Name: Jessica   (AuntieJessie)
Age: 36
Sex: F
Occupation: HIV/STD Health Educator

Infected: 2005 (2 months ago as I write this)
OBs per year: ?
Symptoms: blisters, tingling, PAIN, burning, itching, a bit of everything
Method of Control: Valtrex.

My Story: I always knew my bf of 3+ years was HSV+, but it never bothered me.  He had had it for 20+ years, and knew how to recognize impending outbreaks, etc.  The only precaution we took was to avoid sex during an outbreak.  In April, he caught himself in his zipper, and had a little scab.  Neither one of us knew that the "injury" would trigger shedding, and hence, I became infected.  About 4 days after that encounter, I woke up feeling some pain and irritation.  By the next morning, I had full blown blisters.  Knowing his history, and having worked in the STD education field for years, I knew exactly what it was immediately.
 
I have had good days and bad days with this, physically and emotionally.  I am lucky in that my bf had always been honest with me, so I don't carry the anger some do.  I have had MANY moments when I felt stupid - I work in an STD clinic for crying out loud, and I get herpes because I didn't know that an injury could trigger shedding?  I have since learned that clinical knowledge doesn't come close to the knowledge you get from firsthand experience.
 
Its interesting - since being diagnosed with this, our clinic has seen a great increase in people inquiring about HSV.  Since I seem to have the best understanding of this, they get sent to me.  I am a firm believer in that things happen for a reason, and at the moment, I am thinking that without this experience, our patients wouldn't be getting the care and information they deserve.  I wouldn't ever wish this on anyone, but if it had to happen, at least some good is coming from it.
 
Medical Experience: My doctor suspected it was herpes as soon as he saw it, although he said that it might have been infected hair follicles as well.  He said I didn't have "classic blisters", but I did have blisters.  Not at all sure what that means, but the culture came back hsv+.  I had the blood test 2 weeks later, and was IgM and IgG + for HSV2.  I have been on Valtrex since the first day I went in, and have had a lot if pain, burning and irritation since.   Just last week, my doctor diagnosed me with postherpetic neuropathy, and if things aren't better in a month or so, we will explore meds and other treatments.

Telling: My bf and my doctor and his nurse know I have this.  I haven't told anyone else.  My family isn't exactly opened minded about such things, and I haven't felt like I could tell any of my friends, for a variety of reasons.  I am ok right now with no one knowing.

This board is a blessing.  I am not sure how I would be coping without the wonderful knowledge and caring and humor from wonderful people like Raj, all the admin and all the users.  :)