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    It’s hard to tell a partner it gets a lot easier after doing it a couple times but rejection is always a possibility. I waited maybe a month of dating and when we dated we dated hard like every moment we could be together we were. I didn’t do it how I wanted to which was have a nice mature conversation. I was just stressed about it and broke down crying and told him. He was very kind about it. The first step in all this I feel is getting to know the person. I have never had someone react badly except the person who gave it to me. Otherwise I always spent time till I trusted them with that fact. When I have shared I have learned that every person has something they are embarrassed of or ashamed of. After I share I have heard about people’s problem with drugs in the past, their DUIs, a secret child, and even once herpes too. In my scenarios everyone has something they are ashamed of or worried to be judged on and it really opens up a relationship to be healthy and Honest. Also having the conversation freed me up to be more open and fun rather worrying about it all the time. The last thing is if I wouldn’t have done it I wouldn’t be so happy right now so in the end it was worth it. It took me a long time and a lot of heartache but it was all worth it!


    I was diagnosed with the hsv 2 virus back in late March. I haven’t been sexual active since August if last year. I was made a terrible decision to have unprotected sex with a guy I was talking to and found out he gave me trichomoniasis. Which is a very curable std. it’s basically a parasite that you can get from having sex. It’s like the sister to chlamydia. Anyway I stopped seeing that guy after I learned that information. My high school sweetheart reconnected with me and we’ve been dating since October. But he is deployed and we haven’t had sex yet due to him being deployed. I went in late February to get an iud cause I didn’t want to risk getting pregnant when he gets back home. About two weeks later I noticed a strong smell that wasn’t usual. I was also leaving for vacation within the next few days and just thought it was my body adjusting to the iud. The day I left to go fly out for vacation I noticed a random bump on my right upper vulva. It was just one bump. Didn’t hurt. Didn’t hurt to pee, it was just annoying of its placement cause my pants/shorts would rub on it but it wasn’t painful or hurtful. And it was also just one bump. I came home two weeks later and decided to go get it checked out. Because right before I got my iud my doctor told me my pap came back abnormal and I was tested positive for hpv. She informed me that it’s very common to get hpv if you ever get a std and that it usually goes away within two years. What I read about hpv I assumed it was a reaction from my iud. Cause it took three times to get my iud to go in because we learned my cervix is tilted and we need to get a ultra sound to put it in. Well when I came home from vacation my doctor was out on maternity leave. So I went to the clinic so I could be seen the same day thing. The doctor that came in looked at it and went “oh that’s herpes” and I said i haven’t been sexually active in months. And it’s one bump and it doesn’t hurt it’s just annoying. She sounded happy about finding it. Which confused me. She did a culture swap. Which ive learned from what I’ve read they have a pretty high false/positive if you wait to get tested and since I was on vacation I did wait. She gave me the medicine which made the bump go down in about a week or so. But about a week later I developed a rash on the other side of my vulva. No bump just a random mild red rash. So I asked to get my iud taking out. Cause I still think it was a side effect to my iud. Cause I had one years ago and had issues with it and had it taken out. But I was assured I wasn’t going to have any issue with the new ones with how they are made. Since taking it out I haven’t had a bump/rashes etc. just that overwhelming feeling in my head that I have something and I’m going to have a random bump or rash appear which I know doesn’t help. I’ve of course gone into the wonderful google dive and learned it could be this or that etc. simple infections and so on. I’m wondering if anyone has had any similar symptoms like I’ve had. Cause from what I’ve read herpes appears in a few bumps, and I had one and it’s suppose to be uncomfortable and hurt and mine didn’t. And then I had a rash. And having a boyfriend being deployed adds to stress. Then the lovely virus going on shutting everything down has added to stress. I’m a bartender and haven’t been able to work in almost 3 months. So my stress level is a lot higher than normal. Any info can help cause I’m going a bit crazy with the google dives.


