Name: Iagofest
Age: 27
Year infected: 1997
Occupation: Biophysics graduate student

PRODROMES: Itching, tingling, have constant prodromal-type symptoms in r. buttock and leg, not sure if related.


MY STORY: I had never had sex until the night of my wedding. My husband had been married previously to a woman that had slept around. He didn't know he had HSV I and I suspect he got it from her. Symptoms started developing on our honeymoon. I was really sore and itchy. I thought I had a bladder infection until my doctor said, "Nope, it's herpes." I was so shocked and then I was mad at my husband. I wished that I had asked him to get tested for STDs before our marriage, but it hadn't occurred to me. I didn't know that his first wife had had several partners before she met him. I was so sick with flu-like symptoms for about a month. My husband was confident that I would never have another outbreak, but alas, I have outbreaks every other month. Usually they're not that bad, just a rash and a lesion or two. For a while I thought I was having yeast infections every other month because the symptoms,  including the discharge were similar. But when I used Monistat to clear it up, it burned my insides like crazy. Yow! I developed tingling and pain in my r. buttock and leg a few months after the primary infection. After 3 years and one back surgery, I discovered that the pain was being caused by Tarlov or perineurial cysts on my r. S1 nerve root in my spine. I suspect a connection between the cysts and HSV, but I can't prove anything.

I think I have HSV I on my mouth too, but so far, it's only cracks at the corner of my mouth and a lot of tingling.

TELLING: Only my husband and one of my best friends know. I would tell more
people, but my husband doesn't want anyone else to know. I think he's worried that my
family will think less of him since they're very religious. I wouldn't mind telling others
because I don't think it's something to be ashamed of, but I know people can be very