My story is a new one. I am a 38 year old who lives and works in a country far away from home …I just found out three days ago. I only got tested because my partner of six months suddenly had an outbreak. I went to my Gyno..he actually REFUSED to test me though I literally begged. I told him what was happening to my partner, he told me I have no signs of the disease..and I should come back if I ever have signs. Can you imagine!!! I am actually worried about my health..even other than the Disease I now have…I am not so trusting anymore…I often just trust doctors blindly.
I went to another clinic, language barrier in tow, and got the tests done. The doctor could hardly explain to me what the results meant. (I saw IgG 99.8+. 2.0….that looked positive to me.) Despite our inability to communicate, I know in my heart that I am positive. Again, this Dr. was telling me I had no problem…”sigh” It is doubly lonely here for me as I am far away from home. I am not fluent in the language either, and the native people have a hard time understanding the concept of confidentiality, even friends..At my workplace this would have been all over the staffroom by day’s end if I told my closest pal. I don’t know if this is something I should, or have to share with my friends, so I won’t. Is that ok?
I don’t want to share it with my family either ..maybe my sisters in time..not right now. My mom worries too much and gets sick.I am at a loss having never experienced an outbreak..do I still take meds even though I don’t even know when I am having an outbreak or when I will be contagious? I am now terrified of spreading it to other parts of my body and other people as I don’t even know when I am shedding. This country is a bit relaxed where STD’s are concerned, I basically have no one to turn to for information After many moons of being single, then finding someone I really love..this happens. I just need the reassurance that everyday for the rest of my life will not be filled with sadness and the sense of loss that I now feel. My partner is so scared he is slowly locking me out of his life…he is a bit of a softy and we are not sure who gave who and it is killing him that it may be him ..(me too) he gets actual OBs so he can’t be stressed…even riding his bike gives him OBs…I think just looking at me stresses him out. I want to talk to him about it..he prefers online friends as he can’t handle the emotion involved in talking to me. (Even before I found out I was positive he didn’t even want to use the camera during SKYPE)I am heartbroken. I have overcome much in my lifetime…I will survive I think…but I need some help. I am gonna be ok..but these first few days are not so nice.. Thank you so much for doing this Dr. You are a brave woman. Thanks. Tryingtobebrave2
National Herpes Awareness Day
There are many of you who probably never knew that there would be a National Herpes Awareness Day, but it’s true. It’s tomorrow, October 13, and it has been recognized since 2004 by the Australian Herpes Management Forum (AHMF).
This year, they have on kissing and oral herpes. Did you know that genital herpes can be acquired by receiving oral sex from someone who has a cold sore, fever blister or oral herpes? In fact, the incidence of genital herpes caused by Herpes Simplex 1 (HSV!), the virus which causes cold sores, is the source of over 50% of new genital herpes cases.
This year, the AHMF has used tv commercials of all sorts of people kissing; men kissing women, women kissing women, women kissing men and men kissing men to increase the awareness of the campaign. As of now, it is not clear whether oral herpes and the kissing campaign has actually increased awareness in Australia, let alone America. But with more women who have herpes than breast cancer, herpes is something that we need to be talking about and Pink Tent is committed to raising public awareness.
No longer do women need to scream in silence. If you want to learn more about herpes and my story of becoming the female face of this stigmatizing infection, read Affect Magazine’s feature interview with me.
Live. Love. Thrive.
Dr. Kelly Amazon Bestselling Author of Live, Love and Thrive with Herpes
Genital Herpes In Women
I am beginning to feel confident with myself gain. I am 18 years old and 4 months ago (one week before my 18th b-day) I had noticed some sores in my genital area. I scheduled an appt. with my gynecologist and right after looking at them she knew what was wrong with me. She told me that I had genital herpes. I couldn’t understand what she was saying. I was thinking she had to be wrong, this couldn’t happen to me. She told me she was sure that’s what I have and I was hysterical. I would have rather been dead. I thought that anyone that I told would back away from me and not want to come near me. I felt so disgusted and ashamed of myself I could hardly stand to look in the mirror. I didn’t know what to do, I needed someone to lean on and help me through this but I was so ashamed of myself.I called my step mom crying hysterically and she came to pick me up at the doctor’s office. I could hardly tell her what I found out. Just saying the words ‘genital herpes’ was too hard to do. She was very sympathetic towards me but I didn’t understand. She and the doctor were both telling me it wasn’t the end of the world but in my eyes it was! How could anyone say everything would be OK and I would get through it? I couldn’t even grasp the concept of having a normal life ever again. Since that day I have researched it a lot and I have come to terms with it. I know now that it’s not the end of the world and I can and am living a normal life. It has only been 4 months since I was diagnosed but I am already OK with it. There are times when I still get very upset over it but overall I have regained my self-confidence. I can hold my head up high again and be proud of who I am. I still wonder “Why me?” and I wonder also who gave it to me and when exactly I got it but I understand those are questions that I will never have answered. All I know is I have it and I have to take care of myself and be sure not to spread this on to others. I have not had an outbreak since the first one 4 months ago and all I can do is take care of myself in hopes of reducing a recurrence. I will not give this to anyone because I know what it feels like. Someone I trusted and felt close to was careless and didn’t worry or care about passing this on to me so all I can do is make sure I do my best not to pass it on to anyone else. I hope my words and experience with this can help others learn to be OK with themselves after being diagnosed with this. Life does go on and you can be happy!!!
