April 2018
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disclosure- herpes

As of a week ago, I have herpes. I think it is terribly unfair, considering that I've only had sex with 6 people, intercourse with 4 of those (always with a condom except for my previously-virginal ex-partner), and oral with 3. I've been careful dammit! AGH. When I talked to the doctor and told zir what happened right before, ze said it could be type 1 (which will recur as cold sores on my mouth) or type 2 (which will recur as blisters on my genitals AGHH) and ze doesn't know if the test results will tell me which kind it is. I could also have been carrying it for any length of time and just now had my first outbreak (which doesn't make much sense as I've been much less stressed lately). Apparently many people are carriers and never have an outbreak but pass it on.

I've never been in so much pain in my life. OH MY GOD OW. I've been laying around and bathing and taking mass amounts of ibuprofen and laying around more because it HURTS to walk. It is much better now than it was Friday and Saturday but it still hurts. It doesn't help that the doc forgot to call in my prescription! I called today and got zir voicemail, left a message, hope I can get meds tomorrow! They don't fix it but they're supposed to make the outbreak shorter. I'm pretty desperately hoping that either it's type 1 or I'm one of those lucky people who never get a second outbreak.

It annoys me that this feels like a shameful secret. So I'm making it public. Because having an STI or STD or whatever the fuck this is does not make me a bad person or dirty or 'promiscuous.' I plan to inform lovers before I have sex (because there is a slim chance of transmission even when one is not having a outbreak) and use proper precautions and all that. And if people judge me because of it, that is their problem and not mine.


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deleon ══╣╠══
I contracted genital herpes when I was 22 (I am 37). And I am so over it. Condoms can't really control the spread of herpes very well because herpes is a contact disease first, sexually transmitted disease second. One out of every 3-5 people have either Herpes I, or II. Most people end up getting the mouth kind sooner or later. BTW if you give oral sex with the cold sore kind, it will become the genital kind on them! THAT is how I got it, from my boyfriends cold sore. It is true that the anti-virals significantly decrease the transmission. However, there is one VERY important thing you must know. Vaginal herpes CAN cause death in infants if they contract it as they pass through the vaginal canal. People will say, "but the doctors can check for it before birth". That is not 100% true -they only know when the outbreak is active, which can happen in a split-second. I would STRONGLY suggest that you do not take any chances and if you plan to have a baby just plan to have a C-section. Also, herpes is a CONTACT disease first, a sexually transmitted disease, second. Herpes CAN be transmitted to ANY mucus membrane. Eyes, nose, etc. Autoinoculation (self-spreading) is VERY easy to do. I have inadvertently spread mine far beyond my initial outbreak site. I now know that CORNSTARCH of all things really helps keep it from spreading around the intial outbreak site. It is SO important to keep it dry. Women actually exhibit symptoms of the disease FAR more then men do. My husband finally contracted it from me after 10 years of marriage and not one outbreak. I, on the other hand, always had one a month. Supposedly they significantly decrease after about 7 years. I was not that lucky. The anti-viral meds are liver hackers. Just this year -I went all natural. L-Lysine, ZINC is awesome, both oral (30 mg 2xday during outbreak, 1Xday during maintenance)and topical, and some kick-ass Chinese herbs keep mine under control. Also, Lavendar oil is a super-duper viral butt-kicker.
deleon ══╣╠══
And just be glad it is not fatal under ordinary circumstances.
sidheblessed ══╣╠══
I'm sorry to hear this, Bel. Like you said, this is annoying but you shouldn't feel shame as it says nothing of you as a person, other than that you were unlucky. *hugs*

From memory, herpes is passed through skin to skin contact. So even if you're using protection, you can get it if you make skin to skin contact with an affected area, during foreplay or after sex. You can get it from kissing, too, only people call it cold sores then. That pretty much means you can't predict who will get it and you can get it even with only a few sexual partners. So all of these stereotypes of it being a "slut's" disease or something you only get if you don't use protection are just bogus. I'm glad you're not listening to them!

