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    Hi Elaine,

    I was recently diagnosed with HSV-1 and it came out of nowhere. I have been with my current partner for over a year. It is super confusing because although it is entirely possible one or both of us had it and didn’t know, how have we not spread it or had outbreaks until now? My doctor didn’t have a good answer, it is completely plausible to her that I received the virus over a year ago and am just now having an outbreak due to triggers or stress. My take-away, is that it’s a super unpredictable virus that continues to change so they don’t always 100% know how you got it, why or from where. Aside from doing due diligence with testing and notification, I wouldn’t spend my energy wondering why you got it, from my experience it is a neverending cycle of conflicting information. I am focusing instead on what may have triggered my outbreak, i.e. unhealthy diet, stress, etc!

    Hope this helps!



    Yes. I had sex with a partner of one year in very early July 2017 and we separated in early September without having had sex since July. He told me before we started dating that he had tested negative over the years and I believe him. I also had tested negative over the years. In mid-September, at my yearly exam, i asked for my usual STD testing, including an HSV2 blood test. It came back positive (negative in 2016). I was floored. My PA said that yes, I could have been exposed many years ago and the virus just now showed up to cause an outbreak, giving me antibodies. I had gone through a stressful August and then had diarrhea for several weeks from a gastro upset. So I guess my immune system was weakened and the virus finally broke through into an asymptomatic outbreak. I remain, knock on wood, asymptomatic after two years but of course I can infect a partner through viral shedding. I even took the Western Blot test at the University of WAshington Virology REsearch Center to confirm. Bizarrely, I test positive for HSV2 and negative for HSV1 even though I had two long term relationships with men who had cold sores on their mouths. To be negative for HSV1 seems statistically impossible! My parents both had mouth cold sores…. I have written the VRC several questions so if I get clearer information from them I’ll post the answers here. This is the weirdest medical experience of my life!



    I went in to urgent care yesterday for what I thought was a yeast infection and came out with life-changing news: I had herpes. I has fun throughout college and was pretty promiscuous, however, I always prided myself on the fact that I protected myself. I frequently got tested to make sure I didn’t have any STDs. However, I just learned that when I was saying “Test for all of it,” they were never testing for herpes and they never thought to tell me. All this time, I thought I didn’t have it.

    Back in January, I started dating this amazing guy. I made sure to get tested again before we slept together (again, no Herpes tests though). It is the healthiest and best relationship I have ever had. After learning that I have herpes yesterday, I have been in severe pain – barely able to walk or sit and literally crying when I have to pee. The doctor gave me Valtrex and I am taking Advil – WHAT ADVICE DO PEOPLE HAVE FOR HOW TO MANAGE PAIN OF OUTBREAKS?

    I am also now terrified to tell my boyfriend about it. We are so good at communicating and he is so understanding, so there is a good chance it will be fine. But I am still so terrified that this could be the deal breaker and that he will not want to live with this risk. I know I need to stay calm for this conversation and explain to him all the facts (have been doing lots of research in the last 24 hours), but I am in so much pain and just so shocked and sad by this news that all I want to do is cry in his arms. I know I can’t do that because I need to show him that this is no big deal, but he is the person I go to when I’m upset. I am just feeling so alone in all of this and need people to talk to, especially those going through the same thing. WHAT ADVICE DO PEOPLE HAVE FOR TELLING YOUR SIGNIFICANT OTHER? WHAT ADVICE DO PEOPLE HAVE FOR GOING FORWARD IN A RELATIONSHIP AFTER DIAGNOSIS?

    I am so happy to have found this discussion group and look forward to talking with people.



    I’m really new to all of this so I don’t know how much help I can be, but I’ve been testing the waters by telling my friends. I’ve come to find that a lot of people don’t react negatively toward the information, but are supportive. It also isn’t guaranteed that sexual partners will get the virus, I think it’s important to keep doing your research and see how you can diminish the risk of transmission.

