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Is it possible to not have any outbreaks after the initial one?

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New member here looking for your input. I discovered the scary, painful blisters 48 hrs after having sex with a man two years ago this Halloween. It was a month of excruciating physical and emotional pain, and the assumption I could never have sex again. I promised myself I would disclose before I ever did get sexual with someone, but who would want to risk that?

So here I am, turning 49 this month, not even so much as a kiss with a man since 2015, and it's getting old. So, I have a couple questions. I realize this affects everyone differently, but I have not had one outbreak since the first, that I'm aware of anyway. I feel like sometimes when I shave that it feels a little sensitive after, but it has never burned when I pee, and I've never felt or seen a blister. I'm on valacyclovir daily, and have been since the start. Are there any solid signs that I could be having an outbreak, minus sores and aches? The initial outbreak gave me nerve pain down my left leg that was bizarre. I'm just mortified of getting back into sex, assuming someone would even go there. Obviously I would require a condom, I'm just scared it will never be as enjoyable as it was before this (not because of the condom, just that maybe the area is physically different). Any experiences would help, I really appreciate it.

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Yes, it's possible.

My physician officially diagnosed me 2 years ago, however she thinks I've had it over 30 years.

Back then, I was also in excruciating pain, couldn't walk, and presented to er with classic h symptoms/breakout. I went all those years without a noticeable symptom. Then, 2 years ago I thought I had a uti/yeast inf or something. Upon internal exam (like for a pap) he found 1 lesion healing, 1 forming, and did a culture. Without the internal, I still wouldn't know it.

Everyone reacts different, but yes, you can have it, and never know.

After that, still, I've had no other symptoms.

Good luck.

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@Rockies17 I'm near your age, tested positive around the same time, and have been infected for who knows how long. I have HSV2 and don't have outbreaks but take antivirals to reduce transmission risk.


I'm divorced and in a casual dating phase of life. Most of the prospective partners I've disclosed to have been accepting, totally fine moving forward, and did not appear to dwell on the risk.


If it helps any, if you have HSV2, bear in mind more than half (55%) of single women our age (in the U.S.) have HSV2 and most don't know it and aren't taking precautions to reduce risk. About an equal number are *unknowingly* infected with HSV2 as are uninfected with HSV2, with a small number in the middle who are infected and aware and able to take precautions. In that sense, the risk we pose is very average. We pose more risk than those who are uninfected but less risk than those who are unknowingly infected, assuming we are utilizing knowledge of our infection to reduce risk.

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@Rockies17 Regarding the shaving, are you taking 500 or 1000 of Valtrex? If you're taking 500, if your doctor approves, maybe you could try increasing to 1000 on the days you shave to see if it makes a difference? I've seen many people comment that shaving and other types of friction (such as rough sex) can trigger symptoms for them, though I think this varies person to person.

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@Rockies17 Sorry for the multiple comments but I forgot to address the part about whether sex feels different. Not for me. Feels 100% the same. Perhaps it would help for you to think of it like cold sores (oral herpes). Imagine someone contracts oral herpes and has a very obvious outbreak of cold sores and then never gets a cold sore again, or maybe gets a cold sore once a year after that. Would kissing feel forever different to them? I've never had a cold sore but I can't imagine history of cold sores would make kissing feel different for someone. JMHO.

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@Bamina3, thank you for the feedback. I was tested every year with my gyno for everything because I was pretty sexuality active, so I'm fairly certain it was from this one time partner, who denied he had it, yet volunteered someone else had told him they got very quickly after being with him. @optimist, thank you as well for your feedback. As far as it feelung different, I know it's just a mental thing, it's just that I have always been very confident sexuality, and I feel at this point I wouldn't even know what to do with myself because it's been so long. I take the 500. After shaving it feels almost like razor burn, but not to the point of lesions or burning when peeing. Ilk just hold of on the full grooming, no one will notice at this point, haha. So if you don't mind me asking, how/when do you tackle the disclosure? I would like to get back into casually dating as well, my fear with that though is because I'm not really looking for anything serious, and minus a strong emotional bond, I guess I just can't see some one interested in taking the risk. I know the stats and transmission risks as so on, but let's be honest, if you don't have it, it's just a scary thing and not something you have probably researched to the degree I have. I know pre-infection, if a casual partner told me he had it, I would have not been anxious to put myself in that position Would love to hear how you have handled that discussion. Thanks! .

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@Rockies17 There are specialized HSV dating sites, yes. I briefly joined one (Positive Singles) but then decided it wasn't right for me. It felt to me like I was endorsing segregation by using the site. But you may have a more positive experience.


I've also met HSV+ people on Tinder. In one case, I disclosed HSV2 and he disclosed HSV2 back to me. In another case, the guy told me he had oral HSV1. In a third case, the guy was in an open relationship with a primary partner who had HSV2. In most cases, people were unaware of their own HSV status since it typically is not included in standard STI testing, even when people ask to be tested for everything. Those who were aware were in the minority of HSV+ people who had experienced obvious symptoms.


As for when I typically disclose, I've followed one of two patterns so far. Either I'm messaging with the person for long enough before we meet that the conversation eventually goes beyond friendly flirtation to discussing more concrete preferences or "what we are looking for" which can include references to sex. In those cases, I'll take the opportunity to open up a conversation about safe sex, how we both approach it, my expectation for condom use, when I was last tested (and whether they are in the habit of testing), my overall STI status. So more of a safe sex talk than a HSV specific confession if that makes sense. In other cases, our messaging remains friendly and we meet for coffee or something like that (I avoid cocktails or any other situation that might include an expectation of things escalating physically if I haven't disclosed yet). If there's no chemistry, I never disclose. If I'm sexually attracted and want to pursue the person, I don't disclose during the first meeting, I wait for a signal that there is mutual interest after the first meeting, such as a followup text. Then I disclose before our second date. Many people wait much longer (but before sexual contact) to disclose, either because they consider the info more private, or because they want to give the person a chance to know them better as a person. I personally prefer partners who can put HSV into context and would be less comfortable with a partner who made an exception after knowing me as a person, so I disclose earlier. I'm also realistic that it *is* a dealbreaker for some people and I don't want to waste my time or theirs. But different people approach this differently and you will likely have to experience a bit of trial and error to figure out what feels best to you.


Regarding the razorburn, yes, one option is not shaving. Another option is to ask your doc if they'd be open to you increasing to 1000 on the days you shave and then just seeing if you notice a difference.

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@optimist, that was awesome, thank you. I've had many experiences on dating sites, but I got so disgusted with the guys I was coming across, I just stopped. But you're right, that is the easiest way to get into a conversation about it, because in my experience the conversation jumps right into sex pretty quickly. Youve berm very helpful, thank you again.

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@Rockies17 I've been on non-HSV dating sites, and Positive Singles. (I'm 41) My experience on both types of sites was the same as you describe yours being. I discovered that men are men, regardless of HSV status. Lol There may well be good men on there, but I wasn't impressed. That could also be because I want something more serious... Anyhoo, give it a go. If you don't like it, you can always delete your profile. :)

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