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Your girlfriend told you she’s tested positive with herpes and is having an outbreak, what do you do?

You’re in a committed relationship. She has never had an outbreak before.

View Reddit by joy010294View Source


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  1. As someone who’s lived with gental herpes for quite a few years now (got it when I was 17 from the 2nd girl I ever slept with). Not that big of a deal. I don’t take any meds and haven’t had an outbreak in like 5 years. But support her the stigma is strong and go and get her some Valtrex. It’s mostly for you if you don’t already have it

  2. As someone who has herpes (HSV 1) and has had it since I was an infant I’d like to share a few things:

    1. Herpes isn’t strictly transmitted sexually. My mother transmitted it to me as an infant through breastfeeding. You can also absolutely get it from sharing drinks with someone having an outbreak. And FYI the outbreak is most contagious 1-2 days prior to the appearance of cold sores.

    2. Anywhere from 50-80% of Americans have HSV 1. There is no real way to know how many have it because more than 50% of the people who have it never have an outbreak.

    3. Another reason no one is sure how many Americans have it is because we do not test for it (or HSV 2) anymore in a standard STI panel. It was taken out of the testing panel years ago. You have to literally ask to be tested for it if you go for an STI test, and most people don’t ask. Also even if you do ask often the doctor will ask if you’ve had cold sore outbreak recently and if you say no they will share these stats and usually will recommend against testing because the mental stress and anguish doesn’t outweigh trying to stop it from spreading being it doesn’t cause any serious health issues in people (as long as you aren’t under 3 years old).

    4. The stigma behind HSV and other STIs in the US is surreal. And it is because of this stigma that most people, ESPECIALLY YOUNG PEOPLE, do not get regularly tested for STIs. This link has stats regarding [millennial sexual behavior](

    5. At the end of the day if you’ve ever kissed more than 1 other person (especially if you’ve had sex with more than 1 person) you have more than likely been exposed to HSV or you probably even have it already but don’t know it. Also HSV-1 doesn’t strictly lead to oral herpes. Although less common, It can present in genitalia as well.

    So to answer your question being it’s a committed relationship I would be there for her if she was freaking out, share this information with her, go get a script for Valtrex, and realize I probably have been exposed before or I already have it anyway.

  3. My ex of 5 years had the oral one, I never had it, wigged out a few times and got tests done by my doctor… was negative for hsv, but apparently positive for being a hypochondriac though ha. Just be cautious

  4. disclaimer–I’m a woman, but my first herpes outbreak was nearly 5 years after the last time I had intercourse. I was celibate, no sexual contact, and it came out of nowhere. I don’t know if my experience was rare or not, but I just want you to know it can happen without recently contracting it.

  5. Not give a fuck because statistically 1 in 4 people have herpes simplex 2. Most never develope symptoms, and those that do typically develope them long after contracting the virus. It literally means nothing.

  6. I‘ve been this girlfriend and I never had herpes before. He accused me of cheating and wasn‘t here for me when I was ill. fun fact: He had it a few months before me and claimed the virus can‘t come from him.

  7. I got oral herpes 7+ years ago unexpectedly from either sharing a water bottle or something similar. I struggled to manage my cold sores using drug store creams. The cold sores didn’t get worse, but the cream wouldn’t make an outbreak disappear so I would end up spreading it elsewhere and get a new outbreak every week.

    Online I randomly read that the vitamin L-Lysine taken orally in certain doses can make an outbreak go away rather easily when taken early on. I decided to give it a try, not expecting much. I have never purchased another cream since, have saved tons of money and have peace of mind. If I take 3000 mg the first day I notice a cold sore & 1000 mg on day 2-3 it usually disappears within a day or so.

    While I understand your girlfriend has a different strain of herpes, I would look into whether this is of any use. If not, at least it may benefit some of the other commenters who also have oral herpes. Obviously if the prescription Valtrex works well enough then you are all set.

    This is one of the few examples where trying something that had little evidence other than a few anecdotes actually turned out to be incredibly more effective than the recommended/popular treatment.

    I definitely cried when I learned I had herpes but once I found a way to effectively manage my symptoms I never worried much about it since.

  8. I know this sounds crazy, but I really don’t think it would bother me too much. It’s one of those things that’s just not in my control. I’d accept it, then move on and get on meds. Just gotta keep L-I-V-I-N 🤠

  9. Get tested. Help her get on some Valtrex. That stuff can really screw her systems up beyond just the sores.

    Get yourself tested. Then figure out how committed you want this ltr committed relationship to be.

  10. That’s tough… if she cheated, I’d leave her. No doubt in my mind.

    Get tested, don’t have sex with her during the outbreak. Luckily, they can be treated and only occur on outbreaks so it’s not something that’s always full blown herpes.

    Def get tested though. And if she did cheat, you deserve better.

  11. This just happened to me. I had left my ex 2 years prior and stayed single, then finals came around and I was stressed. I had a painful breakout on my lip. My ex and I were together for 9 years. So it’s possible I could have been asymptomatic for 11 years or maybe he cheated during the end of our relationship and i was asymptomatic for at least 2 years. So, it’s possible. It’s even possible that you have been asymptomatic for years as well, and this is her initial breakout. Don’t sweat it herpes is extremely common now. About one in 6 adults have hsv2 and about 50 percent have hsv1.

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