    Good luck, and you’re not alone


    In reply to: New Diagnosis


    Hello. I’m sorry that you had to go through that. I am newly diagnosed as well but he knew he was infected and coerced me into thinking that it was an infected scratch and not a herpes sore. I ended up getting it. For me, the morning after, I woke up with the worst fever and headache. Then the sores started and boy were they painful. They are some blood tests that supposedly test if you were infected long term or short term, but when I did it both were negative. When i had gotten another outbreak I went to my gyno and she swabbed the sores and got a good sample for testing. It came back positive. But yes, you’re right, whether he has it or not shouldn’t be a concern for you anymore. Focus on yourself and your health because that’s what matters most. 🙂

    The best test is swabbing the sores for culture. The virus lives in the nerve root in the area that you were infected and it is very difficult to detect sometimes with testing. It is also important that you don’t have sex while you have an outbreak until you’re fully healed. I take daily 500mg valtrex and sometimes take vitamin c and zinc as well. I have not been intimate with anyone since my diagnosis but I was told by my gyno that with daily valtrex use and using condoms, the transmission rate is less than 3%. Hope this helps!



    Sometimes it’s hard to think thi was done. I was diagnosed and dumped on Christmas Eve. I had gotten sti/STD checks every year. However even regular checks don’t include HSV testing. Sometimes we can live with it for years and never have a symptom. I know it’s hard right now. However having someone in your corner can help. He’s going through a lot. Especially if he didn’t know and has given it to someone he loves. Maybe finding a meet up group would benefit both of you. I know going to a meeting helped me. Seeing it from both sides. Hope this helped. Stay strong.



    Just diagnosed yesterday, I have been with my partner about 4 months and we have been having sex unprotected.. I’ve never had an outbreak until last week, my normal STD testing has been normal . He does not know yet because I wanted to wait to find out for sure before making him panic. One night we had sex, he gave me oral with whipped cream and literally two days later, I am having what my doctor has told me is an outbreak . What the chances that he has this considering we’ve been having unprotected sex for months ? What’s the chances he has given this to me? Since being with him unprotected I’ve had two uti’s and now this, however my std testing all was negative but i was Not tested for herpes considering I’ve never had an outbreak or sores. I havent seen anything on him orally . But i feel There is no way he doesn’t have it we’ve been having unprotected sex four months and this is the first time I’ve ever experienced anything like this. He still has no symptom or idea of this but after i follow Up with my doctor i want to tell him . I want To tell him now but I think I should wait til I know more.



    Hi, Jamajofe!

    It sounds like your daughter has really gone through it. It must be difficult to see her in pain like she is.

    HSV is tricky because it can show as a false negative in many people from time to time. However, once someone has it, they have it for life. Swab testing is the most accurate way to determine if the antibodies are present. So, if the swab test she had 4 years ago was positive, I would say she does, in fact, have HSV1. That all said, it is medically harmless. The next time she has an outbreak, suggest she go to the doctor right away to get it swab tested again if what you are determining is if the rash is from her HSV or psoriasis.

    Dr. Kelly, the founder of Pink Tent would be a great resource for you and your daughter to ask more in-depth questions and to determine effective ways to decrease symptoms and boost her immune system. Reach out to her. She is a wealth of knowledge.

    I hope your daughter starts feeling better and that you both find deep peace!


    Hi there!
    Christopher/Ricardo doesn’t actually live in that place. Maybe he did once – I can just imagine him wandering the shores on his mystic quest. Now he lives in a Vancouver suburb, very urban, as I do. But the beach looks better on the website I was interested in his ‘sex goddess’ project. As Ricardo, he is a photographer who has done some provocative work. I thought I would be a good fit as he said he was interested in women of all ages. But he insists on showing his models having sex with their partners, obviously not practical So I didn’t proceed. His anti viral gel is horrifically expensive – something like $400 for a 4 month supply. On the other hand, you would get a nice discount by paying in USD.