I hope this outbreak clears up soon and that you are lucky to never have another, they sound awfully painful! *sends healing vibes*
musicandmisery ══╣╠══
Milky Way
aerialmelodies ══╣Milky Way╠══

It really can come from anywhere. It's apparently common for kids who might have cuts on their mouth area - you know, from being kids - to get it from an adult kissing their face! It's not on purpose of course, and the adult may never show signs of having it... but you're right, there's no need for you to feel dirty or be made to feel that way. You really could have been born with it and you're just now having an outbreak. Who knows. The important thing is to get the results from the doctor, find out what kinds of treatments there are for when you have an outbreak, and make sure to keep partners informed. We still love you just the same. *hugs*
kschap ══╣╠══
Herpes is pretty common, and it isn't that big of a deal, really, so don't worry too much about it. It seems like you've got the right attitude to deal with it, though. :) *hugs* Hope you're feeling better soon!
hands_cupped ══╣╠══
I'm sorry to hear this. I really hope the pain gets better soon and you find a way to keep it minimal in the future.

And you're right. You're not dirty and there is nothing shameful about it. At all.
queerbychoice ══╣╠══
I'm very sorry to hear this.

I hope you will read up on the disease right away, because there's a lot of information out there that should make you feel better immediately. I will try to provide the basics below.

1. Some of your information above is wrong. Genital herpes can be caused by either HSV-1 (which more often infects the mouth) or HSV-2 (which more often infects the genitals), but regardless of which type it is, it will recur in the area where you personally contracted it. Since your current outbreak is a genital outbreak, your future outbreaks will also be genital outbreaks, no matter which virus you're infected with. (It is possible to spread it to your mouth, however, in which case you would have outbreaks in both places.)

2. From here: "About 50 percent to 80 percent of the adult population in the United States has oral herpes, with as many as 90% having the virus by age 50. Most people contract oral herpes when they are children by receiving a kiss from a friend or relative." (About 80% of infected people never have any symptoms, however, so they never realize they're infected.)

3. From here: "Initial genital infections due to HSV-1 may be more severe than those caused by HSV-2. Recurrences tend to be milder and less frequent than with HSV-2, however." And no matter which virus you have, "In general, recurrences are much milder than the initial outbreak. The virus sheds for a much shorter period of time (about three days) compared to in an initial outbreak of three weeks" and the symptoms are also much milder than the initial outbreak. Recurrences generally become gradually even milder with each successive outbreak.

The bottom line is that both viruses are extremely common, and although the initial outbreak can be terribly unpleasant, neither virus is likely to cause more than a mild inconvenience over the long run. Good luck!
verviana ══╣╠══
::hugs:: You have an awesome attitude about it.

For some reason a lot of doctors are fuzzy on the details of herpes tests, but there is a blood test you can get that tells you which virus it is, if you're dying to know. No idea what this test is called or anything, but google and diligence may be able to tell you.

From what I hear, there are plenty of people who NEVER have a recurring outbreak. Hopefully you're one of those.
deleon ══╣╠══
Some more free advice from my Naturopath, no more chocolate or almonds. They are high in Arginine which is an amino acid that increases the replication of the herpes virus. Also, here is the name of the Chinese medicine that I use: Long Dan Xie Gan Wan. When I first notice symptoms, I take it twice a day for 7-8 days. It seriously kicks butt. You can probably get it online. There is a big variation in price so shop around. I managed to find it for $5 a bottle, which is about 3 outbreaks worth (7-8 days of treatment).
xochitl ══╣heart╠══
If it's any consolation, a friend of mine just found out he has HSV-1 and has never even had intercourse with anybody. He posted a public notice about it on facebook because he doesn't believe it's anything to be ashamed about, and it's not! At worst it is a mild inconvenience.

