I was diagnosed with genital herpes when I was seventeen years old. It doesn't matter what I was doing, who I was doing it with or whether or not we used a condom (we did), because contracting genital herpes has nothing to do with being punished or having done something wrong, and everything to do with being exposed at the wrong place at the wrong time.

I spent the next year completely abstinent, terrified of being summarily rejected. The first person I had to tell did not reject me and instead was more upset with the person that gave it to me without having informed me of his status in advance. This was comforting and a sign of what was to come. Without boring you with the gory details, let's just say I had to tell more than three people and less than eight. Now that I am happily married for almost 10 years, my days of having to say, "I have herpes", are all but behind me.

Herpes outbreaks have been a significant issue for me for over 20 years now. I find my outbreaks to be the worst when I am under considerable stress or when I have abused my body with alcohol, cigarettes and/or lack of sleep. I am a supporter of the anti-viral medications (most common now being Valtrex) but believe people with herpes could look for less expensive herpes treatment options that benefit the whole body rather than placing a heavy load on the liver. Yoga and meditation have helped a lot.

I am proud (and probably a little bit lucky) to say that I have never passed the virus to any partner (remember: more than three, less than eight..) including my husband of 9 years. For years I used condoms to prevent herpes transmission but in order to have children and a bit laziness, we stopped several years ago. Instead I am now hyper aware of any early warning signs I might have of an oncoming outbreak. I will then completely abstain from any sexual activity until the outbreak is aborted or completely healed. Taking care of myself through diet, nutrition and exercise has dramatically reduced the number of outbreaks I have annually.

I have found that taking Vitamin C, zinc and a strong immune booster like beta glucans (from yeast) or oil of oregano can ward off any herpes outbreaks or at least minimize the duration or severity of any symptoms. Visualization has provided me great relief along with a sense of control that I am doing something to help my body keep my HSV2 virus dormant. I would encourage anyone with genital herpes to continue researching and gaining knowledge about the condition and not to let your fear of the unknown overtake the reality that it is possible to lead a happy and successful life with herpes.

Author's Bio: 

Do you have a hard time saying, "I have herpes"? Nanci Elliott has been studying genital herpes for over 20 years. Visit her blog where you can learn much more about herpes transmission and advice on telling someone you have herpes. You can also find Nanci Elliott on articles throughout the web as well as on several educational herpes websites.