Hi all I am new here and was recently diagnosed with genital HSV2 in October. I had a single sore break out that I believed was a knick from shaving. When I went to my University clinic the dr asked if she could test me for herpes just in case. To both of our surprise the test came back positive a week later. I believe my ex of 2 years may have given it to me. We broke up in July. I cannot reach out to him because the relationship was very toxic and I could put myself in a worse situation by reaching out to him. I had been really been struggling with my confidence after the breakup and right when I was beginning to heal I got my diagnosis. I feel incredibly lonely and alienated from my friends as I do not know anyone else struggling with Herpes. I also have found that the Acyclovir has been making me feel ill (nausea, headaches, diarrhea) and my mental health has been worsening as well. Has anyone else had these issues with the medicine? I feel grateful that my first outbreak was so minor and went away very quickly after beginning medicine but I have still been struggling with my confidence. I was very confident about dating before the diagnosis and now I feel extreme anxiety at the thought of dating again/having to disclose my diagnosis with a new partner. If anyone has advice or supportive words please share!(: I could really use friends who understand what I am feeling/going through.
Hi, I’m 45 and was diagnosed 5 months ago. It was the worst timing as I was breaking up with someone and was like – this isn’t working and btw I just tested positive for hsv2 so you should get tested. I felt like a monster. He ended up testing negative. What a relief. I have no idea who I contracted it from and have done the mental gymnastics and list making to try and figure it out but i know it’s an exercise in futility. And at the end of the day – I have it.
I have told two previous partners – one of whom is still a very good friend now. They both reacted with kindness and respect. One negative and one yet to be tested.
While i have been keeping a very low profile on the dating scene since the diagnosis (and COVID) I have recently reconnected via email with a guy who I dated pre-diagnosis. We were intimate when we dated. We have only been communicating via email and I feel like it’s going in a great direction and I’m getting excited to see him when it is safe to do so. I’m struggling as to whether or not I should tell him before we see each other in person because who knows what that in-person vibe will be like – maybe none at all. I’m nervous that if I wait – he will react poorly and question why I waited so long. I just feel like I don’t want to tell him, if I don’t have to.
What to do?
I was diagnosed back in June and was completely shocked and extremely emotional initially. I chose not to tell any past partners and therefore not find out where I got it from. I haven’t had any new partners since, but have continued to have a normal sex life with guys I’ve already been with. Making sure to use condoms. I’m afraid in moving with forward from here and starting something deeper with someone because I’m not sure how to go about bringing this up. If and when I begin to date someone, do I refrain from sex with them until I tell them? Is it okay to use condoms with them and then if things progress and begin to get serious, tell them at an appropriate time? Will they be upset or angry that I had chosen to have sex with them knowing that I have herpes? What is the proper way to go about this? If I begin dating, should I just avoid sex altogether unless I actually see the relationship having potential? I’m not sure if this is wrong or not, but I don’t see a need to tell a bee partner unless I plan on the relationship actually progressing into something. I don’t want to scare anyone away initially, but also I don’t want to look morally wrong if I start something with a guy and have sex with them and then it turning into something and eventually having to tell them later on and then them leaving because I wasn’t honest from the start. I really don’t see anyone being accepting honestly, and I guess that why I have kept it to myself up until now.
I’ve been seeing someone for 4 months and about 3 months in, he broke down and told me he has had herpes for several years. He told me he hasn’t had a flare up in 2 years and is on antiviral meds every day. I was upset because we had had unprotected sex several times before then and he took that choice away from me. But I chose to be understanding as I already had strong feelings for him. We had tried to be careful afterwards, but somehow, I got it. I started to have symptoms this weekend (burning when peeing, swollen lymph nodes around my groin and small cluster of sores). I went to the doctor today and he could tell just by what I had told him and by looking at it. He gave me an accute prescription for the initial flare and said we would look into what else is needed when/if I have another one.
I have two questions:
1. Is it weird that he didn’t swab or test at all?
2. What’s the best way to deal with dating new people? And how safe is it in between flares?
Hi Everyone, I have a rather in-depth story/question about my experience being in a new relationship with Herpes. I wanted to share with the group and receive some insights and support for my journey.
