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My Story/ Need advice

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Hello All,

I’m new to this site, but just from what I’ve seen already, I can tell that it will be a great thing for me to be a part of. I joined because lately I’ve been feeling depressed about my diagnosis. I just feel so worthless when I have and outbreak. Everything goes normal, then there's that smack in your face to remind you that you will never be able to just meet a person, date and fall in love without worrying that they'll leave you because of your disease. I began to look for support groups in my area (which is apparently too rural for that)- then I found you! I guess I should give some background and explain why I am writing this post:

A year ago, I was dating a guy that I had known sense high school. A couple months into the relationship, he asked to move in together. I was already looking for an apartment of my own and being a college student, the extra money was useful. The first time I slept with him, he didn’t really ask- he just kind of pulled down my jeans and started- which I guess would be considered non-consensual but it’s done. I did notice a very small bump in his pelvic region but it genuinely looked like something you would get from shaving- it was TINY. I asked him about it and he said that it was nothing and he had always had it and even lied and said his doctors had tested him for everything and came back with no solution. LIE!

A month later I noticed a small bump in my pubic area. I shave so I shrugged it off as an ingrown hair until I noticed how much it began to hurt as the day went by. I went to the doctor and she even thought it was an infected hair follicle. She was so sure of it that she gave me the option of not getting tested that day. But of course, my curious self had to go and agree to the cotton swabs. I was so confident that I was cleared when I left the hospital that when I got home, I joked with my boyfriend about how paranoid I was but I did suggest that we both get tested for STDs. Then he said something that I will NEVER forget: “If either one of us has anything, we can’t get mad at each other because we didn’t know.” A week later, a day after my 21st birthday, my doctor called me back and told me that I tested positive for HSV-2. He was positive as well.


I stayed with him because I assumed that I was in love. That is until 3 months later I noticed a smell coming from that area and tested positive for gonorrhea. Knowing that I got tested for everything when I tested for herpes and that I had been faithful, I was pissed. He was not only cheating, but being irresponsible as well. He allowed me to walk around with an infection for God knows how long, and I knew that the next STD he gave me might kill me. I moved out within the same month.

So here I am, a year later… Single and 22 years old with herpes. I have really good guys that want to pursue a relationship with me, but it hurts that I always have to turn them down due to my disease. I’m talking to a guy right now who’s been wanting to date me forever. It kind of works because he’s out of the country on active duty right now but he’ll be back next year. I really like him and I want to tell him before it becomes a relationship- so were just friends right now. I’m afraid that I might have to let him go as well because I don’t want to develop feelings for this guy only to have my heart broken. Like, what guy in his right mind knowingly takes that risk? I’m worried that this STD is going to have me floating around in meaningless relationships for the rest of my life.

I guess my question is how do you guys cope with it? Do you date people who don’t have herpes or do you only date other positive people? And if you’re dating people who aren’t positive, how did you explain it to them? How do you stay optimistic?




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Since you are friends with this guy that might be a potential partner, why not disclose now? I think it's perfect timing. If he's your friend, he isn't going to stop being so just because you have HSV. He might just surprise you and want to pursue a relationship after all. If not, you haven't lost anything. (And have gained someone that knows your status and that you can talk to about it). The relationships of your future are only as meaningless as you let them be. Sometimes being vulnerable can make for some strong bonds-friendship or otherwise.


I don't date because my left is a mess right now, but I'm past the point of coping with my diagnosis. I just accept it. I personally feel that I'm more than a virus, and if a potential partner can't see that, then that's their loss not mine. How do you stay optimistic? You feed it, nurture it, and knock the pessimism back where it belongs.

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It took me a while to get back into even wanting to date. I also had the same views. Who is going to want me? Who is going to be willing to take the risk? I've slept with 2 people since being diagnosed. One I knew had H already, so we already knew each other's status and the other one I told him and he didn't care. I've slept with him a few times since telling him. And as far as I know, he doesn't have H. I don't think I did a good job explaining to him. Like I fumbled over my words and I was awkward haha but he was just like ok.


I'm 30 and I've dated guys since, but honestly, life has gotten in the way before I've ever had to disclose. I do have someone from high school interested in hanging out again, and that makes me nervous bc if it gets to that point, I don't know if I'd want to disclose bc we have mutual friends. So I know where you are coming from. But I also don't want to let it stop something from potentially developing.


But as much as it sucks and as much as there is a stigma to genital herpes, it's the same as oral herpes. My understanding is that the main difference is where it lives in your body - at the top or bottom of your spine. So, you get cold sores, you just get them down there. There isn't a stigma with cold sores. Cold sores on someones mouth don't really deter people from dating someone. So why should cold sores down there? Mainly bc of the stigma and people being uneducated about it.


But to answer your questions - some days it's hard to stay optimistic. Other days it's better. Herpes doesn't change who you are. I still think I'm just as hilarious as I was before and that I have the same awesome qualities to bring to the table. But rejection sucks. Big time. Especially over something you can't change. But H doesn't define you. And you do not have to only date people who are also positive. It's scary to think about telling someone you have feelings for. But you'll realize they weren't right for you anyways. Just research what you can and don't make it a big deal. Because it's not. I know it feels like it is, but it's not. And I still have trouble with that too, so I know it's easier to say that. So just know what you have to offer and how awesome you are, and focus on that. That will help you build your confidence back up. Hope this rambling mess helped some! :)

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  • 4 months later...

Hello, this is my first visit to this site. Just over a year ago I developed a lump and a blistery looking patch about 3 inches from my waist on the right buttock. The whole area was very painful, burning and the blisters broke open. Upon seeing my Dr. she said it appeared to be herpes and suggested a blood test. I was in shock since my husband and I have been together for 16 yrs and neither of us had ever shown any signs of herpes before. My husband has never shown any sign of being infected before this time or since I was diagnosed. We are past 50 yrs old and I have not had any affairs and feel confident that he has not. My physician advised me that I could have had the herpes virus in my system for years and it had just then showed itself. I went for almost exactly one year before once again developing the hard lump and blistery area in the exact same place. It never appears anywhere else. The outbreaks are speeding up and just this month I've had 3!! My Dr. prescribed ValAcyclovir 500 mg twice daily for 7 days. I hate having to take these meds and try to get by with just taking one/day. I have noticed that just before an outbreak I will develop flu like symptoms and my temper gets shorter. I am at my wits end over this whole situation. It's depressing to me that I have no idea how I got this virus since my last marriage was 8 yrs long and to my knowledge my ex does not have it. If it's true that you can have it stay in your system for years before appearing, I'm thinking I could have contracted it in my younger days, but still cannot remember ever being with anyone who might have had it. The pain is pretty awful each time. I'm just grateful that it never appears anywhere else. My husband still shows no sign of any infection and I am very careful to wear underwear to bed when I am having an outbreak. Please tell me that others are just as confused and upset as I am.

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I found out I had herpes a year after my divorce. My ex husband and I were together 16 years and when I told him, he got tested and was negative. That means I contracted it 18-25 years earlier and had no idea. My primary symptoms were some mild itching and maybe a slightly red area that would sting to the touch once in a blue moon. I didn't think anything of it. Last fall I had my very first raised bump. It's maddening, but it's totally possible. I'm still surprised that the stress of the simultaneous divorce, basement flood and dog hospitalization didn't trigger an outbreak, and then I get an outbreak when I feel totally fine. It's an unpredictable virus, to be sure.

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