HSV Support

Herpes Support

If you need help with Herpes simplex virus (HSV), recommendation #1 is seeing a medical doctor.

If you’re already in the process of doing that, have already, or can’t do so just yet, we recommend joining herpes forums. The community is full of friendly, knowledgeable people who will be happy to provide you with any assistance they can.

How are you coping with your herpes diagnosis?

Post your comment below to give or gain help.

This Post Has 18 Comments
  1. So what exactly does herpes do? (I’m talking about herpes you catch from kissing.) Can you just tell me all information on it you know e.g. whats the worst case scenario, how long effects can last etc. Thanks!

    1. Hi Sierra,

      You can catch both cold sores and genital herpes from kissing (oral sex can = HSV type 1 genital herpes), but I’ll presume you are referring to facial herpes or cold sores since this is the most common type of herpes that can be spread from kissing.

      Herpes is a virus and doesn’t really “do” anything when it is not active. It becomes active every once in awhile, usually when a person gets stressed or their immune system is a little run down. When herpes is active it generally tends to show up as little blisters in the breakout area which can spread by direct contact, like kissing.

      When the symptoms are active we usually call it an “outbreak” or episode, these tend to last between a few days to a couple of weeks. You can heal these blisters faster with treatment. Like all viruses, sometimes there can be complications, such as neonatal herpes and encephalitis, but these are very rare.

      Mostly, herpes doesn’t interfere with living a normal, happy and healthy life. The most important thing is to get a clear perspective of what having herpes actually means.

      Check out our other articles for help and information, especially the Herpes simplex virus 101 article which covers pretty much all the basic facts you would want to know.

    2. I don’t know if I have herpes are not but I woukd love clarification on some this I have 2 break out with 2 months. It only happens when u shave I looked like pimples at first and now it’s raw chunks of skin is missing. Does anyone think this maybe herpes? I have pics if anyone would like more details

      1. Hi Cici,

        It really is impossible to even guess an answer to these types of questions without actually looking at the symptoms and / or taking samples for analysis.

        Please get to your Doctor or a local clinic as soon as you can (while you have the symptoms still there if you can) so that a professional can give you accurate advice and testing.

        Arm yourself with information if you want to, but don’t allow the opinions of people online or general descriptions of different skin conditions to cloud your judgement.

        Herpes generally develops as a cluster of tiny blisters, a cut, tear in the skin or as a sore. The trademark of herpes is that it tends to heal completely and then occasionally recur in the same spot (or close by), usually when the body is feeling a little run down.

        Hope this gives you some direction.

  2. I been on a medication acyclovir 400 mg 2 times a day one in the morning one at bed i haven’t seen or had a out break in 7 yrs also it has become not findable in my blood this medication saved my life recommend this to anyone who gets one like monthly this medication makes u feel normal like u don’t have it

    1. Hi Dee, thanks for sharing your story! Usually HSV is tested through a blood test that looks for the presence of antibodies against the virus. What type of testing did you have taken 7 years ago and then more recently? We’d love to learn more about your experience. Did you have any symptoms in the beginning? Really wonderful to hear that you are doing well!

  3. Hi,
    I have HSV 1 on genitals from last two years but havent had any blisters though, In the start it was like Painfull urination & burning sensation till three months which gradually settled down, I haven’t taken any antiviral so far & I m not married yet but I occasionally got some burning sensation & reddish on the Penis shaft not sure if this is the reactivation of the virus, I wanted to know that what is the possibility or chances for its transmission to my wife , Again I didn’t got any blister but I m much worried about the asymptomatic transmission , Do I need to go through a supressive threapy after marrriage, I checked with couple of doctors & they are saying just take valacyclovir for 15 days & you wont be passing it to your partner, Also I m CMV positive as well so what are the chances of both HSV1 & CMV transmission to my wife.

    1. Hi optimistic,

      Sorry about your situation. Some good news is that this type of herpes in this location (GHSV-1) is usually easier to control with fewer outbreaks and mild symptoms. This is because the Herpes simplex virus (HSV) types each have a preferred location; type 2 prefers the genitals while type 1 prefers the mouth area. If either of these virus types are in their non-preferred location they tend to cause less symptoms.

      I am not familiar with CMV or its transmission rates, but with Genital HSV-1 the rates of transmission are a lot less than Genital HSV-2. To my knowledge, there is not currently any concrete data on the rates of transmission for Genital HSV-1 except that we know that it is a lot less than Genital HSV-2 which you can read what these are in our Herpes simplex virus 101 article.