    I’ve had hsv2 for about a year in a half now. I have been talking to a guy for about the past 2 months and decided to finally tell him about my situation. It was the first time I had to tell someone I have herpes and it felt good. He responded well. I even told him if he didn’t want to talk to me or needed a couple of days to react that it was ok and that I understood. He insisted that he didn’t need time to think and said all the right things. He was informed on the topic and made me feel comfortable. But now 2 days later I kind of feel that he’s distant. When I talk to him I wonder how he’s looking at me and if he’s thinking of herpes. I wonder if this is just a reflection of how I’m feeling and the fact that it’s the first time I’ve had to tell another person I like my condition. Did anyone else feel this way when they told someone they have herpes?


    My name is Ariana Arroyo, and I been diagnosed with genital herpes for almost 4 years now. I am 21 years old and when I first found out the news I was about 19 a freshman in college. I just recently purchased Dr. Kelly’s book and received it in the mail today. As I was reading her story I was truly moved by her story because it relates to mine and I want to share my story. How I got it was I was sexually assaulted by a guy who didn’t care about me nor his health he transmitted the herpes virus because he didn’t wear a condom, it took about a couple months till I had my first outbreak. I remember it was like yesterday. It was this itchy and painful sore on my lower genital lip on my right side. Me being obvious to the signs of being herpes I thought it was an ingrown hair and asked my mother to help me get it out, but she couldn’t. We didn’t know what it was. I soon made an appointment with the OBGYN in my hometown and I saw the doctor, as she looked at the sore she already say this might be herpes. I was in complete shock because it couldn’t be, I thought. This had to be a mistake how do I have herpes. She told me that she would have the results for me in a week. And when I tell you that week felt like ages. A week past and it was midterms week. Before I had to take a midterm I get a call, and after that call my heart drop. I indeed had HERPES. I felt disgusted with myself and hurt because I knew this is for life, and just like Dr. Kelly’s feelings, I was worried about finding someone who is going to love me. How am I going to have children those were the thoughts. So fast ward now four years later I still have those feelings. I was in a relationship, but unfortunately, my ex Ulysses couldn’t accept me even though I told him from the jump and we still had sex. He keeps saying he is not ready for that, the same as all other guys. Right now I am going through a self-love journey and hopefully with this book would help me, but my only question is when is it the right time to tell a guy you have this? Because honestly, I am sick and tired of rejection.


    Hi there!

    A little about me:
    I’m 27. I have had hsv2 for 3 years. I started dating my current boyfriend a couple months after being diagnosed. Dr. Kelly’s book was one of the first resources I armed myself with back then, and it was very healing to have a healthy role model!

    I have a background in holistic health, I am a practicing Astrologer, and love books, hiking, canoeing, sunbathing, interior-design, energy-work, and journaling.

    I have a wide spectrum of emotions regarding Herpes. I’m luckily in a great accepting long-term relationship (but there is always the *possibility* of future dating), and I also have had a hard time recently with managing outbreaks.

    I’m looking for a friend around my age who takes an empowered approach with their diagnosis, so that we can work to be our best selves, but also someone who acknowledges their emotions, and we can hold space for one another during harder moments. Ideally in the Austin area, so we can hang out when Covid is under control!

    If you have a similar approach to your diagnosis and similar interests, please hit me up and tell me about yourself! You can email me at I’d like to be able to text or email, and eventually meet in person or call for regular friendship things. And at the very least, connect on Instagram or Facebook so that there is a face to the name!

    *Please note, although I have great compassion, I’m not looking for someone who is newly diagnosed in panic mode. I totally understand where you’re coming from, but I don’t want to fall into a 1-sided mentor mode (I need support as well!) Looking for mutual empowerment and support:)


    Hey to all. I was just diagnosed yesterday and new to all this. I joined looking for a way to vent or communicate with someone who knows exactly what I’m going through. So I guess I’ll start with my story I was with my ex husband for 9 years and after my abusive relationship finally came to an end I met my current partner at work and started dating a year and half ago. I went for a regular female check up 9 months ago was cleared of all STIs and STDs and continued with my normal everyday life. Well almost a week ago I got a horrible and painful outbreak down there that wouldn’t go away. So yesterday I finally decided to visit the doctor and was not prepared for what I heard. That she was 99.9% sure I had herpes and I didn’t understand how this could happen I was fine 9 months ago. Turns out the cold sore he had when he went down on me resulted in this. I’m devastated I don’t know how to mentally cope. He’s so upset and angry with himself but he has made me feel like we can get through this. I am grateful but I guess I just need to talk to people who’s been there.


