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    Dr. Kelly

    Hi all,

    Thankful to have found this page. I’m having my first outbreak, started a few days ago and I got the viral culture result yesterday. HSV 1. Worst Valentine’s Day gift ever. My symptoms are tolerable, but now I’m currently playing the waiting game …. my partner is out of town but he knows we have something serious to discuss. I appreciate the time, its giving me the opportunity to get educated and get rid of the tears…………. I’m nervous to be starting this journey, but I’m determined to not let this define me or change me.


    Hi all,

    Thankful to have found this page. I’m having my first outbreak, started a few days ago and I got the viral culture result yesterday. HSV 1. Worst Valentine’s Day gift ever. My symptoms are tolerable, but now I’m currently playing the waiting game …. my partner is out of town but he knows we have something serious to discuss. I appreciate the time, its giving me the opportunity to get educated and get rid of the tears…………. I’m nervous to be starting this journey, but I’m determined to not let this define me or change me.


    I found out 5 days ago that I have HSV 2… Unfortunately, I don’t have a story where I had a partner who gave it to me, a monogamous relationship, or even something I willingly went into knowing the possibility of contracting the virus from somebody I actually gave a damn about. I got herpes from my very first one night stand (go figure)

    My story starts with a night of drinking too much alcohol (to the point of throwing up when I got home), a cute guy (that I didn’t even remember talking to or exchanging numbers with, but somehow managed to text him my address), and a decision I woke up regretting as he was laying next to me that morning.

    To make a long story short, a couple weeks ago I started what I thought was a UTI or maybe even a yeast infection. I was only itchy for 2 days in the beginning, but very uncomfortable when urinating. I dealt with the uncomfortable urination for almost a week when finally one day I woke up and it was brutal to go to the bathroom. The following day it clicked in my head that I had changed my soap and maybe I was having a reaction. However that same day I was beginning to have pain down the back of my legs and this had me the most worried. I finally decided I needed an antibiotic for this infection.

    At the urgent care, the triage nurse asked me all basic questions and medical history. When I had told her about what felt like sciatica pain, she began asking about my sexual history. I had shamefully told her about my one night stand and in my head I was thinking this woman is judging me and thinking I’m some stupid slut that contracted trichomoniasis or something (pain in legs with trich as well). However, this was not the case- she told me she thought I had contracted herpes. I immediately started to cry because how can I have an incurable virus when I don’t have any rashes, sores, blisters, or anything. Now, the nurse was extremely comforting and had said it’s just like having a cold sore, but in a different area. That people make a much bigger deal out of it than it really is because nobody ever talks about it.. So, after I calmed down I did a urine culture, the doctor came in and did a pap smear style swab, and gave me meds to treat a UTI and a yeast infection. The doctor didn’t see anything during the swab and said it didn’t look like I had herpes- which I let out a huge breath of air after hearing that. Upon leaving I was told that I should have the results back by that Saturday and any medicine or further problems, contact them.

    After I called every day since that Sunday, they finally called me back Thursday morning at work and confirmed that not only did I have bacterial vaginosis, but I had also gotten chlamydia AND Herpes. Needless to say I was a mess and had to try to contain myself between patients – worst day ever. My inital feelings were shock, embarrassment, shame, disgust, and felt like this was something I deserved for being so careless and stupid.Karma’s a bitch, right?

    It’s only been 5 days since I found out and I’m almost numb to it. When the one of the very few people who know about it complain about anything – my response is “well, at least you don’t have herpes”. Making stupid jokes is almost like my way of dealing with it. Also I know I have it, but I want to have a blood test to really confirm it. I need to also get tested for HIV because although I don’t think I have it, I also didn’t think I had HSV 2 either. Again, I didn’t have a rash, sores, or blisters. I had what I thought was a UTI, 2 days of mild itching, and a couple weeks worth of sciatica pain that I now take care of with ibuprofen. More than anything else, the sciatica pain is the most intense. Its mainly in my left leg under my buttocks, but it’s also gone into my right leg, given me a type of cramping feeling in my calves, and the other day I felt it in my toes. I haven’t had much pain these past two days, more discomfort than anything else.

