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GHSV1...anxiety and fears

Hi. I am a female just diagnosed via culture with GHSV type 1. I have been so upset over the past week over this. I got it from someone I was kindof seeing over the summer, never even had sex with the man. I have had very few partners in my life, I have always taken VERY good care of myself and my health and I am so upset because I feel i do not deserve this. I pray to God every day for strength. I have so much anxiety over future partners and my future husband. My first outbreak was not awful, it was tolerable.The psychological damage has been the worst. My main concern is dating....I feel as though since so many make it out so be "not a big deal" that it isnt woth it to tell someone if i havent had an OB in a long time and if a condom is used. I dont plan on having sex with anyone until I know who I want to marry anyways. And i want to be able to have sex unprotected with my future husband... It is tearing me up thinking about the future. I feel so ashamed just because of one mistake. Please give me some positive feedback!!!
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897535 tn?1295206435
I'll be glad to share my experience with having genital HSV1 (it's been about 4 years now)...

My GHSV1 infection came from my longterm boyfriend (both in our 40's). He had had cold sores in his childhood, but never in the time I dated him (or I should say, none that he or I ever noticed). So after 5 long years and no doubt hundreds of hours of oral sex (heehee), he transmitted his oral herpes to me. Oh and it was a doozie outbreak (as we try to tell folks here who worry about "tingling" being herpes - NOT). I had 2 unbearable weeks of painful lesions where I could barely sit, walk, sleep, and let's not talk about going pee! It was truly awful and a classic primary case of a genital herpes outbreak.

When I first heard "genital herpes" from my doctor, I cried like a baby in the doctor's office, and had that initial knee-jerk reaction that many folks do - 'oh god, not herpes!' - given the stigma behind it. But once educated, I came to find how very common it is, that the majority of people don't even know they have it, and that in the scheme of illness and disease, it is a mere skin condition that doesn't affect my longevity or quality of life. It's not cancer, it's not diabetes, it's not heart disease or a myriad of other illnesses - it's nothing more than a pesky skin condition. And, that most men won't go shrieking and running for the woods either.

After that first ridiculous outbreak, I had one about 6 months later. It was literally a herpes joke :-)  A few small lesions, barely noticeable and at worst slightly uncomfortable. I took Valtrex as prescribed and within a few days gone. Since then, only two even less eventful outbreaks. I haven't had one now for over a year (and may never again!!).

So, my genital herpes really never comes to mind. So many other stressful situations and day to day issues to get through in life, don't you think? (College tuition in a year for my son, for example!) Herpes takes a seat far, far back on the bus in my life; as a matter of fact I dropped it off a few stops back :-) I realize you're younger than I am,  but in time I know the worry and "damaged goods" feeling will fade away into the woodwork. Consider buying Terri Warren's book "The Good News About the Bad News"  - a great read for those newly diagnosed and their partners, too.

As to relationships, it's not been an issue with my (one) negative or (two) positive partners, as I've since been back in the dating world :-)  One thing I have found is it clearly loses it's impact of what's truly important in a relationship. If only all the other baggage that can come with someone was as easy to manage as herpes! And really, having confidence in a relationship is key. If you let yourself think you're "broken" in some way because of herpes, well then your prospective boyfriend may just agree. But educating yourself, and that special someone about this incidental sidebar really is key. And as Grace said, it's a two way street - assume nothing as to their herpes/STD status, and make it part of that very important discussion about birth control and STDs. When I told the one negative guy I dated, I told it just like it happened - that my oral herpes positive BF and I didn't know he could transmit thru oral sex, and viola now where most folks have it orally, I had it genitally. He was like "Wow didn't know that either!" and we ended up using condoms, which was no biggie. And again, the good news it rarely sheds and causes outbreaks and statistically the chance for transmission is very low. Plus, if your BF has oral or genital HSV1 already, then you both have it and no worries about transmitting it.