I have been Herpes II positive for 5 years. Throughout that time, I have mostly been celibate but I have had two female sexual/romantic partners. One of them was a while ago, and the other more recent (which I will share more about here). With my first partner after Herpes, it wasn’t easy to navigate. We both made mistakes, the relationship was quite toxic, and I ended up feeling rejected because she was afraid of getting the virus to the extent that it affected our intimacy. Certain things that she and I considered as integral to lovemaking such as giving oral sex (going down on me)-she was afraid to share with me.
From then, I made a promise to myself to only be with someone who wants to explore the fullness of a sexual relationship with me, without fear or this energy of avoidance of contracting the virus. Someone who sees that Herpes is not a big deal, and is not afraid of getting herpes from me. I am not interested in using artificial barriers, taking antiviral meds, or avoiding certain bodily positions for the sake of “protecting” my partner. I just want someone who can be all-in with me—so that we can feel safe exploring pleasure and spirituality together in sex.
I understand this takes a special relationship—and this is why I am mostly celibate and keen on having open conversations with my potential partners about these things before we have sex, to see if we are compatible and how we can create this space together.
So about 2 months ago, a new friendship in my life quite unexpectedly became sexually intimate. I had basically offered for her to stay the night (which was a genuine offer-sex was not on my mind) and then she offered for us to snuggle, which became more sensual.
When I felt that we could potentially have sex, I paused and told her that I have Herpes, explained what it was and how its contracted, and asked if and how this affects her boundaries. She listened intently, but then at the time, she told me she’s really not thinking about boundaries and just snuggled even closer before we eventually had sex.
Two weeks later, we visited each other again and then this is when she had a lot more questions about Herpes, since she hadn’t done research at that point-but I guess it occurred to her what I had shared. This is when I began sharing that conversation that I would ideally have **Before**sex about sexual needs/values and I also offered reliable resources for her to learn more. During this phase, I respected the fact that she was still learning about Herpes, and whatever boundaries she wanted to keep during this time. In our sexual space, was always open and flowing to what she wanted to do–but in the back of my mind I wanted to see how open she would eventually feel after educating and checking in with herself about Herpes.
At the end of her research phase, we checked in and she told me that she would want to avoid doing certain things to minimize the risk of catching Herpes. They were small adjustments and suggestions (mostly avoiding certain positions or activities, esp. when immune system is down) and Honestly, it is fair enough, but as I mentioned before…I am not comfortable being with someone who is taking the route of herpes-avoidance and “self-protection” when it comes to sharing sexual space with me. I just want us to share the perspective that it’s not such a big deal if they catch it too, because there is so much more value in us feeling physically free with each other in whatever way we’d like to have sex.
Ultimately, I can respect where someone is coming from if they don’t wish to contract Herpes or want to take certain measures to protect themselves, but I would have liked to have this conversation before sharing my body with them. And I tried to-but things just moved rather quickly with us—we didn’t build that strong foundation and although we love each other, and she wanted us to continue in our sexual intimacy (she felt that it was possible to have both protection and a deep connection in sex), but this feeling of misalignment ultimately led to me ending the sexual portion of our relationship.
One thing she asked me last night is: How can I expect someone who has only been with me for 2 months to feel comfortable having unprotected sex and risking Herpes, the “health-risk” and stigma that comes with it? She said that maybe if you’re with someone long-term or married for 10 years then you can expect to have unprotected sex, but not in a new relationship.
And I understand this sentiment, but I don’t expect anything from anyone. I really think that it comes down to the connection that I share with someone, and also how that person feels about Herpes in general, whether it’s a big deal to them or not….It’s not about validating a relationship with how long-term or “permanent” it is. It’s about what my partner wants to share with me, and how we wish to connect.
She also mentioned that if she were in my position, she would want to protect her partner from Herpes. I explained that I do not feel any responsibility to ‘protect’ my partner from Herpes at all… I feel that my responsibility is to disclose my status before we have sex, and open space for conversation and mutual understanding so that we can decide how we move forward together (or not).
