Category Archives: Living With HSV

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Living Your Life with Herpes

Living your life with herpes may probably sound awful the first time you discovered that you contracted the sexually transmitted disease. You may get into an in-denial phase and it will probably be difficult for you to believe and accept the fact that you tested positive for herpes. However, having herpes is not the end of the world for you. Somehow, you have to equip yourself with much optimism because still, you can undertake several measures in order to live life to the fullest despite having herpes.

First off, having a general know-how on the disease will enable you to avoid certain practices and activities that can make the disease more debilitating for you.

There is no definite cure for herpes. No drug has yet been made to wipe the virus off a hundred percent from your system. Currently, acyclovir is the medicine prescribed for people infected with both HSV 1 and HSV 2. Your doctor can prescribe the medication in oral tablets or in topical form, which is to be applied on sores in the skin.

Can you still engage in sexual activities despite herpes? The answer is a definite yes. However, it will be fair for your partner if he or she has knowledge of you having this sexually transmitted disease prior to having sex. You can be more comfortable knowing that you do not need to hide anything from your partner.

Protected sex by using condom is a prerequisite. Herpes is extremely contagious. You have to keep in mind that there is no time that you will be unable to spread it. In this regard, avoid sex when you have any sores. Likewise, the latex protection can only give protection with regards to the part that it covers. Any sores which are not covered by latex can predispose your partner to contracting the disease. Also, the sores are open wounds that put you in a higher risk to contract HIV and AIDS.

Having herpes is definitely a life changing phase for you. You may feel mixed emotions of guilt, shame, sadness, and anger especially if you contracted the disease from your partner who has not been honest with you about having herpes. Living your life with herpes will be much easier if there are people who understand and support you through tough times. Admitting to your loved ones, especially your family that you have herpes will be difficult at first. You can opt to seek medical or professional support that can guide you on what to do and how to deal with your emotions. Likewise, channel your stress on participating in activities hosted by support groups that give education as well as emotional recovery programs for people with herpes. Stress can put your body in a state where it is unable to fight off the infection and may aggravate your condition more.

Living your life with herpes is sure tough. However, educating yourself and taking proper measures will enable you to live a better life despite having the disease.

Herpes & Dating: How To Get Back Into Dating

So, you find out that you have herpes. One of the biggest worries about people who are infected with herpes is the thought that they will never be able to date again. This is wrong. Dating can still be very well a normal part of your life. However, starting today, you must be very cautious some things when looking for people to date. Just remember that despite having herpes, nothing changed within you. Whatever personality you had before acquiring herpes will never go away, and people will still love you for those qualities. It is not entirely bad to have herpes & dating can still be done as long as you keep in mind the things that you will read here.

Herpes & Dating: When To Start The Topic
It is normal for people to feel awkward and uncomfortable to date after learning that they have herpes. To some, it might feel like hiding a nasty secret, and everyone knows that dating needs a certain level of honesty if you want it to continue to a closer kind of relationship. However, divulging information about certain things like herpes needs preparation time, not only for you, but for the person you are dating. Both of you needs to know each other first and have a certain kind of bond, before revealing information about your herpes.
There is no definite time on when to reveal that information, but don’t keep it a secret until after you have sex with each other. It is also a bad time to reveal your situation when you are about to have sex, because the level of attraction at that moment might be too high, and it can cause both of you to make decisions that you will regret in the future. Until you tell him, stay on the safe side. Don’t risk too much skin contact. If you have genital herpes, kissing and fondling should be the threshold.

Herpes & Dating: Dealing With Rejection
At one point, you would have to deal being rejected after revealing that you have herpes. It will hurt at first, but remember: if a person rejects you because of a condition that you have, then he or she would probably be unwilling to take your relationship up to the next level. Dating a person can bring out the best and worst in a person: It’s either the person will reject you or the person will accept you no matter what condition you are in, and obviously, you would want to look for the latter person. If the person immediately rejects you after learning about your condition, then that person is probably already trying to find a way out, and is only using herpes as an excuse to run and disappear. It might be difficult, but eventually, you will find someone who will accept you for who you are. These kinds of people are the ones who prioritize love and care over certain levels of intimacy. Just keep trying, and you will find that person.

