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PostPosted: Fri Aug 06, 2010 8:08 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 05, 2010 12:13 pm
Posts: 6
Location: Houston
I found out in April that I was HSV2 positive. It took me about 3 weeks to find out as well. I had to call the nurse to ask about the results before I found out the results.

I didn't know there were different kinds of tests, or any of what I've been reading in this topic. I guess since I've had 3 outbreaks at least, that it is pretty clear I have it, right?

My obgyn referred me to a specialist because she said she wasn't sure about my HPV results. I guess I was so devastated by learning that I had HSV2 that I asked the specialist about it. He looked at my chart and said that if I had it, it would really hurt, and I would know it. I told him it did't hurt a lot. He said it didn't sound like I had it. The nurse that was in there agreed with him. So I thought I didn't have it and was so relieved! Then the next time I menstruated I had another outbreak. So I immediately called my Obgyn and asked the nurse about it. She said I needed to come in. My Obgyn said there was never any question about the HSV, that I did have it. So I relived the devastation. Because I seem to get an outbreak each time I menstruate, I am guessing I am positive.

When I first read up on the topic, I read that lysine and red seaweed algae have been shown to decrease the number of outbreaks. I tried to take those supplements to suppress the outbreaks, but I ended up having another outbreak at my next period. The Obgyn suggested I begin taking Valtrex daily instead of only at oubreaks to try to supress the outbreaks.

At this point, my main questions are about transmission. I am a teacher, and I'm wondering if my 4 year-old students are at risk if I'm their teacher. Can they be infected if I accidentally sneeze on them? Also, if I kiss my 2 year old niece, could she catch HSV2? If I go swimming, can other people in the pool catch it? I didn't tell anyone except my therapist that I have HSV2 so my family and employer wouldn't know that I could potentially be a threat to them. I don't mean to be lewd, but if you can have HSV2 from oral sex, then isn't it plausible that it can be spread in the same way as cold sores?

Thank you, in advance, for any light you can shed on these doubts. :roll:


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 07, 2010 1:58 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 11:47 am
Posts: 5443
Location: PA
welcome to the forum :)

so let's start at the beginning - how were you tested for herpes? Did you have a lesion culture of active symptoms done or a blood test ?

lysine doesn't do much at all for herpes and we never recommend its use here. Most folks are already getting more than enough of it in their diets anyways.

red seaweed algae showed promise in the test tube but in animal tests was completely ineffective. we never recommend its use either. You have to be careful about the many claims out there for "cures" for herpes or even treatments, most of them are based on incomplete science research and many of them are actually downright dangerous while all at the same time being pricey.

do you have a regular partner? if so, have they been tested for herpes yet?

genital herpes is a sexually transmitted infection. unless you are naked and engaging in sexual activity with someone, they are not at risk for your genital herpes. the virus is easily killed with soap and water too so just washing your hands after using the bathroom or touching yourself intimately is all you need to do to protect others around you.

oral herpes is not transmitted through sneezing!!! you aren't likely to contract hsv2 from oral sex either. Not many folks have it orally and those who do rarely shed the virus.

have you read the free herpes handbook at www.westoverheights.com? It's written by Terri Warren who is active in herpes research and is also on the board here at asha. It's free to read online or print out at home. It's a good resource for the basics on herpes.

keep asking questions!

betsy

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 07, 2010 5:03 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 05, 2010 12:13 pm
Posts: 6
Location: Houston
Thank you very much for answering my questions.

I will be sure to download the text that you referenced. While I tried to read as much as I could online when I initially found out, I guess you can't always be sure what the best information is. I am glad to know that I can stop trying to take Lysine and Red Marine Algae. What about "Results!"? It is a spray I ran across in my online search for soothing the symptoms of HSV2. I've tried it, and it does seem to help. And I am so happy it is available online (Amazon.com)

With regards to my testing, the lesion I had was scraped and sent to the lab. I was surprised that I wasn't notified immediately that the results were positive. And I was surprised at how little information I recieved about the disease. For me, and for many of those who posted on this discussion board, finding out is very emotional, devastating, and confusing. I do not know who I got the herpes from. I have not had that many intimate relationships. I made some unwise decisions in my last 3 relationships based on my desire to have a baby. I'm 38 and my "window of opportunity" is closing.

