Recently diagnosed - a small patch of bumps on my pelvis about four inches away from my dick, probably transmitted during some very vigoruous grinding. It's estimated that between 25% and 50% of gay men have it, but most (80 or 90%) don't know they have it (standard STD test batteries don't screen for herpes). Not medically serious, but it's incurable.
I'm pretty much done with hooking up, but I don't know what my odds are with dating anymore. I generally am pretty fortunate in the romance department, but have found myself pushing men away to avoid the conversation and rejection. Has anyone ever found love with/as an HSV-positive guy?
Why would would you be afraid of rejection? you don't have to tell anyone that you have herpes. If anyone was ever to say that they got herpes from you, just turn it around on them and accuse them of giving it to you.
Wow. I hope I never date either of you. On the other hand....
OP, learn everything you can about safe sex with herpes. Know it by heart, so when you tell a guy, you'll have the answers to your questions. If he really likes you, then he won't be scared away.
Herpes can't pass through latex (or clothing), but condoms do not protect against transmission from areas that are not covered. You can also transmit when sores are not visible or are just starting to emerge. Also, the entire area that would be covered by a pair of boxer shorts can shed the virus asymptomatically a few days every month.
Given that, by just avoiding sex during outbreaks, there is only a 4% chance of transmission over year. Using condoms reduces that in half, and taking drugs reduces it to 1%.
You get why I think it's going to be hard to find a date?
What if the other guy has herpes too, OP?
I don't know which type I have yet (it could be oral herpes transmitted to the genital area), but if the other guy has the same type - it's Yahtzee. You can't re-infect each other with the same type.
But since most guys don't know they have it, won't admit it, and the HSV sites I've found are pretty sparsely populated - finding another positive guy could be tricky.
The frustrating thing is that the stigma is pretty high - and I'm not eager to singlehandedly take that on.
OP, I have some kind of herpes, I think. I get these horrible sores on my face. They start off as red and swollen skin. Then it forms a head, similar to a zit, but then after it is "popped", it just oozes an orange fluid for a long time. Then it gets pussy. Then it oozes fluid again. It takes a long time for the sore to scab over and heal. I'd be really sad if I had to deal with these lesions in my crotch area. But I still honestly think that you are not untouchable.
Actually OP they do have dating sites for people with herpes. I've seen some good looking guys on it too.
Really, R9? Do you know where? There's a gay site, and there are only 6 or so guys in my (large) city.
Can't remember the name now. It was a while back. I'll try and think of it. Try some of the main stream ones though too.
[quote]Then it gets pussy.
So I guess finding women isn't the problem, just men.
Geez, what if you've had it just ONCE and you've never had another re-infection?
I know you can still be a carrier.
OP, ask yourself if you met a great guy and you really fell for him and he said to you, "Look, I've got herpes; if we're careful it shouldn't be a problem. Do you still want to be with me?"
If you'd still go for him, then maybe there's a guy out there who'd go for you?
It sucks b/c it's avoidable, but then you think it could be so much worse, meaning it's not fatal.
R14, if you've had it once, you have it forever.
R15, how avoidable is it really? It's transmitted skin to skin, and most people get HSV 1 (cold sores) nonsexually.
Between 25 and 50% of gay men have genital herpes?
Yup. There are no studies on gay men, but STD tests of straights consistently validate the 25% figure. Gay men generally have double the STD rates of straights, so that's how they get the 50% figure.
A year later, I have still only slept with the guy who probably gave it to me. Dutifully disclosed to one guy, who was far from a 10, and never heard from him again.
It's interesting. With all the sex positive gays out there, no one really wants to deal with the reality of STDs.
"With all the sex positive gays out there,"
What do you mean in this instance by 'sex positive"? That's a phrase that enormously changes depending on who is using it, in what context, and why.
I know of a lot of married straight people that have it.
He means everybody's sex positive until they find out somebody's damaged goods.
ALWAYS LOOK AT THE BODY FIRST. obviously you can never be 100% sure, but look at the guy's mouth and pubic area, dick, ass etc...if you see anything strange. STOP as the grape lady would say.
r25, you are incredibly naive. I have herpes, and you probably wouldn't spot it even during an outbreak. It can be incredibly subtle. Plus, though the location of my herpes precludes viral shedding, people with genital herpes can transmit it even when they are not having an outbreak.
Most STDs are asymptomatic. What would the grape lady say about that?
stop, drop and roll?
you should always ask when their last check up was and medical/std history. Don't be shy! It's important and can be life-changing!
again, r29 - incredibly naive. Most gay men do not test for STDs other than HIV (if that). And, standard STD tests do not include herpes or HPV tests.
