I contracted HSV 2 when I was 26. I had only been with one person, and we had split up 3 months prior. I hooked up with a friend of friend that new years eve that I had known for awhile. He was a decent guy. The kicker - I didn't actually have sex with him. I got herpes from a (really bad) hand-job. When I had my first outbreak, it actually just happened to coincide with my yearly GYN appointment. We thought it was a yeast infection (well, i thought, he was already pretty sure it was herpes). It was itchy and uncomfortable. With a week, I wanted to cry every time I had to use the bathroom or take a shower. I had a fever of 104 for two days. When I went for the follow up, the nurse in my GYN office said it was the worst outbreak she'd seen in 20 years. My doctor told me later he debated having me hospitalized to put on IV anti-virals. I've been taking 500mg of Valtrex since then (6 yrs now). I have one or two outbreaks a year, but only 3 or 4 of those have been bad. Most are just annoying for a few days. My older sister had had HSV about 10 years when I got it, and I think that actually helped me a lot. My stepdad has always been a big practitioner of homeopathic remedies and had already done some research for my sister. When I told him I had it, he went through new editions of all his books to find everything. I'll admit, I don't avoid caffeine at all, and I still eat chocolate. I've taken lysine capsules in the past, and that helped. My stepdad also got me topical lysine. I can't say whether or not it's shortening the outbreak, but it helps with the pain and itching. Current outbreak is pretty bad since it came right on the heels of a triple-illness (bronchitis, sinus infection, and fluid in both ears). I've also tried topical lemon balm (home-made ointment), which helped a lot. Apple cider vinegar bath has helped in the past. It has an initial sting, but then is actually really soothing. I've been fortunate. I've never been ashamed, never felt unclean. I know a lot of people will judge, and don't really understand. I'm not shouting it around, but all my friends know, as well as the majority of my family. I worried about dating afterwards, but I got lucky there too. I've been with my boyfriend for 4 years and we plan to get married. We met online and I told him about the herpes before our first date. I may not have told him that soon if he hadn't asked a question that meant tell him, or lie. He just said ok, and it's never been an issue. If you're newly diagnosed, stay strong. I cried for two weeks straight. But in the end, I don't know that I would even change things. Everything you've done makes you who you are, and I have experienced positives because I've had to deal with this.
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