The Social Stigma of Having Herpes

It is undeniable that any person having herpes would suffer from a certain kind of social stigma. Some may question this preposition; however, the fact is that we live in a society where many are not comfortable being in a relationship when it is affected by sexually transmitted diseases such as herpes. Because herpes is not curable, it’s one disease that many people who have sex are extremely scared of catching. I think it would be safe to say that the majority are just uneducated about the disease, but the rumors and myths surrounding it, doesn’t help. In fact, more often than not, persons with herpes actually fears having “the talk” with potential partners, because of fear of rejection and everything that comes with it. In this case, such people affected with herpes only suffer more. I can’t even tell you about how many people that I’ve personally spoken to, that have herpes, that know very little to nothing about it. These are people that have had it for years! Getting the facts and figures concerning the disease is not only in their own best interest, but to educate partners as well.

However, it may appear that there is a downward trend in the perception that herpes as a subject to talk about is taboo. According to a recent survey, a slight majority of both people infected with herpes and people free from herpes actually agrees that herpes is not as taboo to talk about anymore. It may be the sheer number of people infected, or that we’re becoming more liberal as a society. Take note that in prior times, every disease connected with sexually transmitted was almost entirely forbidden, especially when the subject of sex itself is still considered taboo. But with conservative views increasingly drowned by the more liberal voices of today’s youth, people are now more open in talking about sexually transmitted diseases such as herpes. This is a great situation that people affected with herpes must take advantage of. One of the major steps in successfully dealing with herpes is for the affected patient to actually know more about what his or her disease is really all about, knowing the facts and the figures behind this disease. In this case, it surely helps for people to talk to somebody, rather than keeping to oneself.

However, with herpes being the second sexually transmitted disease with the worst stigma (with HIV being the first), being able to treat it is easier said than done. One of the major reasons behind it is that this disease can spread easily, even with condoms and no outbreak in sight. However, it is important to note that there are medications, different foods that help suppress, and even living stress free lives that can drastically can help contain this disease, and all it takes for patients is to have the courage to consult a trusted doctor. Don’t let the stigma of herpes get in your way to finding or having a healthy relationship. It’s up to you to educate your partners and know your own body to asset any potential risk of spreading it.

Does Herpes Ever Go Away?

One of the most common questions regarding herpes is: Does it ever go away?

The fact here is that herpes can actually go away; but of course, medical assistance is required, before traces of this disease can eventually disappear from the patient’s system. Let me be clear, there is no cure for herpes, so in that regard, no, at this moment in time, herpes will not be entirely removed from your body. However, you can certainly be symptom free. In this case, due to the body’s natural reaction against the virus that is causing this disease, symptoms of herpes can actually disappear after three weeks, even though medication is not applied. However, the fact here is that it does not guarantee that the disease have gone away, for it can stay dormant in the patient’s body, and can reappear again soon in the future. In fact, this is the case for many patients affected with this disease but is reluctant to seek medical treatment; after symptoms go away for a while, it usually reappears even more severe than before.

In this case, if a patient really wants to get the disease to go away completely, then seeking medical attention is best for them. In fact, by seeking medical attention, especially with professionals having an expertise in sexually transmitted diseases, symptoms can actually go away faster than three weeks, an additional medication may kill the virus from your system altogether. Usually, what medical professionals do is that they actually let patients undergo a series of physical exams and blood tests, for them to determine which type of virus may have hit the patient, either HSV-1 or HSV-2. As long as they have already identified the virus that has hot the patients, then they can already give the proper medication that the patient must take. Although it is true that symptoms may again reappear even with medication, getting continued treatment will soon knock off the virus from the patient’s system.

What Triggers a Herpes Outbreak?

