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Topic : Coping with STDs

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Created on : Tuesday, August 08, 2006, 01:50:08 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1
Do you or a loved one have, or suspect you may have an STD? Share support and advice with others dealing with a sexually transmitted disease.

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September 22, 2006, 10:59 am CDT

Living with Herpes (HSV 1 & 2)

I want to keep this brief so people will get the information:

 

#1 - herpes.com and mpwh.net are great places to get educated, get support and make friends. 

 

#2 - there are several medications prescribed for treating herpes.  Everyone has a different response to them.  If something's not working - talk to your doc and try another one.

 

#3 - 1 in 5 men and 1 in 4 women have herpes.  I hope Dr. Phil does a show on this to educate people to get over the stigma associated with it.  With the increase of oral sex in teenagers HSV1 genitally is on the rise.  One of the members of mpwh.net did an intereview on the Tyra show to help raise awareness.

 

#4 - Herpes does not change who you are.  It is something you can live with and lead a fully, productive, healthy and happy life. 

 

#5 - Condoms DO NOT protect you or your partner from herpes and some other STD's.   Herpes is not a standard STD test and has to be requested.  Know your partners testing history and make sure you are educated on the facts.

 
September 22, 2006, 11:08 am CDT

Coping with STDs

Quote From: chantel2

I did a search for websites and came up with these:  gotherpes.com, herpes.md, and mpwh.com.  The dating sites include: loveacess.com, herpes-dating.com, positivesingles.com, stdfriends.com and herpesonline.org.  I have not signed on to any and really am not sure how good they are.  If anyone has had experience with any of these sites, I would be interested in your views.  I'm real nervous about signing up for a site, then having a friend or co-worker find out about me. 

 

Also I too do not have many outbreaks.  They seem to occur when I'm under a lot of stress and starting a new relationship it about as stressful as you can get.  Has anyone ever used the medication to reduce the outbreaks (ie, Valtrex)?  Did you have any real issues -- besides the cost?

Well hello! i am so glad to see this sort of discussion out in the open! First of all thank you Dr. Phil for all that you do! My name is Deb, and I co chair a herpes/hpv social group here in NYC. We volunteer to host/schedule gather events to offer support and friendship- hey and sumtimes a little romance too! There are many "h" related sites out there- for romance, support, friendship. I do not endorse any of them- many are commercial ventures peddling snake oil or making profit off your internet "hits". Others claim to help the "community" but often contain outlandish rules or require banner- commercial exchange. I'm a new yorker- I lay it on the line lol. Nonetheless many of these sites have helped ppl to come together for chat- national events- local events and to meet some great people that u may have never met otherwise. As with any internet interaction or in life- use good judgement- be cautious.  And as far as fears of someone seeing your picture or profile or information on one of these sites- well I really don't think someone without the virus will be on there. Besides on many of these sites you don't have to show your picture or exact information. If I can be of any assistance to those in the NYC area, please feel free to contact me. debster982003@YAHOO.COM
 
September 22, 2006, 11:31 am CDT

Coping with STDs

Quote From: cheetie62

Chantel,

I too have few outbreaks(which are not a big deal to me)  When I first contracted I too could not afford Acyclovir and Valtrex was not around.  Anyway, I was told by a medical professional to take the vitamin Lysine.  I think I took about 1000mg / day as a preventative.  It seemed  to work, but I really didnt want to mess with taking it.  I have had herpes for over 20 years and don't really know what the big deal is about it .  Little outbreaks come and go and obviously I would choose not to have it if I could, but have been married for 12 yrs and my husband has never contracted it and was married before that for 5 yrs. and he still says he's never gotten anything.  Neither of them was ever that concerned about it anyway as they could see that  it did not affect my life in any negative way.  I also had a child 13yrs ago and  he was delivered by the conventional method.  Back then, my doctor wasn't even concerned about the herpes thing only saying he might consider a c-section if I had lesions when it was time to deliver.

I just don't know what everyones big deal is with having it.  Maybe my outbreaks are completely different then everyone elses, but I seriously doubt it. 

One last note:  Anyone that would advise a person with herpes to tell their family or someone they are casually dating is an IDIOT.  Just  use condoms (even though I never did with my husbands)  

People are dying of incurable diseases as we speak so to everyone who is so upset about having herpes   JUST GET OVER IT AND FIND SOMETHING OR SOMEONE ELSE TO WORRY ABOUT!!!!!!!!

Why is it so idotic to tell someone you have herpes?  I haven't told all my family or friends, but the ones I have, have been very supportive and kind.  I too don't have bad outbreaks and actually don't have them at all anymore but do realize the possibility of still transmitting it to someone.  Condoms can protect someone without herpes but some peole with hsv get outbreaks in areas that a condom just doesn't cover and protect a person.  Also if you are aware that you have and STD and do not tell your new partner and they get the STD, they can sue you if they choose to.  It has happened already. Wouldn't you have liked to know from the person who gave you herpes that they had it? I know I would have. 
 
