Occupation: office admin.
Yr infected: 12/04
Prodrome: itchies, tinglies, burning (usually about half a day before the OB starts up)
Method of Control: Valtrex, then switched to Acyclovir since its cheaper
My Story: So my first real boyfriend and I were together about 10 or 11 months before I finally let him perform oral sex on me (I've never really been that interested in it). He was my first sex partner and what do you know? He had cold sores and guess who got genital herpes? That would be me! Though he wasn't showing symptoms at the time, he's the only guy I had ever been with, so I know it was him. Can you believe it? The FIRST guy I ever have sex with and this is what I get? What a cruel irony. At first, I was so pissed. Our relationship wasn't doing so well for other reasons and then I was so pissed at how ignorant he was about having cold sores, and I was so upset with all the other issues we were having, that I left him. (Why can't we just call it what it is? Oral herpes! I think calling it that would motivate so many more people to become educated about this virus). I was incredibly devastated for the first couple months or so. Then I went into denial for a little while and for the past year I've been doing alright until I start dating someone new and the idea of having to tell a potential sex partner causes me to stress out SO MUCH its ridiculous. But I would never ever NOT tell someone because I believe everyone needs to make the choice on their own. I cannot state how grateful I am to the people here for their support, advice, encouragement and, more than anything else, their ability to RELATE to me and not just tell me how much it "sucks". The people here know exactly what I'm going through and I cannot express how thankful I am for this place. Right now, I am having an HPV scare mid-herpes OB so I am not sure if I have both or not I'm not really focused on the HPV too much though because its caused me no pain and I've never been bothered with it and the herpes OB is annoying and uncomfortable as hell so I'm just dealing with that. Besides, most immune systems fight off the HPV over time, so I figure I'll let my body do that.
Telling: Well, when I found out, my then-boyfriend didn't really freak out, and I never really considered WHY he didn't freak out. Maybe he knew more about it than I thought and chose never to tell me, or maybe he felt so damn guilty for passing it on he never expressed to me how much it freaked him out. Regardless, he was still willing to have sex with me but I was so damn pissed I couldn't even imagine that. I have told three guys and two were totally cool. The first guy I told was RIGHT before we had sex, so I'm not sure how much he processed the information. But we slept together again a few weeks later (of course, with a condom) and he didn't seem bothered. That was just casual. The next guy I dated for a week and I realize now we didn't know each other well enough to be having SEX let alone well enough for me to tell him. He freaked out and we didn't continue dating. The last guy I told we were together almost every day, dating, for about a month. I was so freaked out to tell him, afraid I'd get the same rejection. He didn't even bat an eye, just said: "So teach me about it". He chose not to use condoms and I probably should have insisted on it, but I was just so damn surprised that he didn't care that I never thought to insist on condom usage. I'll never do that again. My parents know, my sister knows, and my a few of my closest friends know. Everyone's been incredibly supportive of me, and a few months ago one of my friends found out SHE got herpes as well, so she's turned to me for support - I am glad I can offer that to her initially, as I didn't have that and I think it would have helped.
I am currently dating a new guy and taking it super slow. We've been on a couple dates and I'm just not ready to tell. But eventually, if things continue to go well, I'll have the talk again and this time I am super educated and prepared for anything! And I definitely have HHP to thank for that!!