Name: Jessica (AuntieJessie)
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
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
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.