Oh, and people lie.
I love how people are referencing The Grape Lady.
I'm never having sex ever again, ever ever ever. Not even with myself.
R30, then you can sue their ass later if they lied to you.
Yeah, you don't wanna get hand herpes
[quote]Between 25 and 50% of gay men have genital herpes?
One out of four people have genital herpes. So if you apply those stats to gay men its probably a little more than 25%. Herpes is really common.
Good luck with that lawsuit, r33. First, you'd have to prove you didn't have herpes before the encounter and that you got it from the liar. Herpes can go undetected for years. Second, how many people actually ask if someone has anything other than HIV?
Focus on it won't kill you.
And if you're careful you'll be okay.
I know people who are living with HIV and don't have two nickels to rub together.
r35, honestly - it's probably more than a "little" higher. Gay men contract syphillis and HIV at a rate 40 times that of straights.
r38 I was trying to be nice, but since you want to go there. Its more like to 40% to 50% of gay men that have herpes.
I get that, r39 (I'm the OP). The irony is that maybe 10% at most actually know they have it. Which leaves 30-40% rejecting men for having a condition they have themselves. And this is leaving out cold sores, which can also be transmitted genitally.
What really gets me is that it's harder for me to transmit it than someone with "true" genital herpes. But, since I actually went to the doctor and got diagnosed, I am obliged to disclose. The men who avoid testing get to live in ignorant bliss.
Herpes is super common. The statistics for who will have it by middle age is alarming. To quote the Wikipedia page (that's legit right?) "The scientific reality is that most people are asymptomatic, the virus causes no real health problems for a vast majority of people, and a vast majority (around 90%) of the Earth's population carries HSV-1, 2, or both"
Seriously, it's a cousin to the chicken pox and shingles and as unsightly as it is, that's all it really is. Keep it under control when your preggers and try to keep your dirty fingers out of your nose cause there is a tiny chance it could get to your brain but mostly - no one dies of the herps. It's as deadly as warts. Less even (I'm looking at you cervical cancer).
Seriously. I get it. You're still the person you were before. If someone can't care about you despite this then they are too shallow for your time.
The love of my life has herpes. He told me before we had sex. We were together for years. Once he told me and I accepted the fact that having sex with him meant I might contract it, the topic never came up again. Somehow I never got it, but I wouldn't have cared. I loved that man with every ounce of my being.
Wow, r42. You've said exactly what I needed to hear. Thank you.
R43, I did my research. Having it, especially after the first year when outbreaks tend to be worse, really isn't that big of a deal. It's like getting a zit for a week, and taking Valtrex makes it more like three days.
Five years of love, great sex and companionship is worth so much more than a zit.
Well said R42!
Sorry for your woes, OP. I have herpes and unfortunately, I have breakouts about once every two or three months, which, each time, are pretty devestating for me psychologically and painful for me physically. The guy who gave it to me denied doing so but he was your garden variety sociopath. I wish more people would talk about it. It's really stressful having to tell someone. I have more or less quit dating because I'm scared of rejection, scared of giving it to someone, and feel that the universe was punishing me for being sexual so I shouldn't be. Yes, I'm fear stricken. But gay guys are bitches.
Does anyone here have HPV? If so how are you dealing with it?
Why would anyone have HPV when a vaccine is available. Didn't you have Lil' Poundcake give you a shot when you were a kid?
Google the never an outbreak website for treatment info. It will stop your outbreaks and give you some relief. It's important to watch your diet - go for whole unprocessed foods. Get rest and do yoga or other relaxing and oxygenating activities . Disease exists in unhealthy states so if you become more healthy you have more control over it. Good luck I know it's hard but have faith and take care of your entire being.
R48 is a fucking idiot, the current HPV vaccine only protects against certain strains of HPV, there are shit loads of strains out there. Educate yourself!
R42, you're a great guy. The symptoms have never been more than an annoyance, but the feeling that you are damaged and can never be loved again is very real. Thanks for helping to heal that.
I thought at one point or another virtually everybody had HPV and that 80 - 90% of people never showed symptoms, which is why it's so easily spread.
I'd like to feel sorry for you, OP, but I don't. We have to live with the consequences of the life style we choose. You chose to throw caution in the wind.
You already know the high incidence of STDs in the gay community yet you continued to put yourself at risk. All these warnings from health officials to protect yourself fell on deaf ears.
A few years ago I found out that I had it during my annual physical -- I had them screen me for all STDs because one of my doctors was concerned about prescribing certain medication should I be HIV+ (and I figured while I was at it . . . .).
