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Old 03-02-2004, 11:23 AM   #1
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myblusky HB User
sex life after herpes diagnosis

hello. i am new to this board. i went to the clinic on monday to have a battery of test done for STD's. my problem is very similar to herpes. this is not the first time i've had this symptom either, but like so many people i blew it off as an irritation, an allergy or other problem in the past. i had a lot of reactions over the years from birth control pills which would cause breakouts on my body in the form of blisters, but they didn't itch like this breakout does.

the doctor gave me acyclovir just in case it is herpes. she said it doesn't look like the typical herpes case, but she is suspcious of it due to my symptoms.
i keep dreading the phone call from the clinic with the results. i'm so depressed and scared because in my heart i really feel it is herpes.
at the age of 35 i just got engaged to a wonderful man and i'm so scared that i have hurt him. he is waiting for my test results before getting tested himself.

i'm afraid of losing him if the results are positive and i'm also afraid to stay with him because i don't want to give him this virus. i have read about what sex will be like with a partner that has herpes and i don't know that i could ask him to live a life sentense of wearing latex gloves every time he touches me, using a condom every time we have sex and having to use dental damn every time we have oral sex. it does't sound like a happy existence. not to mention that there will always be the risk i could infect him even if we used all of these precautions.

i've become so depressed while waiting to hear back from the doctor. i haven't smoked for two years and what did i do as a result of my fear - went out and bought a pack of cigarretts and smoked. i've also not been able to hold any food down because of my nerves and i can't sleep either. i'm a sleepless, smoking and vomiting ball of nerves at the moment.

i'm so concerned that i may have hurt my boyfriend. i'm so scared that if my test is positive he will be forced to make a decision about staying with me or not. he truly does love me and said he doesn't want to run away, but i don't want to put someone in such a dangerous position. he said we need all of the facts before we decide whether or not to continue our relationship. i worry so much that i won't be able to keep him safe and happy though if we stay together.

i don't know if anyone can say anything that will help or not. i just had to write because i really don't know what else to do and people here seem to have a lot more answers than i do.

thank you for your time.

 
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Old 03-02-2004, 11:56 AM   #2
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veryworriedguy HB User
Re: sex life after herpes diagnosis

You're not the only one who feels this way:

According to a 1999 survey commissioned by ASHA, people surveyed ranked genital herpes second only to AIDS in how devastating the diagnosis would be.

 
Old 03-02-2004, 12:02 PM   #3
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myblusky HB User
Re: sex life after herpes diagnosis

Quote:
Originally Posted by veryworriedguy
You're not the only one who feels this way:

According to a 1999 survey commissioned by ASHA, people surveyed ranked genital herpes second only to AIDS in how devastating the diagnosis would be.
i guess the one bright side of all of this is that my HIV test on monday was negative.

 
Old 03-02-2004, 12:08 PM   #4
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Re: sex life after herpes diagnosis

easy there...

i don't pretend to have all (any?) the answers either. but as a recently diagnosed winner (i AM a winner! yippeeee!), i can empathize. i seem to be going through phases of denial/disbelief, depression, and acceptance.

however, i'm not sure i want to agree with your assessment of the situation. i think having HSV is like any other "challenge" people deal with. some people find partners after losing a limb, or a kidney, or their hair...or after being diagnosed with cancer, or leukemia (sort of the same) or diabetes...or after alcoholism, drug addiction, sex addiction, gambling addiction...or after unemployment, divorce, death of a wife/husband...or after failing the 5th grade, or being dumped at the prom, or being raped, or going to jail.

my point is that people ALWAYS enter into a relationship with something that might seem unseemly, unattractive, unappealing, or challenging to the other person. and every person has a threshold for what they can/can't live with in their partner. give your BF the chance to make the decision himself. don't assume or make the decision for him. if he wants to be with you, he'll decide you're worth the extra precautions during sex.

hang in there, it'll be fine.

