Been told I have herpes :/ Watch

Anonymous #1
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Report Thread starter 9 years ago
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Please post as anon.

Quite long and descriptive, sorry but I need to get this off my chest and hopefully this may help people who are uneducated about the subject.
Hi all, just to clarify I am not someone who sleeps around using no protection, which seems to be the stigma attached to herpes these days. I was seeing my ex boyfriend for a while and we had sex a few times, always used a condom, as I did with my 2 previous boyfriends. However after developing certain symptoms I decided to get checked out and after looking down there briefly the doctor told me she thought I had genital herpes. Apparently you can get this through oral sex, if the giver has a cold sore for example, as that is the herpes simplex type 1 (I think) and genital herpes is herpes simplex type 2. I had no idea you could get an STI through oral sex had I known I would've pushed them away with a barge pole.
As with the simplex type 1 (oral herpes, i.e. coldsores) genital herpes is with you for life as it is a virus that lives in the body forever. i.e there is no cure. I have come to terms with this and had prepared myself for a life of solitude as I assumed no-one would want to be with me if they knew I had this (it is the reason my ex boyfriend is my ex, despite the fact he is most likely the person who gave it me :| - however it could have been contracted from either of my previous 2 boyfriends because one can have the virus with no symptoms for months or even years before a breakout occurs). However my mum recently had a talk with me, in which she basically told me to get on with life as though I didn't have it, as chances of passing it on when using a condom are small (yet there is still a chance). Also, because supposedly 1 in 10 people have it, with I think 8 out of 10 of those having no symptoms (and therefore not knowing they have herpes) she said I could just pretend I didn't know I had it.
I don't think I could do that to someone, as in willingly put them at risk, despite the smallness of that risk. My question is, what would you guys do in this situation? Again I'm sorry this is so long. I'm 18, by the way.
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Anonymous #2
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This sorry tale only goes to illustrate how easily things lik these can be transmitted.

There was a time..which seems like a very long time ago now...when you could quite happily enjoy the pleasures of sex au naturelle with very little chance of catching anything dodgy.

Fast forward to the late 70s and 80s...and the first murmurings of Hiv and similar appeared. I also recall a big campaign about genital herpes and it was talked about as if it were the back death or something.

I really do think we should have much more media messages about STIs but i digress.

If you google herpes you are presented with all sorts of horrors and pictures which tend to illustrate the most extreme cases only.

Its true that many people have it,dont know or only have minor/rare symptoms.

Eventually your body learns to deal with it and often,any symptoms are fleeting/rare /non existent...a bit like peeps who have cold sores really.

Often brought on by times of stress/anxiety.

Of course the big question is...do you tell future partners.

I would suggest to all who are luvdup...before you have unprotected sex with a partner..you should both agree to visit a GUM clinic and both be tested. That way you will both have a known baseline to work from.

Unfortunately, AFAIK,herpes cannot be tested via a blood test and needs to be sampled using a symptomatic swab.

I guess you do have a duty to discuss with new partners but i dont know how that would play out.

A lot of peeps are misinformed and would think herpes is like hiv or something..of course you would understand why someone who hasnt got it wouldnt want to get it either!
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Anonymous #3
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http://www.herpes-coldsores.com

They have a support forum.
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Desperate Prayer
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Education, education, education.

Its ignorance and a carefree attitude that allows these diseases to spread. In your case you were taking the right precautions, but a lack of knowledge resulted in you having an STI. Thats unfortunate, and you shouldnt feel to bad about it - just make sure you handle it right.
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HARRY PUTAH
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Even when using a condom you can catch herpes if there are infected areas around the genitals that you come into contact with.

if you scratch it, this will simply spread to wherever you put your hands unless you wash them beforehand.

Herpes sufferers can have unprotected sex as long as they avoid doing so during periods of shedding, where the infected areas break out.

I suggest research and there is no test for hepes except an inspection/swab.
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m45
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i thought if you weren't having a break-out you couldnt catch anything? so surely u can just get busy during that time? im probably wrong though :/
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Anonymous #4
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They really do need to bring in more lessons and highlight the importance of STIs, what they look like etc. Yet secondary school children tend to plead ignorance as they don't believe it will be them, much like teen pregnancy.

I recently just had to go to the doctors (I rushed to the doctors the day it flared), lo and behold, it was a strain of herpes. Though the fact that my boyfriend was clean the last time he was checked and he's my first partner, my doctor said I contracted it through stress. Of all the things stress can give you?!

A majority of people live with the virus within them, they just never have a break out. Apparently I'm one of them. Of course I had to tell my partner and shove antibiotics upon him. He's very understanding and we just make a joke of it now.
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Anonymous #5
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I found out I had herpes myself about a month ago - because I was admitted into hospital with an extremely severe initial outbreak. At the time I thought it was the end of the world, but when the outbreak goes you're absolutely fine, and I actually broke the news to my boyfriend last night. It was most likely I got it from him anyway, as we'd been unprotected, but as far as he knew he was clean and he'd never had an outbreak, so he didn't know if he'd given it to me or if it had just been in my system all along. After the initial shock of finding out, he didn't mind - if you're planning to have unprotected sex with somebody then I do think you should tell them beforehand if you know you have it, because that's fair on them. But you should only have unprotected sex with someone you're really close with and really care about, and if they judge you for it, then they're not worth barebacking.