    I live a long way from Toronto, on the West Coast. We have a climate similar to Seattle, Portland or San Francisco, so get very little ‘cold’. I work about a dozen blocks from a beach. Toronto can be harsh though. My husband’s favourite hockey team is the Chicago Blackhawks. He even traveled there once to see them play, and he doesn’t travel often.

    A licensed spiritual coach sounds very interesting. What is that, exactly? Where do you get qualified in such a thing? I have an artist friend who is starting a business doing something similar. Is there potential to make decent money at it?

    I have been creative all my life. I went to art school for 10 years (part time) and am always busy with something. My current interest is photography. You can see some of my work here: I’m thinking of going back to painting, but am very nervous, as I hit a wall with it 20 years ago and got turned right off. Being artistic can be a curse, as it’s hard to make a living at it. Perhaps you can relate. I do ‘day jobs’ to make money, and have had quite a few of them.
    I really hope you get back into serious dating, and find someone worthwhile. Life is really too short not to, and goodness knows you deserve it. The right person will be understanding and accepting of your situation. How do you propose to deal with the ‘disclosure’ aspect, or are you just going to ‘play it by ear’? I was thinking that if all potential partners got full std testing, they might be surprised at what shows up. So many don’t know they are infected.

    I met 2 of my bfs on Ashley Madison, and the 3rd on adult friendfinder, which is a bit of a cesspool IMO. I have always said I’m married, and seek out married men. One reason was that they would be ‘safer’ – ha! The herpes bf knows I see others, and is fine with it, but the other 2 don’t. Men can be very silly that way, considering they aren’t offering me much besides friendship and sex. Some of them get very possessive, so I keep quiet. They all know I have herpes – I told them right away and gave them the option to leave. None did.
    My husband doesn’t know about the bfs, officially, but he is adept at denial. Our relationship has been rocky. I married him at 22 because I was pregnant – turns out he is an alcoholic. He also has a very low libido. 20 years ago I decided there had to be more to life, so I started exploring, which has maintained my sanity.

    You are right, I’ve never heard of LDN. Do you take this for Hashimoto’s as well? I continue to take Moducare – it’s plant based and completely natural, and has a proven track record. I’m also really impressed with the Manuka honey – I have chronic candida, so hesitated to use honey topically, but this isn’t like regular honey. You wouldn’t want to eat it, but it knocks out sore spots like you wouldn’t believe. If you want to try it, buy it with a K factor of 16. That is the best potency.

    That’s all for now – wondering if they have a key stroke limit here?




    Hello. I’m new to the group and newly Diagnosed. I was diagnosed earlier today was both HSV-1 and 2. I wasn’t surprised about HSV-1, because I have struggled with cold sores since I was 8. My mom got cold sores and kissed me one night, two days later I woke up to cold sores all in my mouth and down my throat. I can’t really remember, but I was told it lasted for a week. Being diagnosed with HSV-2 was shocking. Honestly I feel like my whole world has stopped. I’ve never had an outbreak or any symptoms that I know of. I’ve been with the same man for 1.5 years. I decided to get tested because it had been awhile, and I had never been tested for HSV or HIV. I’m a Health Educator and I teach my students the importance of routine testing. I would have never thought that I would come back HSV-2 positive. I’m confused and keep wondering where I could’ve contracted it. Like I said…I’ve never had an on outbreak or symptoms. Could it be possible that I contracted it when my original HSV-1 outbreak occurred? Could I have touched my mouth then touched my genitals and contracted it that way? I always thought that I knew everything there was to know about STI’s but now I feel like I know nothing. I can only hope that as the days go on that I feel more positive and hopeful.