I met someone on EHarmony in August 2009. After speaking daily, we decided to get married with a civil ceremony after only 1 month. He lived out of state, so a month later I moved to his state. Unfortunately, it didn't work out. By December 2nd I was back in Houston. I was intimate with him because one of the reasons for marrying was because I made it clear that I was interested in starting a family. Thus, unprotected sex. I got tested even though I didn't have insurance by my Obgyn because I wanted to make sure I didn't catch anything. I came up negative (although I'm not sure what I was tested for exactly). Next on Halloween of this year, I heard from "the love of my life." He invited me to spend the weekend with him. Thinking that maybe this was the start of something, I went. I had always hoped to have a relationship with him because he seemed like the perfect person for me. Since we had been friends for so long, I was completely trusting that if he had a disease, he would tell me. When we were going to be intimate, I said I didn't want to use protection because I hoped I would get pregnant. He said, "Are you sure?" I should have asked why he said that. Unfortuately, I didn't. After we were intimate, I noticed what appeared to be genital warts on his thighs. I didn't say anything because I didn't want to hurt his feelings, but I felt aprehensive. We spoke on the phone a couple of times, including when I found out I had herpes, but he never owned up to anything. At the end of November, I met my last partner. I told him about the possibility that I had gential warts because I was exposed to it. He told me he had not been with that many people. Since I still had it in mind that I would like to get pregnant, I didn't press the issue of protection. I had my first outbreak while I was with him (We started being intimate in December, and by April I had my first outbreak).

When I told him that I had herpes, he immediately said it wasn't him, and asked if he had it now. He said he didn't know anything about STDs, had never had any, and didn't have insurance so he couldn't get tested because if he did and he was positive, then that would be considered a "pre-existing condition" and he wouldn't be able to get insurance. He works for himself, so that was a huge concern to him. He didn't want to be in a relationship with me anymore, because he couldn't afford to take the risk of catching it. He also took the opportunity to admit he didn't have "those kinds of feelings" for me. I told him he should get tested, but I am pretty sure he didn't because of his concerns over insurance.

So I read as much as I could online on the Center for Diseas web page, googling herpes, and calling the nurseline from my insurance. The nurse gave me the national herpes association number, and from there I was able to get to your website (thank goodness!). I really appreciate the information you provide, and your quick responses to quesitons. It is really hard to know who to believe when there is conflicting information out there. And it is hard to deal with it alone.

I wish when they spoke about STD prevention, they would address the issue of pregnancy. It isn't a perfect world, and not everyone meets "Mr. Right" and gets to have a family the traditional way. Maybe God is teaching me a lesson for trying to take matters into my own hands. I just really wanted to be a mom. I love kids! I think I will forget about having my own now. I will consider adoption after I have a better handle on coping with having herpes.

Thank you, again.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 07, 2010 5:44 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 11:47 am
Posts: 5443
Location: PA
looks like you paid $30 for a topical anesthetic actually. fine to use for symptom relief. You can buy dermoplast spray ( the blue can not the red can for the genital area ) for under $10 at most drugstores. I"m cheap at heart :) also a can of dermoplast spray sitting around the house is a little less obvious than something that says HERPES on it too.

Since you are having ob's more often, I do recommend being seen and getting tested for yeast and bacterial infections vaginally too if you haven't already. BV especially doesn't always present with obvious discharge or odor and can make herpes more active as well as mimic recurrences. If going on valtrex suppressively doesn't take care of your ob's for the most part, definitely go in for testing.

did you have an abnormal pap and + hpv test too with it?

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 07, 2010 7:25 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 05, 2010 12:13 pm
Posts: 6
Location: Houston
Thank you for telling me about the dermoplast. That definately sounds like a better option! :)

I will look into the infection possibilities... I feel like I'm wearing out my welcome with my Obgyn because I had so many questions about the HSV2 and insurance issues on top of that.