So I have newly ended the sexual portion of this relationship but it has brought up questions within myself, maybe some insecurities around finding that special person for me. I felt in need of support around this, perhaps affirmation that this is possible and available for me.
Thanks for reading
Topic: Newly Diagnosed and Dating
I was in an abusive relationship for 2+ plus years emotionally, physically, and sexually. I began to heal from it in June of this year. I gave into a craving I had for my abuser and we had sex and he gave me herpes. (He had no idea where he got it from.) After being diagnosed I thought I would have to be with him for the rest of my life because I didn’t want to have to tell anyone else about my diagnosis. But I went no contact with him again and it has been the breath of fresh air I was so desperately searching for. My initial outbreak lasted about 2 weeks and it was terrible but I had another outbreak just after 2 weeks of finishing my prescription. There is such a huge stigma about STDs especially in my generation and I won’t lie I used to be one of those people contributing to that stigma but life handed me lemons… I’ve just started dating again and I am just so nervous about having to someone I have herpes when I know if it was me prior to this situation it was something I would never be okay with, my perspective has since changed… How are you supposed to bring this up to someone? How do you know if they’ll accept you or not? I am also doing shadow work and my fear of abandonment is so instilled in my core, I constantly have to remind myself that even if someone doesn’t accept me I will find someone who will. I just want to know a conversation starter for this particular subject. And also how do I get ride of the shame? Shame that i’m carrying around that isn’t even mine!
I just found out the man I’ve been dating for 8 moths now tested positive. As soon as he started having symptoms he took care of me and went back to condoms until he knew what it was. None of us expected this. I’m 40 and he’s 48. Both of us come from very long past relationships, never dealt with STI’s before and so we feel a little lost. Because of Covid measures my OBGYN’s next available appointment is until December 11th. I also read that a blood test may not be completely accurate but I guess she’ll tell me if I have to do it.
I don’t have any symptoms. Yet. Is it possible that I may not have it? We only had unprotected sex twice, but I know that is enough to get it. To be honest I am scared of both outcomes equally. He was so sure that I would walk out on him as soon as he gave me the news but I really do care about him to just discard him because of this. So I’m trying to be supportive and understanding and he’s very grateful for my reaction. He is convinced that it was his ex-wife who gave it to him, because thinking back he had some mild symptoms before he ever had sex with me. He just didn’t put two and two together until he noticed a blister in his genitals, he’s never had oral symptoms. So that’s an added annoyance he’s dealing with now, thinking that she might be responsible. I’ve read enough about it to know that in this cases there’s really no point in blaming others, but that’s his own journey. Mine is to make the impossible decision of continuing my relationship with him and accepting the fact that I might get a lifetime infection (in case I don’t have it) or forget about him and my feelings for him and keep my record clean.
But damn! Men like him don’t grow on trees!
We haven’t had sex since he was diagnosed and it is something very difficult because we are crazy about each other.
How do I make this decision? Anyone? Are there any success stories where one of them has it and not the other? How is sex life after this? What are the challenges? What about oral sex?!!!
What happens when and if I find out I have it too? How do I deal with that?
I’m open for any suggestions, advice, words of wisdom, experiences, anything and everything you lovely people can provide.
Hi, I’m 24 and a full time student. I have been dating a man for the past 5 months, but since we have all experienced covid-19, we have taken isolation very seriously and mainly because he has diabetes. Well, I unfortunately discovered that I am infected with HSV which strain? I dont know yet because I am waiting on the blood test results to come back. However, not only am i depressed and have been crying non-stop because of this but I might even lose the man that I have grown to care very deeply for, and the reason is not because he has shamed me because of my recent diagnosis. It is because he has diabetes in which makes him more susceptible in getting any virus and also it is extremely hard for him or anyone who is diabetic to fight off infections. I dont know what to do and I don’t know what the risks are for someone who is diabetic and has herpes.
I feel ashamed and disgusted with myself. I feel like damaged goods and that I’ve been ruined, and that my sex life will never be the same, and it will never be as intimate and lovely as i wanted it to be with the man i want to marry. I’m trying not to cry or give up but it seems like the tears keep on flowing. I know it’s not the end of the world but to me not only was i diagnosed with HSV but I also might lose my boyfriend because of it. Emotionally, it’s hard and I’ve never felt so alone and isolated in my life.
