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Readers Respond: Living With Herpes

Responses: 541

By

Updated November 26, 2011

Relax

I was diagnosed when I was 21. I caught it from my boyfriend who - though I had slept with one other person while we were on a break - I had lost my virginity to. Needless to say I freaked out. I cried; I wondered how I could ever date, have children, and live a normal life. But the truth is, as many people have said on this thread, it is a COMMON condition and although no one would wish it upon themselves, it's not like you asked for it; it's not like this was your fault. I stayed with my boyfriend for 3 years afterward thinking that no one else could possibly love me, but then I met someone who loved me despite everything and is totally understanding about it. Finding someone who loves you for you is the key - stop having casual flings and start looking for someone with whom you won't have to sweat having "that talk." You'll both find joy in a mutual respect for protecting each other.
—Guest ME

Damn Herpes

I've read most of these stories & it breaks my heart for those of you who were recently diagnosed. I've been living with this damn thing for 25 years. I was sexually assaulted in Mexico, while on vacation, and being a virgin made it even worse. My first outbreak was torture too but living with it this long, I've learned to deal and because my body is so used to the disease being there. My body has adapted therefore, it recognizes when I'm about to have an outbreak and kills it before it hits me. For most of you, this will be the same thing that happens to you. For those of you that think your boyfriends or girlfriends won't understand, don't underestimate them. I've been married for 18 years. For those that think you can't have kids because you're afraid of passing herpes on to them, I have 2 gorgeous kids ages 17 & 13, natural birth, with no disease. The Famcyclovir helps a lot but only if you take it as prescribed. Good luck.
—Guest Livin with Herpes in CA

Confused about disclosure

My first outbreak was horrible. It happened really fast and there were big, swollen sores all over my genitals. It really hurt, everything. Walking and sitting down, going to the toilet burned like hell and I always cried when I was peeing. I knew I had herpes straight away cos I remember seeing pictures at school. I also remember everybody laughing and looking grossed out at school. I felt so embarrassed. My GP was really unsympathetic and told me I need to try and ‘keep clean’. I then went to a sexual health clinic and the nurse was horrid. She kept on saying it was my responsibility to not pass on the disease (she kept saying disease) and that I probably shouldn’t have much sex anymore cos it’s not fair on those who i pass it on it. I felt so shocked and embarrassed. I felt really dirty and the nurse didn’t help at all. I didn’t want to have to disclose this information. In the heat of the moment, when you’re about to have sex, how do you tell somebody you have genital herpes?
—Guest Maria

Diagnosed Today

My symptoms started Friday and I sufferred throughout the weekend and found the first clinic that would see me Monday morning. Thank the LORD that I was able to be seen so early at 930am. My symptoms are everything you can list: swollen lymph nodes, redness, swelling, significant pain in my vagina and rectum, fatigue, fever, disturbed sleep. I don't want to eat much because I'm scared to use #2 in the restroom. I tried very hard this morning and it was extremely painful, I had to bite on something, squeeze something else, and hold a warm compress down near my anus. It was extremely painful after as well. My family's asked whats wrong because I'm always sleeping but I cant tell them. Ive only told my best friend and thats helped so much. I'm trying not to feel depressed and really asking the LORD for guidance. I thought it was chlamydia or ghonorrea, never thought I would have this incurable disease. You never think it will happen to you. I feel dumb, should've been more careful. :'(
—Guest Beautiful

How am I gonna live with this?

I was 15 when I found out I had it. I had these 2 little bumps down there and they were really sore. I NEVER EVER thought I would have an std. So I showed my mom and she said if they didnt go away in the next few days then she would take me to the emergency room. So we went there and they picked at the bumps and got some juice out of them and told me it would be a few days to get my test results. But I never went and got them back to see if it was positive. They gave me some medicine to treat it like herpes until they actually found out. Ive only had a few breakouts since the but here recently I got this baddddd breakout it hurts to walk to sit down and everything. I don't know how or who I got them from and I'm soooooooo scared to tell my boyfriend i don't know what he will say. I'm 16 now and I just don't understand how I could get this at such a young age? I do cry and get depressed about it sometimes but every night I pray that god will heal me and take this pain away! Trust in god
—Guest 1234

How I Feel...