    I’m 64 and have been married for 40 years. My husband and I are like room mates and no longer have sex. 17 years ago I began seeing other men. I currently have 3 FWBs that I see occasionally – 2 I’ve known for 3 years and the third for 9 months. The 2 long term ones tested negatively for STDs when we met, as did I. The more recent FWB I took at his word when he said he’d never had an STD symptom. Silly me. About a month ago I was hit with the ‘mother of all yeast infections’ that quickly turned into something much worse. Herpes has always scared me, and as I read up on the symptoms I realized I was experiencing them one by one. It was horrifying.

    I was diagnosed with HSV2. The OB was harsh, complete with oozing, stinking sores, excruciating urination, fever, rapid weight loss, and extreme leg pain. 5 weeks later I’m a lot better, but still have significant genital discomfort.

    I informed my partners immediately. One of the long term ones has tested negative for HSV, for which I am extremely thankful. The second long term partner has not gone in for testing yet, but I’m optimistic he too will be negative. The 9 month FWB tested positive for HSV2. He still swears he’s never had any symptoms. Whether or not this is true I don’t know, but he remains serenely asymptomatic while I’ve gone through purgatory. My partners have all been extremely supportive.

    Like many I’ve run a gamut of emotions and am trying to sort them all out. After the first shock, the biggest challenge has been not to let this define me. The knowledge is like a stain that won’t wash out. I have learned so much, including the fact that HSV testing is not standard, so if I’d sent my 9 month partner for testing, I’d still be in the same situation.

    I fluctuate between disbelief, anger, resentment and uncertainty. I do not feel shame or embarrassment, just a little foolish for not being better informed.

    Figuring out a new sexual protocol has been interesting.

    I’ve had 2 sessions with Valtrex, and am now working on shoring up my immune system. Moducare is an immune balancer that helped my sick dog for many years, so I’m trying that. I’ve also ordered Monolaurin, an anti-viral, so will give that a go. I figure prevention is better than treatment. Still looking for a magic bullet for the nether regions.

    This is a very long post. It’s good to get it all out, as I often feel very much alone. If you have made it this far, thank you. Any tips on bolstering the immune system and calming the raging vulva will be most appreciated.

    My heart and hand go out to you all, and particularly to the baby boomers on here.




    Hello, my name is Jenna and I am from Ohio. I will be turning 30 in December and learned about a few weeks ago that I have Hsv2, genital herpes. I hope that my story below gives you hope that all will be okay, especially if you do your research on this site.

    How was I diagnosed with genital herpes? A few months ago, I noticed a cut inside my cheek. Over a few weeks, it developed into a lump. I was worried that it was cancerous or even an oral hpv wart.. (I was diagnosed with high risk hpv in 2012 so that is how I came up with the oral wart story).

    I went to my doctor and told him about my past Hpv history and how paps are now clear and no concerns since 2013. I showed him the inside of my cheek. He barely examined it and said that I should do a cold sore test first and if it is negative, he will refer me to ear, nose and throat doctor. I agreed and afterwards told my boyfriend of 4 years how herpes test was ridiculous because I have never had Cold sores and totally would know if I carried herpes!

    So after a week, I get a call back from nurse asking for me to come in to review results. I became afraid, panicked. I began to worry about carrying HIV (remember I was sure that I didn’t have herpes so I thought perhaps every blood test looks for HIV and because my immune system was low due to virus, I wasn’t able to suppress my past hpv causing oral wart now……crazy, I know!)

    I get online and check doctor’s medical portal and find where it has detected Hsv2 antibodies. I was panicked and shared news with my boyfriend. I told him to schedule doctor’s appointment asap to test for Hsv2 and HIV. I looked at my past doctor records… I knew that I had sti testing in 2013 after I met my boyfriend. Every test but hsv1 and 2. I couldn’t believe it. My last herpes test was in 2012.

    Week later, boyfriend finds out that he is negative for Hsv2 and hsv1 and HIV. I am the carrier! But hey that demonstrates that you CAN have sex without transmitting to others. I had no idea about the herpes and we had unprotected sex for 4 years.

