hsv-1

Tag: hsv-1

Abreva Cream- The Ins and Outs

Abreva Cream- The Ins and Outs

By Contributing author Stephanie

Abreva cream is a topical ointment used to treat cold sores; at least that is how it is marketed. Customer reviews on numerous websites show success for the medicine. People who have used Abreva report that the time it takes for the cold sores to heal decreases, the severity of the sore or sores decreases, and there are even reports that it can be used to prevent a sore from ever actually showing up. Overall, people seem to have great success with Abreva. After diving into the use of it a bit more I found that it targets sores caused by HSV-1 (as opposed to HSV-2), which we know can also appear genitally.

I searched to see if the cream could be used for genital lesions as well, and after finding out that it certainly can be (as long as those legions are caused by HSV-1) I began to deconstruct why the company might market the product in the way that it does. The stigma associated with oral herpes is very different than that associated with genital herpes, and unfortunately a company is smart to steer clear from the later. In one of my earlier blogs, “The Social Construction of Genital Herpes,” I touch on why the stigma of genital herpes is the way it is. Because oral herpes is not as closely associated with sex, the stigma is not the same. There is also something to be said about the inability to conceal our herpes when it appears orally.

If we only experience genital lesions, disclosure is our personal choice; but when cold sores appear orally, disclosure of our herpes happens automatically. The stigmas of each type (oral and genital) as well as the ways we manage the stigmas of each type are very different from each other. Because of that difference, it is important to place them into different social categories. It is unfortunate that in order to avoid the associated stigma Abreva must also avoid marketing their product to those living with HSV-1 genitally, but then again there is a chance that products for the automatically disclosed stigma are just in higher demand. Despite these circumstances, reviews on the product would steer me towards using it so long as my diagnosis is HSV-1.

I hope this information benefits those of you who are looking for a treatment like this. I also hope this helps you to think critically about your situation and all the nooks and crannies that seem to have simple explanations but in reality are much more complex. Don’t disregard the social definitions of your diagnosis and the way you treat it, they will help you more than you might think!Live Love and Thrive with Herpes

Want to learn how to heal cold sores faster using all natural remedies? You’ll have to check out Dr. Kelly’s Amazon bestselling book, Live, Love and Thrive with Herpes.

 

About Stephanie

Hi Everyone! My name is Stephanie.  I was diagnosed with HSV-2 in April of 2014 when I was 22 years old.  Right now, almost three years later, I am a doctoral student in the sociology department at Purdue University.  I recently completed my MA in sociology at the University of Northern Colorado where I explored the role of stigma in the process of disclosing a genital herpes diagnosis.  With that said, if anyone is interested in reading what I discovered in my project, I am happy to share that with you! I plan to continue advocating for our community, as well as studying the social factors that influence sexual health in order to understand how we can create a world that is easier for people diagnosed with STIs.  I really enjoy writing for the Pink Tent community and am excited to be able to share some of my experiences and thoughts about living with genital herpes with you all.

Positive Singles: Benefits and Risks of Women Using Herpes Dating Sites

Positive Singles: Benefits and Risks of Women Using Herpes Dating Sites

I have learned so much in the last 16 years from my own experience of dating with herpes and supporting women with herpes in my private practice and herpes Pink Tent™ support forum. While I never chose to use a herpes dating site myself, many women out there do and I totally support them in their choice. Let’s review some of the benefits and risks.

Benefits and Risks Of Using a Positive Singles Dating Site or Herpes Dating Site

1. The Talk:
The most glaringly obvious benefit is that dating on a positive singles site can help to lessen the fear of having The Talk and disclosing your herpes status. Where so many women fall short is that they skip ever having “The Talk” with their new prospective positive partners, especially if both have herpes. They assume that since they both have herpes, that there is no reason to discuss their past medical history. STD’s come in all different forms, and while HSV is the 2nd most common STD, it is not the ONLY ONE. I have coached so many women over the years after they are newly diagnosed with herpes and I always remind them that The Talk is an essential part of staying healthy. In fact, having genital herpes puts you at a greater risk of contracting HIV. The reason for this is that if you have genital herpes, your natural barrier of protection, the skin, might be compromised with small sores or lesions in and around the vagina and cervix that you might not even feel. These openings in the skin are access points to HIV and other STD’s and infections. Know your risks before having sex!

