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First time HSV outbreak. How to break it to your partners?
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First time HSV outbreak. How to break it to your partners?

I was diagnosed with HSV last night in the emergency room. I no longer could stand the pain involved in peeing. My primary had started me on an antibiotic thinking I had a UTI. I am 58 years old. I don't deny I have had several partners over the years. I am single, and guess I will always be now. I feel as if my life is over. I am a very sensual/sexual person and enjoy sex, sometimes safe, most times not. The age of Peace and Love and Flower Children and all that.
I never ever had such extreme pain like this before. Worse than birthing my son as this is constant and never goes away. I have swollen lymph nodes by my ear, my ears are draining, I get frequent headaches, tired and lethargic. I remembered one encounter some 16 years ago when someone called to tell me he had something. We had had unprotected sex the night before. He warned me to be careful. I remember I stayed away from sex for several years so afraid I would break out any time. Then I forgot about it until today actually.
I recently had breakup sex with 3 different partners. All provided oral sex for me, I reciprocated on 1, 2 had intercourse with condoms, 1 was a little aggressive when using one of my toys. He was a lot stronger than I think he thought he was. 2 days later, I was a little sore. I chalked it up to the rough play and thought maybe he had bruised me a bit. The next day I had one episode of painful pee. By the following day I was screaming and wanting to die when I peed. I thought I had a very bad UTI. I tried some over the counter pain relief, did not help. Took a percocet, did not help. The following Mon I went to my primary, an NP, and was started on an antibiotic - she did not exam me as she said it was not within her field. She said if I did not find some relief by the next day I should go to the ER.
I found myself in the ER around midnight the next  day. I just could not take another round of painful pee. Of course they wanted a urine sample. Ha ha. Not going to happen. When the doc finally arrived she said they really could not do anything until I gave them a urine sample so I acquiesced. She also did a physical exam. Her diagnoses was immediate. Herpes. Why now?? From where?? What do I do now?? How do I cope all alone??  Why add to all my other medical problems!!??
I have had cold sores all my life, since I was a kid. I had one last fall and told everyone no play until it went away. No problem. My labia has itched or tingled on and off before. Never really gave it much thought. There were never any sores present. But then I had a bad care of Hidradenitis Surpurlative (boils), another kind of hell. They are still active but semi under-control with medication and mostly occur in my armpits these days. No sex when I have an outbreak of them either. The nerves are shot in my left pinky and ring finger and after 2 back surgeries the nerves leading down my legs give me enough problems. The idea of another disease attaching itself to my nerve endings just makes my whole day!
What do I say?? How do I explain it?? Most know I have had multiple partners. Some safe, some not. Some married, some not. Do I give them the whole history? Do I need to tell all of them? How far back? I suppose they should be tested. And if one of them already knows they have it I will find a way to make sure they never infect another unsuspecting partner.
Anyway, thank you for letting me get this off my chest. I have only be living with this knowledge for 16 hours. I hope I can deal with it better as the days pass.
30 Comments Post a Comment
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101028_tn?1348750963
I recommend going to be seen elsewhere today for a proper exam since it doesn't sound like you had one in the ER. Did they test you for vaginal infections in the ER? Did they do a culture of your symptoms to look for herpes ?

Have you read the free herpes handbook yet that we recommend in our read before posting post on the forum? The patient counseling video on the same site is also very helpful.  

At this point you need to confirm that indeed you do have herpes and go from there.  

grace
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Thank you so much for answering my call for help. I am actually scheduled for my yearly pap today. I am hoping the doc will be able to give me more informative answers. I will go check out the book and video as you suggested.
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101028_tn?1348750963
stop back and let us know how your appointment went today :)
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Avatar_f_tn
I was not happy at my appointment. Unfortunately I am stuck with whoever the VA hires. This one an old retired gyn. Not accustomed to hearing the word herpes I guess. And possibly getting a bit of the senior forgets.
Anyway - he finally took a few cultures, after he forgot the first time. Extremely painful. And it was excrutiating to pee when I go home. I refuse to pee ever again.
The results from today will not be back till Monday. I am not sure what blood tests were ordered the other day. I just know they took 8 vials of blood from me. I expect to get the results on Monday as well.
And to make matters worse, the litacane cream my primary ordered for was not ready yesterday and I told them I would be by to pick it up today. The pharmicist on duty yesterday forgot to tell them so they mailed it out, which means it will take up to 10 days to get to me. A lot of freakin good it is going to do then.
And life goes on.
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Avatar_f_tn
New Question:
I could not find an answer to this question in my research: Would it be ok to spread some vaseline over the area before I pee to possible keep the pee from stinging? I really need to pee and I am not going to knowing it will be excruciatingly painful.
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Avatar_f_tn
im not sure about the vaseline thing, but have you tried sitting in a bath full of warm water and peeing into it? i found that helped me.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you. I would love to sit in some warm water! Unfortunately if I went down there is no guarantee I would get up! LOL  Very bad knees and back.