For an entire lifetime, the herpes virus remains dormant in the human body. When it gets stimulated, it goes back to the genital skin and outbreaks. Not every individual obtains herpes over and over again. There are some individuals who may never manifest a break-out again while some individuals manifest about four to five herpes breakouts in a span of one year. What triggers a herpes outbreak? It has been discovered that there are certain factors that drives herpes to breakout again. Each and every one will have their own trigger, but there are a lot of instances that herpes may outbreak even if you may be monitoring your triggers very well. On a positive note, it is possible to lessen the frequency of your breakouts if you have identified the specific factors that stimulate genital herpes outbreak.

The following are some of the most common triggers of genital herpes. Keep these potential herpes these in mind as some may be the cause of what triggers a herpes outbreak in your personal case.

Hormones. Hormonal activity and changes, such as those that happen during the entire menstrual cycle, may have an impact on genital herpes outbreak. To date, no one knows for sure why this is so.

Nutrition. Foods high in L-arginine, which suppresses lysine, such as chocolate, peanuts, whole wheat bread, lentils, caffeine, processed foods, are known triggers for herpes outbreaks. You want to be eating foods that are rich in lysine, such as fruits and vegetables, fish, chicken, beef, etc.

Colds and sunlight. There are some claims which point out that the typical cold and sunlight are possible triggers of oral herpes or cold sores, however, there are no solid evidence yet that they really trigger the outbreak of herpes.

Sex. Yes, believe it or not, having sex can trigger an outbreak. There are some individuals that have observed that the friction occurring during a sexual intercourse can irritate the skin and bring on the symptoms. The problem could be addressed through the use of a water-based lubricant so that the irritation may be reduced. Prevent from making use of lubrication which has the spermicide nonoxynol-9. This substance is known to be an irritant to the mucous membranes such as the lining of the vaginal wall. Also avoid using lubricants which are based in oil, as they tend to weaken latex, making condoms more likely to break. While the event of friction during a sexual intercourse seems one of the reasons of what triggers a herpes outbreak, it probably won’t cause a breakout every time you engage to sex.

Surgery, compromised immune system. Physical trauma to the body, such as undergoing a surgery may promote the appearance of herpes symptoms. Having a compromised and weak immune system does the same thing as well. Individuals who are immune-compromised due to HIV and chemotherapy for instance, tend to have flare-ups more frequently than individuals with normal immune system functioning do.

Keep in mind that the factors as to what triggers a herpes outbreak may not be the same for each and every one, and physicians are not sure how much lifestyle has to contribute with the flare-up of herpes symptoms. If you have observed that a specific factor triggers the symptoms, consult your doctor on what you can do about it. Also, bear in mind that obsession with trigger may not be a good thing.

Herpes and Depression

Herpes is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) that may cause painful sores on or around the genital area or mouth, which may be accompanied by fever and flu-like symptoms. In many cases, the disease is often dormant and the person experiences no symptoms at all. However, genital herpes is highly contagious even in the dormant state, and it is incurable. People with the disease should take careful measures to avoid infecting their sexual partners, and often, abstinence from sex is the best solution.

Public perception of genital herpes is unduly harsh and condemnatory, resulting in a stigma that shouldn’t be there. In truth, genital herpes is usually no worse than a cold sore, but most people don’t see it this way. Negative perceptions of herpes abound, making the disease more of a social problem than a medical one. Infected persons are vulnerable to poor self-image issues, and the emotional distress they experience from these and from relationship difficulties can be far worse than the actual physical pain caused by the disease. It is therefore not uncommon for herpes and depression to go together.

Often times, when a person is initially diagnosed, they can immediately feel a sense of isolation, where depression follows. Especially those who are completely without any knowledge of the disease, feel like they have no one to turn to to ask questions. Although the overwhelming statistics show that people are not alone, having herpes isn’t exactly something that many people share, even those that are closest to them.

