Name: Jellicle
Sex: Female
Age: 23
Occupation: Clinical Laboratory Scientist - MT(ASCP)

Year Infected: Unknown
Type: HSV-II by Western Blot
Diagnosed: January, 1999
OB's/year: 2 so far, but was on suppressive therapy for most of that time.

Prodromes: Usually swollen lymph nodes in the groin, especially on the matching side of my outbreak site. Occasionally shooting pains or burning sensations on the backs of my thighs.

Methods of Control: Took Valtrex suppressively (500mg/day) for most of last year (Feb '99 - Dec '99). Also have L-Lysine, echinacea, tea tree oil around, plus a stash of Valtrex, in case going off suppressives gets too tough.

Medical Experiences: Neutral. None of my doctors/ nurses/ OB/Gyn have
treated me badly for having Herpes, but they haven't been overly supportive. In most cases this is cool - I want this to be treated as matter-of-factly as any other chronic health condition, that requires consideration and an effort to control it, but not stigmatism (think diabetes, allergies, high blood pressure!). My only problem has been
getting them past the "are you having protected sex?" question, and onto issues that I am concerned about!

Telling: Few and far between! My doctor knows, my OB/Gyn knows, my fiance knows. I really don't think it's necessary to tell unless I'm somehow in a position to be passing it on.. but that's a personal choice.

My Story: Came down with my first OB last January.. I'd already figured out what it probably was before I went to the STD clinic. The doctor, in fact, called in one of the student nurses so she could see what a classic primary looked like! I was cool at the doctor's, but very very upset by the time I got to my consort's. I told him right off what it was, and he was wonderful about it. We've both had awful relationships before finding
this one, and he felt that was much more important than this virus.

I decided to go on suppressives - I was in the middle of my intern year, and under high stress! It also helped me get a handle on how I felt about having Herpes - it was hard to get a healthy attitude, despite my consort's support, when I kept having OBs or prodromes. I think it was a very good move, as I went through my internship, getting engaged, graduating December, I began cutting down the dose, had a small OB, and am now off suppressives entirely. I have a supply of Valtrex, l-lysine, and etc. but I'm hoping that my own immune system will keep things under control most of the time.

My fiance and I had discussed the protected sex issue and he'd decided that, in a nutshell, he'd be postponing the inevitable (kind of my attitude about his HSV-I cold sores), and he was not going to worry about it. I had, in fact, actually slept with him when the primary sore was just starting, thinking it was from a new pair of jeans that were a little tight. Still, this year, as I started to reduce the Valtrex dose, he had his first OB. Who knows who had it first, or who had it hiding in their system? Neither of us worry about it at this point!

He is starting his life with HSV-II a little differently than I did. His aunt, a highly educated professional, has had it for years, and he's dealt with me getting used to genital Herpes, and he's got a hatred of any medication. He's been in a little pain, but not very emotionally disturbed, and he's determined to let his body do all the work - he won't take anything at all.

Life goes on!
da Jellicle Cat