I tried the vaseline and it seemed to help a bit. The hard part is getting off. I will probably have to take a shower before I go to bed tonight to make sure I get it all off.

I am supposed to get some liticane cream from my primary hopefully tomorrow. That is supposed to help lessen the pain.

Thank you for taking the time to answer my query.
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Avatar_f_tn
Curious as to what other vaginal infections you are speaking of that would mimick herpes.
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101028_tn?1348750963
bv especially complicates genital herpes infections. yeast too can add to discomfort. when you were seen, did they do a vaginal swab to look for them?  unfortunately the older we get, the more prone to vaginitis we are in general, especially bv ( bacterial vaginosis ).  

you can buy a sitz bath set up. it fits in the toilet. you can fill it with warm water and sit to urinate into it. there is also a rinse bag that comes with it so that you can rinse everything off too so you don't have urine soaked skin.   you can also try using a "squirt" bottle, filling that with luke warm water and squirting water over your genital area the whole time you urinate too.

instead of coating everything with vaseline, I recommend putting your hand in a baggie and physically covering the lesions while you urinate if you don't use a sitz bath set up or squirt bottle.  also even though this sounds like the worse advice ever, drink lots of water!  It will dilute your urine so it's less acidic and stings less running over the open lesions as well as it helps to stave off constipation which can also occur and just puts extra pressure in the pelvic area to cause you more discomfort.

dermoplast spray ( the blue can for the genital area, not the red can ) can be found in most drugs stores in the US for under $10. it's a topical anesthetic you can spray on either prior to urinating or afterwards ( or just through out the day for pain relief ).  

It's unfortunate that the provider you saw yesterday didn't get you some faster answers as to everything going on down yonder :(    are you taking herpes antivirals too and if so which one and what dose?

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Avatar_f_tn
Grace I can't thank you enough for your advise! I just wish the ER doc, my primary, and most importantly my gyn were as knowledgeable as you. You made me smile today for the first time in a week! :)

I did apply the Vaseline last night. I found an answer to the question on this website - http://www.herpes.org.uk/faq.html#23  Question #23. It advised to keep the lesions moist. I must say it was a bit less painful but a big hassle and not easy to get it all off after.

I am wearing depends and change them every time I pee so I wanted to make sure I removed the vaseline and then reapply a little more before going to bed. This morning peeing was not as terrible. I am guilty of not drinking a lot because I did not want to need to pee. I will now start drinking more.

In the beginning I found standing in the shower and directing hot water there while I peed did make it easier. Recently it has not been as helpful. I did not think of a sitz bath. What a great idea! I used one after my son was born, 33 years ago!! LOL I plan to pick one up today. I will let you know how it goes.

Swabs were not done till Thur, a week since the outbreak, by my reluctant gyn (retired military - comes once a week to clinic - old and very distant). I am not sure what all the tests are or how many swabs he did. What I do know is that it was extremely painful. When I asked the nurse she said he took enough to test for everything so I am relying on them.

According to the urine tests from Mon at the VA and at the ER on Tue eve/Wed am, I do indeed have a UTI and bladder infection. When I went to the primary on Mon, I told her I "thought" I may have a UTI and explained the symptoms. She went on my word, did not mention anything else as her area of med did not cover "down there." She just told me if I did not feel better by the next day, I should go to the ER. (I should add here that I go to a VA Clinic - the nearest full service VA hospital is an hour or more away - our clinic does not have all the facilities and is not an ER)

On Mon my primary prescribed Sulfamethoxazole 800/Trimeth 1600MG 2x daily. There are 20 pills so I guess it is a 10 day supply. After my visit to the ER, the ER doc prescribed Valtrex 500MG. The VA does not approve that med, so my primary prescribed Acyclovir 400MG, 3x daily. There are 30 tabs so I guess for 10 days.

Bacterial Vaginosis did not leave anyone's lips. I will need to do a little research on that one. Since the VA pharmacy messed up my prescription for the litocane cream, I will see if I can find the dermoplast spray you mentioned. Anything is better than nothing.

Again, I appreciate all your help. I am beginning to feel better each day. I have not informed anyone yet. I want to wait for the results on Mon. I want to make sure I give them all the information possible. I do not wish what I have been going through on anyone. And I did of course put all the "blame" on them. Now I am armed with much more knowledge and feel better equipped to answer any questions they may throw at me. :)

Have a great day!
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Avatar_f_tn
I am livid!!! I just checked my mail to see if by chance the cream my primary had ordered might have by some miracle arrived today. It did.

