I would recommend reading Terri Warren's book The Good News About the Bad News and The Herpes Handbook http://westoverheights.com/handbook.html. Both include stats about transmission rates depending on which precautions you take. The best defense is a good offense.View Thread
I tested positive for HSV2 8 years ago and just found this webpage and these reading materials over the past couple of months and they have helped me so much. I now view herpes more realistically rather than as "the plague." Being informed helps me feel empowered again. I know the real risks and how common herpes actually is. It also helps to know exactly what precautions to take to lessen the chances of transmission.
Hope this helps. Your boyfriend is lucky to have you to help him through this.View Thread
Terri Warren's book The Good News About the Bad News has a whole chapter on how to have the talk. The rest of the book has a lot of facts I didn't know which are helping me start to look at HSV2 more positively.
I agree that an intimate moment isn't best because this can be a point of no return where judgment is clouded by hormones. A level-headed discussion with all clothing on is more ideal where the other person can have time to process the information without feeling like they'll slight you if they don't go through with things that very moment. I would definitely wait enough dates that you feel you can trust this person, but ultimately there's never really a convenient time to have the talk.
You have the unique perspective of knowing how your ex told you and whether or not that was how you would have preferred to be told "the news."
You are not alone in feeling a bit lost about how to broach this subject. Good luck!View Thread
I felt like trash when I first got diagnosed with HSV2 too and for several years after. I think that's normal. While I don't agree with how you proceeded after your diagnosis, there's nothing you can do to change your past actions.
Fortunately you can change how you live your life in the future and it sounds like you want to. I commend you for this. I would recommend checking out The Herpes Handbook online and buying Terri Warren's book The Good News About the Bad News. It helped me with wondering how to have "the talk" with a future partner and while it still makes me nervous it doesn't seem as scary now. And helped me to realize that some of my thoughts were just ridiculous and self-defeating.
I have had the same thoughts about God not being in my favor, but that's just silly. Bad things happen to good people too. Remember all the wonderful attributes about you that are not related to HSV2. There's much more to you than just that and if you let someone else see that side of you it will vastly overshadow the parts of you that aren't "perfect."
Be kind to yourself. It's hard to think good things about yourself when you're busy beating yourself up all the time. And know that you're not alone.View Thread
I have had HSV 2 for about 8 years and have learned that many doctors are misinformed themselves about herpes and that they sometimes have a poor bedside manner when it comes to talking about such a stigmatized topic.
I applaud you for trying to educate yourself and would highly recommend that you and your girlfriend continue to seek more information. A couple places to start are with The Herpes Handbook free online at http://westoverheights.com/handbook.html and also Terri Warren's book The Good News About the Bad News. Both of these will help answer your questions.
It is possible for this virus to lie dormant for extended periods of time without symptoms, so this diagnosis doesn't automatically mean that your girlfriend was unfaithful.
1) FEMALE TO MALE RATE OF TRANSMISSION (HSV2 ONLY STATS IS NOT APPLICABLE FOR HSV 1)
If you have 100 couples where the female has HSV2 but not the male (these figures are over a year) the odds of female to male transmission are, if you do nothing other than avoid sex during an outbreak, 4 men out of a 100 will get herpes in a year, or 4%. If you do go on a suppressive therapy then it drops to 2 men out of a 100 in a year, or 2%. And if you avoid sex during an outbreak and use suppressive and a condom the chances are 1 man out of a 100 will get herpes in one year or 1%.
The Valtrex and transmission study stats are based on having sex 2 times/week. (The Herpes Handbook)
Give yourself some time to process this. I highly recommend reading "The Good News About the Bad News" by Terri Warren. You can order it on Amazon and there are electronic versions too. When you're ready, pick one person you can trust with the information and preface it by asking them if you can tell them something without them telling anyone else. Let them decide if they feel they're trustworthy enough and can handle keeping a secret for you.
My best friend responded better than I could have ever expected. She told me it didn't make her look at me any differently and that there would be guys that could see how amazing I am and not run the other way. She also told me that a mutual friend made the same admission a few years ago. She's such a great vault that she didn't tell me who it is, but even knowing that there's someone else going through the same thing within my groups of friends is an amazing comfort. Plus, I know my friend is a super vault!
Best of luck to you. Be strong. And know that you are 100% not alone. Sending happy thoughts your way! Smile :0)View Thread
As a woman who has had HSV 2 for 8 years, I have come to learn that most doctors aren't very well versed in the most current information or how to handle talking delicately with their patients about HSV (ever heard of poor bedside manner?). Basically, it's like getting an occasional cold sore in a highly inconvenient location. It's just not that big a deal. It's not life threatening or anything and there are reliable resources to educate yourself and your girlfriend so you can both move forward however you decide is best for you. I highly recommend you read "The Good News About the Bad News" by Terri Warren. I ordered it on Amazon, but there are also electronic versions available. There is information about how long the virus can lie dormant without any symptoms (i.e. your girlfriend may not have been unfaithful) and also stats about the odds of her transmitting the infection to you:
"If the situation were reversed, with the woman infected with HSV 2 but not their male partners with the same other factors (your partner knows you have genital herpes, you don't have sex while recognized symptoms are present, you don't use condoms or use them inconsistently and you don't take daily antiviral therapy), about 4 percent of the women would transmit the virus to their partners within a year."