2. Stigma:
Herpes dating sites often give women who are newly diagnosed a chance to meet some really wonderful and normal men and women. So many women with herpes who have been sexually responsible think that they are all alone. The truth is that herpes affects all sorts of women and the stigma of it being “dirty” and “shameful” is totally unfounded. The fact is that herpes affects at least 1 in 4 women and statistically speaking, there is absolutely no way that 1 in 4 women are “dirty”, sexually irresponsible and promiscuous. Dating within the community can often help to build a woman’s self confidence as she gets used to dating with herpes.

3. Honesty:
I recently conversed with a young woman with herpes that had just broken up with her boyfriend. They had been dating for some time and things were really going well. She had had sex with him a few times before she ever got the courage to tell him that she had herpes. Now, this is much more common than you think. So many women with herpes never disclose to their partners until its too late. In this case, the boyfriend was extremely loving and compassionate towards his girlfriend, but the trust he had in her was ruined by her withholding her status and exposing him. Even after talking to his friend with herpes, he just couldn’t get over the betrayal, so he broke things off. She was devastated! The moral of this story is that if you are a woman dating with herpes, you MUST tell your partner before it’s too late. Imagine how he or she would feel if they contracted genital herpes from you and you never disclosed your status! One of the benefits of using herpes dating sites is that you don’t need to worry about rejection because of your status.

4. Getting Too Comfortable:
I can’t tell you how many times I have had women with herpes share with me that the only reason they stayed in a bad relationship was because their partner also had herpes. This seems to happen more frequently with couples who come together on herpes dating sites. Regardless of whether your partner has herpes or not, a woman should never stay in a bad relationship because she doesn’t think she can do any better. Over time, many women start to even forget that they have herpes, until its time to break things off. If the relationship goes bad, women often stick around longer than they should because of the fear of being rejected once again. A herpes dating site and community is of great value to lessen these fears. I coach women to really pay attention as to whether or not their relationships are only based on the fact that both partners find sanctuary in the fact that they both are infected. If so, this is a fateful disaster waiting to happen. It will eat away at one’s soul and rob a woman of her right to be have a happy and healthy relationship.

5. Small Pool of Fish:
If a woman chooses to only date within the herpes community or from herpes dating sites, then she limits herself to the number of potential partners that would otherwise be interested in dating her. This is the main reason why I never used a herpes dating site. I wanted to put my best foot forward and not limit myself to only date men with herpes. Looking back, this was a good choice for me because I met my husband through a mutual friend. Had I not given him the chance because of the fear of rejection, then we would have never come together. While there have been several women who have found their partners from these sites, I have also heard of women who have just given up and stopped dating altogether if they are not successful. All in all, I encourage women with herpes to keep an open mind as to who would and wouldn’t be open to dating them. Dating within the herpes community is a great first step, but I encourage women to get out there in the open pool if things don’t work out in the “small pool”.

6. Transmitting Herpes To A Partner:
For many women, their greatest fear is transmitting the virus to an uninfected partner. The good news is that once a woman discovers she has herpes, she can take the proper precautions to greatly decrease the risk of transmission to her partner. If a woman with herpes is dating within the herpes community, it is important that she understands the transmission of herpes. If two people have the same strain of the virus, for example, if both people have HSV-1 or herpes type 1, then the partners can not pass it back and forth between them. This “compatibility” is the same if both people have HSV-2. However, if one has HSV-1 and the other has HSV-2, then there is some chance of transmission. Having one type does protect you a bit from contracting the other.

For many, dating another person with herpes can remove one’s fear of transmitting the virus and this alone is thought to be a huge benefit to dating within the community. But just remember that if you date someone that you assume does not have herpes, there is always a very good chance that they have it too. Recent studies show that 85% of people who have herpes don’t know it. Get your partners tested! If you would like more information on dating and living with herpes, be sure to check out our FREE, private forum for women supporting women with herpes. Ask questions, get support and get inspired. You’re not alone at Pink Tent™ Forum.