    Hello ladies,
    I am currently experiencing my first outbreak. This is painful beyond what I thought it could be. But here I am, trying to find the silver lining in it, because the truth is, I knew this time was coming. Here is my story.

    My boyfriend and absolute love of my life has herpes. We spent the first 3 months after we met, getting to know each other and learning about each other. Then we decided we were ready to actually take our relationship deeper. We were officially dating but still not having sex. We wanted to take it slow. So 4 months into really getting to know each other we knew the time was coming that we would be making love. I told him I was ready (not in that moment but that it was going to happen soon). The next time I saw him he told me he had something he needed to share with me. This is when he shared with me that he has herpes. I was so grateful that he had the courage to tell me. We discussed precautions we would take, and we did. (I share this part of the story because some of you reading this will be telling a future partner of your diagnosis. Please know that you deserve all the love and happiness, and I know my boyfriend does too, which is why I was accepting of his condition).

    I have had no signs or symptoms UNTIL we decided we are ready to have a child together. This discussion has taken place during our quarantining for COVID-19. I swear, as soon as we started trying a couple weeks ago.. well here I am with my initial breakout. During this past week I have researched so many things. I am well tuned in to holistic health, herbs, everything natural. I raise my almost 8 year old daughter this way. She has never even had an antibiotic. I am not a BIG Pharma client if you know what I mean.

    Anyway, I have been using supplements, essential oils, herbal tinctures, baths, baking soda, witch hazel, and I just can’t find relief. So for the first time in well over a decade I broke and succumbed to taking pharmaceuticals and took a couple of his prescription meds for this. I’m not endorsing taking another person’s prescription, I am just sharing that I did so. I figure that it hopefully will shock my system enough to get me back on track to health, and I do feel like that is what has happened. I am still taking all my supplements and herbs to support my immune system, but I realize in this situation I need another intervention.

    So, as you can see, I knew that contracting HSV was a possibility for me, and I am not surprised that it happened. It doesn’t make this break out any easier though. Today I was on Amazon looking at herpes and pregnancy and came upon Dr. Kelly’s book. I found this website of hers and this group and I literally cried with my boyfriend. You see, his story is a lot like the stories I am reading here on our forum. He does not know who he contracted HSV from. At the time he was in a relationship with a nurse and she was the one who told him what he had based on his symptoms and what she saw – it was his initial breakout. He found out through his doctor that he could have contracted it years before.

    For him, he has carried around guilt and shame. For me, I knew this could happen, and I have no guilt or shame. We all have different stories but I do believe that I am helping him heal by me having it too. How? I am choosing to see a silver lining in all this – just like Dr. Kelly has done. I want to rise above this and help others to not see this as a death sentence – which is how my boyfriend has experienced it internally for himself. LOVE. Love is what us humans need. I have never believed in unconditional love except for my daughter. I didn’t believe in unconditional love with a partner. I do with him. Non-judgment and everything unconditional… I have this for him and he for me… and there is someone out there you will have this with too. We are in this together.

    Everything in life is temporary… even these break outs. Our minds like to focus on the pain, and believe me its hard to think of anything else right now. But I know my body will not be experiencing this pain forever. It is temporary, and that is what I choose to focus on. This too shall pass.

    Peace, Love and Health to all of you.