    I have a mix of emotions because I know this isn’t something life threatening like cancer, so I’m trying to stay positive. I’m thankful because I have a great support system back home, but I wanted to join support groups, read as much as I could, and sort of know what to expect..
    I’m the only person I know with HSV 2 so I also feel alone, “diseased”, undesirable, and almost unworthy of love. I know the time will come when I want to date again, but right now? I don’t even want to talk to any of the guy friends I normally do in fear of something as simple as getting a compliment. I know there are dating websites for people with STDs, but when will I feel like myself again? Will I have the sex drive that I used to have or forever feel ashamed and dirty? How will I know if I’m having an outbreak or “shedding” if I haven’t gotten the sores or rash? Is the sciatica pain considered as an outbreak even though I can’t see or feel anything on my vagina?.. As much as I read, I feel like I still have so many unanswered questions. I know this is a learning process, but more than anything else- I want to know what to expect and when to expect it AND I want to feel the confidence and acceptance I once had.


    I am so glad I found your book and this site. My outbreaks have always been on my buttocks (I assume this is the s1 nerve?). My doctor thought I might have contracted it in other way than through sexual transmission (the sore is in the “toilet seat area”). I’ve been with my husband for 19 years and have always been faithful. My outbreaks started long after I’ve been married. I’ve barely had outbreaks and it always healed quickly with no pain. I’ve always has skin issues (excema, etc.) and never did it occur in my mind that this could be Herpes. Since last fall I’ve been going through stressful times and have been dealing with lots of anxiety and worries. I had a more severe outbreak end of November and since then keeps returning every other week in a milder form. It seems as if I can’t get rid of it even though I do my best to improve my immune system but still have a hard time coping with stress. I am now terribly afraid that the sores could appear in my genital area as well. Is this possible? Thank you for all you do, Dr. Kelly. You are an inspiration.

    Dr. Kelly

    In general, your outbreaks will most likely be in the same exact place. However, it is possible for the outbreak to be on the patch of skin that is supplied by the same nerve that supplies the labia minora.


    Hi Dr. Kelly,

    If my first HSV2 outbreak was on the labia minora will my outbreaks always be there? Or will I have outbreaks in other places as well? I’m just not sure how that works. Any insight would be greatly appreciated.



    I recently had a really bad case of strep throat which lowered my immune system and subsequently triggered my double outbreak. At first it was a few sores randomly inside my mouth and then after about a day I felt something coming up on my lip. Around the same time I knicked a bump while shaving and chalked it up to just an ingrown hair until tonight when I checked on it and realized it had become much larger and recognized the formation right away.
    I recently just started dating someone, who I literally think is my sole mate, and I’m not one who normally believes in those things. I already talked to him about the oral herpes and he was so sweet and understanding, but I am still very afraid of telling him that I now believe I also have genital herpes (which I’m going to go and confirm on Monday). Any suggestions on how I might handle this?