 
Old 03-02-2004, 01:02 PM   #5
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myblusky HB User
Re: sex life after herpes diagnosis

thank you for the encourgaging words. it may not solve any of my problems, but it does help offer some relief from the emotional suffering.

i guess i'm just having a hard time dealing with the fact that i could have something that will always be contagious. it sounds terrible, but dealing with the loss of a kidney or limb is kind of differnt because you can't pass that on to someone you care about. i can deal with my own physical pain from this. that's no big deal to me, just an annoyance. but the possibility of passing on physical pain to another human, especially one that i love so dearly, is something that i have such a difficult time coming to grips with.

 
Old 03-02-2004, 01:21 PM   #6
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veryworriedguy HB User
Re: sex life after herpes diagnosis

Quote:
Originally Posted by myblusky
thank you for the encourgaging words. it may not solve any of my problems, but it does help offer some relief from the emotional suffering.

i guess i'm just having a hard time dealing with the fact that i could have something that will always be contagious. it sounds terrible, but dealing with the loss of a kidney or limb is kind of differnt because you can't pass that on to someone you care about. i can deal with my own physical pain from this. that's no big deal to me, just an annoyance. but the possibility of passing on physical pain to another human, especially one that i love so dearly, is something that i have such a difficult time coming to grips with.
Yup, you hit the nail on the head. Thats exactly why Herpes is so emotionally devastating along with the stigma.

Unfortunately with Herpes, it is never truly safe to have sex. Supposedly the risk is considered "low" at certain times (no symptoms), but then again so many people get this from one-night stands and even with condom use that I think the risk is a lot higher then they say. Taking Valtrex (an anti-viral) is supposed to help reduce the risk transmission along with reducing outbreaks...but you have to take it ALL THE TIME.

They're supposedly working on vaccines, but the closest one around won't be out until 3-5 years, and it only works for uninfected women (only 40% protection). There's also supposed to be some sort of jelly stuff you can apply before sex (kind of like a lube) and thats supposed to prevent transmission, but again, that is still at least a few years away. I guess your best bet is to get as educated about this disease as you can so are able to answer any questions he may have...

 
Old 03-02-2004, 01:22 PM   #7
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Re: sex life after herpes diagnosis

i know...really...i do. and i wasn't implying that you can't feel bad now or from time to time, just that you SHOULDN'T feel bad forever. i hate the analogies i made above (heck! fact is i DIDN'T get cancer, whew! but i did get something else). we can always find something/someone worse off than we are. that doesn't negate our plight or our feelings.

shoot, i know i'll be banished to life with condoms...but, hopefully, someday i'll be with a woman who'll let me knock her up at least once. and i'll be grateful that she's willing to take that "risk" for/with me. of course getting there won't be easy. i don't look forward to the day i have to explain the situation to someone i actually want to be with.

hey, if relationships were easy, EVERYONE would be doing it! well, ok...they are. but not successfully!

 
Old 03-02-2004, 01:40 PM   #8
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myblusky HB User
Re: sex life after herpes diagnosis

no need to apologize for the analogies. we are all just trying to do the best we can in figuring out the best way to handle this both physically and emotionally. i don't want to live my life always fearing i might physically hurt someone. no one can tell me how to do that. that's what is so frustrating.

i'm even more fearful now because eight hours after taking my first dose of acyclovir my symptoms started to subside...both of the two bumps and the pain. this makes me believe more than ever that i do actually have herpes.

 
Old 03-02-2004, 04:44 PM   #9
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movingrightalong HB User
Re: sex life after herpes diagnosis

]
myblusky,
can't tell you how much weight I lost when I first realized that my "reoccurent rash" was herpes. I coudn't eat, couldnt sleep, couldnt undersand how I was going to ever have a "normal" life. I understand what you're going through, as do we all on this board. But please understand that as you get to know your body you will realize more and more how manageable this can be.
As far as your partner is concerned, you guys can work through this if you're both willing. Do a search for a thread called "Happy Couples". Do it now, first thing... unless you have already. It gives quite a few stories of people dealing with this first hand in their relationship and marriage. I am one of these people. I'm not married, but my boyfriend has never had a symptom of H. We have a great relationship, sex and all.
Stay on this board, it's loaded with great people and lots of support and information. And keep us posted on how it goes for you.
good luck....
movingrightalong

 
Old 03-02-2004, 05:30 PM   #10
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myblusky HB User
Re: sex life after herpes diagnosis

moving right along....thank you so much. i appreciate you taking the time to write to me. i will do the search as you suggested and read what people have posted.