When a person infected with herpes shows signs of depression, he should seek professional help to treat the depression, and take self-help measures to manage the herpes and avoid infecting other people. It is often easier to manage genital herpes than to cure depression. The sores of herpes usually heal spontaneously after a few days, and the accompanying fever and muscle pain can be easily relieved with paracetamol or ibuprofen. But long after the sores and fever are gone, the poor self-image and depressive mood can remain, causing continued pain and suffering, and impairing the person’s ability to live normally. Depressed people are often sad and anxious, cry frequently, have difficulty functioning or concentrating, and lose interest in things that they used to enjoy. They also do not get enough sleep, feel tired all the time, are moody or angry, neglect to do daily activities, and do not care to look after themselves or their families. This highly negative, woeful and self-destructive attitude can actually trigger an outbreak of herpes. It is a well-established fact that the dormant infection can be activated by stress or emotional distress, resulting in a severe recurrence of sores and other physical symptoms. This in turn may make the person even more sad and depressed. Thus, herpes and depression can be a vicious cycle that must be broken so that the person can get back to living normally again.

?To break the cycle, it is imperative that the person sees a doctor and receives psychiatric counselling. On his own, it is very difficult for the person to determine if his sad feelings constitute a real case of depression or merely a case of “the blues.” Only a trained medical professional can provide the necessary diagnosis and treatment for herpes and depression.

?It must be remembered that with depression, there is always the risk of self-harm and suicide. A depressed person often has an exaggerated sense of worthlessness or guilt, and in someone with herpes, shame and embarrassment over this “dreadful” or “sinful” disease can significantly aggravate those negative feelings. All this can stir a suicidal tendency in the person, underlying the urgent need for treatment of herpes and depression.

After Diagnosis, What to Expect from a Life with Herpes?

What to expect from a life with herpes will depend on how you cope with the disease. For some, being diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease such as herpes psychologically is like a death sentence; others however may simply shrug it off for herpes, despite the stigma associated to it is not deadly like HIV-AIDS.

For the millions of people who are diagnosed or who have been diagnosed with the disease, the condition has proven to be debilitating and self-limiting. Many fall into a deep depression and experience feelings of sorrow, guilt, shame, or anger especially if they are unaware of their previous exposure to a dishonest partner. Likewise, social expectations may prove difficult to bear especially if the sores – a symptom of herpes are located in exposed parts of the body.

Far more weight of the disease is realized especially for pregnant and expecting mothers or those who still want to conceive. Also, people may suddenly feel more cautious and afraid to engage in physical intimacy for fear that they may be rejected or they may give their partners the disease.

These dilemmas and other things that usually give burden to the lives of people with herpes are not easy to give solution to. However, getting all the more depressed will result to stress that predisposes people to have more recurrent outbreaks. Having a more positive outlook in life is difficult to achieve after herpes, but it is the most ideal thing to look forward to.

What to expect from a life with herpes may either be positive or negative depending on whether you have taken the correct steps in dealing with the disease. You have to accept that herpes is treatable, but not curable. However, do not let this fact hinder you from trying to discover whether certain diet, physical or mental state, and activities can help to improve your condition.

Help from physicians or medical professionals is primary and a must. They are the ones who can prescribe you with the correct medication in order for you to deal with herpes and avoid further complications. After this, you can then be referred to counselors that will help and support you battle the emotional difficulties of having the disease. Also, support groups geared on providing education, support, and emotional refuge for people who have herpes are more than willing to give their assistance.

What to expect from a life with herpes can differ from person to person on a case to case basis. However, you need to keep in mind that going into a depression and thinking negatively can give you more trouble. Face your condition with courage, optimism, and utmost hope that there will come a day when cure will be available. Also, it is a fact that the disease gets less debilitating after years. Few relapses will only be expected after a few years. Some have also reported almost no recurrent relapses after having employed proper steps to cope with the disease. With this, you need to think that you are not alone. Likewise, your battle with herpes will be easier once you have people who understand and support you.

