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 Post subject: Confused and Worried
PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2010 10:21 am 

Joined: Mon Sep 06, 2010 7:00 pm
Posts: 4
Location: New York
This is a bit long...so please bare with me...

It's been 2 years since I was diagnosed with HSV 1 in the genitals. Ever since then, my life has been filled with depression, anger, and a whole bunch of roller coasters of emotions. So I'll just get to the point. Once I got passed the fact that I have HSV 1 and came to accept it just a bit, my life seemed a bit more bearable. The STD doctor that I see regularly (considering the fact that I'm always quite paranoid that I have someone else) told me that my chances of transmitting the virus was approximately less than 2 %. I got HSV 1 when I was I believe 12 years old, when my stupid self decided to experiment and allow someone to give me oral. I was diagnosed with it when I 18, so it is safe to say that the virus had been in remission for 6 years. But ever since the initial outbreak 2 year ago…I’ve never had an outbreak ever since and the nurse says I probably never will.

Fact: I know that it is way more likely to spread the HSV 1 virus if it is located on your lips than if HSV 1 were located on your genitals (because it is not in it’s site of preference).

Since then, I've had sex with 3 people. 1 of them being my ex boyfriend who left me when he found out but then came back because he felt a bit bad that he left me in the first place. Two years ago when I was diagnosed, he got tested; he came out negative. We had been having sex for a year and a half, and he didn't catch it. How? Why? I was just glad that I didn't affect him. The other 2 guys I had sex with, I did not tell them but I did use a condom at all times. Why? Because of utter fear and rejection. The two guys go to my college (although one transferred). The first guy, I know that if I do tell him, he'd tell the whole world. The second guy, who I believe is less of an jerk, would probably do just the same. The STD doctor told me that if I do have sex with the 2 individual men again, I would have to tell them my condition. If only it were that easy. Scared to death in the clinic, I promised that I wouldn't. I just recently had sex again with the second guy. And I don't believe I will ever have sex with him again due to the major depression that I have now from even having sex with him a second time. And of course, I USED A CONDOM. When we were about to have sex recently, I asked him if he had gotten tested, he replied with a “Yes”. I should’ve been a bit more clear with my question. That yes could’ve meant “Yes” for HIV testing or “Yes” for all the STD testing. When people go to the clinic to get tested, do they only get tested for HIV? Or everything including herpes? If so, that would mean he did not catch it the first time we had sex, which was about 5-6 months ago.

So my questions are the following: I know morally, that I should've let the 2 men that I slept with know that I had HSV 1, but the fear of it all is just too overwhelming. And considering the fact that the chances of transmission are so little (less than 2%) and that fact that I used protection, should I be worrying myself to the point of depression? I'm a bit aware of the static that about 80% of the population has HSV 1 orally, and I’m pretty sure they do not go around letting people know that they have cold sores (HSV 1) before they engage in sexual intercourse. So who is to say that I should be going around telling my whole business?(Although it is only right).
The first time around when I was first diagnosed with HSV 1 about 2 years ago, my boyfriend at the time came out negative. The second time around, which was about a year and a half after my initial outbreak, he has not gotten tested again. He said he’s gone to the doctor and requested to get the HSV 1 test done, but the doctor said there was no need to unless he showed symptoms. So my other question is this: is the reason why he didn’t get the virus the first time around because the virus was in remission? Or is it because the virus is just that unlikely to be transmitted if HSV 1 is located in the genitals? AND ONCE AGAIN, I USED A CONDOM BOTH TIMES AROUND.

I'm confused, angry, and emotional all over again, as if it were 2 year ago when I first found out the agonizing news. I feel like I'm contributing to this whole cycle of genital HSV 1 spreading. I know I can not tell the 2 guys right now, because that would totally ruin my college reputation(if I had any).It would be very ironic if I’m killing myself worrying about this issue when in the end they may not have it at all. I know I will NOT be having sex with anyone from now on without letting them know first. This guilt is just too much. I really just want to crawl under a rock and hide or just give entirely…


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 Post subject: Re: Confused and Worried
PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2010 12:46 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 11:47 am
Posts: 5443
Location: PA
welcome to the forum ! It sounds like you really need some place to talk about this more at.

did you have symptoms when you were 12 or was just 2 years ago that you had your only symptoms? I was confused about that part.

We don't have transmission stats for hsv1 genitally. It's just not that easy to study it because it sheds infrequently and many partners of people who have it, already have it orally. We assume it's less than the risk of transmission of hsv2 but we can't really put a number on it. Hsv1 genitally is active around a dozen or less days total out of the year on average so the risk of having sex with someone when you are actively shedding the virus is pretty low. At your age, about 1 out of 3 has hsv1 orally. You don't hit the 80% rates of infection until you are thinking retirement age. You can transmit hsv1 from genitals to genitals but the risk of that happening is on the low side. It's more likely to be transmitted from oral to genital contact and unless you've had obvious cold sores, no easy way to know if you also have hsv1 orally or not too. It's helpful to talk to potential partners about their status and decide together if protected oral sex is a precaution you want to take or not. Talking about what you know you have, also helps open up the discussion about what testing they are getting and anything they have or think they might have. Most folks are not getting std testing done in general. Folks have learned to just say that they are and in reality, they aren't. When they are actually making the effort to get tested, they typically are only getting tested for 2 or 3 std's most of the time. On college campuses, they aren't offering herpes igg blood testing in general, only lesion cultures on active genital symptoms. If your situation with your other partners is more one night stand sort of things, protecting yourself with a condom is helpful . have you had your gardasil shots too?

