Name: Rachel
Age: 21
Sex: F
Occupation: college student
Year infected: January 2001
Type: genital HSV1 (I think)
Prodromes: The area was very sensitive and I had what I thought was a flu or
cold for a few days before.
Method of control: Took acyclovir 3x a day for 7 days after I was diagnosed,
then got an additional prescription for another 5 days because I still felt
sick. Now I have some on hand for any future outbreaks but hopefully I will
never need them...

My Story: I got this through oral sex on December 30, 2000 with a guy I was
not in a relationship with. A few days later I got sick and thought it was
just a cold. I then proceeded to get even sicker and I began to have a lot
of pain during urination which just got worse and worse. It was horrible! I
went to student health at my school on Tuesday with what I thought was a UTI
and was completely shocked when the doctor asked me if I had ever heard the
word "herpes." They put my on acyclovir and sent me on my way. I was too
scared and too sick for the next 3 days to ask any more questions. Then on
Friday I went to the women's clinic at student health where they took a
culture (which was inconclusive) and were a bit more helpful but still did
not know much. Then I found all of the wonderful resources online and began
to learn about this whole thing. It is amazing how little I knew about such
a common virus, especially since I considered myself to be pretty well
informed healthwise. Physically I am much better now and emotionally I am a
bit better too. I plan to go to planned parenthood or some similar clinic to
get tested (to find out what type for sure) and to check out what kind of
support groups they have. I am still kind of doubtful about the prospect of
me leading a normal life and having normal relationships, but we will see
what happens.

Telling: When I told the person who gave this to me (through email bec he
lives halfway across the world) he was very supportive and upbeat actually.
He did not know he had this but when I told him how cold sores are herpes he
said that he did have some and he was going to go get checked out. He made
me feel so much better about this whole situation by being so positive about
this and made me believe that this is not really the end of the world.

I have not told anyone else that I have this except for one of my very close
friends who I knew had oral hsv-1 herself. She was so supportive and is
helping me find other resources that might be helpful. She even offered to
go with me if I were too scared. It felt so good to confide in someone. I
haven't had the opportunity of telling a potential partner and I am terrified
of doing so when that day does come.

UPDATE 7/15/2001
"Well here I am 6 months after being diagnosed and I
am totally ok with this. I have had my first post-hsv
relationship and it was great. We were safe but we
didn't let it prevent us from doing anything. :-) He
was so supportive when I told him about it. I didn't
really plan it out how I would tell him exactly, I
just let it come up naturally in conversation. I
think that is best. I did end up crying which wasn't
the best but I don't cry about this anymore at all. I
think my relationship with him was a big part in
helping me come to terms with this. Anyway, to anyone
reading this who was just recently diagnosed, trust
me, it DOES get SO much easier with time. oh, and
this board was so great!"