 
Old 03-02-2004, 07:21 PM   #11
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myblusky HB User
Re: sex life after herpes diagnosis

moving right along....i want to thank you once again for telling me to read "happy couples". i was at the end of my rope today - sobbing so uncontrollably that i thought the neighbors would knock on my door to find out what was wrong. anyway....this thread about couples living with the disease was very informative. it reminded me a lot of a quote i read from a book called Theft of the Spirit - "The light at the end of the tunnel isn't an illusion. The tunnel is." that was the first thing that came into my mind after reading all those stories.

i am sad that my boyfriend and i had sex at the beginning of my outbreak last week though. we both thought it was a hemmoroid. i'm really hoping i didn't pass anything to him. that's my biggest concern.

i'm still waiting to hear from the clinic on my tests. unfortunately grant funded clinics take a longer to get results than a doctor's office or hospital.

thank you once again for pointing in the direction of positive thinking. i might actually get some sleep tonight.

 
Old 03-03-2004, 01:28 PM   #12
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sunshineahead HB User
Re: sex life after herpes diagnosis

I'm sorry to hear this. I was in your boyfriend's shoes. You can read my post "Would you risk herpes for love?" from a couple of months ago. Honestly, I was a basketcase, very stressed out, and crying often. My bf at the time did not know he was infected but he had a suspicion as his ex had herpes. Well, he wasn't safe with her even though he knew and then we ended up here with a positive test result (mine was double negative).

I really evolved over the couple of months that I knew...sought advice from people in my situation and felt much better. But I wouldn't have sex until we were at least engaged or married. Well, my story doesn't have a happy ending. The emotional angst from herpes broke us apart (along with alot of other problems). It wasn't the only thing but that's where our relationship went downhill. I tried so hard but it was never the same.

I'm not telling you this to depress you--I just think it's important to be aware of this in advance...my mom talked to priests and I talked to doctors who all said it was definitely something that could tear us apart so we should be sure to work together. I would suggest that you seek out pre-marital counseling anyways but additionally to discuss this issue and how you might deal with it should he ever get infected. I think most importantly you need to understand that he might have your reaction later on of denial, sorrow, and then anger. He might react as though he is going through it himself even though it is happening to you. This was the case for me because of my love for my bf.

You should also read the "Happy Couples" thread. There are many people who go on to lead normal and happy lives with one partner who is infected and the other who is not. In a marriage most people don't use that sort of protection that you described except for the suppressive therapy and condoms. It depends how comfortable he is with it. Best of luck



Quote:
Originally Posted by myblusky
hello. i am new to this board. i went to the clinic on monday to have a battery of test done for STD's. my problem is very similar to herpes. this is not the first time i've had this symptom either, but like so many people i blew it off as an irritation, an allergy or other problem in the past. i had a lot of reactions over the years from birth control pills which would cause breakouts on my body in the form of blisters, but they didn't itch like this breakout does.

the doctor gave me acyclovir just in case it is herpes. she said it doesn't look like the typical herpes case, but she is suspcious of it due to my symptoms.
i keep dreading the phone call from the clinic with the results. i'm so depressed and scared because in my heart i really feel it is herpes.
at the age of 35 i just got engaged to a wonderful man and i'm so scared that i have hurt him. he is waiting for my test results before getting tested himself.

i'm afraid of losing him if the results are positive and i'm also afraid to stay with him because i don't want to give him this virus. i have read about what sex will be like with a partner that has herpes and i don't know that i could ask him to live a life sentense of wearing latex gloves every time he touches me, using a condom every time we have sex and having to use dental damn every time we have oral sex. it does't sound like a happy existence. not to mention that there will always be the risk i could infect him even if we used all of these precautions.