    So, I was diagnosed about two years ago. I had met up with a partner that I was on and off with for years. I came back home from college for a break and had sex with him. I didn’t think about it a whole lot but he was being weird. I kept trying to touch on him as I always do and he would kind of push me away. So eventually I gave up and turned over and went to sleep. We ended up having sex in the middle of the night but again when I tried to touch him he wouldn’t allow me to. So a few days later I started having symptoms like a lot of you described. Like a burning sensation and couldn’t walk much without being uncomfortable. Couldn’t even use the restroom. So I went to the emergency room and it had been about 4/5 days since we had sex and got the worst news of my life. And then a couple weeks after that I found out I was pregnant… so even if I wanted to I couldn’t even get rid of this man because I was carrying his child. I felt so hurt, I was so embarrassed, and since then I haven’t even felt like myself. I’ve been very depressed about it. I haven’t been with anyone else I haven’t even looked at another man because I just know that eventually I’ll have to tell him about the Herpes and I just can’t take on the shame I’ll feel telling opening you about it. When I said something to my partner about it he denied it, which I know he was lying because I hadn’t been with anyone else. I will say hearing that I’m not alone makes it easier. My only worry is that I might not ever get back to my normal dating life because of it. And I don’t wanna be alone for the rest of my life.


    I get my test results back Thursday, but my Dr. has already put me on medication because she is 99.9% sure that I am having my first breakout. I told my boyfriend he should get checked, but have not told him that I am having a breakout and that I have some form of herpes. I am pretty sure that he gave it to me… he is the only person Ive been with in 8 months and I was tested right as we started dating and then again about a month ago and both tests came back completely clean… so he had to have given it to me, right? He gets his test results back Friday and Im not sure what to do if he’s negative and he wasn’t the person who gave it me… What should I do if this happens? How should I have this talk with him?


    In reply to: Worried


    Hey! So I’ve been diagnosed with herpes for almost 6 years now and I have not had one guy who left me. I have had 3 partners since then and a few others who I was not intimate with, but did not care about my situation. Everyone has been so supportive and understanding. Personally, I tell them within the first few dates. I’m engaged and when my fiancé and I first met I told him after a week of dating. I promise the right man will not care. I gave him some information about the herpes virus and I make sure to tell him if I feel like I have an outbreak. It can be so scary, but it’ll be such a relieve once you tell him. Just remember whatever the outcome, you are worthy of love!

    This reply has been marked as private.

    Hi Mia,
    I haven’t had herpes as long as you have (coming up on 5 months now); but I’ve learned that I just need to let myself feel the emotions as they come and I tell myself that it is going to get better. Honestly through all of this i’ve turned to spirituality and meditation to help me cope too. I honestly don’t think that society will ever understand, I think the stigma is too engrained in it, that’s why I have only told a select few very close friends, and the guy I’m dating because it was necessary. It’s crazy though because from what I’ve looked up 1 in 5 to 1 in 6 people have it, and 60-90% of people in the world have HSV1. Also, apparently Jessica Alba and a couple other celebrities are rumored to have it too. So no-one is immune.


    In reply to: My Story


    hey Lizabeth!
    I have felt the same feelings in regards to my sex life- like my freedom has been taken away as well as my sexuality. I feel like I am not as confident as I used to be because of this, especially when it comes to sex. I have only had to tell one person, and that really sucked. Even more so because when we first started talking I didn’t have it, but we weren’t “committed”, and I ended up contracting it from someone else in the meantime. I have battled so many inner demons with that thought, the thought that if only I had just followed my heart and been honest with myself then this wouldn’t be happening. Anyway, he is an angel and we are working through it. I think that the majority of the public does not understand that it is manageable and unfortunately a lot of people run away before finding out. I do however think a lot of how people respond is in how you present it. I found this website really helpful. Also, there are dating sites for positive people, it might not hurt checking them out that way you don’t have to worry about breaking the news. I think ultimately when we are able to fully find self acceptance everything will be easier.