    I have been diagnosed for over 3 years, when I had just turned 15, now I am about 19. The hardest part for me was being so young. I was so vulnerable. At that age herpes is especially not okay to talk about, be known about, no one believes it exists or could ever happen to them, and no one excepts others for having it basically, herpes was the unspeakable devil that came in to ruin my life.. However, I noticed the older one gets the more they understand that herpes is a part of a sexual beings life. Herpes is common. And most of all herpes is manageable..
    As a young 15 year old girl, I was too scared to tell a soul. It was hard enough to even admit it to myself, I thought I was the most disgusting human on the face of the planet. I at first thought I had a yeast infection.. and it was horrible! The worst outbreak I EVER got! I missed the first 4 days of school (my sophmore year in high school) and all I could do was take baths, wear boxers and cry. I had went get tested and they called me and said that I had HSV2.. I told my mom, who told Kelly… and eventually I told one of my girl friends.. I went through many fazes of being able to speak of not being able to speak about it at all with others. It was like a rock was in my throat, preventing me from saying the word. It literally wouldn’t even come out and when I even tired I just started to cry. Because I wasn’t able to have “the talk” at that time in my life, I ruined many relationships because of trust issues.. because I lied I wasn’t trustworthy and I didn’t find them trustworthy. Also because I was so young and to some one under the age of 18 it is generally seen as so bad it’s almost like they’d rather be dead! I was also told by the guy who gave me herpes that, “it couldn’t be herpes because only really trashy people get that.” He told me a year later that he had lied and he had it long before he had transmitted it to me.. I was so hurt that I was lied to and that such horrible things were happening to me at such a young age. Because of his awful way of describing the infection to me I had awful feelings about my self. Self love was hardly even a question.. it was a very distant false reality for me. I made rules like “don’t have sex with anyone at your high school” and “do’t have sex with anyone under 18”, because I was so scared of what could happen if the rumors got out.. I literally thought I’d commit suicide. I was so stressed about having herpes that I got an outbreak EVERY WEEK!!!! Eventually I got put on Valtrex (I made the decision because I couldn’t heal or figure out what the root cause of all of it was) daily and I had outbreaks about every 6 months then… it was a HUGE relief. After a little over a year my insurance wouldn’t cover the meds anymore and I went off them. I also decided to get off of birth control at the same time.. which was a lot on my body, especially considering my outbreaks are completely correlated with my hormones. I had about 4 outbreaks in a ROW for a couple of months! It was awful!! Gradually my body got used to being off valtrex.. and I tried Hygeia, lysine and infusions of elderberry and olive leaf every day to help my body adapt to the changes. Which worked really well for me! I would suggest those herbs and supplements to anyone who is going all natural and having trouble controling their outbreaks. Now my outbreaks.. after 3 years.. have basically stopped. They went from EVERY WEEK! To every six months.. to 4 in a row… to now the tiniest little one on my butt when I get my period.. almost every period but not every single one.. because my outbreaks are hormone related. Which I still haven’t figured out the root of that,. I do know that BIRTH CONTROL actually definitely contributed to my way too frequent outbreaks. It also had A LOT to do with that I am celiac but was not aware of it until a year or so ago.. Food allergies cause mad outbreaks! Immediately too, in my case. If you are getting mad out breaks, drop all food you may be allergic to and see what happens.. then slowly reintroduce each one and see what happens. You will find out for yourself if they are a problem for you or not. That is what I did!
    I would just like to speak on how I am now. I am now rarely ever getting outbreaks, I feel I have almost total control over my outbreaks. When I do get outbreaks its because of my hormones and I use colloidal silver topically and take vitex tincture, as well as herbal infusions, lysine and Hygeia capsules.. I haven’t “cured” those PMS outbreaks yet though.
    The really amazing thing is that I am in a relationship of over 3 months with a 20 year old guy who does not have herpes. We are in love and he choses not to use condoms with me because he trusts me. We openly talk about it whenever we want. I tell him to use a condom or to just not touch me there or around there when I am possibly concerned. I feel very lucky to have found such an amazing soul to share my soul with, but I also realized that any guy will do this. The key is to be confident when you tell them.. to tell them the fact.. not be offended if they react strange.. and give them a few days or whatever to think about it. If they love you they will come around! For me the hardest part around social stigma was that I wasn’t the type to be in a relationship often, and that caused me a lot more pain because I didn’t want to deal with telling those people. Now I have became confident enough that I tell EVERY ONE that I come in sexual contact with.. immediately! And they respect me for it, and if they leave I know it is for the better.
    Well that’s all for now, I am happy I finally shared and I hope some one gets something positive out of reading my experience/journey with herpes. <3

    Dr. Kelly


    Thank you for sharing! Your question is excellent!

    The herpes virus can present itself (i.e.) show symptoms anywhere along the nerve branch where transmission occurred. While the virus lives within your spinal chord, when it is active, it travels along the nerve at the level of your spinal chord and it then becomes active at the surface of your skin. An “anal outbreak” is one of several branches from the same root. Think of a tree and all of it’s branches. If your symptoms are directly around the anus, then we know S5 nerve root was infected. If; however, the symptoms are further away from the anus, then it would indicate another sacral nerve (S2, S3 or S4) was infected(see image from
    Pelvic Dermatomes

    As you can see, the S3 branch extends up and around the vagina and it also affects the skin more distantly around the anus. It really depends on how close your symptoms are to the anus. If your symptoms are directly next to the anus, then the S5 nerve root was affected, which means that transmission did occur from friction around the anus. If the symptoms are in the general area, then it could indicate that transmission occurred from contact anywhere within the patch of skin associated with the nerve root, aka the dermatome.