      Another snippet of information that will demonstrate again how much less this likelihood is is the chart below taken from Terri Warren’s Updated Herpes Handbook regarding days showing viral shedding:

      HSV 2 genital: 15-30% of days evaluated
      HSV 1 genital: 3-5% of days evaluated
      HSV 1 oral: 9-18% of days evaluated
      HSV 2 oral: 1% of days evaluated

      You may like to take a suppressive medication and/or supplement which may help to reduce herpes viral activity. While this is important, the most effective thing you can do to help prevent spreading herpes to your wife is actually communication – talk open and honestly about your condition and be upfront about any symptoms, no matter how subtle, so you can avoid contact when there is any sign of the virus being active.

      It is also prudent to abstain from contact with the affected area from the moment any signs are felt up until 7 days after the symptoms have gone away – as this is the high risk time for viral shedding.

      Just a couple of more things 🙂 If your wife has already contracted HSV-1 then she won’t be at risk of catching HSV-1 again, over 80% of the population fall into this category. Asking if she has ever had a cold sore in her life and then confirming with a blood test will help to determine this.

      Lastly, check out this awesome blog Love in the Time of Herpes regarding GHSV-1, it’s one of my faves!

      All the best optimistic, you’re off to a great start by adopting a positive attitude. Keep smiling.

  4. Poor Father,
    I just recently diagnosed with HSV 2 . I don’t know how it got to me. My wife doesnt had it and I didnt had sex from last 8 months as she is living in different country. We had a baby and now she is 6 months old. My wife dont know that I am effected with this disease. They are going to come to my place next month. I am deeply depressed now. how to lead a normal life with my kid and family,playing with her and do lot of things what every father will expect. Now finally decided to tell to my partner whether she will decide to stay with me with this disease or not. If she decided to stay with me assuming she is ready to get infect, what are the precautions to take care to raise my kid with out infecting my kid to this bloody infection. I hope lot of parents will be in the same situation and how they are dealing to raise their kids. Please I need some supportive suggestions guys. Hope Admedus will do better for all of us .

    1. Hi Poor Father,

      I’m sorry that you’re in this situation right now. Talking to other people about it can help tremendously. Have a read through the Honeycomb Herpes Support Website as a good place to start.

      You are already on the right track. Telling your wife is important and a first priority. Good communication will help you to prevent spreading the virus. In fact, it’s the single biggest thing you can do to help prevent spreading herpes.

      You have nothing to be ashamed of – herpes affects millions of people and does not discriminate. It also can pop up unexpectedly in a relationship and this doesn’t mean that any partner has been unfaithful. It would be good to be armed with this information when you have a talk with your wife. Some explanations for herpes popping up suddenly when both partners are faithful can be:

      – if there were symptoms a long time ago but they were too subtle to be noticed, or were brushed off as being nothing to worry about.
      – your immune system may be under more pressure than usual right now causing the symptoms of HSV to only manifest now. Typical examples are if you have recently been ill or particularly stressed.
      – if your wife has ever had cold sores in her life this is a type of herpes and can be spread to the genitals through oral sex, even if you never noticed a cold sore at the time.
      – you mentioned that your wife does not have the virus, has she been tested? Many people are asymptomatic carriers of herpes and show no symptoms but can still pass the virus on.

      Having herpes certainly doesn’t have to effect your daughter. Especially genital HSV2. The virus is spread by direct skin to skin contact with the infected area, so just take simple precautions (such as avoiding touching the area while you have a breakout and washing your hands if you do) and your chances of transmission of this type of herpes to a child are almost non-existent.

      If you need more encouragement, checkout all the happy stories of people who have HSV2 and are in peaceful loving relationships.

      Good luck Amazing Father 🙂 You’ve got this! And we are here for you in the moments that you are struggling.

  5. Hello I’m Kina, 29 n I have been a carrier for four years n for four years I’ve allowed this to have power over me, my life, my self-esteem n more. Seeing that there is others like me happy n living life helps give me hope. Today I take my power back.

  6. Nice site with many great sentiments. I definitely do hope people can live happy lives with HSV.
    That said, you argued that ignorance is not bliss, and you’re certainly right. So, why are we all so ignorant about the WHO’s estimates of HSV?