I was diagnosed with HSV-2 in August 2011. When I was told the results, I couldn't believe it. I had never had any symptoms. The NP told me that sometimes symptoms aren't present or sometimes go unnoticed. However, since diagnosis it seems that I've had an outbreak every month. I feel contagious, dirty, depressed and sometimes the HSV-2 is all I think about. I told my partner and it seems that our relationship has changed (not for the better). Sometimes I don't know what to do. No one in my family knows and I am extremely embarrassed and afraid of them finding out.
—Guest LoneleeGirl44

I've had it for a long time

I have had herpes type 1 since I was about 16 years old... now I am 22. I got it from my boyfriend at the time and could have either been from oral or internal sex. I can just remember the day when it was soo painful down there, and I was freaking out! After I got tested and recieved the results as positive, I felt as if my soul had been ripped apart. All my stupid boyfriend could say was "That's it? Everyone has it!". Idiot. It's something that I will have to deal with down there for the rest of my life. I have read so many of the entries on this page and I absolutely know what it's like to feel like you're going to live a lonely life... it's not worth to live the rest of your life depressed because of something that you caught unintentionally. I'm sure everyone here has heard their friends talk about herpes too... and all you can think about is "yeah, I have it. F.M.L.". Everyone... please hang in there! Don't let a disease that won't kill you destroy your life.
—Guest Guest J

But life goes on

Well I'm sure what I thought was a rash from shaving about a year ago is now Herpes. The wierd part is that I was tested for this last yr when it accured and my test result was neg? At the time my boyfriend broke out as well but just a few bumps and they were gone with in that week. Anyway..Ive recently been going through a tough situation and have been Extremely Stressed out and now have another outbreak. About the same as the 1st. The sore's hurt bad, and I have a tingly feeling a lot down there! Was sick a few days before this n thought I had a touch of the flu! I know for sure now this is it. My boyfriend also broke out again but mine is much worse! Have yet to get confirmed going tom! All I have to say is life goes on and I'm def not going to dwell on this! Going to move on with my bf and hopefully after being put on a treatment this wont happen much anymore! Good Luck to everyone n be safe!
—Guest Wish I Didn't

Denial

I was diagnosed on 11-7 and so shocked about the results if I wasnt sitting down I would have fainted. I was called in to review my blood test and didnt know how to respond. I dont know anything about genital herpes as the midwife called it but she gave me valtrex and said to take it when im having breakouts, what if i dont have a breakout the diagnosis is so confusing to me. I have a son and im currently pregnant so my biggest concern is what are my limits with my children I dont want to infect them can I kiss them, hug them hold them what am I supposed to do. I havnt told anyone about my situation partially because in my dream the night I found out I was called back in and told that they misdiagnosed me and I just keep praying lord let it be true, let them have misdiagnosed me I said I wont have sex again until im married I havnt experienced an outbreak to my knowledge so im hoping this is a misunderstanding. I think I need counseling because im in denial, im just so confused.
—Guest Family woman

Cold ulcer

I've been living with Herpes since 1972 but, never realized that it could be transmitted through a mouth ulcer, I had one last week (2nd in my life) and didn't think anything of it, so, my G/F & I had oral sex consequently she contracted H. She's very upset and I don't know if this is going to ruin our relationship, all I can do for the moment is wait till she comes to term with it and be supportive. I feel bad, really bad....I like to share this with all of out there as I hope it can help and prevent this to happen to any of you. As for me, I feel stupid for not been more aware.
—Guest M. Figoli

It'll be okay.

