Asymptomatic HSV1 & HSV2 for 20+ years
I gave up on dating twenty years ago when antidepressant medication and job stress destroyed my libido. While less inhibiting medications eventually were prescribed, the habit of celibacy was so ingrained that despite an awakened libido I did not seek a partner. Then I retired from my very stressful job. Two years later, pretty much de-stressed, I started to have thoughts about finding romance. At age 65, first I worried that I was too old, but to my delight soon after joining an online dating site, I met a lovely man. We've been proceeding slowly and have not yet been intimate. After twenty years of celibacy I've been a bit nervous. But realizing that the time would come sometime soon, I asked my doctor for STI and Herpes tests when I had a routine CBC. To my shock, the tests revealed that I have antibodies for both HSV1 and HSV2. That means I've had herpes for over 20 years and never knew it. I have never observed a cold sore or a genital outbreak. I have intermittently had a crusty rash on my buttocks, which I now realize must be Herpes. Although I have showed the rash at various times to my GP, GYN, and Dermatologist, it was never suggested that it might be Herpes, nor was a swab culture ever done. I'm furious at these doctors for not having the diagnostic instinct to at least suspect Herpes!
The outbreaks have never been a big deal to me. I have had other skin conditions: rosacea, seborrhea, seborrheic keratosis, contact dermatitis, shingles, etc. The crusty rash on my bottom has been just another minor annoyance that pops up about every 90 days or so. Itchy before the rash appears and for a day or two later, it fully heals within a week to ten days. Now I know the itchy sensation is prodrome. I'm not ashamed or horrified knowing that I have Herpes. I've unknowingly dealt with it for 20+ years and can continue to deal with it.
But now I have to have The Talk with my new SO. I know he had a wild youth, as did I, so I only hope that he will smile and say, "No problem, I've got Herpes too". I don't want to think about the possibility that he'll be horrified and run away. Thank you for sharing your story with our community! Oh and by the way...Welcome to Our Community!
Listen...I know that being face with having "The Talk" is scary. But whatever you do, this fear
must not dictate the paths that you take in life and it certainly should not let it send you back into a more scary life of celibacy.
Having success with telling someone that you have herpes all boils down to mastering 4 simple things:1. Your knowledge of herpes
- Based on the information that you provided, you seem to have a pretty good handle on this. Although, you might want to study up on transmission rates. This seems to be one of the first things that people want to know. If you can convey them in a positive light then half you battle is over.2. Self-Confidence
- This too is a biggie! You're going to have to make sure that you have super high self confidence. There are a lot of techniques out there to help you raise it quickly. However, if your self confidence is lacking...your new man has probably already picked up on it. If your self confidence is in the tank then my advice is that you work on raising it before having the talk.3. Attraction
- This is also a critical element that I've found that will cause people to overlook just about ANY flaw that you might have...including herpes. So, while you're working on building your self-confidence also begin increasing his level of attraction for you. Usually this will take care of itself...especially at the beginning of a relationship when both of you are felling "Giddy".4. Using The Correct Language to Convey Your Message
- The words you use to have the talk will dramatically affect the way your new partner will receive your message. Avoid using negative words like disease and incurable. Instead use words like "the virus that causes herpes"...and my personal favorite..."cooties". I know using the word "cooties" sounds stupid and immature but it is supposed to. In most people, the word "cooties" takes them back to their childhood where everything was innocent and filled with fun. This is the mindset that you want your partner to be when you decide to have the talk. I told my wife when we were at an amusement park!
Once you've mastered...or at the very least gained a higher level of understanding...of the things that I've listed, you'll find out that you have taken back the control of your success. It will no longer be the all encompassing task that it seems like right now.
And that in itself is such a great feeling!
Wishing You Success and Much Happiness!
Founder and Moderator