Name- Amber
Age- 32
Sex- Female
Occupation- medical
Yr. Infected- 1995
Type- HSV 1(most likely)
Outbreaks per year- haven't had an outbreak in five years! Very lucky!
Prodrome- Sometimes I get a very achey calf, which I think is virus 
reactivation and nerve pain. Sometimes itchiness of the vulva.

Method of Control- Have not taken meds for five years. Not taking anything 
else either. Blessed with a good immune system, I guess.

My Story- When I was in college, I remember getting a letter from one of my 
best friends from elementary school, explaining that she had gotten herpes. 
I did not know much about herpes, but knew it was permanent, and felt very 
bad for her that she might never find someone to accept her, etc. I had not 
even become sexually active then.

I lost my virginity after college. My first partner became the first because 
I was wanting to lose my virginity and get it over with. Seems stupid, but I 
was feeling like a freak for it. I was also lonely. It was obviously a wrong 
relationship when he decided to date someone else.
The second person I ever had sex with is the person who gave me herpes. He 
was also the wrong person for me. A very immature person with no people 
skills. I was with him because, again I was lonely, and felt like a freak 
for not having a boyfriend. Also, initially I thought he was sexy and 
intriguing. After five months of a bad relationship and verbal abuse, I 
decided to call it off. He, being a manipulative person who was frightened 
of abandonment, tried to get me back by pushing me to have oral sex. I had 
grown up always being pushed into giving into others, others feelings come 
first, so I gave into him. Though he did not have a cold sore at the time, 
he had a history of cold sores which is ORAL HERPES. I was never told he had 
oral herpes, nor was I informed during sex ed classes that herpes could be 
contracted through oral sex. So, I ended up getting genital herpes from 
asymptomatic shedding from a person with oral herpes who had actually raped 
me(rape is against your will, including using psychological force and 
coercion), and would rape me again in the future.
I stayed with this messed up and verbally abusive person for another year, 
then finally had the sense to leave when I had a male, just a friend, show 
me how REAL men can actually be nice and good to women.

I never had the confidence or opportunity to really date after that. I 
decided to post an ad on the Meet People with Herpes site, which at that 
time only had 4000 people. All I really wanted was to meet other people like 
myself. My friend who had gotten herpes had moved on and wasn't that 
emotionally bothered by it. I started chatting with a man 1500 miles away. 
We were just friends, he had written me only because he wanted to write to 
someone he thought he would never meet. Well, email turned into phone calls, 
turned into extreme like, turned into meeting, dating, moving, engagement 
and marriage. Of all my men in the past, he is by far the best. He is 
extremely kind, fun, and wonderful. He got herpes from an ex-girlfriend, who 
was not honest with him.

Medical Experience- As I was on the exam table in horrible pain, the doctor 
blurted out, "I think you have herpes." This was the worst possible way to 
deliver this news, and I vowed I would never do this to my patients. It is 
also not helpful to have them give you the result over the phone, then have 
you come back for medication and send you on your way. I enjoy devoting my 
time to the education of people who have it and to ways to prevent this from 
happening in the first place.

Telling- I told the now ex-boyfriend who gave it to me, who was equally as 
shocked at the diagnosis. However, he was not a sympathetic person to begin 
with. My only consolation is that he is an honest person, and I think if he 
had known that oral sex were to lead to me getting the virus, he wouldn't 
have done it. There are many times when I'd like both him and my husband's 
ex-girlfriend to get their "just desserts." Just hoping that there is divine 
justice somewhere, if not on this earth.

I told my family, who were somewhat supportive but also judgmental. I told 
my friend who I already knew had it. I told several other people I knew and 
trusted, and one friend confided in me that she had it too. I really don't 
think anyone can truly understand unless it happens to them. Then they 
realize that if it can happen to them, it can happen to anyone.
As for my husband, well, he already knew!

Personal Philosophy- "Do unto others as you would have others do unto you." 
If anything, this virus has taught me life is unfair, but there are some 
really great people that you bond with because of it. I wish everyone the 
best of luck and utmost happiness in their lives.