When To Be Tested and How To be Intimate?
by S B
(The Great State of Confusion)
I went to the doctor a few days ago to diagnose my fever, chills, cough, rash, and vaginal ulcers. I didn't think anything of the latter because I have always tended to have outrageous symptoms present themselves during illnesses since childhood. The nurse practitioner informed me that I had bronchitis and possibly herpes. She took a viral culture via swabbing and sent it out to be tested.
While this news definitely fell on me like a sack of bricks, after researching herpes more in depth it doesn't appear to be the huge deal that many make it out to be. Depending on how well I take care of myself and how lucky I am, outbreaks could be no more inconvenient than my period.
Just to give some idea of my background, I have had a total of four sexual partners in my life. My current one is my fiancé, with whom I have been sexually active for over a year. He was a virgin when I met him and while he has had some sexual contact with previous girlfriends outside of intercourse, he seems a very unlikely candidate for giving it to me.
What I want to know is this: when should I go to get a blood test done? Many sites on the web say to get tested 10-12 weeks after exposure, and it is obvious to me that if herpes is present in my body, it has been latent for years. Does this mean I can get a blood test done now even though this is days after my first possible outbreak?
My other question deals with how to have a fulfilling sex life with a positive diagnosis. My fiancé has been very supportive every step of the way, but is a very cautious man (mainly due to inexperience and ignorance). He has voiced concerns about continuing our active sex life even between outbreaks and with every precaution taken (i.e. condoms, medication, etc). He feels sex just won't be possible for us anymore. I love this man more than life itself, and I know he feels the same about me. But I have another 60 years in me, and I don't think I could handle a lifetime without sex! What can I do to convince him that there are low risk ways to still be intimate? How can I get him more comfortable with the idea?
Any advice would be amazing!