BUT according to this website - http://www.livestrong.com/article/63957-nonprescription-topical-herpes-treatments/

Topical Creams to Avoid

The UMM warns against using creams on genital herpes that have not been prescribed to you. This is especially true for steroid creams like hydrocortisone cream. These agents can cause an increase in herpes outbreaks and cause the virus to be resistant to other medications.

It is a good thing I looked this up before I put this stuff on me!!!!!  I had asked her for the liticane cream. I am sooo sooo upset!!!
And I was having a good day!!!!
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101028_tn?1348750963
so they gave you a topical steroid instead of the topical lidocaine?


topical steroids triggers herpes to reoccur. it's how they get herpes lesions to reoccur in laboratory animals so they can study the effects of herpes medications on active lesions :(
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Avatar_f_tn
My bad. I have been so overwhelmed and incredibly stressed, I forgot that on Mon she told me she was going to order the hydrocortisone for my ears. They are all crusty and draining. The lidocaine cream was mailed and will not be here till sometime next week. Ah well...........
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Avatar_f_tn
My brother/sister-in-law brought me over a sitz bath. I am getting up the energy to go try it out. Thanks for the idea.

They looked at several pharmacies but could not find the dermoplast in the blue can. The pharmacist at one of the Rite Aids looked for it in his book but it was not even in there for him to order it for me. Maybe they no longer make it or it is called something else or they decided it needs to prescribed.

Thanks again
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Avatar_f_tn
New Question:

When I spoke with my primary today she gave me some of my results of the blood tests that she had. Slightly anemic, Hepatitis B (now I forget what she said about it! the memory is really going!), definite UTI, CBC ok, and something else. Wish I had written it all down!

But big question is, she is still waiting for the results of the Epstein Barr test? I am confused. Why test for EBV? Might I not have herpes? But I cannot find anywhere where it says EBV would cause lesions. This whole thing is just driving me crazy!!
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Avatar_f_tn
OMG! I wish someone had mentioned the Sitz Bath a lot earlier!! I am feeling just incredible. Tonight was the first night in over a week that it was not excruciatingly painful to pee! The antibiotic for the UTI must be working. It is not all gone yet, but boy did it feel good to let her go tonight.

Then I set up the Sitz Bath and had a seat. OMG! It felt so good! I sat there for at least 15 mins. Filled the bag a second time. When I got up, I could actually stand without screaming in agony. I hadn't felt that good in a while. It was so refreshing.

Now there was what looked like skin and a few small dark pieces not bigger than a pinhead. Is this anything? Should I be worried?

Oh Grace!! I love you!!!!!!!   I am so excited I am able to breath without telling myself to. LOL
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101028_tn?1348750963
yes they still make dermoplast.  too bad they couldn't find the blue can version of it easily for you :(  Once you are all healed, betcha you'll see it on the shelves everywhere you go...lol.   The red can version of it has additives that can cause irritation on our sensitive genital skin which is why the blue can version is what we recommend. http://dermoplast.com/en/Original_Spray.aspx


glad you tried the sitz bath :)  

can ebv cause genital lesions? yes it can but honestly once we hit 40, over 90% of folks have already had it so odds are you didn't just recently acquire it.

your skin down yonder looks funny right now because of irritation and healing.  Honestly at this point I wouldn't even think of looking down there for another week or two yet....lol.  Somethings you just don't need to see ;)  call monday to see if they tested you for yeast and bacterial infections vaginally too when you saw the less than helpful gyn.  also since you are on bactrim, don't be surprised if the yeasties act back up again in a week or two so order some fem dophilus and start taking it. also stay out of the sun while on bactrim too!    also not a bad idea in general to just return to be seen by the gyn again in 4-6 weeks and get retested for vaginal infections in general too.   you can follow up with type specific herpes igg blood testing 3 months after you last had sex if you haven't had a + lesion culture for herpes by then too.  

also on the plus side - recurrences won't be this bad for the most part. Sometimes you do get a humdinger of a recurrence but in general, they are single lesions and much easier to deal with.  If you find you are getting recurrences frequently, certainly be seen and get retested again for vaginal infections  ( bv is a booger especially post menopause ) to see if they are triggering them. also sometimes topical estrogen helps too to rebuild the thinning genital skin that occurs as we gals age. Always a fun time being a female eh?

