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Its been 4 days since I found out

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I'm going to vent for a moment I have no one else but my boyfriend and I dont want to make him feel any worse than he already does. First off I'm 20, I never thought something like this would happen to me and my whole life would change in the blink of an eye. So 2 weeks ago I started having a rash and then it turned into painful blisters, I have no idea why it decided now to show up because we have been having sex for 4 months now. He had no idea he had it and he knows its from his ex wife but my question is how could she not know for so long after having 1 kid with a different guy 5 years ago and 1 kid with my bf 3 years ago you would think all those doctor visits you would know. Theres also the question...did she know? Could she? She had all c- sections and never asked my boyfriend to go to her doctor appointments...idk maybe I'm thinking too much about it thats all ive been doing for 4 days now and ive not even went to work because for one I'm a little depressed and not used to feeling anything but happy and for 2 the pain is unbearable I feel like I have a fever and my body aches and my private s hurt and my doctor says theres nothing I can do..the worst part I just moved 1000 miles from home and me and my mom are so close and I cant even tell her..I wont

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Hi Sunflowergirl,

I am so sorry to hear about your experience. I remember when I was first diagnosed I also wanted to find someone to blame. My ex claimed he didn't know that what he had was herpes and assumed it is a heat rash. He said he has been having it since his teenage years. I didn't believe him. We have a child together, and yes they run herpes tests on pregnant women (at least my OBGYN did it), so I know I was negative prior to meeting him. However, I did consult with a virologist and he said it is absolutely possible to have sex with someone for years without contracting the virus.

The initial outbreak was painful. I had headache, cramping, itchy and painful blisters which lasted 2 weeks with the medication. I have been having the virus for 4 years now and my outbreaks are rare (twice a year) and they last 2-3 days with the medication. What I am trying to say is that the outbreaks get better and less frequent.

Also, I was surprised to find out that disclosing to my friends and family about having herpes didn't change the way they felt about me at all. Not only that but it made us closer. I was surprised to find out that 4 of my really close friends have it too and we can openly talk about it now.

There is a wonderful young woman called Ella Dawson (she is your age). She has a TED talk about herpes. I highly recommend it! It helped me a lot to normalize my experience and also feel comfortable with myself. Herpes is just a virus and it doesn't define who you are. You are still you! And I am sure your mom and your friends will continue feeling the exact same way towards you as before.


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Its just so hard because everyone sees it as shameful or dont inderstand it and thinks it spread really easily. I dont want my parents to know because they will hate my boyfriend. He didnt know he had it as you said with the heatrash he said he would get a bump or maybe 2 while having sex with his ex but he thought it was from friction because She wasn't always wet 

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I got diagnosed about a month ago. It’s awful. I was sick, depressed and it was all I could think about. As time goes and the symptoms fade, I promise it gets easier. Feeling like you couldn’t tell anyone was one of the worst parts. I just told my mom yesterday, and she was very open and accepting and called me today to see how I was (I’m having another outbreak). Finding someone to talk to, as well as this forum, helps. You’re totally not alone. 

As for trying to rack your noggin about where you got it, or rather who from. The main question is, is it going to change anything? Most people don’t even know they have it until they have an outbreak, when I got diagnosed my dr told me this wasn’t a primary outbreak and that I’ve had it for a while. I had an ex who cheated on me and I began to have chronic yeast infections. Literally once a month. They were awful. And people often mistake herpes for yeast infections or infected hairs. I didn’t put two and two together until my initial outbreak. This is a very mysterious and odd disease. Don’t rack your brain about it. Try to accept it, find someone you trust to talk to about it, and get sleep and take care of yourself. Take baths, get PLENTY OF REST, ice yourself when needed. Take care of yourself and get through this outbreak. Like I said, I promise it gets easier.

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Hello, first I am sorry your having to deal with this.  My daughter is also 20 and just found out she has this as well. I really think you should tell your mom as I am so grateful my daughter told me.  She now has someone to talk to and it really made us even closer.  She is also away from home in college.  Your mom may at first be angry at your boyfriend which would be normal but even with that being the case telling her would be good for you. I have done nothing but research since she told me and have learned so much that it helps her since she is in college and doesn’t have the time to do it like I do.  

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Hi @Sunflowergirl,

This is a popular concern about telling the wrong person. Ultimately, the right person is someone who will hear you and honor your vulnerability and appreciate your integrity and honesty, whether or not their answer to your disclosure is yes or no. 

My short answer here is this: When you feel that you can trust this person with your vulnerability. Period. Because the herpes talk is vulnerable. It's sharing a raw side of you, especially if you're still in the throes of shame. 

This is a great barometer because it also guarantees that you only have sex with people you truly trust (definitely a great foundation to work from, right?). The herpes talk is emotionally vulnerable. Having sex is both emotionally and physically vulnerable. The analogy here is like a flower blossoming. We want to over time open to our partner, and the herpes talk can be the opportunity to maybe for the first time truly open emotionally with your partner.

So in that way, I've never been a strong proponent of disclosing on the first date. It's not holding something back, it's just working toward trusting this person with your vulnerability. Just like he might not share some skeleton in his closet on the first date, we aren't expected to, either. The only time we need to disclose is if we are actually considering sleeping with this person. Until that's a possibility, then herpes doesn't absolutely need to be the first conversation we have before we've even gotten to really know each other as people. 

First, download the e-book and handouts that will help you understand how to change the conversation in your head first before you disclose and will arm you with the facts:

 Here's a video I recorded around the time I first started H Opp many years ago:



 Here's another video to watch to flip your fear of the herpes talk:


And here's a podcast interview about "Making Disclosure Sexy" 


That should be a good kickstart for you!

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I dont have to tell my boyfriend he is almost 100% positive it was his ex wife who gave it to him but id hate for  him to tell her and her say she doesnt have it and not even get checked and tell everyone they know about him having it. Ilmy symptoms started as soon as we started dating and she cheated on him so that's why we believe it was her who gave it to him. But I love him very much and have been best frieds with him since I was 9 so we can deal with this together I'm just glad I have him in not mad at him at all he had no idea and barely any symptoms he just though he would get friction break outs

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