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Readers Respond: Living With Herpes

Responses: 920

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Updated November 26, 2011

Stronger

As far as relationships go, telling someone will get easier with time. If someone truly loves and cares about you, they will find a way to love and support you. If not, then whey would you want to be with that person anyway. I like to see it as it weeds out the bad ones. Also remember not to settle. Just because you were unfortunate enough to have herpes, that doesn't mean you don't deserve love. Also keep in mind that, in most cases, people received this disease because their partner wasn't honest about their sexual history. I believe that if you have this disease, you have a chance to change yourself, other people's lives, and the reputation herpes has. I believe that everyone deserves a choice or an option. Give the next person the chance you never got. I hope that I have at least opened someone's eyes by sharing my experience. It hasn't been all rainbows and butterflies for me. Believe me, I've been through my own share of hell. But I made it out and you can too.
—Guest Rue

Stronger

get medicine. That is when I told my parents. My parents haven't always been the most supportive and understanding. Regardless, I felt I needed help so I told them. To my surprise, they were there for me. My mother cried and my father told me I didn't have to deal with the disease on my own. Knowing I had my parents support is what turned everything around for me. I simply decided that it wasn't that big of a deal. Yes, it's an STD. But it could be worse. It will not kill you, it will not keep you from having children, and it won't stop you from having sex. There are so many worse things that could have happened to you. If anything, it's just a pain in the ass to deal with. I know that reading this probably won't change your life, but I hope you at least know that you shouldn't be ashamed. It doesn't matter who you are or how you got it; you still didn't deserve this. But all you can do is make the best of it. This disease can make you a better person if you let it.
—Guest Rue

Stronger

I am a 19-year-old female and I contracted herpes from a guy I dated for two years. We had unprotected sex throughout our relationship without any complications. One day I noticed a bump and tried to pop it. I experienced extreme pain. I began to develop multiple bumps and the pain and itching became so severe, I eventually made a trip to my university's clinic. That was when I was diagnosed with genital herpes. I was obviously devastated. I'm not going to go into this deep, emotional story about how hurt and broken I was because if you're reading this, I'm sure you know. I obviously never expected anything like this from the guy I loved. I was depressed and I struggled for a while. I didn't want to tell anyone but I also knew that if I wanted to be in control of this disease, I'd have to
—Guest Rue

Found out last week

I have been with my girlfriend for the past 7 years. I proposed to her and we were recently planning our wedding together. She broke up with me 2 weeks ago because she said that we were moving to fast and she didn't know if we should be getting married yet. She told me that she wanted us both to see other people and see if we were really supposed to be together in the long run. I was upset, hurt, and angry. I did what she told me to and went to the bar with a couple guy friends and met a girl. We were texting back and forth for a couple days until she told me to come over and hang out one night. I ended up going over there and after a couple cocktails, we had sex. I started getting a lot of pain one day after this, and thought that I had cut myself shaving. The pain got so bad that I went to the doctor and he told me that he thought it was herpes. It's been 2 days and I just got my test results back. Positive. I seriously messed up my entire 7 year relationship over a one night stand.
—Guest Shock

First day of being 'positive'

It's a pretty shocking thing, finding out I have herpes. I called up my two partners (before my current one, who probably gave it to me) right away, and they'll both get tested. For the time being, my current partner and I won't be having sex. I have no interest in her getting herpes if she doesn't have it already, and I really hope she doesn't have it already. I'm very proud of the joke I told my Doctor when he gave me the test results... "Hey, under 'Flags' it says I got an A! I love getting As on tests!" Of course, that A meant HSV1, but whatever. An As an A. Fighting depression by being positive. It's not a life-ruining disease, and that's a really happy thing to know.
—Guest Guest Tim

some days are a bit harder...

Contracted the virus 13years ago,from a girl that I trusted, she never told me about it, and never got an apology from her, we still dated for a while until due to personal differences,not grudge,we broke up,after that it became harder to start a relationship with someone else. Obviously I would never do what was done to me,maybe she was afraid or embarrassed. So after that every time i started a relation with someone i really cared for i had to tell in advance,i was lucky cause they always understand,up to a certain point... Its hard for a woman without the virus to understand that in certain periods she can't make love with her bf, and for me its harder, because i feel limited as a man,and once the relation is gone the only thing in my mind is the fact that, now someone else knows about my condition, and it makes me a bit uncomfortable.... Since its an extreme private matter...but i guess I'll keep searching for the right one, there's always hope right! :-)
—Guest John

deathly ill

The websites say that Herpes is not life threatening but I have experienced otherwise. I became really ill in October 2012 with severe flu symptoms and a high fever. Then, I broke out with Herpes. I had over 35 bumps on my vagina. It hurt so badly that I couldn't sit down without pain. As my symptoms worsened, my mom suggested that I go to the ER and get tested for Herpes Meningitis because she read about it online. After a painful spinal tap, I tested positive for Viral Meningitis and was hospitalized for a week. It is 6 mos later, and I still having severe life altering symptoms from the Herpes. I was hospitalized a 2nd time with Herpes Meningitis during Christmas 2012. I feel like I have the flu every day. I have debilitating headaches & body aches, fever, extreme fatigue, and more. I have breakouts once a week. I currently have a breakout of 10 bumps. It is so painful plus I'm in the bed with flu symptoms. I'm on 2,000 mg a day of Valtrex, a strict diet, and still no relief. I
—Guest guest

