I'm a 30 year old man who tested positive for HSV 1 and had my first outbreak genitally recently.
I first had symptoms of a UTI, painful urination minutes after the last time my girlfriend and I had sex. I told her about it right away.
2 days later, the painful urination continued and blisters appeared on one side of the shaft of my penis. I flipped out for a few minutes, call ed my girlfriend to inform her and told her to get a test done for herself, then I left work to get tested. 4 days later, the results of the culture were positive.
Today is the first day waking up knowing the bad news. I decided to keep being the great person I am, and not to trouble myself with how I contracted HSV. I'm fortunate that my girlfriend took everything about as well as anyone can, and that she is supportive.
To be perfectly honest, before the test results came back, I considered suicide. Instead of dwelling on the idea, I called my Dad and told him I probably had HSV and needed him to talk to me about anything unrelated, like work. He was great about it and spent time discussing the particulars of our jobs. I felt so much better that I decided to catch up with my brother and my Mom, too. I told each of them, and let them know I don't want HSV to be the main point of discussion. By the time my test results came back, I wasn't in shambles about it. I called the 2 other people I had sex with in the past year or so and left voicemails telling them to get tested. Trust me, leaving those messages was easy once the voicemail beeped, and it made me feel better. Also, saying the words out loud (even for the first time) will not conjure up any bad karma, or break some innocent part of you. Yes, the thought crossed my mind that I never wanted to say the words out loud. If anything, it helped me get my self pity out of the way faster.
Since then, I have had several conversations with my girlfriend about it, and we had a good date tonight. I feel shame and guilt for having HSV, despite never having cheated or slept around, ever. But I won't let it break me, and I won't let it ruin my ability to enjoy good things I have. If anything, I am yet more grateful for the positive things in life.
While I'm still not sure if my girlfriend will want to stick around, 100% honesty has allowed her to keep her freedom to choose, and I think she appreciates that. I have told her I will understand if she gets mad about it, even mad at me, and wants to vent, or more likely, that she feels like I'm not worth the risk (however slight the statistics make it seem). So far, she has been nothing but caring and supportive. I am lucky as hell.
I have a great career and am wrapping up some college classes next month to finish an associate's degree.
HSV doesn't get to decide who I am.
Please consider this:
Always 100% disclose immediately, well before any contact with effected areas, regardless of outbreak status. I won't take away anyone's freedom to decide for themself, no matter the rationale. Someone took my choice away from me and it sucks, I won't be that person. There is no excuse, it's a matter of moral right and wrong. Consent matters, do not remove someone's ability to provide consent. This isn't just a skin condition, it makes people feel bad when they find out they contracted it, and it throws a hell of a curveball into their identity for a while. Please be a decent person and offer those who like you enough to be close with you the ability to choose.
HSV doesn't make anyone a bad person. Diseases don't make demons. Taking away another person's right to consent makes demons.
Thanks to those who read all of this TLDR content. Like everyone, it helps to write the story down where someone else might read it.
What I'm not sure on:
Is it possible that I also have HSV 1 orally and am asymptomatic, despite a pretty clear genital HSV 1 outbreak?
Or would one outbreak tend to aggravate the other?
For those who want to know what a knowledgeable doctor puts an otherwise healthy 30 year old male on as a treatment plan:
What I'm doing now:
Valacyclovir 1000mg x2 daily for 10 days. Then, 500mg x2 daily for 10. Then 500 x1 forever.
Turns out I get high blood pressure from meds if I take it without food, so snacks are cool.
Washing my hands like a surgeon every time I touch my junk to take a piss.
Hand sanitizer, before and after meals, restroom, etc...
Breaking the habit of touching my face at all, ever. Don't need an eye infection too.
Pause on the gym until this outbreak clears fully.
Vitamin C, Vitamin B complex. Not crazy high doses, just a multivitamin type thing.
If you are recently diagnosed, see a primary care physician answer their questions and be honest with them. Then, listen to what they tell you, have them repeat themself if you need, or write stuff down.
If you don't have insurance and are concerned about cost, find a doctor who will work with you. They aren't crooks, most doctors care and want to do good.
What I'm going to do:
Focus on goals and dreams I have always had.
Show appreciation for the people I have told and their support.
If my girlfriend leaves me: I won't get mad, she has the basic human right to decide. 100% disclosure immediately, well before contact with affected areas can happen. Yeah, that means lots of loneliness, rejection, and probably some sadness.
If contemplation of suicide returns, or depression bears down: group therapy, counseling.