Share Herpes!

Ok, well ideally don’t share herpes, but please share your thoughts about having herpes.

I’d love to post your writing about living with herpes, whether it’s oral or genital, how you manage pain, how you talk to people about having herpes, how you feel about having herpes, and how your partners deal with the news. Your first outbreak or coming out stories would also be great, or even any short fiction or previously published work you might want to share in this forum. If you find any excellent resources, please pass those along too.

If you’re a health professional and you’ve got something you think we’d love to hear about, whether it’s new research, treatment, or your own experience with herpes, that would be great too.

Please send anything you’d like published here to herpesblog at gmail dot com and if it fits with the very general theme of herpes, I’ll post it here!

Please share widely!

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5 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by anonymous on January 16, 2012 at 9:15 pm

    hey shelley
    first of all, i admire you and thank you for starting this blog. second of all, i have had genital herpes for about 5 years. what i’d really like to hear are stories from people who have in fact passed herpes along. i haven’t but obviously people do, even really careful, well-intentioned people.

    my first year with herpes was awful. swollen lymph nodes in my pelvic region. blisters. pain. i took acyclovir and applied a numbing ointment that i got by prescription and felt pretty sorry for myself; especially after i broke up with the lover who passed to me (not because of that; it was a year after i caught it that we broke up).

    my herpes has really mellowed over the years and my self-pity has gone away. i own that i have this thing and don’t feel like a pariah; it’s a skin condition, it’s not debilitating or fatal. if someone is really into you, they will still have sex with you. i consider it my responsibility to take precautions (including not having really drunk sex). sometimes i haven’t been as careful as i should have been (drunk sex) and i consider it really lucky that i didn’t pass it along and have resolved to not do that again.

    now i know the herp really well and can tell the minute an outbreak’s coming on and usually thwart it by taking some acyclovir. that stuff is expensive (about $35-40 a bottle) and they say you should take 3 a day till the bottle’s empty, but i can take one a day for a couple days and the outbreak’s done. also, and i don’t know if this is scientific or just makes me feel better, but i apply a solution of tea tree oil, about two drops oil to 1/2 cup water, using tissue or cotton to the affected area and i think it helps.

    i’ve never tried the daily dose that prevents outbreaks — i’m curious to hear from people who’ve tried that too.

    kudos again shelley. i hope LOTS of folks share their stories. we are not alone, not by a long shot, but unless we speak up, we will feel like we are.

    courage

    Reply

  2. My way of dealing with it was to create a social group. I used to have a social group for people with herpes in Montreal. Then I migrated to a complete social network for people to come socialize and create events to get together. It’s at http://www.hsvweb.com

    Reply

  3. Posted by Harold on February 11, 2012 at 9:50 pm

    Very happy to have discovered this forum. I have been living with herpes for a little over 25 years. I remember the day I began to feel the characteristic burning-itching patches and how I innocently thought that I was having an allergic reaction to a clothes detergent. I remember how matter-of-fact the doctor at the clinic was when he looked up at me, while inspecting my genitals, and said “You got herpes.” The scene would have been funny, if the diagnosis had involved something curable like gonorrhea. Instead, as a young man who had just become sexually comfortable and active in college, those words elicited from me a reaction like some must feel when a doctor coldly tells them they have cancer. It felt a bit like a death sentence, and in a sense, the sentence was carried out. I never enjoyed sex with a new partner again like I did before the diagnosis, and in the days when I could tell a new relationship was moving towards a mutual interest in sex, I began to worry about what I would say, how she would respond, and felt sorry for myself that I carried with me something that could not be cured. I hesitated to leave relationships with partners who had herpes or could live with the risk of contracting it because I hated the idea of having to come out to increasing numbers of new partners who would gladly tell the world about my “condition” once the relationship ended. Worry, shame and sadness came and stayed with me after the diagnosis. Fortunately, outbreaks became relatively rare within a couple of years after diagnosis, but I never stopped worrying about infecting others, even when I was asymptomatic. I have not been tested, but I suspect that my genital herpes is HSV-1, rather than HSV-2, and that this factor, along with suppressive doses of Famvir, have held outbreaks to one or two minor expressions per year. I am grateful for this but still look to the horizon for a cure and hope that one comes along while all my bits are still in working order. Even so, I expect the days of unprotected sex are over for me, except for with committed partners. I don’t think there is ever a “good time” to be told that you have herpes or some other unpleasant condition, but I think that it was especially tough for me because I was so young and had a healthy sense of responsibility and guilt in relation to others. I cannot imagine, however, how I would have felt and feel if the diagnosis had been HIV. Thank God I have had to deal with the lesser evil. Looking forward to hearing what others have to say and to one day rejoicing with all on news of a cure.

    Reply

  4. Posted by PostiveHSV1HSV2 on December 19, 2012 at 7:55 pm

    I was diagnosed with HSV1 and HSV2 about 8 months ago. I got this from my son’s father. We hadn’t slept together in about 5 years and he assured me he was clean. I didn’t really have reason to believe he was lying and he really may not have known. A few days after being infected I felt fine but started having lots of watery discharge (gross I know). I usually got bladder infections so I just assumed that’s what it was. i went to the Dr. they tested for bladder infection and it came back positive so I was prescribed antibiotics. They didn’t help. About a month later my son’s dad calls and said he tested positive for HSV2. I instantly went and got tested. Came back positive. Within one day of taking Valtrex the discharge stopped. I never had any outbreak that I was aware of. I felt fine and assumed HSV is just like cold sores or chicken pox and I can live with this. Then about 5 months after infection I noticed my right foot felt numb. I go to google (bad idea). I can’t find anything to do with herpes and anything going numb. Everything led to HIV. I went into a depression for two months thinking he had infected me with HIV. I started seeing every symptom that I read about. I went to the Dr. so many times trying to figure out the numbness but I was too scared to test for HIV. At 6 months after initial infection I had my first sores or outbreak. OMG the sores didn’t hurt. I had about 5 tiny bumps. It was the pain before and after that was aweful. I felt nerve pain on the ENTIRE right side of my right body same side as the bumps from right eye to right foot. I felt that pain all night, next day saw the bumps, the pain lasted for months. I then went back to google and looked for this pain and herpes. Everything led to HIV. Finally 10 months after infection I couldn’t take it anymore. I went and had an HIV rapid test and it came back negative THANK GOD! The nerve pain seems to be subsiding but I always know it’s there. I get muscle twitching, crawling feeling, itchy skin all over, small itchy rash on leg, and dizziness. I am taking acyclovir two times a day. I was getting outbreaks once a month before my period and since starting acyclovir I haven’t had one but I still have these weird symptoms.

    Is the first year with HSV the worst? Is my body just getting used to it? Will it get better?

    Any advice I appreciate. Thank you

    Reply

  5. Before you’ve been diagnosed, if you feel that something “down there” is wrong, don’t wait. Go to a clinic right away and tell them what you feel. I didn’t tell the first doc I thought it was herpes, because I didn’t want to believe it, I wanted it to just be a reaction to the condom. Get tested right away and get on medicine for it right away.
    Talk to your doctor. Use the anonymous phone lines if you want to talk to someone. Always be open and honest with your partner. DON’T blame anyone. Accept that you chose to have sex in the first place, knowing that STIs ARE a possible outcome, and accept it. Never blame someone else, that will just kill you in the end.

    Reply

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