A Cold Sore Leads to Genital Herpes?

by Jean Marie
(Denver, Colorado)

I'd only been divorced for a year (after 27 years) and started dating someone. After a month he broke it off. The next day I noticed some irritation on my genitals. Thinking it was a yeast infection I saw my doctor. She immediately said it was herpes and a culture test confirmed it. How I got it was through ignorance. This man had a cold sore at one point and warned me not to kiss him. The next week the sore was gone so we had sex, including oral. My doctor said he was probably still shedding the virus. I didn't even know that a cold sore was herpes.

Since then I have done so much research on what I can do for myself to build up my immune system, medications, reading forums, and keeping abreast of upcoming herpes research. Other than being concerned about spreading this hideous virus I hope to somehow educate others about the risks associated with cold sores.

But for right now I'm trying to somehow accept this new part of me. It's been so traumatic, I think partly because of my age. I grew up during a time when herpes had such a negative stigma. I have only entrusted a few friends with my news and amazingly both had a sibling with the same thing. Also amazingly these siblings have successful long-term relationships with people who are not infected, in fact one is getting married soon. I was fortunate enough to sit down with one of them and got some much-needed sympathy and advice.

I also would like to take this opportunity to encourage anyone with herpes to take things one step at a time, one day at a time. Do your own research, consult with your doctor, do what you can to help your own body by building your immune system and decreasing your stress levels. And try to see the hope in your future. Yes, do take precautions, but I have personally seen that we can have successful relationships and a full life.

Hi Jean Marie! Thank you for sharing your inspiring story. I'm sure that your experiences will help others know that living with herpes is not a "Death Sentence".

If I can assist you in any way please do not hesitate to contact me.

Thanks Again!


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