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I just found out I have HSV-2 (September 2022) and I feel like my world is caving in on me. My s/o of 2 1/2 years has had it for about 10 years, but the way he explained it to me was that he only had one outbreak and originally tested negative, so he assumed he was fine and didn't think anything of it. He had his second outbreak about a month ago and that's when he told me. I feel all of the things they say you shouldn't feel; ashamed, embarassed, dirty, gross, tainted. I also feel betrayed, violated, and that my life will never be the same. I haven't had sex with my partner since his most recent outbreak, and I feel like it's going to be hard for me to be able to become comfortably intimate again. Like my trust has been broken, and that thought will always be in the back of my mind. I have previous sexual abuse trauma, so that definitely plays a role in why it's affecting me so much. This news has me feeling depressed and slightly suicidal. I don't want to deal with this, I wish I could wake up from this nightmare. Do these feelings ever really go away? Are there people who have been through this and gone on to have a successful relationship after their partner infected them? I'm clearly having a hard time coping, and help or advice is appreciated.

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I am so sorry you are experiencing this. Please know that everything will be okay. You are not bad or dirty. You are good and pure and wonderful. I am so sorry that your partner did not talk to you about his sexual health. He was proactive when he got tested after his initial outbreak, but because the test came back negative, it seems he believed this test and thought he had nothing to worry about. It is great that he talked to you about it when he got the second outbreak because it shows he does care about you, and recognized that perhaps the test result was wrong and this is something to get re-checked. I completely understand the feelings of guilt and sadness associated with herpes from a trauma perspective. When one has sexual trauma, then getting H can really bring back all the feelings of guilt and shame and embarrassment associated with the body and sexual actions. I am so sorry that you are experiencing this pain. Please know it gets better ❤️.  

Getting H makes us feel powerless, and it reminds us of how we felt powerless when we experienced trauma. Work through healing this; even enrolling in therapy is helpful. When you get overwhelmed or depressed, remind yourself you are feeling this way because it has reopened a wound from previous trauma. Getting H was really hard for me because of my past trauma. When I am overwhelmed by bad memories I say, "That was then. This is now. It's not happening now. It's over. And I'm okay."  It grounds me and re-centers my focus. Always remember that you are powerful. ❤️ 

You may or may not have H. Some people are with a partner with H for years and never contract it. Others may contract it and never know they did. Others may contract it and know they did. You can get an IgG and IgM bloodtest to see if you have H. If you have ever had a cold sore, you may test positive for most likely HSV-1. H is so common and many folks have it. It is nothing to be ashamed of! 

I know that depressing and self-harm related thoughts sometimes cross our minds when we are faced with stress. However, please know things will get better and the world needs you. You deserve to live ❤️. If you are ever facing a crisis or are concerned about your mental health or are thinking about suicide, please call  988 or 1-800-273-8255 to reach the National Suicide Hotline. You can also chat online at https://988lifeline.org/chat/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=web&utm_campaign=onebox

You will get through this! ❤️ I am here for you, and I am praying for you! 🙂 




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Hi there,

I also was just diagnosed with genital herpes this month. I understand the stories going through your mind especially with early sexual abuse (this happened to me too). When you are working so hard to fight those stories of feeling unlovable, feeling that the only way you can be loved is due to sex - getting herpes is like a cherry on top to a really bad narrative.

The guy who gave it to me dumped me after I very nicely told him (and did not blame him) only to find out through my antibody tests that it was absolutely recent and from him (I had not slept with anyone else in many months). So it's hypocritical rejection. And we used condoms too.

My victim mindset can't help but feel this is my fate. I had just started to feel comfortable with sex this year and feeling liberated and sexy, etc - then this.

Please know you are not alone. And that these stories and narratives we tell ourselves are not true. Our self-worth is much beyond this skin condition and I encourage you to dig into those things that bring you joy.

Herpes does not cause cancer. It is not dangerous. It's an annoyance. I found it helpful to keep this perspective in mind. We all will deal with health issues at some point in life - this one is not physically damaging, just psychologically. The good news is that we can change the way our minds think about this. Definitely seek therapy as I think it's a great outlet and professionals will help you work through the transition.

My friends who have gotten hsv said their first 6 months were rough mentally, but eventually they let go and it's not a big deal anymore. There are plenty of successful relationships ahead of you.

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