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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks for the dermoplast website. The dermoplast is apparently only available at Walgreens in our area.......my brother had gone to all the Rite Aids! LOL I sent him the addresses of ones who indicated on line it was in stock at their store.

From what I researched, EBV is also known as Mononucleosis. This is a virus in the throat/mouth. How could I have EBV on my genitals? Nothing I read indicates this. I am confused.

I asked my brother to pick up some fem dophilus too. I would rather be prepared this time than not. And will follow up on the tests.
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101028_tn?1348750963
ebv can cause all sorts of issues.  indeed it can cause genital rashes too but not many folks get them with it.  like I said, I'd be really surprised if you were just contracting ebv at this point in your life.  

you might not be able to find the fem dophilus in the store but you can order it from amazon and have it in a few days :)
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Avatar_m_tn
I wouldn't bother going back and telling everyone.
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Avatar_f_tn
Grace, can you help me with my test results please. My primary was not very helpful this afternoon. Blood collected 5 days after outbreak.

I looked them up on my vet page:

Urinalysis chemical w micr Manual

Appearance   Clear    Range   Clear

Bacteria  None Seen  Range Neg

Bilirubin  Small MG/DL  Range Neg

CASTS   NoneObs   Range not stated

Color   Red    Range  Yellow

Crystals   NONEOBS  Range  Neg

Epithelial Cells Renal      NoneObs    Range  Neg

Erythrocytes  Neg ERY/MCL    Range Neg   Neg

Glucose    Neg  mg/dl        Range  Neg

Granular Casts  O or 0   #/LPF    Range Neg

Hyaline Casts  0 #/LPF     Range  0-2

Ketones    Trace mg/dl     Range   Neg

Leukocyte Esterase   Moderate leu/mcl    Range   Neg

Leukocytes  4-5 High   /HPF    Range  0-2

Mucus  2+      Range    Neg

Nitrite   Positive MG/DL      Range   Neg


PH     5.0       Range    4.5-9

Protein    Neg  mg/dl       Range  Neg

Specific Gravity   1.018    Range  1.005 - 1.030   Interpretation: Normal after 12 hr fluid retention  >1.025

Squamous Cells   None0bs  /LPF        Range    Few

Trichomonas SP Identified   Noneobs     Range   Neg

urobilinogen   1.0  mg/dl      Range   0 - 1.0

Yeast      Noneobs        Range    Neg


My cultures are not back yet. They should be back by Wed or Thurs she said.


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101028_tn?1348750963
your urine just shows that you had a uti .

I'd double check on your trich results because honestly I"m not sure how to read them with the way that they are posted.
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Avatar_f_tn
These results showed up on my health.vet page today.

Serum

C REACTIVE PROTEIN   15.30 High  mg/L  0.0-5.0

Whole Blood Results


BASOPHILS 0.0 K/cmm 0.0-0.1 Details

BASOPHILS/100 LEUKOCYTES 0.3 % 0-1 Details

EOSINOPHILS 0.1 K/cmm 0.0-0.3 Details

EOSINOPHILS/100 LEUKOCYTES 1.7 % 0-3 Details

ERYTHROCYTE DISTRIBUTION WIDTH 14.1 % 11-14.5 Details

ERYTHROCYTE MEAN CORPUSCULAR HEMOGLOBIN 28.5 pg 27.5-33.2 Details

ERYTHROCYTE MEAN CORPUSCULAR HEMOGLOBIN CONCENTRATION 33.3 Low gm/dl 33.4-35.5 Details

ERYTHROCYTES 4.28 Low M/cmm 4.5-5.1 Details

ERYTHROCYTE SEDIMENTATION RATE 39 High mm/hr 0-20

HEMATOCRIT 36.7 % 35.9-44.6 Details

HEMOGLOBIN 12.2 Low gm/dl 12.3-15.3 Details

LEUKOCYTES 6.6 K/cmm 4.5-10.0 Details

LYMPHOCYTES 1.9 K/cmm 1.1-4.4 Details

LYMPHOCYTES/100 LEUKOCYTES 28.7 % 24-44 Details

MEAN CORPUSCULAR VOLUME 85.7 fl 80-96 Details

MONOCYTES 0.7 High K/cmm 0.3-0.6 Details

MONOCYTES/100 LEUKOCYTES 10.1 High % 3-6 Details

NEUTROPHILS 3.9 K/cmm 2.4-6.2 Details

NEUTROPHILS/100 LEUKOCYTES 59.2 % 54-62 Details

PLATELET MEAN VOLUME 8.0 fl 6.4-10.2 Details

PLATELETS 245 K/cmm 150-450 Details

I don't see anything that resembles an IGg or IGm test. Is this from blood or cultures? My culture results are not back yet. Or at least they are not posting to my health.vet page yet.