Hi all – i want to start this out by saying for anyone that’s worried about dating and scared no one will love you, it’s so so not true – i had multiple longt-term relationships after being diagnosed and all partners accepted it.
I wanted to pose a question around the trauma of the diagnosis itself – i hardly ever think about herpes anymore by the way – it’s been years since i worried about it but i have trouble sexually with partner sometimes – i tend to close up and feel my anxiety and defenses rise. I am wondering if this has to do with the trauma of the diagnosis – i haven’t had sexual trauma in other ways but the diagnosis was really traumatic for me and i wonder if it impacts my ability to really open up and be my full sexual self.
Topic: New diagnosis and rejection
I have been dating someone for a little over two months. I have always been super careful about my sexual health, and have always been up front in asking about others’ status. I have been having recurrent infections (yeast, BV) with intercourse and I kept going to the GYN for meds. This time, though, I went because my entire nether regions were on FIRE. My GYN asked if I’d ever been tested for herpes, and that I should be. Unfortunately the test came back for genital HSV1. I felt the full range of emotions. Panic. Anger. Fear. Disgust. But I wanted to know. I immediately called the person I was dating and informed him. He was understandably angry and upset, but the problem is I DON’T KNOW WHERE I GOT IT. He says he was tested 3 months ago and was negative. Now he’s getting tested again, but I fear he will leave me because he doesn’t want this. How do you deal with the rejection and disgust from a partner who once viewed you as beautiful and sexy and who made you feel wanted? I’m devastated. I really liked this guy and now I feel like a leper. What do I do?!
Hello Team Herpes! I’m 27 and I got diagnosed 8 months ago and have experienced one mini outbreak since then. I haven’t had intercourse since my initial outbreak but I’ve recently started dating again! And I obviously would love to have some sex at some point. I’m into a guy…. So how do I bring this up? Does anyone have any go-to “I have herpes” openers? What are the essential points to hit? I want to be completely honest and open with this guy but I don’t want to sit him down to a powerpoint presentation. Also please send any tips on safe sex! (other than use a condom, learned my lesson there!). Aaaand, fun twist, he’s in a committed polyamorous relationship (gotta love us millennials). Is it even possible enter into something like this ethically?
Thanks in advance 🙂
Topic: a long overdue vent
I got diagnosed with genital HSV1 in January of 2017….it’s been almost 3 and a half years. Originally I suffered from a lot of confusion and understandable depression because I got the diagnosis when I was in an exclusive relationship and when I told my partner, they disappeared for months instead of confronting the situation with me. Through therapy, antidepressants, psychedelics, and honestly just crying it out, I came to a sense of peace and happiness again. I knew having herpes wasn’t my identity and that as an 18 year old (at the time), I had so much potential left to fill out.
But, I got back with the same partner and we never had a face to face transparent conversation about the origin of me getting herpes and he never got officially tested himself. This cycle lasted for a couple years and it always ends with him randomly disappearing and me wondering and waiting for his return.
I always saw this as love. He knows me right? He has seen, witnessed, and been apart of all the darkness that I hide from everyone else. No. Now I see this was the epitome of a trauma bond and that even though I thought I had removed the stigma of having a STI from my mind, I was still acting as though I had something to be ashamed of. I know now that I was returning to him because I felt comfortable. I feel scared to experiment and open myself to other people because I feel like I have this baggage that I have to carry around. I have disconnected myself from this person and have begun dating other people. I have had relations where I havent told my diagnosis and kept myself distanced and I’ve had relations where I have been completely transparent about everything I’ve gone through. None of these situations have worked and I can’t help but wonder if herpes isn’t just impacting my love life directly but also subconsciously.
For the situations where the person doesn’t know yet, am I self sabotaging because I’m afraid of what will happen once they know?
For the situations where the person does know, are they leaving me/did it not work because I do have herpes?
Alot to think about. Alot to heal.
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