i've become so depressed while waiting to hear back from the doctor. i haven't smoked for two years and what did i do as a result of my fear - went out and bought a pack of cigarretts and smoked. i've also not been able to hold any food down because of my nerves and i can't sleep either. i'm a sleepless, smoking and vomiting ball of nerves at the moment.

i'm so concerned that i may have hurt my boyfriend. i'm so scared that if my test is positive he will be forced to make a decision about staying with me or not. he truly does love me and said he doesn't want to run away, but i don't want to put someone in such a dangerous position. he said we need all of the facts before we decide whether or not to continue our relationship. i worry so much that i won't be able to keep him safe and happy though if we stay together.

i don't know if anyone can say anything that will help or not. i just had to write because i really don't know what else to do and people here seem to have a lot more answers than i do.

thank you for your time.

 
Old 03-03-2004, 01:57 PM   #13
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myblusky HB User
Re: sex life after herpes diagnosis

sunshineahead....thank you for taking the time to write. i'm very sorry for what happened between you and your boyfriend. i can very much understand how it had such a negative impact on your relationship. my fiancee and i have only been together for about 5 months so i can understand if he wants out of this if my test comes back positive (still waiting to hear from the clinic). of course he will also need to be tested depending on the results of my test.

the more i read about this virus the less i understand. so much of what i read is conflicting because the disease isn't completely understood. why do some people get it and others don't. in the end though, it seems the emotional impact is worse than the actual virus most of the time.

best of luck to you sunshineahead. i hope both you and your ex are able to find other people to be happy with.

 
Old 03-04-2004, 07:45 AM   #14
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positiveone HB User
Re: sex life after herpes diagnosis

Occassionally I will read post and want to say something and then I say naaaahhhh..I'll let someone else handle that one..but today I must speak up. I have dealt with herpes now for 2 years..would say struggle
but the fact is at this point the virus is a mere after thought...oh yeah by the way...I almost forgot I have herpes. To let it destroy engagements, marriages, relationships, careers...just life in general is so unbelievable. I too was originally devasted but with time that slowly vanished.

I was reading the above post and was appalled at how huge a deal herpes is for some. The virus does not destroy anything..people destroy things. Sunshinehead...herpes didn't destroy your relationship.
Perhaps you felt the guy wasn't worth the risk...perhaps that hurt him and it came out in other aspects of the relationship. You spoke to priests...your mom..etc...I mean...you nearly involved the town community in the decision of is he worth it or not...did you expect the relationship to work after that.

I met someone several weeks ago...told him after I saw things progressing...he didn't think twice about it. Can I just say we have been having the best s*x I have ever had in my life. We talked about it...discussed
it and moved on. He said the happiness that I brought into his life was a no brainer when he weighed the risk involved. No non-herpes infected person has ever made him as happy as I do...so what was there to ponder on.
And yes marriage has been discussed several times since we met....so what does that tell you.

Myblusky...I doubt very serious that your fiance will want to end things because of this...I mean really come on..if he does..then what does that tell you. I doubt it though...he wanted to marry you before
I am sure he still will...otherwise I think i would prefer him to make tracks.

I am sitting here laughing..do you know it was actually a bigger deal for me to decide if it was worth me to get involved with my man considering his credit rating...than it was for him to consider the herpes.
If anyone out there is perfect please let me know....I would like to see it. EVERYONE is going to have something be it herpes, a kid, a divorce, a drinking problem, bad credit, porn problem, overeating, undereating, workaholic, choose your poison. All of these things will affect both people in the relationship....could be a nast attitude, stubborn, whatever it is...my point is NO ONE is perfect. If I found the love of my life..I wouldn't let anything stop it..whether modern medicine could cure it or not....as long as it didn't kill me that it..keep it in perspective
please.

 
Old 03-04-2004, 07:53 AM   #15
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movingrightalong HB User
Re: sex life after herpes diagnosis

great post, Positive One. very well said!

 
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