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accepting herpes and moving on
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accepting herpes and moving on

so today I went into the doc because I could NOT figure out what was wrong with me. I figured I had a yeast infection, but I had other symptoms that just didn't add up. the doc inspected me and believes I may have herpes. I've been in a monogamous relationship for a while now and between my past relations I cannot figure out where this may have started. besides that point, I want to be able to accept that I may have herpes without feeling so ashamed or dirty. I won't know for sure until about next week, but this has all kinda come as a shock. I want to be able to move on and accept the cards I've been dealt
23 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_f_tn
Sooooo sorry to hear.  Just so you know you are not alone.  I am 61 years old black female and was diagnosed in 2008, after being misdiagnosed since early 2000's.  Just so happened, I was divorced at the time I was diagnosed and had been a loyal and faithful spouse.  Now that I'm seriously looking for a mate, I have to disclose my condition regardless of his status, it's nerve racking.  It's taken me 4 years of constantly thinking about how to tell a potential partner, or better yet - when and how to tell anyone you are interested in.  Now, I'm secretly hoping that my potential partner has it too  (Isn't that an aweful thought?).  You said it best...become as familiar with the disease, suppressive therapy, find a support group (if there are any), read, read, and read some more.  The more familiar you are with the disease the better you can handle it - mentally.  I've concluded, as you did, I've got to move forward, can't afford to stay in limbo while life passes me by.    One thing I see from your post....you are not married.  Now, you must think about what I've just relayed to you because you may find yourself without the partner you are with now in the future.  I wish you the best....remember that you need to be well educated on the subject in order to become less exasperated.  From native001
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Avatar_f_tn
thank you for the support. my boyfriend was actually the first person I told and has been extremely supportive and loving about it. he's decided to just take it day by day, because we really don't know if I have it for sure until about next week. so he plans on getting tested tomorrow and we'll kinda figure things out from there.
I'm sorry to hear about your difficulty. if you don't mind me asking, how has your life changed since you found out? what kind of treatments (if any) do you use?
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Avatar_m_tn
What exactly did this doctor see that he thinks you may have herpes? Unless he is a doctor who specializes in STDs or a Dermatologist, I will say the odds are you don't have it. If you have open sores or blisters in there, he is guessing. What exactly do you have going on and maybe from what you say we could give you odds. We aren't doctors but to be honest, even the best professional doctor in the world who specializes in STDs is wrong sometimes. A family doctor who doesn't deal with this on a daily bases is really guessing and backing it up with a test. Let us know.
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Avatar_f_tn
well, first of all, it's a doctor for the university health center. I'm not sure what she specializes in. she said she sees blisters and pointed them out to me, but they aren't painful AT ALL. there's no odor (which I don't know is another symptom or not), there's no pain while urinating. it's just extra discharge and itchiness for the most part. I did have severe neck and back pain, but that's been happening for a while, so I think it's separate. I don't have any form of blistering within my thigh or butt area. I've never felt this way before and if I do have it, it doesn't really follow the characteristics of most first outbreaks.
I've been in a monogamous relationship with my boyfriend for over 9 months now and all previous sexual encounters wore condoms. I know the virus can stay dormant and condoms don't necessarily protect you because it's skin to skin, but I kinda figure my odds are good seeing that the first outbreak is supposed to occur about two weeks after receiving the infection. I've also started a new birth control and tried a yeast infection thing previous to my examination soooo possibly those two could be factors?
it's all very confusing to me, but I'm trying to hope for the best.
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Avatar_m_tn
If she sees actual blisters and you said she pointed them out to you, that is herpes. I am not sure you actually said the word blister before but anytime you see a blister down there, chances are it's herpes unless your boyfriend uses a blow torch down there. What you should do now is find out if it is HSV 1 or 2.
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Avatar_f_tn
I contracted the disease from my husband in the early 2000s - we had been married since 1979.  We separated in 2005 and divorced in 2008.  I have not been with another man since we stopped having relations in 2004 (long time huh!).  So to answer your question, I choose not to have a relationship (sexual) with anyone.  Not because I'm fear of transmitting the disease to them, but because I honor my body, and choose to give it to the man God has for me.  I know that God's man will accept me as I am without redicule.  The breakouts I have have been reduced to about 2-3 per year, and then is about 1/3 the size of your little finger nail, it still takes about 7 days to clear up.  I do not take any medication.  Right now I feel that any medicaation may cause the disease to become more prevalent so I'm very thankful that I don't shead a lot.  If and when I begin to have sex again it will be after a few talks with my mate and my physician.  I will also require my mate to have all STD test done since I've learned that many people have the disease but don't know it.  Be Blessed!
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Avatar_f_tn
I must stress that you read, read, read!!!  There's no way to get around finding out for yourself and be sure what the disease looks and feels like.  I will say this..... I have never, repeat NEVER, had any pain associated with outbreaks.  What I saw, is a califlower shaped blister that itched like crazy until I burst the blisters and squeezed the fluid out - that promotes healing (for me).  This disease affects everyone differently according to their body chemistry.  I consider myself one whose body chemistry is trying to reject the infection.  It may never go away, but my God is a healer and I will always count the months until the next outbreak.  I haven't had an outbreak in 5 months.  The longest I've gone without one is 7 months. I pray that you don't have it as it could be just a bad case of nerves along with a yeast infection.  I don't know how long you can be infected before you have an outbreak - over 8 months?-maybe.  But if you've been in a relationship with only your current boyfriend for 9 months and you didn't have it before you got with him, and the outbreaks occur within a 2 week period, then somebody has been stepping out.  In the early 2000s my ex sweared that he hadn't been with anybody else, but after the divorce I found out that he had had up to 8 other women during our marriage.  Once again, I'll say I am grateful and thankful that he didn't bring AIDS home to me.  If you believe in God - start reading some of the Psalms where David is giving thanks to God for all sorts of things that were going wrong and right in his life.  This will take your mind off of what's you think may be happening in your body.  You can only think about one thing at a time so choose something uplifting and praise worthy.  Be Blessed!
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101028_tn?1348750963
at this point, you and your partner should properly cover your bases with type specific herpes igg blood testing to see who has what. even if your provider did lesion cultures on your symptoms, follow up with the testing.