To be honest, it was a horrible shock finding out I had it, because of its representation in the media as a dirty nasty horrid virus. True, when you get an outbreak it can be extremely painful and not pretty, but it only lasts 5-6 days maximum, and as somebody said above, 1 in 10 people have it, but 8 in 10 of those infected don't know about it - it's a very common virus and it's nothing to be ashamed of, there's no point getting upset about it.
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Anonymous #1
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Thanks for your replies, yeah when you aren't having an outbreak or the virus is 'dormant' (I think that's the word) there is very little chance of it being transmitted, yet the chance is still there, even when using a condom because the virus could be present on areas which the condom does not protect the partner from. This is what I've read anyway when researching the topic. That's what scares me because it means that however many precautions you take there is never a certainty that it won't be transmitted - there is only so much you can do to protect your partner but other than that it's down to fate and/or chance. And I usually have really bad luck, as stupid as that sounds, I just wouldn't want to risk it with anyone. I just hope I and you guys who have it can find someone who won't run a mile when we tell them about it and who doesn't jump to the conclusions the media has produced about the virus.
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Anonymous #6
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I was with my bf for 3 years and we started having sex when i was young (i was 14). I completely trusted him as he told me he had been checked out and i was a virgin anyway. But my symptons came up straight away and i have known since i was 14 that i have had it and am now 18. Its part of me and i cant change that. I have always used condoms. It doesnt mean your life is over honestly!!
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thelittleredfox
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Apparently you can get this through oral sex, if the giver has a cold sore for example, as that is the herpes simplex type 1 (I think) and genital herpes is herpes simplex type 2. I had no idea you could get an STI through oral sex had I known I would've pushed them away with a barge pole.
Yes, unfortunately you are right. About 60-70% of UK adults currently have hsv-1, the ORAL herpes virus, on their mouths. However, it is easily transferred to a partner's genitals through oral sex, where it causes genital herpes, albeit a genital herpes infection that recurs less frequently than one caused by the virus hsv-2, which causes classic genital herpes.

Recent studies have shown that 70%+ of new genital herpes infections among young people in the UK are caused by hsv-1. I caught genital hsv-1 in my early twenties, as did my sister at not much older than you. We both had boyfriends who had experienced cold sores on their mouths in the past, though they had no current symptoms when we became infected.

Unlike you, I did know there was a risk - my boyfriend, who got cold sores, was aware of the risk and told me that if he gave me oral sex when he had a cold sore I could get genital herpes - but even though we were careful to avoid symptoms, it happened when he was 'in between' cold sores. Had I known that could happen, I think I might have chosen not to receive oral - we thought it was only contagious when a cold sore was present.

No, it doesn't mean that you are promiscuous, though unfortunately a few ignorant people will assume this. I've told quite a lot of people over the 6 years I've had herpes - most have been relaxed about it when I've explained how I caught it, once they understood that I hadn't been promiscuous, that it had come from oral sex from a 'cold sore'. I have told four men, and all reacted positively and supportively. That said, it doesn't make it any easier to tell someone new, because you are always wary of them making assumptions about you.

I assumed no-one would want to be with me if they knew I had this (it is the reason my ex boyfriend is my ex, despite the fact he is most likely the person who gave it me :|
See above, I've found that men have been accepting when I have told them. I also struggled with feelings of being undesirable - but ask yourself this - would you feel as bad if you had just caught a cold sore on your mouth? Remind yourself that over half of adults carry the same virus as you. In fact, 6 out of 10 people your age and 90% of 50 year olds have it.

Also, because supposedly 1 in 10 people have it, with I think 8 out of 10 of those having no symptoms (and therefore not knowing they have herpes) she said I could just pretend I didn't know I had it.
In the UK, 1 in 8 have hsv-2, but if you have genital hsv-1 then remember that 6 out of 10 your age have it and 9 out of 10 50-year-olds. Those people who have hsv-1 orally, are extremely unlikely to catch it again from your genital infection, since they will produce antibodies to hsv-1. So anyone with a history of cold sores is at extremely low risk - of catching it from you again.

I am unsure if you know for definite which virus you have, it is worth checking with the GUM clinic. They can tell you if you have hsv-1 or hsv-2 from the results of your test. If they suggested you might have caught it through oral sex, it is probably hsv-1.

I don't think I could do that to someone, as in willingly put them at risk, despite the smallness of that risk. My question is, what would you guys do in this situation? Again I'm sorry this is so long. I'm 18, by the way.
I do believe this is an individual choice, though many will disagree with me. Over half of adults have oral hsv-1, yet most do not inform you they have oral herpes, for example before performing oral sex on you. As I stated before, I have told four men in the past, not all sexual partners, but my current boyfriend of 5 months is unaware of my genital hsv-1 infection. I did mean to tell him before sex, but I didn't, because at the time I was worried he would judge me, and the sex happened unexpectedly, and telling after sex is a LOT harder. I am not sure if I will ever tell him, or if I will just wait until I have an actual outbreak to tell him. I know his risk is low - genital hsv-1 is only infectious around 3% of the time, and 75% of people with genital hsv-1 are never infectious when they don't have symptoms. I also cheated by telling him I got 'cold sores' but not telling him where. With hindsight, I would rather he knew, because it is the only secret I have from him and it is something I would like to feel able to share with him. Maybe one day. BTW we don't use condoms - I have an IUD and we've both been recently tested for bacterial stds. I didn't use condoms with my previous long-term boyfriend either (he was aware and was fine with it).

Good luck xx
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Gogetter2012
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#12
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Please dont take your mums advice and ignore it..there are steps you can take to prevent future outbreaks.Also ..anybody having sex whilst knowing they have an std can end up in a lot of trouble.its illegal.you can pass the virus on even without showing symptoms..through the shedding stage.x
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Gogetter2012
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Please dont take your mums advice and ignore it..there are steps you can take to prevent future outbreaks.Also ..anybody having sex whilst knowing they have an std can end up in a lot of trouble.its illegal.you can pass the virus on even without showing symptoms..through the shedding stage.x
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