Name: Jan
Age: 38
Sex: female
Occupation: Network Analyst
Type: below the waist. haven't had it typed, but it behaves like hsv2
Year Infected: about 1990
OB's per yr: 3-4 a year until recently (more under my storybelow)

Prodromes: Outbreaks on my butt, prodrome with a terrible tingling, itch.
Ones in the vaginal area are preceded by needle-like pain and swelling in
the lymph nodes in my groin.

Method of Control: My methods of control seems to be changing (as do my
ob's) with time. I'm a firm believer in good nutrition, exercise, and
minimizing stress. Lately have resorted to l-lysine supplements (1,000
milligrams 3 x/day) and famvir (250 mg, 2 x/day).

My Story: The man who was to become my husband told me, not before we had
sex, but early in the relationship that his doc told him a sore he had
looked like herpes. I was old enough to know better, but disregarded the
information to the extent that I didn't even recall it 2 years later when I
was diagnosed. Then it took me years to deal with it. I didn't deal with
it much while I was married. It was actually something my (now ex) husband
and I started to work through as we were going through the divorce. It's
only since I've been dating, two years after my divorce, that I've been
forced to deal with the issue. I couldn't expect a potential partner to
deal with it if I couldn't deal with it myself. About the same time as I
became sexually active again, I also started having almost constant ob's.
I also started having major trouble with my knees. I initially thought
that the sexual activity after an extended period of abstinence coupled
with the stress from my knee surgery was triggering the ob's. Now they're
looking at a possible infection of some type causing the inflammation in my
knees and I'm wondering if the stress to my immune system from that could
be giving the herpes a foothold. Who knows??? Still trying to find the
solution to the puzzle.

Medical Experiences: My initial ob was on my butt, and the doctor just
looked at it and said it looked like herpes. If it responded to the
acyclovir cream, then it probably was. End of story. No culture, no
advice, nothing. That was my only medical experience until recently when
the ob's got so bad I couldn't handle them any more. My GP now doesn't
seem to know a lot about the disease. In fact, his PA was in the military
and I heard the doc asking the PA for advice when we were first discussing
treatment! But he's learning with me, will listen to what I have to say,
and isn't afraid to consult references with me in the examination room so
we can come to an agreement. I think taking an active role in your health
management is a must, not only as it relates to herpes, but in all aspects
of your health. So if you can't talk to and work with your doctor, find
one you can.

Telling: Have only gone through this once, and it was one of the hardest
things I've ever had to do. I believe it will be easier next time, though.
I just told him calmly what the situation was, what the possible risks
were, gave him as much information as I could, then gave him time to think
about it. I deliberately picked a time that there wasn't already sexual
tension in the air to cloud the issue. This time I didn't tell before the
first sexual encounter which I regret (although we did use condoms at my
insistence). I think a person has a right to make an informed decision
before risking infection. He thanked me for telling him, thanked me for
doing what I had to protect him so far, and said it wouldn't make any
difference in the way he felt about me. What a sweety!