September 22, 2006, 11:37 am CDT

Coping with STDs

Quote From: mama5x

I have been with my husband for almost 8 years we have 2 children. The last 3 years we have had no sex because he tested positive for herpies. He claims he must of got it from his ex but I have a hard time believing that for the fact that we were having unprotected sex for 5 years and I tested negative now how is that possible?
I myself was with my sons father for 3years and we had unprotected sex the whole time and he never got it from me.  I think different people after different strains of herpes.  It is possible to be with someone with herpes and not get it from them.  Not something people should assume, but possible. 
 
September 22, 2006, 11:43 am CDT

Coping with STDs

Quote From: t62648

I hope Dr Phil does a story on STD's especially HSV. There has been enough attention on HIV and now with the vaccine for HPV,I don't mean to belittle those diseases,we need more attention on HSV.  Having been infected with the virus I know first hand the emotional pain we feel.  Some don't get outbreaks, some get mild ones and other get them so bad it stops them in their tracks. There are those that don't even know they are infected. That is why it is spreading so fast.  The experts say 1 in 5 have it, I for one thought I was one of the 4. I used protection,did all the right things. I found out I knew nothing about it at all. After being on all the web sites since I found out I feel I am getting educated. My doctors were no help to me, they didn't seem to know anything about Herpes. One said if I didn't get outbreaks I am not contagious.  Imagine if I had listen to him I would have spread it further. 

I have been a widow for 13 yrs. I just started dating 4yrs ago. How and from who I don't know where the "gift" came from but the doesn't matter now.  Education is key. ......if I knew then what i know now.......... Please do a show on this and you will save others from the heartache. Thanks

If you didn't have outbreaks what made you get tested? Curious

 
September 22, 2006, 2:08 pm CDT

Life is wonderful, thank you!!

Having an episode of Dr. Phil's show address STD's, especially HSV2 and HPV would be an excellent idea. If that does happen, I would be more than happy to share my experience with having HSV2, from the pits of despair when I first got it to the incredible wonderful things that have happened to me since that time.

 

I was a 25 year old virgin... and I had planned to stay that way until I met that special guy. I had just started dating a man and told him up front that I was not going to have sex with him. Turns out, he had other ideas and he ended up date raping me. So I lose my virginity and get herpes at the same time. I was beyond devastated. I felt like damaged goods for way too long and I ended up in a self-imposed exile for many years.

 

When I told my husband (boyfriend at the time) that I had herpes, I thought he would push me away and run for the hills. Instead he grabbed me in a huge hug and told me he loved me and that my having herpes didn't matter. If he got it, he would deal with it and be okay. In the ten years we were married, he never got it.

 

I was doing on online search for herpes vaccines one day and came across an ad for a herpes support site. I clicked on the ad and discovered a place to heal, a place that helped me shed the last vestiges of the shame that I had carried with me for over twenty years.

 

The site I found is called, MPwH (Meet People with Herpes). To any of you out there with herpes and/or HPV, please check this place out. It is a place that provides both support and online dating. LOL, I had no clue it was a dating site at first. I saw the word, support, and I couldn't log on there fast enough!

 

I'm not alone anymore!!! Okay, I knew I wasn't the only woman out there with herpes but I felt like it. I am NOT a herpes virus. I am simply a woman who occasionally gets this little pain in the ...  ;)

 

I'm not coping with herpes. I coped with it a while ago. It is not the worst thing in the world to have happen to you. If someone told me I could get rid of herpes but in doing so, had to give up everything that I've gotten in my life as a result, I would have to say, no. I can't begin to list all the wonderful things that have happened to me since I got herpes in 1983. Like my heading states: Life is wonderful!!

 

To anyone with herpes or HPV, please do a search for MPwH and check out that site. I have met many, many incredible people there that have become great friends. The support there was so helpful as I finished healing emotionally. The dating site is not too shabby either!! There are quite a few success stories to read there.

 

 So if you have herpes, just remember... you're not alone and life truly can be wonderful!! I'm living proof ot that.   :)

 
September 22, 2006, 2:14 pm CDT

Herpes with no symptoms?

I know of many people who discovered they had HSV2 during a routine physical when their physician drew blood and checked for it. They never had any outbreak or sign or symptom of the virus. Some, in thinking back, remembered a mild rash or some reddening, but many never did.

 

From what I have been told by others, unless you specifically ask to be tested for HSV, most STD tests do not include it.

 

I know of a woman who has educated her OB/GYN on the virus. Her doctor now regularly tests her pregnant patients for HSV and has discovered many that have it but didn't know they did.

 

In my opinion, people need to ask their physicians to test for this virus. Unfortunately, many are getting herpes from people that never knew they had it to begin with.

 
September 22, 2006, 2:39 pm CDT

Coping with STDs

Quote From: lynn73

I myself was with my sons father for 3years and we had unprotected sex the whole time and he never got it from me.  I think different people after different strains of herpes.  It is possible to be with someone with herpes and not get it from them.  Not something people should assume, but possible. 

I was married for ten years and we did not use protection. My husband never got herpes from me. We volunteered for several herpes vaccine studies so he was tested regularly. I was very surprised that he never got it, especially since I had pretty bad outbreaks for the first few years after getting it myself. I think I've had three outbreaks in the last twelve years or so and they well all very mild outbreaks too.