    I’m not new to herpes-I was diagnosed in January of 2018, two years ago. But I definitely did not understand at the time the implications or effect it would have on my life. I would describe myself as a relatively responsible, happy, and easy going person but over the past two years I’ve dealt with so much anger and grief over the loss of my freedom in regards to sex and love. I’ve dealt with multiple rejections by men that I really cared for. I’ve had increasing and frequent anxiety and depression, and frequent and recurring outbreaks. I know my mental health affects my outbreaks and my outbreaks affect my mental health and it often feels uncontrollable. I have gone to see a sex coach to see if she could help me gain some confidence around dating but nothing really came of it. I used to readily tell men about my herpes as I saw it as the responsible thing to do and didn’t think it would be a big deal but now, after multiple rejections I’m so scared of ever having to bring it up and wondering what these men will think of me. People often make comments like, “I’m surprised you don’t have a boyfriend”, or they’ll try to set me up with someone they know and I secretly cringe every time, feeling like-if they only knew the truth they would not be saying or doing that.

    I’m excited I found the Pink Tent-I’ve been craving support and information about how to live with herpes. I want to commit to getting my health on track and my outbreaks and symptoms under control. Maybe the rest of it-learning how to navigate relationships, will follow suit.(Any suggestions on ways you deal with telling someone you have herpes is VERY welcome).

    This diagnosis is shrouded in stigma and I had NO idea how difficult it would be AND I’m hopeful that it won’t always feel this tragic.


    This is the first time I share my full story publicly and so much emotion and shame is going through my body right now but I am clear that it is the right thing for me to do. I first contracted HSB2 almost 20 years ago while I was in my early twenties. It was a one night stand. I met him at a club that weekend and that Monday or Tuesday we went out on what I thought was a date. It was during the day and he picked me up and took me to lunch. Then he drove me to what seemed like an abandoned construction site where we hooked up in the back seat of his car. Never heard from him again. That week my vagina swelled up to an unbelievable size and it began itching like nothong I had ever experienced. I went to Planned Parenthood (which btw thank goodness for that place for all the services they offer women, incredible place). I had already been experiencing low self worth and the need to fill myself with attention from men which is why I became promiscuous but after the diagnosis its like I went into denial and went into a deep depression and the only antidote was having more sex and feeling wanted. I never told anybody about it. I always felt terrible about it but never had the tools, guts or support to do the right thing. I was scared and ashamed and I couldnt tell anyone I knew about it cause I would be condemned.

    Then fast forward to about 3 years ago. I went to the gynochologist for regular check up, got blood work done and like a miracle the hsv was no longer coming up in my system. I was coming up negative for herpes. I asked to re-do the blood work. And still same result. I was confused and almost didn’t know what to think. I wasn’t happy or sad, I was like numb to it. Then I started dating someone serious and we began having unprotected sex and I didnt tell him about it. Then about 3 months into it while we are having sex I suddenly feel a sharp pain on the outer side of my vagina on the opposite side from where I had the first original outbreak. I immediately asked him to stop and ended the night. That week I went for a check up and they swabbed that area and again came up positive for HSV 2. I beat myself up so much for that. I thought wow I was cured and then here I go and contract it again, how stupid of me, how low of me, how irresponsible of me and so on. When I told him about it and asked him to get checked he refused and the relationship very quickly came to an end. I know what I contracted was a different strain than what I originally had. It was a different kind of outbreak but an outbreak just the same. Since him I had two more sexual encounters these with protection and I came close to telling them but then didn’t. Just living out the same patterns from that fearful girl who first contracted it and felt so ashamed. I also have gone through feelings of how could I be so irresponsible with my own well being as a person and what did that mean about me and the type of person I was. I judge myself really hard.

    I haven’t had sex with someone now in almost a year and am deciding to come clean about it to my next partner. I am just freaking out because I don’t know how. I want to deliver the information in the best more clear way possible so they can make the right decision for themselves.

    One of the catalysts for this is that I was at a womens event not that long ago where for the first time I announced to them that I had herpes. I had never uttered those words to someone much less to a large room full of women. I think that is why I know I finally have the courage to break free from this dark stigma and shame I’ve been living under and do the right thing. I can’t change my past but I do have control over what I do as of this present moment. I appreciate any support you may offer for how to integrate and make this a normal functioning part of my life. I really appreciate this forum.

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