If you use condoms consistently and/or she goes on daily therapy, either of those precautions will help cut that number down even more. There are couples who don't use condoms and have been together for decades and they're still discordant (one of them has HSV2 and the other doesn't).
It's understandable that you're concerned and I respect that you're reaching out to get yourself information. Just please be mindful that as much as you're freaking out that HSV 2 is happening to your partner near you, it is actually happening to her. I hope this helps you. Best of luck to you.View Thread
You are NOT an idiot. Things like this happen to all sorts of people. I promise you it will get easier with time. I have had HSV2 for 8 years. You're very fortunate to have that book and this board so soon after your diagnosis; I just found them a couple months ago.
Be gentle with yourself. You're under a lot of stress finding out this diagnosis that you never expected to get, you're at the end of a relationship and having to have a very uncomfortable conversation with someone with whom things are dissolving. Do things for yourself to unwind, whatever that means for you. Try breathing exercises. Watch a movie or read a book. Listen to happy music. Hang out with the friend who makes you laugh until your stomach hurts. This will help you realize you'll be happy again because you absolutely will. Herpes is just a bump in the road (pun intended).
Let yourself cry. Sometimes when the body sobs it's because you just need to get all the negative feelings out for an emotional release. That being said, don't live the rest of your life just wallowing in self-pity, but it's healthy to just let it out once in a while. Different things will bring up emotions and it's completely normal.
It's true what The Good News About the Bad News says..the first outbreak is the worst. They won't all be like this. You'll learn what helps you to minimize your symptoms. I definitely recommend embracing your doctor and asking him/her questions in regard to your symptoms for more immediate relief.
Stay strong. You'll get through this. You're not alone. I'm sending happy thoughts your way. Smile! :0)View Thread
Years ago I saw an episode of Private Practice (2X19 What Women Want) where a male patient developed oral cancer after having oral sex with his girlfriend who had HPV vaginally. I don't trust everything I see on TV and don't know how much research the writers do for this show. Is that possible? I have been positive for 13 strains of HPV, including 16 & 18, and HSV2 for about 10 years and I decided to completely abstain from that particular activity for fear of infecting someone else. What are the odds of transmitting HPV or HSV2 from vaginal to oral contact?
On the flip side of that, I had oral sex with the man who infected me with HPV and HSV2. (I know who infected me because I had only had sex with one man when I was 20. Not exactly the parting gift I expected.) Does this mean that I have these infections orally in addition to vaginally? How do I find out? In Terri Warren's book it said that a blood test will show if I'm positive for the antibodies, but not where they're actually present within my body. Should I completely refrain from being on the giving end of oral sex as well to reduce the likelihood of infecting someone else? I don't want to infect anyone else, but what is safe for me to even do? View Thread
You're not alone in being frustrated about this diagnosis so soon after becoming sexually active. I have been in denial for many years about my diagnosis. I found out I had HSV (I don't even know if it's type 1 or type 2) when I was 20. At that point I had only had sex with one person. It was so frustrating to hear girl friends talk about their "sex-capades", knowing that I had trusted the man I was in a monogamous relationship with and had gotten literally and figuratively screwed. I still get very frustrated when friends don't protect themselves because I know how letting my guard down once caused something bad to happen to me.
I did tell my second boyfriend, who I started dating within a few months of being diagnosed, but after we had been involved for a few months and had already become sexually active. We used a condom every time we had sex because I didn't feel I could live with giving HSV to someone else even though he wasn't concerned. I felt like I had duped him by waiting so long to tell him. He had questions that I didn't get answers to because I wasn't ready to handle the situation when he and I got involved.
I'm now 28 and single again. I'm dealing with how to move forward with this diagnosis and how to not let it define my perception of myself or how I feel others perceive me. I am not dirty. I just had bad luck. Many of the negative stereotypes I believe society to have about herpes are likely only in my head. Rather than wallowing in my misfortune I can move forward with my life and be informed so I know how to "deal" with it. I think most relationships become sexual too fast regardless of their being a "bomb" like this to drop.
I was really surprised when reading the statistics that 1 in 5 men and 1 in 4 women have HSV. I had no idea it was so common. You'll know the right time to broach this conversation. It's more important to get to know someone before bringing it up because if they don't like you over some silly aspect of you, then they're not worth knowing all there is to know about you.
Part of what helped me was recently explaining to my two closest girl friends that part of the reason I stayed in a bad relationship with my second boyfriend was that I so desperately wanted to avoid the HSV talk in the future. The first friend I told, I couldn't look in the eye when I told her, but after she reacted by telling me that she still loved me and that I'd be surprised to know that another good friend of hers had made the same admission to her, it was much easier to tell my second friend. It helped them to understand me a bit better.
Not very concisely, what I'm trying to convey to you is that it will be ok. My outbreaks have gotten fewer and less severe over the years. When you are in a relationship with someone who truly cares about you then this won't be a big deal. Everyone has baggage going into relationships.View Thread