I've just found out ive got herpes and feel like S*** about it! HELP

I'm 17 and i fell madly in love with a guy who clearly lied about never having unprotected sex becuase he gave me herpes. i know its not life thretning but now im so scared that one day im gonna pass it onto my children or my future husbend, and how do you go about telling your new partner that you have an STI and there a really high chance they could get it! I'm pissed off and really freaked out and up set! even my mum has given me special towls to use so i dont infect anyone else! I feel dirty and disucting! can anyone help!

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  • dear jasper7, i have genital warts and got them from my boyfriend who im still currently with, mine will be with me for the rest of my life much like yours. you shouldnt feel dirty just because you have them. genital herpes can only be transfer via sex anal vaginal or oral so you mum shouldnt be worried about getting them. i think if my mum did that i would feel worse, so maybe have a word with her and explain about what you have, maybe she just needs to hear the facts about them and what actually happens when you have them, then she could help in supporting you. i've had mine since i was 16, im now 20 and i still get to stages were i feel really down about having them, i think talking to others has helped me greatly because i know im not the only one. you might find in a year or two that, sometimes i wish i could tell others about it to warn them that just because your in a relationship doesnt mean your not protected against them and that having them doesnt mean your any less of a person. it has taken me four years to be able to tell my best friend of 18 years because i was worried about judgement but it feels good to have someone my own age to talk to about it :)... if your are in school/tech/uni talk to a counsellor about it, it does help a lot :)

  • Dear booo,

    Genital warts are not with you for life. Most people clear the virus after a couple of years. If you are troubled by recurrences you should visit a Sexual health / GUM clinic to discuss your options.

    Kind regards.

  • i was told by my doctor and the doctor at the gum clinic that i will always have the virus but not necessarily the warts. they will come and go and they might not show up again for 3 months or 6 years, but i will always have the virus the same as when people have normal warts on their hands, i haven't had any since i was 12 and now one has appeared this year. you cant pass genital warts to anyone unless you have warts present, but i know were jasper7 is coming from because i cant tell if i have them inside me because they could show there and not on the outside... so its awkward to know if you tell any knew sexual partners because how do you no 100% if they arent present... :-/

  • Surely you're legally obliged to tell your partners anyway, just in case? I believe there is a small risk even when you don't currently have the warts, but I could be wrong.

    Just to be clear though, knowing you have an STI, and not telling your sexual partner can mean you're committing an offence. If they catch your STD, and they didn't know you had it, they could not consent to the risk that they would catch the disease. If they have cuaght the disease, this amounts to GBH under the Offences Against the Person Act, 1861 (I believe it's section 20).

    Not telling your partner that you have an STI can also be used to invalidate their consent to sex and make you liable for rape, if it can be proved that they would not have consented had they known you were infected.

  • Thanks helps a lot! I'm soooo pissed off at my ex coz he lied to me to get me to sleep with him. and yeah mums just up set that i got it and wasent safe about my sex life. and i really dont wanna tell any of my friends but i do have an conciler but i dont even wanna tell her becuase im ashamed of myslef but thanks !!

  • my mum was upset to.. no no i didn't mean for you to tell them i was just saying that my best friend thought that sti's couldn't happen to her and she use to say it all the time and i always wanted to tell her but was scared of judgement. After a few years I thought i should tell her because i wanted her to be safe because she's had a few sexual partners..., but it took me ages... :) i didn't tell my counsellor because it was in the first year and i didn't think it really hit me at the time, was just an option. also my was very afraid i would pass on to my kids when i eventually had them, and i spoke to my doctor about the situation, he said there is a very unlikely chance you will but as always doctors always say theres a possibility for everything, so i wouldnt worry about that :)... :)

  • maybe have a wee look at this page :)

    nhs.uk/conditions/genital-h...

  • Dear jasper7,

    Herpes is very common. You can catch herpes from oral sex from someone with a cold sore, so your partner may not have lied about it.

    You will not pass it on to your children.

    You are most likely to pass it on when you have an episode, so avoiding sex during this time make it very unlikely that you will pass it on to any future partner. Condoms will further reduce this risk.

    It sounds like you have not been given much information. I would strongly recommend you visit a Sexual Health / GUM clinic to discuss it more. There is also an excellent organisation the Herpes Virus Association (www.herpes.org.uk - helpline 0845 123 2305). They will be able to chat to you about the real facts.

    There is no need to tell your friends. It is none of their business, but actually some of your friends may also have herpes (by the age of 30, 50% of the population have one or other type).

    Please try not to worry too much.

    Kind regards.