    But get this, when I found out my diagnosis, I started having herpes symptoms.. tingling, slight ache, 3 to 6 tiny sores. I guarantee it is due to stress. It was like I called out to the herpes to appear due to my disbelief.

    But this shows that I probably had herpes since 2012… For 5 years and it didn’t affect my life or my partner’s…. Until I got the diagnosis but I plan on following pink Tent’s course and managing these symptoms and destroying this shame. I am a beautiful woman and I know that herpes from experience is a minor inconvenience. It is a slight skin irritation or even a major one at times. Everyone’s symptoms vary. It doesn’t define someone. Please don’t listen to all the scare tactics out there (some of it was fueled by the herpes drug companies to get business).

    I have faith that my life is going to be fantastic and contracting herpes has already taught me to be more empathetic and compassionate to others. If someone judges you or rejects you, that is a sign that you can find a better friend or lover out there. It is a sign that person may not be safe or empathetic, traits desirable for friendship. You now have a better detector out there to weed out the people not worth your time.

    Don’t hide in shame. We must embrace what life throws at us. If you stop the self-hatred and shaming, your stress is going to decrease and the outbreaks most likely will lessen. Our bodies can be the best teachers in life.

    Oh and guess what.. the sore/wart inside my cheek was scar tissue due to a cut from my teeth retainer…

    My boyfriend still wants to have unprotected sex with me after my outbreak goes away. He understands there is a slight risk but I wonder how many times we had sex over the last 4 years raw with no issues. I just get so mad at the online articles saying that a condom should always be used due asymptomatic shedding. Of course wear a condom with a new partner to protect both parties (we don’t know what he has) but that isn’t realistic for committed couples and another scare tactic to reduce intimacy.

    Thanks for reading my story. Remember this to will pass if you are feeling blue 😀



    I was diagnosed almost a month ago. The stigma and my ex-lover have been the biggest obstacles since I haven’t had to deal with severe symptoms. I contracted HSV-2 from my ex-boyfriend. I sought treatment for a yeast infection a few days after exposure, and requested a full STD screening. I tested positive via swab. Unfortunately, I slept with a friend/business associate before receiving my results. The yeast infection cleared within a few days of taking my meds so never in a million years did I expect to be HSV . Hours after receiving the devastating news I had to muster up every last bit of nerve and courage to tell my friend the news and he would need to get tested. He went that same day to my doctor for a blood test. The longest hour and a half of my life waiting with him to get called in for testing. He tested positive via blood test. This was one week after we first slept together, which now I’ve come to learn, if he didn’t have it before me, he should’ve tested negative. I told him a positive IGG blood test indicates he’s had the virus for at least 3 months, but he refused to accept the fact and blames me. Needless to say, we are not together and do not talk. I still have to deal with him for business matters. The hard part initially was the guilt and shame I felt thinking I had infected him. I was unable to deal with my own diagnosis because I was so preoccupied with his diagnosis and feelings. I’m still preoccupied, but I’ve also decided to accept I have a virus/skin condition and I will be ok. Most days I have anxiety, some days I forget. I work hard to ‘practice calm,’ and use other coping mechanisms I’m learning through Dr. Kelly’s support and coaching. I know it will be a challenge, but I’m determined to minimize it to eventually be an afterthought. This won’t define me. I hope to find support and encouragement in this forum, as well as provide support and encouragement when I can. We’re not alone and we’re still the same amazing beautiful women we were before the news. Let’s keep shining and not dim our own light.



    Though my REAL Self is a vivacious and sexual being who craves passionate Love making and Intimacy. The self I wear about town always dressed modestly and holds in the sway of her hips. The spectrum of my life has been depraved of the intensity and enjoyment of sex that my body and soul is capable and desirous of.

    I have lived my life repressing my Sexy sexual self for fear of Rape; Fear of pregnancy; Fear of getting a STD. I just turned 40 and have been feeling that my sexual prime is slipping away and I may never get to have some of these deep physical/spiritual experiences I crave.