    Check out the image and reference where your symptoms are. This will be the telltale sign of whether or not you contracted herpes from anal sex or not.

    I hope this helps.

    Live. Love. Thrive.
    Dr. Kelly


    Hi ladies. My name is Haylee and I am currently 17 years young. I found out in September of 2014 that I had contracted genital herpes. It was one of the most painful and heart breaking things I have ever dealt with in my life so far.
    In the 17 years I have been on this earth, my soul has been threw many painful experiences. With being sexual abused by someone who I thought I could trust, my father being in and out of my life, moving away from my mother, losing friends, and between all those; having to deal with depression. But I do know one person I can count on, is my mother. She inspires me to love myself for who I am. My mother is the one who actually bout me the book “Live.Love. and Thrive. with herpes.”
    I moved 3 hours away from my mother last summer, and moved in the my aunt. It is my senior year and it has been the hardest one yet, but I am doing it and will graduate in May.
    But in that time a lot has happened. One of the big ones was finding out I had herpes.
    When I moved away from my mother I also moved away from my boyfriend at the time, Ryan. He has always been so supportive. It broke his heart when I left, but we tried to make things work. Everything was going ok, but then I found out I had herpes and I had to tell him. We both cried, and had so many questions. He did go get checked and his blood test was negative. Since then things have just fell apart. I did and still do love him. But I knew I couldn’t hold him back.
    I needed to work on myself.

    The first outbreak I had was when I went to the doctor and got tested for it. But the second time is now. I am currently taking pills to help it. I also know it cant make the herpes go away. I know that I have to live with this for the rest of my life and I’m still so young.
    I read my book every night while listening to spa music, and its like therapy to me.

    Now I am at the point of reaching out to others and wanting to know what others think. I want to share my story, and see how you ladies can inspire my young mind with your thoughts.



    I didn’t get a whole lot of time to discuss this all with my doctor when I was diagnosed as it was a bit of a shock and of course I wasn’t thinking particularly straight. So I have a question about transmission routes:

    My genital herpes outbreak is in the anal region. My doctor asked me if my husband and I have ever had anal sex and I automatically answered ‘no’ because we don’t. BUT, when we were first together we DID experiment. That was about nine years ago so it didn’t immediately occur to me because hey, it was nine years ago.

    The doctor mentioned something about the route of least resistance to the effect of anal sex being the most likely culprit due to my outbreak presenting in that area. Is this true? Is it likely that I got the infection this way when we were experimenting? My husband is the only one I have ever experimented with.



    Hi. I’m new here. And like all of you, I have a story.

    Yesterday was the day that I found out that I have herpes. I went to the doctor for a rash that I knew wasn’t “right”. I had done research online and after looking at photos I KNEW. But I also knew I needed a doctor to confirm, and confirm he did.

    Here’s the thing. I am almost 30. I have been in a monogamous relationship for ten years. Most women would say that perhaps my husband is doing things I don’t know about, but we’ve spent the majority of our relationship working together in a wilderness setting where we were literally on TOP of one another EVERY day. If he did anything…..well. He’s Houdini because there was no place to do it and as of right now he still works in a situation where we are so in touch throughout the day that…really- his cheating on me and contracting it is a highly unlikely scenario.

    So in speaking to my doctor he says it is not uncommon to be a carrier for years and have no signs or symptoms. And since my husband and I have been together for ten years…it’s highly unlikely he is free and clear of this and honestly either of us could have brought this to the table.

    I left the doctors yesterday thinking: How does one tell their spouse that they have genital herpes? I was surprisingly not upset. I was more upset at the prospect of hurting my husband. But I had read enough about the infection to not feel very alarmed; it is so common. I’m not dirty. I am a married woman. I am college educated. I have a career, a home, a life. But my husband. I DID feel numb.

