Name: Elise
Age: 24
Sex: F
Occupation: Trainee accountant
Year Infected: 1997
Type: HSV-2

Prodromes: I don't really seem to get the tingling that most people get - I 
always get pains in the glands in my groin, and feel mildly ill. I sometimes 
get itching just before an outbreak

Method of control: Nothing! Well I take multivitamins/food supplements, etc, 
but I don't think these actually help. I am going to see my doctor next week 
about getting some suppressive treatment as my outbreaks seem to have 
increased in frequency lately. It wasn't until recently that I even knew you 
could get suppressive treatment - I live in England and genital herpes is on 
a much smaller scale here so you don't really hear much about it.

My story: I caught it from my ex-boyfriend, who I was living with at the 
time - he cheated on me, but I don't know if he caught it from that girl or 
whether he already had it. At the time I was very angry and HATED him as he 
denied having it and accused me of sleeping with someone else. I now realize 
that he may have honestly not known that he had it.

When the blisters first came up I didn't have a clue what it was, but 
after looking on my Dad's medical CD-rom, it quickly became obvious that it 
was herpes. My initial outbreak was horrendous - I was in agony and could 
barely walk. I had to take 2 weeks off work. Subsequent attacks have been 
much milder and seem to vary in frequency - I've gone for about 6 months 
without one but at other times I seem to have them continuously.

A year and a half ago I got an outbreak on my finger, which completely 
horrified me as I naively thought you could only catch it in your mouth or 
on your genitals. This has only recurred once since then though, much to my 
relief.

Medical experiences: Some good, some bad!! When I got my initial diagnosis 
at the hospital they were great, very kind and reassuring and informative. 
However I have found my own doctor to be quite unhelpful and when I went to 
him to get anti-viral treatment when I had a particularly bad outbreak, he 
refused to prescribe anything, saying that it would have no effect. He also 
didn't mention that suppressive treatment was now available. I have since 
moved and have changed doctors!

Telling: A few of my close friends know, as I saw no sense in lying about 
what was wrong with me when I had my first outbreak and in a way am glad 
they know as it might make them more careful. I have told one boyfriend 
since and he was supportive about it. I didn't tell my present boyfriend - 
his sister (my friend) did when we started dating as I was finding it too 
hard to tell him