Stay Positive

It's been 24 hours since I got diagnosed with herpes. It's definitely not my proudest moment, and my initial reaction was to worry about how anyone else would see me. What would my parents say? My best friend? My committed, wonderful boyfriend? All I could think about was how sorry I felt for myself. I'm 18, just started college, and already seemingly ruined the rest of my life. And then I stopped and realized how irrational that thinking is. Herpes sucks. But it's not fatal, it's not the dark mark of shame for everyone to see. If anything it's actually motivating me to care for my body to prevent outbreaks, to eat right and take care of myself. I learned everything I can about the disease and I'm facing it so it won't slow down my future. I think a lot of people overreact to it, and it shouldn't have to be as scary as everyone makes it out to be. It's not glamorous, or something to be proud of by any means. But it's not the end of the world. Not for me at least.
—Guest Guess Again

Shocked.

I went to the doctors to get a check up as I had sores around my vagina which I thought were tick bites. I had fever, high temps, extremely tired and sore throat. I had no idea how I got it as my boyfriend is clean, doctor told me the blister could of popped and when I urinated it must of infected it causing herpes. But I thought you couldn't catch herpes like that? My boyfriend is supportive and says he will stand by me. All day I had an emotional break-down as I thought herpes would be the last thing the doctor said. After reading your stories I have come to understanding of my situation and it has given me hope. Thank you . ☺
—Guest Pain

Herpes led me down a lesser road

I was diagnosed at age 22. At the time, I was dating a nice guy but probably not my soulmate. Yet, after I told him, he accepted this news readily, said he loved me no matter what. At that instant I knew I would marry him. I felt I had a sure-thing on my hands and why risk it for the other guy I had a crush on. I married, had 2 beautiful children (both vaginal births) with no complications. Yet, one of my biggest regrets is not exploring my feelings for that crush because I was sure he would reject me. He may have but now I constantly live in limbo wondering if he was truly my soulmate. Now, I'm married to a good man whom I settled for. Life is okay but passionless and maybe I missed out on the great?
—Guest Guest regret?

Just Like You

Hey there. I too just did the dr visit... and am waiting on official results although my dr is pretty sure its herpes. Reading web info, I'm sure it is. I am going through the most stressful time of my life. I left my 15 yr marriage and have a three year old daughter... and have been separated for a year. Seeing someone fairly steady, although I have been with a few others when we were more non-committed... all unprotected. Big mistake. My current bf gets cold sores a lot, so my dr thinks I may have got it from that... but a couple mths ago I broke out in genital warts too... my body is going crazy. I am devastated thinking about moving forward with herpes. I'm not sure this relationship will be forever... at one point I was excited about dating, even online... a few potentials... but now I am just devastated. My life has taken a dive. I am so disappointed. My bf is being very supportive, but I am sad to think about my future if things don't work out with him.
—Guest Just Like You

Change the stigma

Contracted the virus 23 yrs ago and have been ob free until now. It was triggered by an eye infectiont due to injury. Diet becomes first and foremost. Ph is very important. Avoid coffee, sugar and peanuts if you, as little as, suspect an ob approaching, also, drink lots of water, eat fresh green leafy vegies, oatmeal(no instant) and whole plain yogurt. Larginine antagonizes the virus so avoid foods high in this amino acid. myself, I choose to omit these foods from diet completely, until a couple of years ago. Won't wander from that diet again. Also, no underwear. Keep it dry and cool. Listen to your body it will tell you what's going on. I went 20 yrs w/no ob's. People who judge you for it are ignorant and unaware. I found that I make better choices and am very healthy as a result. Inform yourself and do your part to change the stigma . . .don't pass it, hold your head high, you can controll it.
—Guest 23 years

Oral Herpes

The 1st and only guy I ever gave oral sex to, gave me oral herpes...
—Guest Extreme Regret

Worst day of my life

I met this guy at work. We started talking from fb and things develop between us very quickly. Long story short I told him one of my secrets that i may have herpes. He totally freaks out and now I think he lost interest in me. I really liked him and I don't want to lose our friendship. But I feel like he's judging me because of my past. Why can't some ppl understand that u could still be involved with someone that has herpes? I blame this all on this guy I dated years ago. Thanks for screwing up my chance on ever finding someone who could love me for me.
—Guest Guest confused

Living a lie

I found out 4/5/11! I discovered an ob on 3/31/11 I panicked and got online looking at pics and reading info! Got up went to kick boxing because I didn't want to believe it, went to ER he said yeah that's exactly what it is! Even thought he said that I still waited to call & get the results because I was in shock just had my annual ck up 3/17 and everything came back negative!! I went into a deep depression didn't want my baby to touch Me was afraid of giving it to her!! Let a few friends know they tried to tell me about how people out here living with it! Now currently I'm afraid of telling people scared of being labeled and it being boardcasted! I don't know what to do, I just want to be loved for me and I want another child I'm just scared and been through so much I want to Just give on dating and everything!
—Guest Lost

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