Social Stigma of Genital Herpes vs. Cold Sores

Does it seem you have a target on your head because you have genital herpes? A lot of people don’t realize that genital herpes and cold sores are actually closely related. In fact, HSV1 and HSV2 share over half of the exact same DNA. Both are forms of the herpes virus, but one is more disapproved of in society than the other. Society looks down on genital herpes because it is a sexually transmitted disease. With that in mind, cold sores can be contracted from oral sex just as easily as they can be contracted from kissing. Thus it almost doesn’t make sense for one to be more frowned upon than the other. Here we will look at a few different reasons why genital herpes may have the reputation it does and what we can do to level the playing field.

One reason that oral herpes isn’t discussed much is because a lot of people are not aware of the fact that cold sores are in fact herpes. We see commercials for cold sore treatments all the time, but rarely will you flip on the TV to see a genital herpes commercial. This leads people to believe that cold sores are common and nothing to worry about, but by engaging in oral sex, you could actually pass your facial herpes to your partner’s genitals and give him or her genital herpes.

Genital herpes happens in a region that is awkward to discuss anyways, and that may be a reason that it is frowned upon when cold sores aren’t. Mentioning blisters on a penis or vagina isn’t exactly table talk, but a simple bump in the corner of a person’s mouth isn’t that big of a deal. Until the world because more open about sexual activity and the transmission of herpes, chances are that genital herpes will still be getting the bulk of the bad looks. By remaining educated about what cold sores really are though, you could at least remove yourself from society’s view point.

Genital herpes and facial herpes are both uncomfortable to live with, but they can be treated. You can talk to your doctor about getting a test for genital herpes, and then you can ask about different treatment methods for your problems. Outbreaks can be reoccurring, but when they show up again they are usually less severe than the first outbreak. Maintaining a healthy diet and monitoring the display of herpes symptoms will help you get over your condition faster and move on with your life. Avoid skin to skin contact with people during an outbreak or shortly after and you’ll have a significant lower risk to being exposed to hsv1 and hsv2.

Herpes and Depression

One of the initial feeling that you may have if you’ve tested positive for HSV is that you’re alone. Unlike other medical conditions where you can get support from family and friends, often times people don’t want to discuss with anyone that they have herpes, and it can lead to a feeling of isolation and depression. It’s important to not allow herpes to define your life. Herpes outbreaks do not happen as often as you might think they will, and each reoccurrence is less severe than the last one. Your suffering decrease as time goes on, so realizing you have herpes might not be as bad as you think. Treatments are readily available, so you can virtually eliminate the outbreaks entirely if you do the right things. Keep your head up; there is plenty of reason to.

Something that may motivate you to maintain a positive attitude is the fact that your depression may actually increase your chances for outbreaks. Any stress, sadness, or extreme mood will cause a slight imbalance in your body. This may cause you to gain weight, lose sleep, or go through a variety of other problems. On top of all of that, you may also get a new round of herpes as a result. You need to remember that the vast majority of your life will not be affected by the herpes. All you need to do is monitor your outbreaks, and you should be able to lead a perfectly healthy life.

There are some things you can avoid which may help reduce your chance of outbreaks, thereby reducing your depression as well. You should maintain a diet with foods that are high in lysine and low in arginine. This means eating fruits, vegetables, dairy products and more. Arginine rich foods like chocolate and oats should be avoided at the same time to help prevent outbreaks from happening. Arginine is actually the substance that your herpes feeds on, so if you can remove that from your diet, you can remove the fuel for outbreaks.

Try to do things that help get your endorphins up, like playing with a dog or going for a brisk walk. Exercise is a very important part of our well being. This may make you feel better about yourself and forget about your herpes altogether. You can’t let depression or herpes stop you from living as you normally would. All you can do is be aware of your symptoms and avoid passing them on to others in the future. Spreading the virus will only make you feel worse about yourself, so watch for your outbreaks and avoid skin to skin contacts until two or three days after they have passed.