Are you talking to a professional about your depression issues? If not, I highly encourage you to do so. it's worthwhile to learn new coping skills and work on this so that you aren't letting it drag you down like this. Giving 2 years of your life to this incredibly common virus just isn't worth it! I know in college it's hard to find time but it's well worth it for you to make time and see someone. I'm sure what you've been going through is probably affecting you in multiple ways, including your studies so follow up on it and start taking back control of your life :)

betsy

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 Post subject: Re: Confused and Worried
PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2010 5:36 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 06, 2010 7:00 pm
Posts: 4
Location: New York
I've actually only had 1 initial outbreak and that was 2 years ago, when I was first diagnosed with it. I thought about how I would've gotten it and I realized that the virus was in remission from when I first got the virus (12 years old) to when I was first diagnosed(when I got my very first outbreak at age 18). Hope I clarified a bit there...


My dilemma lies in whether to let the 2 guys that I've already slept with know that I have HSV 1 genitally. But as I write this, it seems like a less likely thing I will end up doing only because they would tell my everyone. If there is no clear cut percentage of transmission, why would my STD doctor say the chances of transmission are less than 2% for having HSV 1 in the genitals?

And yes, I've received all my gardasil shots. I'm paranoid, so I got that done as soon as possible. That fact that I used a condom in every occasion that I had sex with the guy and also didn't have sex while I had an outbreak(I don't even get outbreaks - I haven't had one ever since my initial one), does that lend to any lowering of transmission?

Why didn't my ex boyfriend of 2 year get it? Was it because, that 1 year and a half that we began having sex, my hsv1 was in remission? Does remission count for anything?

And I'll try and schedule an appointment to see a therapist or a professional about this.


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 Post subject: Re: Confused and Worried
PostPosted: Wed Sep 08, 2010 12:19 am 

Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 11:47 am
Posts: 5443
Location: PA
It's not likely that you contracted it at 12 and didn't have any symptoms until you were 18. odds are you got it from a partner around the time of your first symptoms at 18.


no idea why your doctor said 2% risk. we don't have those sorts of stats. I'm guessing he knew how important a number was for you and figured that sounded good or something.

you really should be more surprised if a partner does get it than if they don't.

betsy

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 Post subject: Re: Confused and Worried
PostPosted: Wed Sep 08, 2010 11:16 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 06, 2010 7:00 pm
Posts: 4
Location: New York
I'm a bit confused by your reply..

The herpes virus can stay in your body for years without you showing any symptomps. So why is that gap of 6 years that it was in remission in my body seem improbable? When I was diagnosed with the virus when I was 18, my boyfriend got tested as well. He came out negative. And he was the only guy that I'd had sex with ever (if you don't factor in how I believe I got the virus in the first place). If it wasn't him, then who was it?

That would be a bit wrong of my doctor to just blurt out irrelevant percentages no?


I would be very surprised if the 2 guys got it. Very surprised actually. Do you know of anyone who has gotten HSV1 genitally from genital-to genital contact?


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 Post subject: Re: Confused and Worried
PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 7:25 am 

Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 11:47 am
Posts: 5443
Location: PA
when you contract hsv1 genitally, it tends to present with very obvious symptoms . it's not likely you contracted it at 12 and had no symptoms and then had a recurrence at 18. Even though your partner at that time tested negative, odds are he really did have hsv1. Even the best blood tests we have still miss 1 out of every 10 hsv1 infections.

It's estimated that less than 10% of all hsv1 genital infections are from genital to genital contact. The rest are from oral to genital contact. You can transmit it from genitals to genitals but it's low risk of it happening. to be honest, it's probably way less than the 2% guess your provider gave to you but we don't have studies to confirm that so I can't really place a number on it. As I said, I think your provider knew how important a number was for you so they chose 2%.

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 Post subject: Re: Confused and Worried
PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 7:59 am 

Joined: Mon Sep 06, 2010 7:00 pm
Posts: 4
Location: New York
betsyb1967 I just wanted to thank you for replying to my post. You've helped me these past few days more than you can imagine. I'm still not sure on what I'm going to do but I just wanted more information to help me get to a decision--if any.

I posted this same question on another herpes forum site, and lets just say they made me feel worse than when I first joined the site to post my inquiry. I'm deleting my membership on the other site and staying here to look for more information on the herpes virus. But once again, Thank you for your time and honesty.


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 Post subject: Re: Confused and Worried
PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 10:10 am 

Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 11:47 am
Posts: 5443
Location: PA
If you have any questions about what you were told elsewhere, feel free to ask those here too and I can try to set the record straight for you.

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