    When he got home shortly after I did, I sat him down and explained what the doctor had told me, and that in a few weeks he needed to go in for testing. He listened very quietly. I wanted to cry.

    When I finished he moved over to me, wrapped his arms around me and told me that this didn’t change anything and it was just one more thing we had to share and move on with. Perhaps not a wanted share, but a share none-the-less.

    I have never felt so loved. We discussed possible past experiences of where it could have come from; he admitted to having had unprotected sex prior to our relationship (as had I) and of course even protected sex doesn’t completely protect you. And we both acknowledged that my past ex and “friend” could also be the culprit. And then my husband took me out to dinner.

    Ladies….please don’t feel hopeless. I know my story is probably unusual- I am in a long-term relationship. But I feel that my husband is proof that someone CAN love you. You WILL live on, you WILL live a normal life. This is just a part of you now. It will pop up from time to time, and they have medications to tamp it down a bit, and we will all figure out what works best for our bodies. Of course we can all hope we are that case that barely has an outbreak in our entire lives (look at me; I’ve probably been infected for more than TEN YEARS and had no clue).

    You are not dirty. You are human. And when you stand in a crowd, you are not alone.

    I want to stay active on here as I do believe we all need support in this. Society tends to make us feel ashamed about something like this, and we shouldn’t be. No one makes you feel ashamed when you get the flu, you shouldn’t feel ashamed when you find out you have herpes. Life will go on.

    I will update when I find out my husbands test results. The doctor says he suspects that he might be an asymptomatic carrier- the worst kind because they NEVER know they have it and pass it on. So we will see. Thank you for listening to my story.

    Live on, lovely ladies.


    In reply to: Diagnosed yesterday



    Don’t be too hard on yourself about this. I found out this December that I had HSV-2, and like most, I was devastated. I thought the outbreak was from my current boyfriend as we had been together for several months and I tested negative for HSV-2 in November. Well, my BF went and got tested for everything and his tests all came back negative. So, I’m left not knowing how I got it. Anyway, I told him that I thought we should breakup since he is negative and my culture came back positive. He said absolutely not. He was having a hard time dealing with the idea that he possibly gave it to me. However, he said he loves me so much, and is willing to accept the possibility that I could give it to him. We are both in our 30’s. He’s a successful wonderful man so don’t ever think you need to settle for less because of this. Also, as far as children go, many women with HSV have children and are perfectly fine. You might have to have a c-section but that’s not a big deal either. I had one before I contracted HSV because my little one was huge when he was born. Anyway, if you know your mom will be supportive, I would definitely talk to her about it. I did and my mom has been an amazing support system for me.

    Best Wishes!


    In reply to: Herpetic Whitlow

    Dr. Kelly

    This would be an example of auto inoculation, which generally does not occur after your first outbreak. If, however, you have a cut on your finger, I would not rub it on an open sore. Other than that, I would not be concerned.


    I really wish that I could still edit my original post. I thought I knew exactly who gave this to me. As it turns out I have no idea. My story is far more complicated then I ever expected. My BF and I assumed that he gave me HSV2 because I started having symptoms shortly after we were intimate. I thought he must have been asymptomatic. This is because I had all of my blood work including HSV2 done in November and I hadn’t been with anyone else in a long time. My blood tests came back “negative.” After being with him 2 times I had my first outbreak. My doctor took a culture sample and it came back positive for HSV2. Well my BF went and had blood work done the other day and his blood work HSV1 & HSV2 came back “negative.” He hasn’t been with anyone in over 2 years. We couldn’t be more confused. I asked my doctor if she could blood test me again to see how the results turn out now and she said that it’s not necessary at this point because the blood tests have very little usability. So I’m still wondering how I got this. I guess I’ll never know at this point since all of our blood tests have come back negative. I can say this though, my BF says he plans to stick by me no matter what and I really feel blessed to have such a wonderful and supportive BF. It helps so much cause this has been really tough.

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