typically herpes lesions are painful, especially when touched. did they also test you for yeast and bacterial infections vaginally when you were seen?

hopefully you get better answers as to what is going on soon :)

grace
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Avatar_f_tn
my boyfriend is supposed to get tested today, but doesn't know what kind of testing they do because he's going somewhere new.
when she touched them, she asked if they hurt and they really didn't. she said she was just taking it to the lab because she was pretty sure it was herpes and I guess wanted a confirmation on it.
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101028_tn?1348750963
he should make sure it's a type specific herpes igg blood test he gets done.
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Avatar_f_tn
so he should take a herpes test that would specifically identify if it's HSV1 or HSV2?
what is another thing that gets me and the doctor didn't address is the pain I feel with eye movement or if I apply pressure to them. if I keep my gaze  generally centered, then there is no pain. otherwise, it feels like the onset of a headache
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101028_tn?1348750963
herpes wouldn't cause eye pain like this.

correct, your partner needs testing for both hsv1 and hsv2.
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Avatar_f_tn
Well, I think it's connected because the eye pain started exactly when all of these symptoms started coming up. Can you think of any other possibilities?
Thank you so much for your quick responses! It helps so much of my anxiety!
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Avatar_f_tn
I just realized... with reading other possible options, about 3 months ago I had to start taking a new birth control because I would bleed lightly about every other week. that birth control worked fine until those last two months. once I started taking a stronger birth control, it was all settled. I don't know if that changes anything
aside from that, I've been taking acyclovir (recommended by the doc) and have been continuing to use a yeast infection over the counter medication (just in case)
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Avatar_f_tn
I got my results Monday and I am positive for HSV 1. strangely, it appeared on my genitals, rather than my mouth. I'm currently trying to figure everything out. Luckily, I have a wonderful boyfriend who wants to stay with me. He got tested on Wednesday and we are now waiting for his results.
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101028_tn?1348750963
so you had a lesion culture that came back as hsv1+?
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Avatar_f_tn
yes, I'm really confused about how I got it. but... I must have had it for quite some time and didn't even realize it
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101028_tn?1348750963
if you had multiple lesions then odds are this was a recently acquired herpes infection for you. typically recurrences are a single lesion.  

does your partner perform oral sex on you?
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Avatar_f_tn
he does, but he got tested and I told him to request specifically for HSV 1 and HSV 2. he tested negative. I have been faithful, so it's all very confusing to me about how I acquired it
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Avatar_f_tn
is it possible that the test was wrong? I'm thinking about getting a second opinion and just getting tested for everything. a lot of things just don't add up
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101028_tn?1348750963
unfortunately even the best tests for hsv1 still miss 1 out of every 10 hsv1 infections. even though your partner is testing negative , odds are he really does have hsv1 orally and recently transmitted it to your genitally.

thankfully, hsv1 genitally on average doesn't reoccur very often so this shouldn't be much of an interruption in  your sex life once this initial ob clears up. since he has it orally and you have it genitally, really no precautions to take together except to avoid sex when you have genital symptoms.

keep asking questions!!!
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Avatar_f_tn
what about kissing? obviously we shouldn't kiss when he has an outbreak right?
the thing about that is... I've NEVER seen an outbreak on him. anywhere. no cold sores, nothing on his genitalia... nothing.
I am planning on taking a full STD test - for everything.
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101028_tn?1348750963
I'd avoid kissing him if he gets a cold sore too just to err on the side of caution.
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