Name: Tracey
Age: 21
Sex: F
Occupation: Retail Manager (eventually massage therapy)
Type: genital herpes
Yr. Infected: 2000
OB's per yr: 2 so far

Prodromes: Tingling, itching at site of ob. Soreness also when I am about to 
get the ob.

Method of Control: At the first signs I start taking Valtrex and I take 
L-Lysine in between and double dose during ob.

My Story: I was infected Sept. of 2000 and it really shook me at first. I 
felt disgusting and never wanted to be with anyone else. I then realize that 
I was lucky and could have had something worse and went on with my life. I 
am currently involved and my boyfriend is wonderful and understanding!!

Medical Experiences: The doctor didn't think my rash and bumps were herpes 
because it was so small when he saw it and it was in a weird place...not the 
usual area he said. He did a herpes culture and it came back positive and it 
even showed up in my pap smear. He has been wonderful with talking to me 
about it although I have found out more info on the net and from fellow 
people with the gift.

Telling: Telling has been extremely difficult. I told my family and best 
friend and they have been very supportive although my sister couldn't deal 
at first and made jokes (which hurt) for awhile before finally accepting. I 
have been respected so much for coming out with something like that and 
people have really looked up to me because of the courage I have had in 
telling them something that difficult. I told two men that I dated but 
didn't end up sleeping with. I also told my current boyfriend (and love of 
my life). It was actually right before we slept together. He was very 
understanding and asked a lot of questions. He has been wonderful and very 
supportive! We don't use condoms and he is fine with it (he is negative and 
I am on birth control). It is our personal preference. I am in a yahoo group 
for women and they have all been wonderful and also respected me for my 
courage to talk about it. I then was inspired to start my own yahoo support 
group for young people with STD's (people who don't have one but someone 
they care about does can also hasn't taken off yet but I have 
hopes...if interested go to yahoo groups and the title of the group is Young 
People With STD's).

To everyone: Take each day one step at a time...keep you head up and smile!!