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New diagnosis- reassurance appreciated!

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Hi everyone- it's nice to meet you all. I was just diagnosed with HSV-2 within the last few days and I'm still trying to process. I think for me the shock comes from having very few sexual partners and always using condoms and being in amonogamous relationships-so it is a little bittersweet to swallow that I was responsible and did everything I thought was right but still contracted this. Culture and bloodwork point to this being recent- my bf has never had symptoms and didn't realize he had it.


My feelings range from shame to guilt to not a big deal to overwhelmed. I feel a little all over the place. My head knows that in a few days/weeks I will be in s better place of acceptance but I'm just not there yet. My biggest fear is when will the next outbreak be and how bad will it be. I already have a compromised immune system due to other illnesses and I am scared for the severity and the frequency.


I appreciate having s place to just honestly express my emotions- any insight is sincerely appreciated.



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@Kasdan I'm sorry to hear of your recent diagnosis. I can understand why it would feel particularly shocking and perhaps unfair when you have had few partners and have always practiced safe sex. I think society tends to send the message that herpes is something that happens to promiscuous or careless people, passed along by other promiscuous and careless people. The reality is that it is simply a risk we take when we are sexually active as lots of people have it, lots of those who have it don't know it, and condoms only offer partial protection.


Personally, I've had more partners than is typical, so I actually find comfort in the fact that I feel it would be kind of unfair if I did not have it by now, considering half my same age single female peers are infected with HSV2. It is true the risk increases with number of partners *but* it might reassure you to know that 5% of women who've only ever had ONE sex partner are infected with HSV2 and 20% of women who've had 2-4 lifetimes sex partners are infected with HSV2. In other words, it is not uncommon among women who've had very few partners. Being HSV2+ is not a reflection of your past sex habits, aside from the fact that you're an adult who has had sex in her lifetime.


The CDC recommends against testing in the absence of symptoms, even though most people don't have noticeable symptoms. At the same time, the CDC says the best way to remain HSV2- is to either refrain from sex or have sex with a partner who has tested negative. But because routine testing is not done and is even discouraged, there isn't a big pool of people out there who have tested negative. There are people who incorrectly believe they have tested negative because they have been tested for "everything" and there are people who incorrectly believe they are negative because they don't get genital ulcers. Given the way this system works, what happened with you and your boyfriend was not an unusual outcome, unfortunately.


I know there are others on this site who share your experience of having a compromised immune system. I can't speak to that. But I wanted to chime in on the shame aspect you mentioned. I'm so sorry you're feeling that way and agree with you that it's normal to feel that way right now and that it will likely pass soon. Hang in there! (((HUGS)))

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I was recently diagnosed with herpes - type HSV1 but it appeared as a genital outbreak. Symptoms appeared about 3 days after I had sex with my partner of just over two years - after we had broken up for a couple of months. Based on the symptoms I exhibited (flu like, high fever, very painful urination), I was told it was very likely a brand new infection.


My (now ex) partner insisted that he was always being tested for 'everything' and was fine (which now leads me to wonder why he was 'always being tested'..., but that's another story). I had to be the one to tell him that HSV is never routinely tested for (something I was also not aware of). He eventually texted me to tell me that he had been tested for everything, including herpes and that 'thank goodness' he doesn't have it.


I'll never know whether or not he is telling the truth, just as I'll never know if I've been carrying the virus around myself for years without showing any symptoms.


I understand that the INITIAL infection (at least with the HSV1 strain) would have been caused by having oral sex or perhaps digital penetration with someone who has the virus. Whether they were symptomatic, or asymptomatic but shedding at the time.


What I'm still not clear on is SUBSEQUENT outbreaks. Will they only be brought on under the same scenarios as above, or can they occur spontaneously brought on by things like stress? I can't seem to get a clear answer on this. I know people who have had oral cold sores (the same strain of herpes) and the cold sores seem to appear randomly.


Any enlightenment would be greatly appreciated.


Thank you.

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