 

PS: I had my child 13 years after I was diagnosed. He is healthy as can be and the most amazing human being I have ever encountered. Just one of the many blessings I have in my life. Who knew life after herpes could be so much fun??!

 
September 22, 2006, 5:30 pm CDT

coping with STDs

Hi everyone -

 

I have been living with herpes for about a year and a half, and have noticed it hasn't made a difference in my life, to be honest.

 

I was with the man I got it from for 3 1/2 years before I got it from him, and yes, I knew he had it.  He was honest with me, and I chose to accept the risk.   We broke up about 6 months after I got it, but for reasons that have NOTHING to do with herpes.  I personally feel kids and exes and jobs and finances and in laws, etc., are FAR more stressful to a relationship than herpes ever could be.

 

I have dated since breaking up with my ex bf, and have found dating just as hard as I did before, and herpes hasn't been an issue with anyone I have told.   I have been thanked for my honesty, and asked a few questions, but that's it.

 

I think people need to be VERY careful when making assumptions about STDs and when placing value statements on people who live with one (or more.)   Just some quick facts:

 

*One in 4 in the US have genital herpes type 2, and 30% of all new genital herpes cases are caused by someone with herpes type 1, which usually causes cold sores, performing oral sex on someone. 

 

*Up to 80% of the population has had or will have HPV, the virus that causes genital warts and abnormal cells on the cervix.   

 

*It is estimated that if you have had 3 or more sexual partners in your lifetime, you have been exposed to HPV.

 

I think people like to think that only "certain people" get STDs, and I think they like to think that because it makes them feel better about their chances of not getting one.  But we also know something about STDs - they are just germs doing their biological thing.  They don't stop and take a moral inventory before infection someone, and they don't care that you have always used condoms or been really choosy in who you have sex with.  They don't care if you are nice, or not, or popular or not, or smart and successful.  They just do their thing.

 

As has been stated, most std testing does NOT inlcude herpes testing unless you specifically ask for it.  Even if you ask to be tested for "everything," you might not end up being tested for herpes.

 

Testing for hpv is tricky for women, and there is no FDA approved test for men.

 

Some great sites to check out -

 

http://www.racoon.com/herpes/  be sure and check out the support forums

 

http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/PickingUpThePieces/  a yahoo group

 

http://www.ashastd.org/  for info on herpes, hpv and other stds

 

http://www.westoverheights.com/freebook.html the Herpes Handbook - a great resource, written by Terri Warren, NP - one of the nation's leading herpes experts.

 

Take care,

Jess

 
September 22, 2006, 5:40 pm CDT

herpes

Lysine does very little for herpes.  The only dose that showed any difference at all in studies was 1 gm 3 times a day - it reduced ob's by 2 a year. There were no studies on it for any effects on viral shedding.  It's actually more expensive to use lysine than it is to use generic acyclovir for most people.  Acyclovir is proven to reduce ob's significantly and reduce shedding which is terrific for helping to keep a partner hsv negative for as long as possible.

 

Acyclovir is available as a generic and is far cheaper than valtrex.  If you can't find it cheaper elsewhere - the herpes homepage has a deal with drugplace.com to offer 6 weeks worth of suppressive therapy for under $25. Many insurances make acyclovir very cheap so it's well worth looking into. Also if you have insurance - get your prescription filled for 3 months worth at a time - that's usually cheapest.  If you use valtrex or famvir - check out their websites for coupons!

 

The herpes handbook at www.westoverheights.com is a terrific resource to learn about all the basics of herpes - testing, treatment , talking about it and how to reduce the chances of transmitting it to a partner.   There is also a terrific patient counseling video on the website you can watch too - it's especially helpful if you are newly diagnosed and wondering what knowing you have genital herpes means for you. 

 

The thing about herpes simplex is - no symptoms does not mean no infection.  The vast majority of folks who have hsv1 and/or hsv2 have no idea they are infected. That's why type specific herpes igg blood testing is useful. Knowing a partner's status helps you to decide what precautions, if any, are needed in your relationship. You absolutely can not assume that no symptoms means no herpes - either orally or genitally. Herpes simplex is incredibly common - over 60% of adults have hsv1 orally and 25% of adults have hsv2 genitally.  Hsv1 can also be transmitted to the genital area - mainly thru oral sex. It's the cause of ~ 30% of all new genital herpes infections.  Knowing what type you have is important so if your doctor has diagnosed you as having genital herpes further testing is in your best interest to determine which type it is.

 

clinicaltrials.gov lists all the current hsv studies going on - there are many to participate in whether you are completely hsv negative ( and female between the ages of 18-30 ) to if you are newly diagnosed with genital herpes to if you've had hsv2 for > 10 years for studies.

 

Is herpes a big deal?  No it's not but society has put unfair stigma's on it - especially genital herpes.  It's a nuisance virus for the most part but it can cause health problems especially in babies.  I totally agree with the poster that said dr phil should do a show on herpes - too many people let an incredibly common virus control their life instead of controling it!!

 

grace

 
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