Herpes has become, for me, the "oh yeah, that" microcosm thing. Virtually meaningless and non-impacting to my life. Herpes clearly does not define me as a person, at all!! I know it will take you time to get to that place, but trust me sister, you will!
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897535 tn?1295206435
I always use condoms with new partners, even if they have a clean STD test. Trust is earned for me in every aspect of a relationship, and so that means condoms too. Statistically, even with a negative partner, the chance of me transmitting it is very low (read the herpes handbook if you haven't - google it - it's under westover heights clinic). There you'll read that HSV1 sheds very little. That aside, try no to predict anything about a future partner; their herpes status, how they'll react, how you'll deal if he has HSV2, etc. Just as everything goes in starting a new relationship, this is only a very small part of it.

As to the "TALK", do remember it's a two way street. As I said, you're not damaged goods. STDs/birth control goes both ways. Most men will understand and want to be educated about it, I think.

As to what to do to feel better, well, some of that just plain and simple comes with time, and education too. If you have someone who's a true support person, confide in them. It doesn't even have to be a peer; maturity, kindness and caring is what you need. Also, the book I mentioned is a good resource.

Lastly, if the fear and anxiety is in fact feeling like it's "consuming" you, please do seek a counselor to speak with. While your feelings are no doubt valid, it's not a great place to be in (I can vouch for it too) - but herpes clearly is nothing to be afraid or ashamed of. Try to keep reading my posts and the one from Nickie89 as well.
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Avatar universal
Hello there!

I will try to cheer you up a little bit... :) I got diagnosed with HSV-1 10-11 months ago. I cried like a baby for a few days and I remember my parents putting up the Christmas decorations. They wanted me to help but I was so devastated I stayed inside and cried. (I'm 23 by the way)

Later on, my mom came in to talk to me and was telling me I was over reacting big time (I so was!) She told me it's just a little virus that causes discomfort, it's not going to kill me! She then said: Why is it ok to have it orally, but not genitally? They're the same virus!" This is when I realised that I was being a complete idiot about it. She's right! She also went on to say that she thinks she has it too but never made a big deal out of it. (I love my mom)

I also told a few of my really good guy friends about it and they told me everything will be ok and that well.. they'd still get it on with me if they could. So that kind of made me feel better in a way. I was also saying to one of them that I'd die alone and he said: No way, you're too much of a good catch."

So there it is, just live your life, don't let this virus ruin it, you're worth it!
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Avatar universal
I'm writing you because your post was really comforting for me. I feel very lost right now. Have you ever had sex with a negative partner with no condoms? I plan to have children one day. Its hard imagining trying to get pregnant without infecting the potential father. I know I may be getting way far ahead of myself but I'm trying to know as much as possible. Do you have any tips on how I could possibly get through this....I'm having a really hard time. I'm so young, with at least 4 years of school still to accomplish and I'm so scared of the dating scene, gossip, etc. I am trying to focus on bettering myself once I get back to my college classes and so on, but this fear and anxiety and embarassment I feel has completely consumed me. I don't plan on having that "talk" with someone until I KNOW for sure that he is a good person and worth a long term relationship. I am tired of the immaturity college boys who are only looking to sleep around. But I still have such anxiety and shock and I am at a loss of what to do or feel  
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Avatar universal
thank you so much. that post really means a lot and its been kindof eye opening. a lot of people do have it and you are right, it really is only a pesky skin condition. I am hoping that maybe this will all be a blessing in disguise and that this will make me a better person. Maybe it'll help me weed out the right guy some day. its going to be hard going back to school and acting normal infront of all of my friends who fall all over stupid frat boys... but then again i think there are more of those people that i hang around with who have it than dont. I am going to re-read your post a lot :)
Helpful - 0
101028 tn?1419603004
it does get easier over time. the more you talk about your herpes , the easier it gets to put it out there with a new partner I think.