Herpes Simplex 2 vs. Herpes Simplex 1

The Difference Between Herpes Simplex 2 & Herpes Simplex 1

Have you ever wondered what the real difference is between herpes simplex 2  (HSV-2) and herpes simplex 1 (HSV-1)?

I have spent the past four years as the educational coordinator for the Colorado H Club answering questions like this every day. Genetically speaking, the two viruses are about 85% the same and the symptoms they produce are exactly the same too. The main herpes symptoms are blisters, itching, pain, tingling, redness, fever, and numbness, but 85% of people who have the virus don’t even know it! There are other symptoms associated with the virus, but none of them cause any other diseases or illnesses. This is one of the reasons many doctors don’t deem it necessary to include herpes as part of a standard STD panel.

Herpes Simplex 1 and Herpes Simplex 2 are the two types of herpes simplex viruses. Some of the other members of this virus family, Herpes Viridae, cause Mono, Shingles, Chicken pox, Roseola and a few others.

Did you know that HSV-1 is the virus that causes cold sores? Yes. That’s right! Cold sores are caused by the herpes virus. Unfortunately, Herpes Simplex 2 has received the most amount of stigma over the years because it is the number one cause of genital herpes. 

Let’s look at some of the main differences between the two viruses:      

Genetics: 85% the same      
Herpes Viridae Family: Both Herpes Simplex Viruses      
Environment: HSV-1 prefers the environment of the oral/facial area of the body, HSV-2 prefers the genital area      
Cold Sores: HSV-1 is the strain of the virus that causes cold sores      
Frequency of Outbreak– HSV-1 outbreaks genitally tend to be less frequent      
Intensity: HSV-1 outbreaks genitally tend to be more mild      
Transmission: HSV-1 can be found genitally and orally, but HSV-2 is not found orally (only 1% incidence rate)
Triggers: both HSV-1 and HSV-2 are triggered by the same things i.e.. heat, UV, friction… Let us know if you found this information helpful.

If you have more questions about how to live and date with herpes and how to discover love again, check out our in-depth resources here. www.PinkTent.com    

Oral Sex and Herpes: Liz’s Story

Purple flower

Oral Sex and Herpes: I came to terms with it . . .I was diagnosed one year ago at the age of 19. It was a complete shock. I had only been sexually active with one person in a monogomous relationship. My boyfried was unaware that having had past cold sores on his mouth could lead to me contracting herpes. He hadn’t had a cold sore in years and we believe I got it through oral sex. It was very difficult to understand but with the support of my boyfriend and through educating myself about it, I came to terms with it. Trust me, for months afterwards it was always on my mind and I noticed people’s comments about STDs a lot more. People do not understand that its neither funny nor cool to joke about herpes or any other STD. It can happen to anyone; we are all at risk. I firmly believe now that sex is NEVER safe- it is a risk and it is one that should be assessed maturely before committing yourself to it.Now one year later, I recently became sexually active with another guy. I was terrified about telling him. I believed he would run away and never speak to me again. I could barely get the words out but as soon as I began speaking all my tension went away as I realized he was not scared, nor was he looking at me any differently. He told me he likes me for me and that I should not worry about it. He told me he was very glad I told him about it. I couldn’t have asked for a better response. We have had sex together and so far he has no symptoms. We also went to the doctor separately to have some other STD tests taken. It is everyone’s responsibility to discuss these issues. Having herpes or hpv or syphilis does not change who you are. It can be managed and no matter what, do not think that future relationships will be destroyed. If someone cares about you a lot, they will do what they can to be with you. I have had 2 outbreaks after my initial outbreak since then. I believe I am experiencing my second currently. Its not as severe as the first one. I have valtrex but I am trying to treat this on my own to understand how long a recurring outbreak is and how severe. I am also going to be taking lysine supplementes this week to see if that speeds up the process. I hope my story helps. I’ve come a long way since my initial diagnosis and I know that you will too. I wish you luck and self-love and encourage you to take control over your sex life- no matter how “safe” you believe you are. Good luck and remember, you are neither the first nor the last to be diagnosed with herpes. You will feel better, I promise. 🙂