Name: Kat
Age: 32
Sex: F
Occupation: Musician, artist.
Type: HSV2, genitally. (Never had cold sores as a kid.)
Yr. infected: 1997
O.B's per year: Have had it for only one year, maybe 18-20 in that time.

Prodromes: bruisy feeling in the area, like a bee sting, and itching. Tiredness. Irritability. (a few times -- the only warning was a slight itching, and there it was. Sneaky little bugger.)

Method of Control: still trying to find what works. Took famvir for primary, and most outbreaks after that, but gets expensive. Haven't done suppression therapy, don't want to take a drug for the rest of my life if I can find another way. Took vitamins, brewer's yeast and lysine faithfully for several months, still had outbreaks.

Tried 'Never and Outbreak' method, mild success, but didn't keep it away; plus, hydrogen peroxide on pubic hair everyday turns it blond and brittle, thus irritating the skin, and I suspect this irritation may induce more outbreaks. Hmmm.

Recently did two seven-day twice-a-day applications of acyclovir cream mixed with dimethyl sulfoxide, heard it has worked well for some other people. Waiting to see when the next O.B. happens.

Other than that -- try to get lots of sleep, avoid red wine and too many nuts. Try to see the humor in stressful situations.

My Story: Met my future husband when I was 26. He told me after a couple of dates that he had herpes. I continued seeing him, and we married four years later. A year after that, I contracted herpes. No one told us about asymptomatic shedding. (Not that it would have changed my mind.) I suspect the reason I got it at that time was partially due to my husband needing a shave and, well, you know... and then we had intercourse. Afterward he had a shower and noticed a chafe spot on his penis. He told me to shower right away, and I did, but I suspect my raw skin allowed the virus easy passage. This is only a theory.

Medical Experiences: Not much. Went to a few clinics for famvir prescriptions, not much info. available. Recently got a regular doctor, she's better informed, and encourages me to bring her any interesting info. I find.

Telling: Haven't had to. Told my sister, but she already has it, so that was easy. Haven't told anybody else, but wish it wasn't such a hush-hush thing so I didn't feel like I had a dirty secret.