    SO MANY of my girlfriends have had lifelong practice of being loose and sexual with many partners and they (as far as they know) do not have any STIs. I began to experiment with loosening my standards. Everyone is doing it… It is the new normal. I basically allowed myself to engage in sexual relationship with a man who I knew was not “The One” but believed to be an earnestly good person. I got into sexual relationship before I knew him long enough to see the darkness.

    When I brought up the request for monogamy he said, “I would be honored to make that commitment with you”. I never doubted he meant it because I am so incredibly wonderful and out of his league that of course it was an honor for him to be with me. I saw that this man was deficient in certain areas like finance, but I truly believed that he was a genuinely kind person with integrity. I see now that I projected a story based upon behavior he was putting on for me.

    His last girlfriend was a really quality amazing woman and they had dated for 4 years with plans to get married. Turns out they were always a polygamous couple. I had just assumed that this man was a serial monogamist; and that he had stood the test of time in terms of commitment and valor. I believed his story of sexual history and recent testing. We agreed to do STI tests and I moved ahead on actualizing this and he did not..

    I was in daydream stages of our involvement, thinking he was such a nice guy and there were possibilities of noble learning with him..

    I had a handful of unprotected moments with this man; each one introduced by him and ended by me. It felt physically good, but I felt uncomfortable about it and still allowed those fleeting moments. I was staying up too late, partying too much, and leaking energy in my life because I was sleeping late and not standing up to my own professional goals and follow through. There was a real underlying negativity to my overall life force.

    The mirage took a mere two months to completely shatter. He behaved despicably; in such an unbelievably disgusting manner by holding secret the worst most monstrous lies. I wonder if he knew he had herpes and lied about that too. It’s almost too terrible to believe.

    I was so overly clear in my request and expectation: I enunciated in detail TWICE: That if he ever did have sex with another he needed to tell me BEFORE sleeping with me. I don’t even have to tell the story for it to be known. It is an archetypal story..

    Two weeks in or so into our “honeymoon” stage of dating I declined an invitation to go to a bar with him for music. I was tired from staying up too late with him the previous evening and I opted to rest. That evening he had unprotected sex with a woman who sleeps with multiple partners. He never told me and he continued to engage with me intimately.

    I began to feel some inner stirrings of unrest and jealousy about his texting and talking to other female friends. He emphatically denied any sexual relations with these women. However, it turns out he was sleeping with more than one. I still can’t believe he could lie to my face about something that could so negatively impact my health. Yuck x 10!! This guy so UNloved HIMSELF that he likely slept with a woman who has Hep C! I have tested clean and will retest. This is the stuff of nightmares.

    I DID, of course, test positive for both HSV 1 & 2.
    I currently have un-relenting growing discomfort and pain of an anal fissure and hemorrhoid at the moment. It has been 3weeks and getting worse with remedy… Inspired by the “Fear Cuts Deeper than Swords” post I am acknowledging that I may be experiencing my first herpes outbreak.

    I am stunned that anyone could treat the sanctity of my body with such disrespect. Oh, the brutality of total betrayal and dishonesty.

    Is looking into the ways that I allowed it!
    Dear Self, what was I thinking!?
    How could I have sold myself out so cheaply?
    Believed fantasy and words over my own inner knowing?

    And some immature part of me is just so resentful that I arrived late to the party and was duly and immediately punished. Why does everyone else get away with it!?

    And here I am, slowly Surrendering to what IS



    Has anyone every experienced vaginal verve pain after an outbreak? I was diagnosed 15 years ago with genital herpes and I take 1 gram of Valtrex daily. However, I have been experienced pain in the vagina. I went to see my GYN and PCP both and requested testing for yeast and other STIs. All were negative. I am still in pain and have no diagnosis as to why I am in pain. Help?

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