Lonely, But Okay
(Mentor, OH, USA)
This isn't so much a success story as it is a little encouragement and education as to the minimal risks involved after a long time of having this...inconvenience.
So, yes I have herpes simplex 2. I contracted it 20 years ago, when I was 19. Lost my virginity and received Herpes2 all in one go! Yay.
I have had several partners since (5?) and none of them have ever contracted anything. Mind you, when I first contracted it, I was told that it was contagious only when active, which was okay, because the sores were too painful to touch, let alone engage in intercourse. Not every one of the first few partners knew that I had it until later, but I learned to tell others up front as I matured and learned more about the condition. Then, I found that it could be contracted when one felt the "shedding" symptoms, so I learned to pay attention to that and act upon it accordingly.
The first few years I had the virus, I would break out frequently. But after 20 years, the virus has changed into a much less aggressive strain. I have had NO outbreaks for over 8 years now.
Further tests have proven that Valtrex and Aciclovir only help to suppress outbreaks. I don't like medication, so I use essential oils called H-Balm. It's amazing. I feel the tingle, apply the oil and within 24-48 hours the tingling is gone. No outbreaks AT ALL.
About a month ago, I started dating a man who had a VERY active libido. I also have a strong libido and decided that he needed to know before things went any further. He was supportive at first, said he had to do some research, and would let me know if it was
a deal-breaker. I even went back to the doctor to make sure I was equally well-informed and gathered information for him as well.
She made me feel much better about the whole thing and let me know that using protection was advisable, but it only reduced the risk minimally. The drugs were only for those who were actively having outbreaks, and as I wasn't, they weren't necessary and she wouldn't prescribe any for me. She brought out some information from the CDC and let me know that things aren't nearly as bad as they make it out to be. She said I was doing the right thing by eating right, getting rest, keeping stress levels down and keeping an eye on the "shedding" symptoms, we would be fine. There's still a risk, but it's like a 2% risk PER YEAR of regular sex. 2% PER YEAR! 2%!!!
Even with that information and letting him know that I take care of myself and my partner, he rejected me - AFTER WE already had sex! People all over the place are saying, "You're not alone! 1 in 5 people have it." The truth is, I AM alone...with H. That's worse than being alone. That's the hardest part about having this thing. You feel like damaged goods. No one wants to be with you because they're afraid they're going to get it. The fears are understandable, but it still hurts.
The stigma around this thing has got to be cleared. Yes, you could get it. Yes, if you have the outbreaks, it is painful. And yes, if you get it, chances are you will never know because you're asymptomatic - NO SYMPTOMS. It's not life-threatening, and most of the time, it's not life-changing. Get informed, take care of yourself, and get over it.