I'm going to ask Petal to stop in and comment - she has hsv1 genitally herself and is great to talk to :)
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Avatar universal
Do you have any tips on how to get through this? I just found this out and I have big changes this week and it has literally been driving me nuts. I need tips on getting over the fear of rejection and self loathing over all of this. Maybe this will help me weed out the right men in the end who care about me as a person... May I ask how you dealt with it when you first found out about your hsv? And do you know of people who still have unprotected sex in a serious relationship with hsv1?  
Helpful - 0
101028 tn?1419603004
is it easy to tell someone you have genital herpes before you've had sex with them? of course not!  It's part of being sexually responsible though and part of the "talk" we all need to be having before we are intimate with a new partner.  You disclosing your genital hsv1 infection that you know you have, starts the conversation of what testing they've had to know their status. you still need to protect yourself against hsv2 as well as you and a partner can't decide what precautions to take for sex until you know their hsv1 status too.  you also need to talk about condom use and birth control too. not the most exciting conversation to have with someone you are attracted to but an important one. most folks don't get full std testing so asking is important.

have you had your gardasil shot series for hpv yet?


is your hsv1 genital infection going to interfere with finding a husband or starting a family? not really. hsv1 genitally doesn't reoccur very often in general so it isn't a big disruption to your sex life. it also doesn't shed very often so the odds of transmitting it to a partner are pretty low. since at your age, 1 out of every 3 people you know has hsv1 either orally or genitally, good odds that your partner would have it too.  

keep asking questions!!  

grace
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Avatar universal
That's rediculous that your bf left. Wow. I'm really sorry.....I plan on telling nobody until I know that I can trust that person who I know ill want to be with for the rest of my life. I don't even plan on saying the word "herpes" I just think that I will say that I carry the virus for cold sores in my body, you could possibly contract it from me, or you may not and try to shrug it off as no big deal. I guess I'm just still in a state of shock.  
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Avatar universal
That's rediculous that your bf left. Wow. I'm really sorry.....I plan on telling nobody until I know that I can trust that person who I know ill want to be with for the rest of my life. I don't even plan on saying the word "herpes" I just think that I will say that I carry the virus for cold sores in my body, you could possibly contract it from me, or you may not and try to shrug it off as no big deal. I guess I'm just still in a state of shock
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Avatar universal
I was asking for symptoms bc I just don't know if its oral or genital. My results were IGG >5.00 so my doctor said if I never had any symptoms it is most likely oral. And have had it for a while.
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Avatar universal
:-(
Don't say those things, I'm 24, so I'm really young too. Don't let some thing like herpes define you, sooo many people have it, I myself didn't even know until I took the blood test, the more people I talk to I realize have it,  not ghsv but oral which is the same thing doeesnt matter where it is. I was devasted at first and my bf left me, his dad gets cold sores! And that's exactly what hsv 1 is. I talked to a lot of ppl about my hsv results, and found out my dad gets coldsores, my sister, friends. I hope you feel better soon. Don't tell anyone unless you truly truly trust them. :-) its college and like u said ppl talk. The person that really cares about you will not run away, they will get educated about herpes and love you no matter what
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Avatar universal
I also am dying at the thought of telling someone this before sex. I don't want anyone to ever know! Because I'm so fearful of being rejected and then having gossip spread. That's how college is...
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Avatar universal
I had a few sores and I was tested, put on valtrex and after 6 days the sores are gone. It wasn't painful just itchy and annoying. I'm pretty healthy so hopefully rare outbreaks. I'm just really scared of the future, rejection over this, transmitting it, etc. I feel absolutely hopeless and this is so unlike me. I'm not myself...I'm letting this rob my life and its driving me nuts. I'm seeing a counselor this week and am on anxiety meds as needed but nothing seems to help. All I have ever wanted in life is to be loved and I feel like that isn't going to happen because of this stupid mistake.
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Avatar universal
It's going to be okay alot of people have hsv1 about 1 out of every two to three people. I have it I never had any symptoms my dr told me not to worry ... what were ur symptoms? I'm curious. I got diagnosed via igg blood test but never had anything happen
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Avatar universal
I am also scheduled to move into my new town home and go back to school this week and I wish i could do ANYTHING for this to be back to normal so I can enjoy college life and my friends without this burning in the back of my mind..... please help
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