Do I need to ask my primary to take more blood? Will she know if I ask for an IGg test? She did seem a bit confused when I mentioned these tests to her the other day. She has put in a consult for the Infectious Disease clinic. Maybe they have more knowledge on HSV.
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101028_tn?1348750963
none of the testing you have listed is std related at all. give the clinic a call and make sure some sort of herpes testing was even done.

what a headache eh?
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Avatar_f_tn
I checked my lab tests on line again tonight. There was one for HSV1 AB and it was negative. There were no numbers associated with it and it was the only test reported on that particular serum lab.

My culture results are not yet back.

I will call my primary tomorrow and see what she has to say. I will also ask about the IGg test.
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Avatar_f_tn
I finally spoke with someone from the infectious disease dept. at the VA. He explained my tests a little better for me. I did indeed have an HSV ! breakout. He ordered acyclovir for me to keep at home if/when I have another episode. (I am hoping I will never have to take them again!).

I am feeling now that I may have had this all along. The aftermath of itching and the tingling and little pricks here and there reminded me of times when I felt that before. I never really thought anything of it. I have hidrodanitis which is boils, and they really are painful when they boil up. I would need to have them lanced in a clinic. Oh I thought that was embarrassing and painful. The pain/smell/goo was just awful. And when I had hidrodanitis my sex life wasn't great. It has been under control for a few years, but left scars. Scars kept me from having sex for a long time.

This new stuff is even worse. And now that I believe I have had the genital hsv for years I feel awful that I may have passed it on to others. Strange how no-one stopped seeing me because they got it or possible just thought they had it and passed it to me. Now I truly believe I have had it for years. I just never had my first primary breakout with full on lesions and uti. I do believe if it does happen again, I will just go to sleep and stay asleep.

The 2nd worst result from this primary breakout has ruined my sex drive. I am not longer interested. Nothing is exciting to me. I have a lot of toys, glass dildos, vibrating dildos, and great oils. Nothing has turned me on. I used to get turned on just reading sexy books. I just finished reading the second book in the trilogy Fifty Shades Darker. Not a bump a tingle a goose bump. I enjoyed the book but it did nothing for me.

I just don't feel very sexy. I tried masturbating a few times. Thought about sexy things. Checked out a few of some old sex websites. Nothing. Maybe this will be short term I hope. I loved sex before this. I was actually learning and doing more now than I did when I was younger. I miss it. I miss the enjoyment.

I am waiting for a new appointment with another woman gyn at the E orange clinic. They also changed my primary NP to a woman doc at the VA clinic. We shall see.I will ask about more blood tests and culture tests.

Thanks for listening.
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101028_tn?1348750963
what testing for herpes was +?
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Avatar_f_tn
Sorry, hit the shift key --  HSV 1. Infect. Dis. Doc said for sure the tests indicated HSV 1.

What about my sex drive?? Is it gone forever?? Even this morning while showering, I had the shower head on pulse and used it on my vagina and my clit as I always do to clean, and I always got a good jolt of excitement....today nada, nothing, zero....except a little shock of discomfort.

Very very bad year for me so far. I must have pissed off some one some where out there who is determined to get back at me! 58 and already my life seems to be going down hill. What the hell am I going to be like at 65??? Like all the old biddies around here walking like they got a stick up their (*&* ?? I hope not. I can't stand those people.
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Avatar_f_tn
`I feel as if I am going through another mini OB. There is some tingling and pain when I pee and it is sore when I wipe. Also during the day I feel sore for no reason and there are little pings of sharp pain. Again when I showered today as I past the water over my vagina there was discomfort. I touched myself last night. No arousal. Nothing. There was a bit of discomfort. My lips do not feel the same. They feel puffy and wrinkled. Nothing there feels the same. I feel as If I am scarred for life. Like the woman with the letter "A". And as an older woman I find it even harder to talk to people, friends, docs about what I am going through. I do not have a partner, no "male" company now. I have always suffered from depression and now it is just 10 fold more. Once a very long time ago, someone told me it was cathartic to write down how you feel. Even if you are not writing to anyone in particular. I tried then. But I was very young. I thought my life was over then. Now it's different. I am writing a book of my experiences to help me. And I write on here. It is starting to help.
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101028_tn?1348750963
herpes has no effect on your libido.   you've suffered from depression in the past, sounds like a good time to talk to someone and work through these feelings so it doesn't bring you down even more.  Don't let the "IDEA" of having herpes be an issue for you!!!

be seen monday and get properly tested for vaginal infections to make sure nothing is going on to further irritate things.

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