    That blog article will not be popular with some, but it is important to challenge a number of things in life — the WHO estimates can certainly be wrong by a wide margin. That won’t necessarily change this website in anyway BUT it is not responsible to cite the WHO’s estimates as fact when there is neither significant or accurate blood testing really in existence.

    Thank you for this site though. It’s pretty cool.

    1. Hi Matt,

      You make some good points. Have you tried contacting the WHO directly about this? I would be interested to hear what they have to say.

      PS Sorry about your other comment, it accidentally got wiped when we reverted a backup recently. Internet joys 🙂 Thanks for your contribution, it is valued.

  7. I just got diagnosed with genital herpes today and I’m taking it really hard. I feel damaged, unclean, unlovable… How could I ever be what someone wants with this disease? Constantly fearful of spreading it, the painful outbreak I have right now… I don’t know what to do .

    1. Hey Bryttany,

      You have come to the right place. I’m really sorry for your news.

      Know that all those things that you have said are just propaganda that we tell ourselves;

      1. No you are not damaged – this is a skin condition that doesn’t affect your health in any significant way unless you get some rare freakish complication. It matters none.

      2. You are not unclean – if you have sex (ever in your entire life) you can have herpes. It’s a normal thing that happens.

      3. You are not truly unlovable… are you kidding? Y.O.U. are adorable!!! Herpes doesn’t affect the essence and brilliance of who you are. In fact, powering through it can make you even more awesome once you can see clearly.

      For the pain, try oatmeal baths if you can and also apply zinc oxide cream (diaper rash cream), along with the treatment your Doctor has recommended.

      I think you will find the Herpes simplex 101 article will answer some of your questions.

      Big love X

  8. Hi, I found out I had hsv1 in April, and I’m not handling it well, I am trying, however.. Anyway, I have so many questions and concerns, I drive my Dr. Office crazy with phone calls! I’m just trying to make my mind understand how people live with it. After reading positive stories about having relationships with it, it gives me hope, but then here I am, my very first kiss just happened and possible relationship that might happen.- I’m still a little loss, trying to stay sane, & don’t know what to do. So far, mine are not bad at all, not even noticeable, like little white clusters on my lip, smaller than a sprinkle. My Dr. said I can kiss, but they have now spread a little since that appointment.. So, I’m still kinda worried that he can catch it??? I’ve made an appt for Monday to find out more. Sex is the last thing on my mind, but of course it’s going to come up. Say if they never get any worse this, what about oral on him?? I’m just confused, if the dr. Said I can kiss, then I’d assume that would be ok? I’m also taking valacyclovir, but not everyday bc he said I’ll get immune to em, & apparently this isn’t a breakout..? So, I’ll have em for when I do! Thank you! Oh, & I’m so frustrated bc as much as ive researched, I’m trying to do everything right, I’m already a very active a healthy 28 year old woman, but now I’m really trying to stay on top of it. I’m even taking garlic pills, bc I read that it helps with your immune system. I was about to take lysine, but I then read it wasn’t good for you. Anyway, any advice is much appreciated!

    1. Hi Positivepriss,

      Welcome. It’s natural to have heaps of questions and go a little crazy when herpes first pops up, and getting accurate information is the best way to move forward.

      Cold sores are most likely to spread when there is any sign of the virus, so you should void kissing at these times. Think tingling, redness, hardening of the skin, itching, and of course when there is a blister there.

      Once the sore has healed it is best to wait about a week afterwards before kissing, just to be on the safe side. This is because viral shedding is most prevalent just before, during and after an outbreak and herpes can sometimes spread from this shedding.

      Cold sores can be spread to the genitals from oral sex during a cold sore episode, this can cause Genital Herpes. So please be mindful of this and don’t give oral sex if you notice and signs of the virus.

      Most people (over 70% of adults) already get cold sores, so this portion of the population won’t be able not catch the virus twice. This is a blessing in disguise because it means that many of your potential partners can’t catch your cold sore. Check with your partner to see if they can ever remember having a cold sore. If they have, you won’t need to be quite as careful.

      Lysine is actually a relatively safe and natural way to help prevent cold sores. It’s an amino acid that you already get through food anyway, and when you take it in elevated levels in a supplement form it can help to balance out another amino acid which the herpes virus thrives on. It’s just another option that you have available to you.

      Good luck 🙂

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Editorial Staff

Herpes is not half as bad as it might seem (promise!) and it would be awesome if folks could realize this. The biggest challenge we all face is Perspective. We are here to help people adopt a more positive outlook toward this very common virus.

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