Occupation: Horse trainer
Type: HSV 2
Yr. Infected: 1986?
OB's per year: 0-5
Prodromes: if any, persistent itch which is somewhat painful to scratch by 2nd day
Method of control: I pay close attention to my stress levels and peace of mind, not only for herpes control. I take vitamins and garlic daily.
My Story: Not sure, lol. I had a sore in my nostril that was extremely painful and nothing helped it heal, it went on for weeks. I had never had a cold sore before, although my kid brother did. Some time in the same year, I got a sore on my genitals, which the health clinic told me was herpes. Did I auto-infect myself ? I was in an adventurous phase of my life and could have gotten it from any number of partners. Later I had a "friend with benefits" who admitted having herpes. My outbreaks seemed to get worse and more varied after my encounters with him. That first sore might have been type1, and later I got type2. I went years without outbreaks, then would have one, or two in a year, then none, and last year I had five.
Medical Experiences: I was using health clinics and Planned Parenthood. The health clinic diagnosed it but I am not sure how. They gave me a pamphlet and sent me to the local support group. My understanding of the information was that this would be contagious only if someone had contact with a lesion. Since I had no more outbreaks, I soon stopped worrying, and although I went to a couple of meetings of the support group, I found it depressing and could not understand why people who never had outbreaks were so concerned about transmission. Over the years, I had many "female" problems, including yeast infections, anal fissures, and paper cut-like sores. No one suggested any of that might be herpes until late in the 90's when a clinic worker told me the paper cut was herpes. I also have had low back pain, nerve inflammation in the pelvic area and upper thighs, with tingling and high sensitivity. No doctor has ever considered that it might be due to herpes, but then it does not seem to be associated in any way with outbreaks. Last year I took the Pockit test just to be certain, and I am going on the assumption I also have type1.
Telling: I always told my partners if I was having an outbreak, and we would abstain. I had many brief encounters after my diagnosis, several affairs of 3-9 months, and 3 serious relationships including a marriage. I only told those I was with at the time of an outbreak. After my marriage ended in 2002, I found out that transmission can occur during asymptomatic periods. I had to tell the man I was seeing, who as it turned out had HSV1 but did not know it was an STD. He seemed to accept me, but soon after went back to his old girlfriend. Since then, I have told 2 men, one of whom believes himself to be negative but has not been tested. He seems reluctant to discuss it, and so far we are just friends. The other was well-informed, admitted a history of cold sores, and was not the least bit concerned about transmission.