I got diagnosed about a month ago. I had typical symptoms, fever, fatigue, soars, and pain doing things like sitting showers or using the bathroom. I knew by that, that i had it before I even went to the Doctor. Once it got confirmed i felt like an idiot because i know friends who had it and i thought i was so much safer about it and didn't understand how i caught it. I went through the crying depressed nobody will want me phase, my biggest concern was men thinking i was a whore and not being able to find a husband. But i have accepted it and know that it will be okay. I have supportive friends 2 of which know and when it comes to relationships and sex i'm taking it slow. I am an attractive girl and i just felt like i went from having any pick to hoping someone would still want to pick me. =/ ... but i know it will be okay. Just because we have it doesn't mean we'll spread it.
—Guest Hope

Life after all

I found out about three months ago. Devastated doesn't even begin to describe how I felt. I thought that the new one in my life would surely leave me, he didn't. There are special non judgmental people in this world, so to all that fell a loss, alone, or unworthy of love, life will go on, and there are amazing people left to meet and fall in love and love you for you. Stop judging yourself and the happiness of your life. ***Note: This response was re-written by the Guide to fix spelling issues and remove text speak***
—Guest Boohoo

Build a bridge and get over it.

I was diagnosed with herpes yesterday, I kind of knew before going to the doctors that that is what I had so I prepared myself for it. The doctor wasn't at all phased and I took that as a positive thing because I didn't want sympathy or to be treated like I have some strange disease. I have come to the conclusion that crying about it and feeling like a freak is not going to get me anywhere. The fact that it is all over the internet is a clear indication that none of us are alone! The doctor gave me a script for famvir and I am taking that 3 times a day for 7 days and she said that the human body develops some immunity against it so you never have a reaction as bad again. I don't plan on telling anyone about my condition unless of course I end up in a serious relationship and the idea of not using condoms is brought up. I am a 20 year old attractive and intelligent girl studying at uni. No little virus is going to change the person I am! ***From Your Guide: Since condoms are not 100% protective against herpes transmission, which is spread from skin to skin, you may want to share this information with sexual partners even when you are having safer sex.***
—Guest Sydney

God Is In Control

IM 33 YRS OLD AND I FOUND OUT I HAD HERPES LAST YEAR I WAS DEVASTATED I CRIED I COULDNT EAT I WAS SAD AND DEPRESSED. I DONT KNOW HOW LONG IVE HAD IT OR WHO I CONTRACTED IT FROM. I HAD A SMALL BUMP ON MY LABIA AND I WAS DISCUSSING IT WITH A FRIEND AND SHE HAS HERPES AND SHE TOLD ME TO ASK MY DOCTOR TO TEST MY BLOOD TO SEE IF I HAD IT N I DID. I WAS SO CONFUSED BECAUSE EVERYTIME I GO TO THE DOCTOR I.ASK TO BE TESTED FOR ALL STD's but I've NEVER BEEN.TESTED FOR HERPES N I WAS UPSET. I KNOW 3 PEOPLE THAT HAVE THIS DISEASE. I TAKE LYSINE N IT KEEPS MY OUTBREAKS AWAY. I WISH I KNEW WHO GAVE THIS TO ME. SUMTIMES I FEEL LIKE I WONT BE ABLE TO GET MARRIED BECAUSE OF THIS BUT I.PRAY THAT GOD SENDS ME WHO HE WANTS ME TO HAVE AND HE WILL UNDERSTAND. I REFUSE TO LET THIS VIRUS RUIN MY LIFE. I DONT HAVE ANY PAIN URINATING OR SITTING DOWN AND IM THANFUL FOR THAT. BE ENCOURAGE AND PRAY FOR A PEACE OF MIND. I LOVE U GUYS
—Guest KRIS

End of the world

Today is Sunday and I found our on Wednesday that I have hsv1 genital herpes. I had been having sex with this guy casually to get over my ex and we rarely used condoms but he was the only one I was sleeping with. We both said we've never had cold sores. I was in the hospital for four days thinking I suffered from a really bad yeast infection which I took fluconzole for which ended up making my symptoms worse. My gyno diagnosed me with herpes just by looking at me. I have painful blisters on the outside of my vagina and the inside it burns when u pee literally gone once a day and it's swollen. I hope this isn't how my other outbreaks will be I can't believe this happened to me. I. Feel like its the end of the world. Because the pain is so bad I have so much of my life to live I can't fathom living with this disease. Hopefully I will find a man who loves me one day and still fulfill my life goals good luck to the rest of you suffering as well. I hope a cure is around the corner..
—Guest Est.1992

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