I had some kind of skin tag near the herpes lesion, so the Obgyn sent it into the lab to find out if it had anything to do with having HPV. The results were inconclusive, so she referred me to a specialist. The specialist concluded that I was HPV and HSV2 negative. He said they were false positives. I read the page you referred me to and they said there is a very low occurence of false positives for HSV2. I am thinking that maybe considering my state of mind, somehow I misunderstood? It just seems strange that a specialist would make a mistake like that.

Thank you, again, for your help.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2010 7:27 am 

Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 11:47 am
Posts: 5443
Location: PA
Unfortunately not all "specialists" are created equal :( I never cease to be surprised at what trained medical providers tell folks about herpes. You had a + lesion culture of active symptoms. this means that they had to actually grow hsv2 out in the culture in the lab from what they scraped off of you. No false positives that way in fact false negatives are more the norm.

External genital warts are a cosmetic issue only ( if indeed this is hpv since the pathology report was inconclusive ). You had this removed and if it comes back, be seen again for more treatment. Not sure of your age but have you had your gardasil shots at all yet?

betsy

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2010 8:07 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 05, 2010 12:13 pm
Posts: 6
Location: Houston
Thank you for the feedback on my testing.

I'm 38. I haven't had the gardasil vaccine because I was afraid since I've been exposed to it 2 times now, that I would maybe trigger it if I had it and it was latent. I don't know if I am a good candidate for the vaccine.

Do you have any suggestions for how to protect myself if I want to get pregnant? It seems difficult to have "safe sex" and get pregnant. I don't usually see that topic addressed. [I mean how to protect myself from catching additional STDs if and when I meet someone and he actually is ok with me having HSV2. My experience is teaching me that not everyone is up front about having STDs, even if it is because they don't know they have them.]

I'm not anticipating wanting to try again. I guess I'm just asking in case I change my mind. At this point I'm thinking more in terms of possibly becoming a foster parent or adopting.

I wish that I could help with vaccine trials. I guess I will need to wait until I continue have outbreaks for 12 months, per the study qualifications I have read.

Thank you again for all of your answers to my questions. I am very impressed with how quickly you respond to questions. It is really comforting for to not only have answers, but to have them so soon! :wink:

Sincerely,

S.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2010 1:33 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 11:47 am
Posts: 5443
Location: PA
actually the vaccine isn't currently approved for women over 28. You can pay out of pocket for it if you want but insurance won't cover it at this point. There is decent info out there that women over 28 getting the vaccine helps reduce the incidence of head and neck cancer also later on but not enough to convince the fda to approve it for women over the cut off age. It won't cause any previous hpv infections to become active again.

Any potential partners should get full std screening prior to stopping to use condoms ( ideally they should get that all done before you start having sex actually ). don't hesitate to ask to see their test results too so that there aren't any questions about what they were tested for and what their results were. That way there's no question about things later on. Unfortunately we don't have commercially available hpv tests for males but you can test for chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, herpes, hiv and hepatitis to cover all the bases. I think telling folks that yes I've had std testing has become the standard reply for many folks - just like yes I wear seat belts, yes I floss daily and yes I only smoke outside have because folks know it's what they are supposed to say. Getting paper work to see with your own eyes means you know they really got tested and what they got tested for :)

betsy

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2010 5:04 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 05, 2010 12:13 pm
Posts: 6
Location: Houston
Thank you for the reply. You make it sound so easy :)

I think in my case, at least, part of the reason I ended up getting an STD is because of my other issues.... you know, not finding it easy to ask for what I would like, and not believing that any one else will give me a chance. I wonder if that is common in people who contract STDs? That their "other" issues make them vulnerable to ending up in a situation that someone who is more self-confindent and is not afraid to be assertive wouldn't? I guess I tend to try to think of how to help others do a better job than I did. I feel pretty responsible for having gotten my HSV, even if at first it made me angry and hurt that the person who gave it to me didn't care enough to let me know. I know it's possible that he didn't know. But even though I had never shown signs of HPV, I still let him know there was a chance I got it becuase I was exposed. Not that that matters now.

Thank you, again for your help. Hope your week is off to a great start. :)


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