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To write or not to write.....

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I figured I better chime in with a proper intro. and not just be a lurker out of shame hoping to take with me the much needed advice for my new lifelong plague. As you can most likely sense with that statement I am definitely in the depressed, angry, defeated mode of my acceptance goal. Still not ready to give my real name and use BOOH for "bummed out on Herpes"!!! Hopefully one day I can change that username but shamefully today I can not... :(


I'll try to give you the condensed version of my story ...


I am 40, a single mama to 4, I work my ass off with multiple am/pm shifts to support my blessings, in a committed relationship with the love of my life though with that it has been the most emotional and hardest relationship of my life due to his severe jealousy and mood swings.


I generally am a very calm, balanced individual who would say is a realist, perseverance has always been my attitude. But I have to admit this new challenge I am faced with, is absolutely getting the best of me.


My journey started this April, I got strep throat, must of had it for a while as I don't present like most and was unaware till I dragged my butt to the dr. After weeks of still not feeling well went back and thought I must have it again as I was just not feeling I had the energy of my usual self.


The dr. thought I had a sinus infection and ran some tests put me on stronger meds again. After feeling like I was just going more and more downhill, absolutely no energy to even walk to get the mail, 7 days later my culture came back that I had e-coli of the throat/sinus. Hence the reason I felt like dog s*%^. Another round of different HEAVY duty antibiotics.


All the while, my immune system was taking a digger my man had a cold sore, no biggy he has had him his whole life. When I jokingly didn't want to be all lovey/dovey and told him my reasons why (immune system shot/women's privates being the perfect moist breeding ground for herpes he was very taken back/offended etc by my rejection.


He had no idea cold sores could cause herpes.


So being all google savvy I showed him and being the germ-a-phobe I am - stuck to my grounds and abstained. And there we have it. When his face was what I thought healed - we engaged in all our usual fun stuff that we often do and then the next am his cold sore was back, same spot full force. Long story short 2 weeks later guess what I got -"HSV-1" genitally ....


I am just overwhelmed. Devastated. Mad. (not at him directly) Sad.


I have insomnia, I wake up in the middle of the pm with the realization "I have herpes"!!! Not a dream. I really have herpes. Made it my whole life, done the tests multiple times, before dating, with pregnancies, and I get an STD from a cold sore!!!! ugh.......


Ok, so I have it. I am trying to be strong and accept it. It's difficult...I don't want it. I wish I could will it away. I feel I brought this on myself, like I willed it to happen by my words supported by the google knowledge I shared with my man, like I planted the seed subconsciencely and made it true. But I need help. I want info and am so overwhelmed by all the do's dont's on the web.


I thought I should seek out a forum of others who have the same virus as I. Didn't feel it was right to just lurk on the forum for help but come forward and admit my dread. I can feel the same emotions from others in their posts, I am optimistic and proud of the acceptance I can feel in others. It seems like a process, a journey.


Today I am not happy for having to take this road. I am scared and sad and tears seem to just well down my cheeks with its every waking and sleeping thought. I have shared my new finding with my boyfriend who feels utterly apologetic and ashamed, my best friend and my sister. And that will be my only.


My man, while helpful and supportive, just doesn't seem to grasp the reality, that this is life-changing. For the first time in my life I wish a year would advance in the blink of an eye so I can learn how my body will accept this new role. I want to know what triggers it for me, Prodrome (is that what you call it??) signs, what to avoid how to deal with it. Because the pain and duration of my first outbreak was hell. I don't have time for that. And then a week later I had my second outbreak.


All the ?? no answers ... Was it because I had sex? Was it because I didn't have my acyclovir for a week? Was it my cycle?? Just the stress of my sadness?? How will I know? Oh yes, time......ugh... Yes, it was much more mild. Thank God!!


But none the less an unwanted violation as it happened while my man I were out of town- first night alone in a hotel with out the kids and then a 6 hour drive home all of which I silently cried out the window while having uncomfort down below...


How wrong of me is it to say that I am most worried about how it will impact my sex life??!!? I am a sexual person. We have sex daily, sometimes many times daily. I know all the other intimate things we can do, but you know- For me sex is a huge stress relief. There is just something about having an orgasm that makes me feel on top of the world. I feel a stronger connection to my man, myself. I sleep more sound, I have more energy. It helps my patience. Oh, I could go on and on.


I am horrifically afraid that one of the areas I get my outbreak on is going to be a trigger/problem spot. It's theeeee spot. It's an unavoidable spot. I just feel its a waiting game. All of it, for so many different reasons. It's just sooooo much....too much. I am on overload and I know the stress just aggravates the whole cycle. I just need to chill...to breath...to be patient. I am sorry if that my biggest fear of how herpes will impact my sex life may sound silly or shallow, or if I have shared too much but I have to be honest, I am afraid, very deeply afraid that that one spot will be unavoidable and the friction will always bring on an outbreak.