I contracted HSV1 on holiday with my boyfriends family. I thought it was cystitis for about a week, and a week of your first herpes outbreak can be terrifying and excruciatingly painful. I tried to hide my pain in front of his family but it was near impossible. I only found out it was herpes after two doctors visits and a trip to the hospital late at night. It was the second doctors visit that I found out…this doctor actually looked at me and instead of listening to me saying it felt like awful cystitis, she saw the many lesions and said she was horrified that I’d waited so long for a correct diagnosis.
I started a course of acyclovir and it immediately started to clear up. Prior to the drugs, I tried covering the lesions in baking soda (very stingy at first and not long lasting enough) and having hot baths to soothe etc…because mine were soo bad at the time, I tried Vaseline. Just smeared it all over! It was fantastic. Stopped my underwear sticking to the lesions, stopped the rubbing and therefore helped me forget they were still there.
I cried nearly everyday for two weeks after I was diagnosed. It’s a horrible thought that you are tainted or whatever for the rest of your life, and you think no one will ever be with you if they find out you have it. But the first outbreak is always the worst, and it’s likely to return once in a blue moon but nowhere near as bad. I managed to convince my doctors surgery to give me acyclovir on repeat prescription so I don’t need to wait days for it when I really need it! It also means you don’t have to speak to a nosy receptionist before the doctor and have to use the ‘H’ word. Embarrassing.
Anyway, I get cystitis now and again, and every time I’m unsure whether it’s cystitis or the start of a herpes outbreak. Should I start a cycle of acyclovir regardless? I’ve had pain while peeing for 3 days now which is longer than usual…but no lesions.
Hi Dr. Kelly, I found out that I had HSV2 a year ago at the age of 35. My boyfriend and I had broken up for 8 months and I had dated a couple of different people. It wasn’t until after I was single again and starting to work things out with my previous boyfriend, that my first outbreak occurred. I had one sore. It was different from anything I had experienced before. I panicked. It went away and then 3 months later another one appeared. I knew at that point something was definitely going on. I immediately scheduled an appointment with my doctor. She took a culture as well as blood and both came back positive. I don’t know who I got it from and I’ve never tried to go down that rabbit hole but have been honest with my current boyfriend since the beginning, but it has been very difficult. I felt ashamed, dirty, regretful, angry, LONELY, and full of fear. I felt like I was a walking contagion and experienced frequent panic attacks and anxiety . I lost a sense of my sexuality. My boyfriend and I are never intimate with each other and I hate being touched. He does not have HSV2 to my knowledge and has been very patient with me, but it has been hard. I have been managing my symptoms with a healthy lifestyle and stress alleviation exercises, energy healing and meditation. My boyfriend is also a chiropractor so I work with his methods of treatment as well and try what ever he recommends. I also went on an extreme detox for 3 months. I went from having back to back breakouts to having one every 2 to 3 months at this point in time and the sores (1 to 2 at most) are very small and heal quickly. I am working towards having even less breakouts, but I’m being patient. I knew as soon as I got herpes that this was the next big event in my life that would push me to become a stronger person. I have learned to have more compassion and understanding towards other people. I have also decided to go in to health coaching and started school this past February. This week I have been processing allot of emotions. It feels as if I’m shedding old layers and old beliefs and habits. It is a process of letting go. I feel like I am being pulled to help women with herpes in my future practice as a health coach but the first step I feel I must take is to share my story and not hide. I want to be a role model and a support to women and you are my inspiration Dr Kelly, as well as all the other women who have stepped out of the darkness. When women leave their doctor’s office with the prescription in hand, I want to be there to pick them up and hold their hand the rest of the way and show them the way to true health and healing. I want to help them heal and redefine their lives. If you are a woman who was recently diagnosed, know that it is normal to feel all that you are feeling and let yourself experience those emotions so you can release them. Do not hold them inside. In time, these feelings will let up and you will start to move forward and upward. The best thing I did was join support groups like this and in my community. I felt less lonely. Herpes has made me redefine my life and notice what is really important. I am still working through the emotions of having herpes. I am not sure if the relationship I’m in will last. I may step away from it and take some time to myself to heal some more, we’ll see. I’m still working to regain my sexuality and am doing allot of self-educating. I believe I will find strength through knowledge. Finding Pink Tent has made me very happy and I can’t wait to meet the women in this group. Other than that I have so much that I am grateful for and feel truly blessed.