Gender: Male
Age: 45
Year Contracted: 1982
Marital Status: Single

Prodromes: Burning and itching. A pain my scrotum that feels like a pin sticking me. I have 2-3 outbreaks per year, each lasting 2-3 days.

Method of Control: When I was first diagnosed, I was given Zovirax ointment. Put it on and in 4 or 5 days, everything seemed to heal. One time I was out. The blisters healed in 2-3 days. So I stopped using it. I can feel when it is coming. It always comes within 24 hours of the first burning feeling. When the blister comes to a head, I pop it like a pimple. It dries up quickly and in a few days everything is back to normal. I always get it in one of two places just below the head of my penis on the folds of skin where my circumcision scars are.

My Story: I contracted HSV from my first wife. Sort of a going away present. We'd been separated for about 6 months and we decided to get a divorce. We had one more sexual encounter and this is what I got. In the mean time, I had started to see another woman. When the sores came the first time, we went to the Dr. together. He told me what it was, said I should abstain from sex during the outbreaks and once the sores were healed, could resume normal sexual relations. He said condoms were not necessary since the only time it is contagious is when there are open sores.

Over the next 16 years, my wife and I had a very active sex life. When I had sores, we did not get intimate. We did not share towels and I washed my hands whenever I touched myself. She never contracted it. unfortunately, she died in December 1997 from Cancer.

Telling: Last spring I started seeing someone. Since I knew how to not spread it, and I'd had it for so long, I did not tell her at first. After we'd been together for a couple of months, I had an outbreak. I told her the whole story. She understood and everything was ok. We waited 2 weeks after the episode to make sure everything was healed. We stopped seeing each other in October.

In November I started seeing someone I really fell in love with. We started having unprotected sexual relations. I wanted to tell her because this is a woman I wanted to be with. I told her on New Years Day. I did not get the same response as from the other woman. This woman is angry with me that I knew about this and did not tell her or insist on wearing condoms (we talked about using condoms as a precaution to HIV). I'm afraid I may have lost her. Not because I have HSV2, but because I should have told her up front. She told me she can look beyond the herpes, but not that I was not up front with her. I've not had an outbreak since October.

Lessons Learned: I've spent the last few nights reading more about HSV2. I knew that if I had a sore, just stay away and everything was ok. This worked for 16 years. Now I read that cells shed even if there are no visible sores. That some attacks are so small you don't notice them (although I really believe that I can tell ahead of time every time).

I don't know what I will do if I lose this person.