So.....can I go have sex now??? lol I know it will make me feel a hell of a lot better as long as it doesn't make an outbreak!! So many questions.. Can any of you help with these?? But seriously can I/should I have sex now. My last outbreak healed 3 days ago. too soon? Does my skin need time to rejuvenate and get stronger? How do I know that it won't pop back up like my mans cold sore did the next day? Is there a general rule of thumb of how long to wait after an outbreak?


Because my man has had HSV-1 since child hood is it necessary for me to be on an anti viral long term for him?? I was hoping to stay on it for a few months give my body time to build antibodies, especially since my immune system was shot for about 3 consecutive months??


Currently I am taking acyclovir, a multi, l-lysine and extra C. Is this too much?? Should I put coconut oil on my one delicate outbreak spot as an ext. lub for protection. Don't need lube otherwise, just scared of this one spot....


I have now read that sharing a drink should be ok as the virus can not live when air hits it, but what about sharing of chapsticks etc?? Do I need to focus on any extra precautions for my kids? My midwife said sharing of bathtubs are ok? Is this for certain? I spent my first outbreak, soaking repeatedly in severe pain, cleaning the tub like a freak after each soak... I just do not want to spread this by any means.


I apologize for what I wanted to be a condensed version of my story that has become a long winded vent... I have a feeling for me, this site may be the only place I find safe, and holds the knowledge I need... TY

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Wow, that is the longest "condensed version" of a story I've heard yet! :) And it's perfectly fine. ;) I'm glad you're sharing yourself here and no longer lurking in the shadows. Welcome to the light of getting it all out there! It's good to see your face here.


So many questions! I love that you're wanting to get all knowledgeable about this. It shows respect for yourself and your partner. Thank you, thank you, thank you. And instead of me going through and answering every single question one by one, can I give you a homework assignment that will answer most of them? ;) Watch this video first when Dr. Leone came into our Raleigh support group:



Then take a deeeep breath ... You're right: Only time will tell how this will affect your life. Your sex life has changed. Yes. And NOT FOR THE WORSE. It's just different. Remember that. Let that sink in ... And you and your man get to talk about the risk that he's now taking on for getting his HSV-1 on his genitals now since he went down on you and gave it to you. From his lips to your genitals to his genitals is how it can happen. It's also important to note that since he's had HSV-1 since he was a kid, his immune system has probably built up quite the immunity to being able to block the spread of HSV-1 to other parts of his body, but it could still happen, especially if you have sex with him during a genital herpes outbreak. But with his increased immune system AND the fact that passing genital HSV-1 is more difficult to pass to other genitals than HSV-2, his risk is lower. But yes, there is always some sort of a risk, and he needs to know that; you two get to work that out on what level of protection — or not you're both wanting and are comfortable with. And even though there's a risk, don't let that dampen your sexual drive! Get on the same page with your man and then GO FOR IT!


And yes, lube helps reduce friction. Lube is your friend. Not just in the "ooh-that-feels-good" department, but also lessening the possible irritation that might bring on another outbreak. As far as your last outbreak ending only 3 days ago, I'd hold off on it. When I'm intimate with someone, I personally like to leave about a 7-day window after the last bit of scab has fallen off. And hey, REMEMBER ... SEX AIN'T ALL ABOUT PENETRATION! Get creative! During your outbreaks or times when you feel something might be about to happen down there (tingling, swollen lymph nodes, any other prodrome symptoms, which you will get to know better as your body tells you)


Here's a blog about herpes prodrome symptoms:



Here's a video about a sex with herpes reframe:


(Did you take my advice and take that deeeep breath? Do it again. You're going to be fine, you sexy beast, you.)

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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hey Booh,


I totally get all the feelings and questions you have. I have so been there myself. As you live with herpes and figure out the triggers and just get comfortable with it and realize it really isn't a big deal, you will get comfortable with it. When I first found out I had herpes it was all I could think about and I used to stress at every symptom, twitch and odd feeling. I am just in the middle of my first outbreak since my diagnosis a year a half ago and now I am basically 'meh' about it. No big deal. I loved myself through it, took my meds, put on the cream and relaxed into it and it healed itself in a matter of a couple of days. No stress, no fuss, no freak out. I found once I accepted and loved myself, herpes and all, it was no more of a big deal than getting the flu or a cold sore. At the beginning, oh my God, it was the end of the world. Now, I actually use it as an excuse to be good to myself and pamper myself. You will find a way to make peace with it and just roll with it. It may not happen overnight but if you decide to become okay with it, it will happen over time. It seems like a big deal at the beginning, but once you deal with it, really, it's a cold sore in an awkward location. As for the sex part, you can focus more on your partner during an outbreak and when you are healed, it's payback time! :) Have some fun with it. I get loving sex. I am so there with you but it doesn't mean it needs to limit your sexuality. It can actually enhance it if you open your mind and get creative. ;)

