years. Separated after 12 years and found myself single with herpes. At first it feels like a life sentence but you will learn it does get better. I have met men who didn't give a shit that I had herpes. They educated themselves and we played it safe. I also live a very healthy lifestyle and I was still getting ob's every 2 to 3 months after many years. Now that I am in another relationship with an H- man, I decided to take 500mg of valtrex daily and for the first time since I got the virus and I can tell you it made a huge difference to me! I have had one ob in over a year and it lasted 2 days. The meds protect my man and limit my ob's so I am all for it. If I was not in a relationship I am not sure if I would take it daily, just when I felt an ob come on.

You will find a new normal in your life, herpes will be a good filter for you to choose more wisely and to find a quality partner that loves and respects you. Don't let the shame win, you are the same person you were before and this little hiccup doesn't make you less attractive or less lovable. I have met some really great men, so I know they are out there!!! Keep educating and keep your chin up, it's not the end of the world :)

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Thank you @fitgirl, @WCSDancer2010, @chikitta13. I took the scary, necessary step of disclosing to the guy I've been seeing off and on for the past few months. We have the most amazing connection I've ever had with another human being, so this disclosure was honestly a little terrifying for me. His response was so much more than I could have hoped for. He wasn't at all shocked, angry or disgusted with me. He simply told me he was sorry I found this news out and that he doesn't judge me at all. That aside from the social stigma, he said "it's really and tremendously a trivial thing." He has even gone as far as to do his own research and find all sorts of silver linings for us if he ends up testing positive. For the first time since getting the positive diagnosis, I feel sexy again! Thank you all for being so amazingly informative and supportive. I'm starting to feel like everything is going to be okay :)

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