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Dealing with this new diagnosis

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Hello everyone,


I found this website and read some of the stories and I thought I may need some support. I am a 27-year-old male who was having a normal life just like everyone else my age: Work, family, friends, a girlfriend... you guys know the deal... Everything started in December when I got a nasty cold that turned out to be bronchitis.... I was very sick for about 4 days but then I started to notice a very mild rash in the genital area....didn't look like anything serious so I did not pay attention to it but because I informed my partner of the situation, we decided to withhold from sex until it clears out. This took a week and because it wasn't anything that looked "serious" I just went on with my life. Everything got serious with these rashes came and went constantly. I decided to go to the doctor when this rash came back for the fourth time. The doctor checked my genital area and she did not believe that it was related to an STI, although, she asked me the corresponding questions. The doctor decided to do a full STI panel on me that included HSV 1 and 2. However, the doctor did not worry about telling me that it can be H due to the fact that when she checked my genitals, there was only irritation. It was not until Valentine's day (yes, February 14th)... normal working day for me and excited about my plans that I had with my now ex-girlfriend when I get a call from my doctor's office at 1.40pm. When the person over the phone told me "You came back positive for HSV 1 & 2... the rest you came up negative", I could not believe what I was hearing. I was not very surprised when I heard HSV1, however, I could not believe that HSV2 came up positive for me also. My surprise was so high that I asked the nurse three times to give me my diagnosis because in my mind I thought she was telling me that I have chlamydia. I hung up the phone and immediately looked for my mother to tell what is going on. At first, I didn't react. I didn't cry or yell or got upset or anything... that is normally how I handle things when i am in shock, I become a very cold person. I remember I told my mother and came back to my room and got on my phone to find out more about this condition. I knew the basics but I needed to know more. One hour later, my body came out of shock and I started to cry... how did I get this? Who gave it to me? what's gonna happen now? questions that came to my mind. I asked my boss to give the rest of the working day off because.. i could not work... (i work at home by the way). The first phone call that I made was to who? yes... my girlfriend....I called her and prepared her for something delicate that she needed to hear. When she heard what my diagnosis was and why i was getting those "mild rashes" she got in shock... both my girlfriend and I are of Hispanic origin, and in our culture any sexually transmitted infection is socially stigmatized with being unfaithful, a cheater, a dog, from a person who does not deserve to have stable relationship and that he or she is paying for his/her bad behavior. Thus, my girlfriend became shocked and she could not say anything for almost 2 minutes over the phone. I began to educate her about the condition to the best of my abilities (i just knew the basics about it that you learn in sex ed). Her first questions was... I don't have any symptoms... but it may be that I also have it? I responded "you need to see your doctor and tell him that you may have been exposed to HSV-2. She became very upset and reacted according to how we have been raised and started to make accusations against me. I tried to explain to my ex-girlfriend that I could have this for years and not know about but she just would not understand that. We stopped talking for two weeks and then I called her to check on her see how she is doing... she tried to avoid the conversation if she has it too. I was patient until I called her and wanted to get an answer... she never really gave me an answer... she stated to me over the phone that "she cannot deal with my condition... so we are going to split up". I was heart broken... because I was accused, judged, and condemned that I was unfaithful to her because I came positive for HSV2 and because I was the one who had the symptoms. I became very depressed and my mood and my stress levels made my symptoms very worse. It was not until March that I went on a cruise for my birthday with my family that I had the tranquility to make decisions about my health and to accept this diagnosis. When I came back from my cruise, I went to see my doctor and made the corresponding decisions to manage this condition. Currently, I am on the suppressive therapy based on my personal wishes and my doctor's advise. I started to accept that I have this virus in my body and that it will never go away. I accepted that I will never know how long I've had it and who gave it to me. I accepted the idea that I have to be honest with my future partners and accept their decision to stay with me or to make their decision to go away. I also accepted the idea that it may come back from time to time and i will just have to deal with it. I never heard from my ex-girlfriend again and I'm not planning to look for her either. I still have some bad days when the anxiety kicks in and my symptoms get worse right away... and some days when i am fine and my symptoms are gone... I believe it is a matter of time that I will learn how to better cope with this. But something that I learned from having a conversation with my doctor and with the people who supported me through this is that I am more than just Herpes and this does not make me a bad person. This also does not end my life, and someone will come to my life who will be able to see through this virus and love me because she will see the essence of my personality and who I am. I take my medication as prescribed by my doctor, I try to relax and not think about this, and I do exercise and try to sleep 8 hours (that sometimes is difficult) I'm still new to this so any advice, comments, or tips to better handle the condition will be greatly appreciated. Thank you for reading my story.

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@Sweetsoulxo it really does get better. From what I remember, your SO does know about it and wants to be intimate. Get intimate with him and try not to worry. He knows the risks! Allow yourself to be you.....the you you always have been!!! After disclosure to my husband, we never gave it another thought. Start eating!!! I know you said you lost quite a bit of weight. Eat, sleep, exercise....all help to keep ob's at bay and you said your ob's are mild. That's positive and if you elect to take daily suppressive, you will likely never have an ob again. Have a great day!!!

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Thank you Katidid!!! You have a great memory!!! Did you ever get over the fear of transmitting it to your hubs? It's hindering our relationship big time! And I have been prescribed AV's, I guess I'm just scared if I take them everyday my immune system won't handle the virus as well? Whether this is a legitimate fear I don't know...but I have started eating again and trying to get back into the swing of things!

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@Sweetsoulxo Honestly, after I disclosed to him and he understood the risk, I never gave it another thought. He may have in silence lol, but never expressed a concern to me...ever!!! As to the AV's daily.....I was having approx 5 ob's per year. I went on anti viral a year ago this past Feb just to take the ob's to zero and just really to see if it worked. Well, after 5 ob's per year for 30 plus yrs, I have not had one since taking them...so, it certainly works for me thus far and I think it would reduce your concern/fear of transmitting plus it takes the risk so low esp female to male.

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@Sweetsoulxo I'd say it's a good thing he hasn't read the stories you've read. They feed the stigma and the fear around genital herpes. It's very possible that it will present in him the way it does for you, and it's possible he could have absolutely horrible outbreaks like I did for the first couple of years. There's no way of knowing. If your boyfriend isn't influenced by the stigma, free yourself from it as well! As you said, he may already have it, y'all don't know... Enjoy your relationship to the fullest and don't let your fear of passing it to him cause distance between the two of you. :)

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