Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Support groups for peeps with herpes

A.k.a. "Herpeeps!" Thanks, Rajah. ;)

I never thought I would be the kind of person who needed a support group. But I am so over giving a crap about what kind of person I thought I'd be, or have turned out to be, or am. Blah blah blah. Who cares.

Despite the minimal effect having type 1 will most likely have on me, I went to a herpes support group on Tuesday night, to hear people's stories and to tell my own.

And it was a lot of fun, and most importantly, there were those cute little rolled up sandwiches, fresh fruit salad, and great brownies. Yum.

It's great to be around other people who have GHSV and to be able to talk about it out in the open. There were literally all ages and types in attendance, further emphasizing the fact that normal people of all walks of life get this virus. There was an adorable college aged couple, professionals who had come straight from work, a few retirees, and even a cute boy wearing Chucks who must have gotten spooked and took off after the first part of the meeting. (damn!)

Was the meeting run perfectly? No. There is, as with most things, room for improvement. But these people are volunteers, and bless their hearts for doing it at all. I'm just grateful that they are doing it, and grateful that the meetings are there for those who want to take advantage of them.

It's freeing to be talking about it with others who can relate. It was mostly GHSV2 but there were a few other GHSV1 as well. (The only person who has had a type 1 recurrence had one 5 years after her primary, and it's been 5 years since that one! yipeee!) We shared stories, laughed, cried (someone in the other group circle did, anyway), answered questions for one another... they pretty much had to drag us out of there at 10 o'clock.

I bought a book about GHSV, took a brownie for the road, and chatted with a new friend for a while outside before leaving. Good times at herpes meetings, I'm tellin' ya.

For info on your local chapter, call the national herpes hotline at 919-361-8488.

A final thought - If all of the people in LA who have genital herpes were at the meeting, there would have literally been millions of people there, right? With the right PR, this could be the hottest meat market in the city.

Just sayin.'


Anonymous said...

Hello SilverLining, I just discovered your blog today, and I am so grateful that you decided to start this blog. My story mirrors yours (sort of), I was diagnosed with genital herpes 6 years ago, it was quite a emotional trauma (same as you described it, my life as I knew it was over). Back then the doctor told me it was just herpes, and that it didn't matter which type I had when I asked about it (this was in 2003 at a sexual health clinic in a big metropolitan city!). A month ago (in 2009!), after insisting on having the blood test type (which was starting to be more readily available in labs here), I tested neg for type 2, positive for type 1. I think I was more puzzled than glad when I received the news, as for the last 6 years I had lived thinking I had type 2 (as you said it, most people (including doctors) associate GH with type 2). I was also quite mad about this. 6 years of my life, where celibacy was a big part of it (I had only one long term relationship, where the guy was really understanding), but besides this guy, I refused to date, preferred not to get hurt by being rejected). I am in my mid-thirties, beautiful, with a master degree and a wonderful job, nobody understood why I was single. After my long term relationship ended last year, after 6 months or so, I discovered dating websites for people who had GH (back in 2003, I only looked at one site, but there wasn't that much people on it, and it meant I might have to move to Alaska to be with the guy...), anyway, I corresponded with a few guys, even met one (but the attraction wasn't there for me), then it dawned on me that I didn't exactly know which type I have. Hence me insisting on the blood test.

In six years, I had only experienced one outbreak (and that was after 5 years with it), and strangely enough it was brought on by the conversation I had with a guy (not even a friend and I was not involved with him, and not giving him the "talk"), he was telling the story of his friend who had been told by his ex. that she had herpes, and he was completely panicked, and this guy was complaining about this girl, and then when I told him that herpes 1 out of 4 has it, and even more 60% have type 1, and he might just probably have it, he acted in complete denial (that no of course he doesn't have it, not even cold sores, which might be the case, he could be part of the lucky few). But his childish reaction triggered such a negative emotion on my part (I couldn't believe how some people are so uneducated about this) that the next morning, I had my first recurrence ever. Almost like it was psychosomatic.

Overall, after much soul-searching and info searching, I know that having type 1 or type 2 is not not the end of the world. I would gladly date someone with type 2, who is open about it (honesty is just so attractive!), and if he is the real deal, then why not, love is hard enough to find with or without this.

Even if I am going through some anger regarding the fact that all the people with cold sores (or type 1 with no apparent cold sores) don't have to tell their partners up front, while people with GH type 1 are morally obliged to tell. I do intend to tell, as I value integrity and honesty, but I still think it is unfair. Half of my friends have cold sores, and it's not even an issue in dating. Finally, I am curious to know success stories of telling when you have GH type 1. Thank you again for your blog!

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for this website!

I have a question. I have herpes 1 and it appears on my panty line.

What are the odds that I transmit the virus, if we use a condom and I do not have any symptoms.

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Most of the people need support groups because we want to share our problem with people that they have the same problem or they are in a similar situation.

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