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Hey Booh,


Welcome! I can really relate to the feeling of devastation that can surround the first outbreak. It's a really heavy time - you're dealing with the physical pain (which I know can be pretty awful) - but you've also been triggered emotionally...and sometimes that pain can be even worse. The combo can be really overwhelming. Being more than 5 years down the road from my first outbreak, I can tell you that you're definitely in the worst of it, and all aspects are going to get better with time. Especially because you're seeking help now. The emotional stuff isn't going to fester like it can if you shove it down. And physically, your body is going to build up antibodies and there's a really good chance that the intensity and severity of your outbreaks will lessen with time. My experience has absolutely been that. My first outbreak was my only outbreak that resembled painful, open sores. Other than that, a few times I've experienced something that looked like a razor blade cut, but truly, there was limited discomfort and it was totally manageable. I still feel tingling occasionally, and itchiness every once in a while, but truthfully, most days I forget I have it. I've never needed any drugs to treat this. I've really made my health a top priority, focusing on healthy eating, exercise, healthy relationships/dynamics, spirituality....all things that help to keep me balanced and strong. Don't get me wrong - I had a lot of shit to work through with this...much of it emotional and related to the shame and guilt it elicited within me. But if your bigger concerns are on a physical level to do with how this is going to impact your sex life, I just want to let you know it's possible that the effects may be minimal. It's possible that you may have few outbreaks, or even none at all. You have the power to buffer herpes by how you love and care for yourself. So don't despair! It's all about perspective.

Hugs and love,


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  • 3 weeks later...



First of all, do not panic. Your sex life it's going to be awesome. trust me, I know what I am talking about.


Second, I blame you Americans for calling HSV with weird names to the point of diluting the real meaning of it.


A cold sore, fever blister and all that weird names... ALL OF THEM, those are herpes, HSV. Let's educate the people on that so we can avoid misunderstandings.


Third, given the recurrent episodes of your HSV OBs, it seems like you are HSV2 positive. You don't see me saying genital herpes or mouth herpes, since both of them can spread anywhere, although HSV2 in the mouth is less frequent.


Your partner can be both HSV1 and 2 positive and just have visual signals of HSV1.


My advice is; both of you go to the doctor and get an antibody test to find out what you guys are carrying.


I might add some remarks about positive thinking and how using words, one way or another, can help you or destroy you. It's your call.


Let's redo some of your words BOOH, starting with that nickname of yours:


Change Bummed Out On Herpes for Bettering Out On herpes (lol, does it make sense in English?)


Longlife plague = Skin condition


I am horrifically afraid that one of the [...] for, I am concern about...


Seriously, it helps! rephrase all of it and suddenly you would see it in a different light. It's the power of positive thinking.


At last, but no least. About spreading the virus.


Take a look at this very website, check how people got infected. Do you see anyone complaining about getting infected for sharing a bath tub with a stranger?


have you ever heard of any one contracting the virus in the genitals for sitting in the toilet?


As far I know, you have HSV1 in your genitalia, so spreading the virus through sharing a glass makes me giggle because I am picturing weird images about... welll hahah forget that.


Obviously, keeping a good hygiene in general is a must, being positive or not. Wash your hands after manipulating down there, do not share your towel and your are good to go.


I know you are in a difficult spot right now and I am probably taking it too lightly. But I want to show you that I am the living proof (as many people here are too) that it will get better.


I can see you being of of us in the not-too-distant future, making jokes about it and giving comfort to other in despair. Positive thinking! that's all it needed

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Greetings James81..... Well I had to read your post several times to try to get the most out of it. I see both sides to your words. Yes, as you can see I haven't fully embraced herpes yet. Some days are better than others. I have had a rough year, emotionally and health wise and getting herpes in the middle of it really threw a curve ball at me!!!


I have been officially diagnosed by my ob/gyn with only having HSV-1, my man has not had an official diagnose. I am aware you can have both, where you can get them etc. As far as the bathtub ? -- since my diagnose, I have done my best to do as much reading as I can. I was initially worried of spreading the virus naturally, as my kids are my world. I am learning with all the info and everyone's stories. Yes, I have had several ob initially and think that I was just not waiting long enough for the healing process or maybe it is because I am a huge stress ball atm. I am going thru some serious bs and I do internalize all my stress way too deeply!!!!! Anyhoo, maybe one day I will give my online name here a better definition or a change, like I said some days are better than others!!!


Thanks for the post, it's definitely a good reminder to stay +.......

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So you really have HSV1 and you are freaking out because of the idea of passing into your kids, right?


Well, there is a bigger chance that your kinds would get HSV1 in School that you passing it to them.


Remember that cold sores = HSV. Fever blisters = HSV


How many kids have you seen running around with cold sores? why are you making a big deal out of it?


Think is perspective. You have exactly the same virus that you have seen so many times in people's mouth.


You are not going to reinfect your husband, since he has developed the right kind of white cells to fight back that specific kind of virus (HSV1)


Stay happy!

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