I was somewhat surprised about the diagnosis as I have never been symptomatic. True, my partner had it and would have periodic outbreaks when we would have a "timeout"' but I could easily have picked it up long ago during my slutty days.
I don't have sex very often anymore (I'm now single), but when I do, I am very safe. Although for me living with herpes is no big deal (asymptomatic!), I appreciate that others with whom I contact may not be so fortunate when "getting to know me". I don't want to pass it on.
BTW, before I knew about my status, the fact my partner had herpes was never a problem for me. I loved him because of his wonderful spirit (he was also VGL and good in the sack!).
R53, I didn't really ask for your pity and I'm not sure I'd want it given your ignorance. Not to mention your unbelievable lack of warmth and compassion. There have been a lot of others on this thread who shown exactly that.
As this thread has shown many times, there is really no way to protect oneself from herpes - doctors do not test for it without symptomps or a dodcigic request, so most people do not know their status. I got it from letting a guy rub my thigh - Is that truly "throwing caution to the wind"? This is not HIV from getting fucked bareback.
The problem for me is the hypocrisy and the stigma. Guys with undiagnosed herpes reject guys who have actually gone to the doctor.
Also another alternative treatment is the viral detox from dhealthstore dotcom
LIZA HAS HERPES, TOO!
Read up on a supplement called BHT. It was originally used as a food preservative - you will see it on most processed food packaging - that was unexpectedly found to have powerful anti-viral properties in lab mice, extending their lives by 40% while acting as a powerful antioxidant.
It is recommended to be taken on an empty stomach, then about twenty minutes later, two tablespoons of olive oil straight up. The DHT binds to the oil and goes into the cells. The first time you take it, some people comment that it can make you mildly - very mildly, compared to pharmaceuticals - dizzy, but I barely felt it.
In misery after I found a fucking anal wart, I ordered some, enough for two months twice a day, and I believe it kicked in hard and accelerated my getting rid of it. Horrible experience and a gamechanger.
Bee propolis is also excellent. Read up on earthclinic...dot...com.
If it's mostly asymptomatic, and one out of two guys have it, and it can be minimized with condoms and avoiding sex when you break out, then what's the big deal? It seems like it can be managed the same way you manage a case of acne. It happens.I think we should work to remove the stigma from Herpes. The way you all describe it, it seems more like a nuisance than a major medical problem. I'm not saying you shouldn't use caution or leave it untreated, but sheeesh!
R53, you are not helping.
Now, go back to your room and stay there until you can behave like an adult.
OP: do you take L-lysine supplements?
R28 is Diamanda Galas.
Everyone who has had measles has herpes. I know you're talking about genital herpes, but I'm not sure they can't be the same. They are both stress related conditions. Double check with another doctor.
Actually, I think you're referring to chickenpox rather than measles, r62. HSV-2 is a different strain - you can have cold sores, chickenpox (recurring as shingles), and genital herpes.
Interestingly, you can generally only get each virus in one dermatome of your body. A dermatome is a region of your skin connected to a specific area of nerves. Mine is not in the genital area - the skin on the thigh is too thick for viral shedding, so I can only transmit it when I am having an outbreak.
Imagine springing all of that before you get naked!
Is there a Herpes Hut next to the Menstrual Hut on The Land at Michfest?
My doctor told me that washing yourself with soap and hot water after sex alleviates a lot of these skin diseases. So don't lie in bed all night with dried semen on you or wait until you get home - after sex, get in the shower and wash.
Anybody hear about zeolites dismantling the herpes virus?
Anybody read about taking humid acid that prevent the virus from merging with healthy cells? What are your opinions of these treatments for herpes?
[quote]I think we should work to remove the stigma from Herpes. The way you all describe it, it seems more like a nuisance than a major medical problem.
absolutely. On this thread, you have more than a few guys who have removed themselves from the market because of the stigma. In reality, sex with someone who knows they have herpes is a lower risk than someone who does not know their status. In my case, it's far lower - I can only transmit when I am having an outbreak.
But even if it is transmitted, it's only a minor nuisance. The real impact is in having to disclose to partners, and the stigma attached to having herpes.
There are a lot of hot guys out there with herpes. In fear of being rejected, they remove themselves from the pool. If the stigma were not as shaming, you could be having hot sex with them.
r58, are you saying the BHT and olive oil regimen cured you?
OP stress feed herpes, as does lack of sleep and worry and blame.
you have it, don't let it have you. if you want to go the med route, acyclovir will keep it dormant.
[quote]Interestingly, you can generally only get each virus in one dermatome of your body.
Huh? What does that mean, exactly? Is it that If you have HSV-1 on the mouth then you could never get it anywhere else on your bod?