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I am a woman with herpes who just gave her boyfriend herpes. Trying to deal..

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I was diagnosed with herpes a month ago, right before a big move from Los Angeles to Portland, OR. I had a very small sore on the entrance to my vagina, nothing painful or remarkable. Because of the situation I was in with my move, I intended on just visiting with an OB-GYN in Portland and let my status go unchecked for a few weeks.


I was given herpes by my boyfriend at the time, by receiving oral sex while he had a cold sore. I was not informed of the fact that he had any cold sores or prior herpes infections.


Upon arriving here, I fell in love with a really great guy who unfortunately has also contracted herpes from me. We are both suffering through a very intense outbreak. My first "outbreak" could hardly be called that, but this one is very intense with herpes sores EVERYWHERE. He is experiencing extreme pain, swelling and sores. We are so sick, sore and messed up that we haven't left our apartment for a week, but things only seem to be getting worse.


Due to unfortunate financial situations, we don't have money to see a doctor. I visited Planned Parenthood but would have needed to pay 160 dollars upfront to visit a Dr., which I couldn't provide. So..we're trying to rough it out on our own because we have to.


We've been taking zinc supplements and have been slathering ourselves with vitamin E oil, because we read online that it could help. We're taking it easy and eating healthy and getting sleep, but we just need some insight about how long we can expect this to last..we're really suffering but we don't see any other options right now.



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Hi camelgiraffe,


Welcome to the forums and thank you for sharing! I'm sorry you're going through that pain of a first herpes outbreak. The first one is always the worst. Then your body builds up immunity to it so subsequent outbreaks get less and less intense/frequent. Also, genital HSV-1 tends to be less frequent/intense anyway since it usually prefers to hang out orally. Hang in there. First herpes outbreaks can last anywhere from a week or two. Can't you go to a clinic in your area? Usually local community clinics don't charge anything, if not nearly free.

Note: This is for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute medical advice or diagnosis.
I'm not a medical professional, so please take this as friendly peer support. 

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My pleasure! Glad to put you two at ease. Yes, the first herpes outbreak can be a monster. But definitely not representative of how your body will be responding to future outbreaks. Not in the slightest. :)


Dr. Peter Leone, an expert in herpes and STDs came to talk to our in-person support group Monday night. He said there is no population-specific data to suggest that any of these remedies help on a grand scale, but who is he to argue with people who do claim that they help (and there are plenty who do claim this)? In my opinion, if the outbreaks persist for much longer (which they shouldn't if you have a good immune system and are taking care of yourself), your best bet is to get a prescription to Valacyclovir or Acyclovir and take daily suppressive therapy. Here's an article on herpes medication:



... and here's the hour-long video of Dr. Leone's talk (I'm going to be splitting it up into more manageable pieces, but for now, this is a great overview if you have the time to watch it!


Note: This is for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute medical advice or diagnosis.
I'm not a medical professional, so please take this as friendly peer support. 

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