I was helping another friend research herpes after she found out one of her on-again off-again partners also tested positive for HSV-1. Apparently if you have one strain, you are less likely to contract other strains. So if you have HSV-1 (regardless of the outbreak site), you're unlikely to also contract HSV-2.
athena | wisdom
frecklestars ══╣athena | wisdom╠══
I think you are absolutely right: that STIs do not make someone dirty or bad or promiscuous and talking about it is a very important thing. You are so completely amazing. I'm deeply sorry to hear how much it hurts though, and I hear your frustration. *hughughug*
lorelei_sakti ══╣yuna╠══
Aw, I'm sorry, Bel. Hope it gets better soon and that you don't have any more breakouts!
camilleyun ══╣╠══
I'm sorry.
I'd ask the doctor to call in a prescription of antivirals then get it filled and keep it on hand for an emergency outbreak in the future just in case.
Hang in there.
(Anonymous) ══╣╠══
I don't know what other people are saying, but according to the Center for disease control, "a person can only get HSV-2 infection during sexual contact with someone who has a genital HSV-2 infection."

And: "Transmission can occur from an infected partner who does not have a visible sore."

Which means you really shouldn't be having genital contact with ANYONE, because it will be possible to spread it: "The surest way to avoid transmission of sexually transmitted diseases, including genital herpes, is to abstain from sexual contact, or to be in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who has been tested and is known to be uninfected." because infection "can occur in both male and female genital areas that are covered or protected by a latex condom".


I'm sorry this happened to you but you CANNOT put other people at risk.
belenen ══╣strong╠══
I do realize there is risk, however, I do not think that means I need to be celibate or monogamous. I will inform others of the risk before having genital contact, and leave it to them to decide. If they're willing to accept the small risk of transmission that comes from sex that is NOT during an outbreak, I think that is their choice to make. This isn't a rare or deadly infection and I don't need to be quarantined.
(Anonymous) ══╣╠══
Anyone that would put themselves up for risk for an STD is irresponsible. Anyone that would knowingly risk spreading an STD to someone else (their choice or not) is irresponsible. Sorry.

I think it absolutely sucks that you'd willingly pass something to someone just because you informed them of the possibility and they didn't say no.

This is precisely the reason people are affected by STDs at all and the rates of STDs (including some of them that ARE deadly and epidemic): poor choices.
(Anonymous) ══╣╠══
Listen, I apologize for my last response to you. I know it was harsh and that wasn't my intent. I haven't stopped thinking about this all day long, because I'm honestly worried about you.

But it's not just YOU. I'm worried about the people that may contract this from you - even if it's of their own free will, knowing the risks. Because, then they may go on and knowingly go out and infect someone else, who goes out and infects someone else, even if (best case scenario) everyone knows and is "okay" with the risk. Which, frankly, is statistically not going to be the case.

Now, I know - you can't be responsible for anyone's actions but your own. If someone is infected by you and then chooses not to tell someone else (or has sex with someone else before they know they're infected and infects someone else), it's on them. But to me it's like spreading bad energy - it starts with you and it's really your responsiblity to be judicious and responsible about the way you handle it it so that more people don't get hurt and get ill.

Do you know who you got it from? Did you make an informed choice to have sex with someone infected, knowing they were? If you didn't, would you, if you had known? Because if you didn't know, you have no way of knowing if other people YOU infect (even if they said "okay, I understand the risk and am okay with it) may not tell their next partner, either.

My point is that this is a loaded weapon. While it won't kill anyone, it can certainly mess up lives and cause issues for people in ways you can't even predict. You can't take that lightly with just a simple "I'll tell people before we have sex" and think that makes it okay.

This is bigger than just you. This is EVERYONE that you sleep with in the future an EVERYONE they'll sleep with, and EVERYONE that person will sleep with, and so on and so forth.

Please, please please consider all the angles before you do anything in the future.
on communication, social justice, intimacy, consent, friendship & other relationships, spirituality, gender, queerness, & dreams. Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.
Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.