Been told I have herpes :/ Watch
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
Good luck xx