  • Just to clarify - HSV can still be passed to another person when symptoms are NOT present - it is called viral shedding. Therefore oral HSV (type 1 or type 2) can be passed to another person via skin to skin eg a kiss or oral sex. Genital HSV (type 1 or type 2) can be passed when no symptoms are present too.

    The use of condoms reduces the risk of transfer but they do not cover the whole area. Genital HSV lives in the "boxer shorts" area, so condoms only reduce some of the risk. Anti-viral medication; Valtrex or Acyclovir can be taken as a suppressant to reduce to risk of transfer to a non HSV partner. However nothing is a 100%.

    You can still have children and you should inform you doctor if you have G HSV of either type and depending upon history, number of breakouts etc the doctor will discuss the options available during pregnancy and delivery.

    Oral HSV is often passed onto children via a kiss, even when no cold sore is present.

    The virus is killed (once on the top layer of the skin) via good hand washing with warm soap and water.

    The Herpes Virus Association is unfortuately out of date with some of their information especially regarding transmission. This has been pointed out to them, as far as I know they have not updated it.

    Your bf probably did not know enough about HSV. It is NOT included in the standard STI screening in the UK. Testing depends upon the NHS postcode lottery!

    As for towels - I wouldn't share a towel with anyone and that has nothing to do with HSV. The virus cannot live on a towel. Towels and beddings should be washed on a higher degree wash (or used with a powder such as Ariel) anyway as part of personal hygiene.

    As far as disclosure goes, personally I disclose as I would not want to pass HSV on to anyone. One way to start that conversation is to ask "have you ever had a cold sore?". The majority of people have no idea that cold sores are HSV or how they are transferred. It is up to you as to whether you decide to disclose to further partners.

  • Everything that thegreenhouse has said is correct. I could not have put it better myself.

    Also, if the guy knew he had herpes and he lied to you, he's technically committed GBH against you. (Under section 20 of the Offences against the person act, 1861).

    If he didn't know he had herpes, he's still an ass, because he should have told you that he'd had unprotected sex.

    On the other hand, you can catch if from protected sex if the condom's not on right. Or he could have caught it from receiving oral from a girl who has a coldsore on her mouth. It might genuinely not be his fault.

    Some people have it for years and never realise because it doesn't show any symptoms. It happened to a friend of mine. Her boyfriend had been with his ex for four years and neither had any problems. Then he got with my friend, and BANG, she got herpes. He was horrified and he felt SOOO bad.

    You haven't done anything wrong. You had no reason to suspect you would catch it. Just make sure you tell your future partners - I know it's hard, but it has to be done, or you're committing a crime. If they're horrible about it, they weren't worth it anyway. They must realise that all you did wrong was naively believe someone that you care about.

    This has happened to a couple of my friends, so I really do feel for you.

    I hope it all turns out okay and you meet someone amazing who makes you forget the idiot who gave you the infection.

  • thanks means a lot i feel a lot better about it now! :D

  • Hi, NEVER, believe a man, especially when he's excited and you're the cause of that excitement. Men will put their todgers through the holes in lavatory cubicles to get relief!

    This said:

    My wife in the 1980s after living through hell with inflammation and the most dreadful 'open' soreness/sores of her genitals for almost two years, was diagnosed with herpes. After thinking on this awhile, I went to the VD clinic (as they were then) and was checked for everything. I was clear - no problems what ever.

    I took my then wife to a new and highly rated GU clinic after watching a programme about it on TV. The Consultant there, a gem of a man, said it wasn't herpes and gave her a course of creams and medicines - a carrier bag full. Seven months later and a couple of revisits, she was cleared - and so ended more than two years of pain, misery and worry for her.

    So much for our local 'specialists' and consultants.

    Did she have sex with other men while married to me - I don't think so. I divorced her many years later for non-physical reasons. I still don't believe she was having someone else, if she was, she really was most unlucky indeed but it didn't affect me. Hence, I don't think she did.

    Start here and nil desperandum:

    herpes.org.uk/

    Herpes, with or without symptoms, is a very common thing, I understand.

  • Hi Jasper17, I think you should go to the nearest sexual health (GU Medicine) clinic and speak to one of the health advisers to pour your heart out about this. It's never nice to receive bad news, especially when you're just 17 and have a lot to live for. There is a chance that your future husband may already be infected with herpes (from their previous relationships). The key will be discussing this condition with a life partner who loves you for who you are and not what you have! For now, stay healthy- herpes 'behaves itself' if the person is healthy, practice safer sex and get down to your local sexual health clinic to talk to a knowledgeable health adviser.

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