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Lost and scared with herpes

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I am an 18 year old girl and in the first 2 months of my college experience and absolutely loving it, until the other day. After having sex with a new guy that I am truly starting to have feelings for, I woke up the next morning with a lot of itching. thinking it was just tearing, I didn't think twice about the possibility of an STD until the bumps starting showing up. I starting searching on google symptoms and pictures and practically sprinted to the student health center.


There they tested me for STDs but i have another 2 days until the tests come back. The doctor believed it was simply an allergic reaction to a lubricant, however more symptoms have been appearing that makes me think, both i and the doctor were trying to convince myself that it wasn't herpes. I am so unbelievably scared, and in a lot of pain. (the medications they prescribed for my "allergic reaction" have done nothing but make it worse. Its spreading more, and the stinging and swollen glands hasn't subsided. Even worse, the guy started having flu-like symptoms and is feeling really sick. I can only hope that he hasn't contracted it from me, or even the other way around.


I have so many emotions going on, I can't even imagine telling my family. I feel so guilty and scared that I've just ruined my life. I really don't want to have this disease but after all my researching I'm starting to come to the conclusion that i have it, before i even find out. I don't have anyone to talk to because i don't want it to get out, fearing the stigma of being a "Whore" with STD's. I am so scared.

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dear Vanessa, i hear what you're going through, i understand and sincerely hope that those results come back negative. i hear your anxiety and fear and wish i could do something more to remedy such intense emotions. all i can offer for now is a bit of wisdom: should you end up with (h), you're not a "whore with stds". if you read some of the entries here, you will quickly discover that all kinds of people, from all walks of life, who are not necessarily what society labels as "promiscuous" acquired the herpes simplex virus through someone they were just dating who didn't know was infected in the first place. regretfully, as a society, we have so many hang ups about sex that (h) a simple skin virus has garnered so much stigma. that we as people with HSV are "dirty whores" is far, very far, from the truth. we are just sexual beings who caught a skin virus which half the US population has. what matters right now, is that you do whatever is possible to love yourself, as opposed to berating yourself. be gentle with yourself; all is not lost.


here is a link to a cool blog i ask potential sex partners to visit (before i ask them into my bed)




be well Vanessa!

best of luck to you :)


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Yes Vanessa...be gentle with yourself and while it's hard not to feel scared right now..you will be ok. I felt every word you wrote....it could have been me writing those same words when I had my first episode this time last year. And now a year later...I feel so different. I still have sad times with the same feelings but they are so small now compared to then...I read my diary on the weekend and have come so far in one year.


Write a diary and when you look back on it you will see how much you have grown in a years time. H has helped me live more honestly with myself and others, made me more vulnerable and helped me form deeper connections with others and has make me get out and enjoy life and push myself to try new things and meet new people.


The only stigma is what you put on it...you have the opportunity to be a light for others and change the way people think. You haven't ruined your life honey...you have just joined an exclusive club of awesome people who happen to have a skin condition. Its annoying and is a challenge sometimes, it sometimes makes us sad and angry...but just feel it and let it go...you really are going to be ok and as for both of you getting it...be kind to each other with no blame. That emotional rollercoaster will slow down with time...its normal and passes. Eat healthy, think positively (even if its an effort) and nuture yourself. If you need to vent or ask questions we are here :-) Big hug x

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So heres just an update for the last few days. Have to vent sorry!


I was told i do have herpes, i was put on valacyclovir and everything is starting to get a small bit better, still painfully waddling around :( I finally told my family, id say that has been the hardest part of it all. Its difficult hearing the pain and disappointment in my parents voice as i explained to them everything thats happened. My partner was seen by a doctor today and was diagnosed with both HSV1 and HSV2, so its easy to say that we both had a nice emotional upset together today. Its been hard, i feel really emotional about this entire thing, I cry really easily. Pathetic, i know. But i have been trying to remain optimistic, life could be a lot worse, and one disease isn't going to stop me from the life I've want to live. Ive been doing a lot more research than sleeping lately, and I've come up with a few things that might help? Taking echinacea for your immune system, L-Lysine supplements and avoiding foods with high levels of the amino acid arginine. Have you guys tried any of this, and has it helped at all?


I also really appreciate the support and advice Lelani and Carlos, the link to the website helped calm me down and put things into perspective that we aren't alone!

Thank you guys.

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  • 1 month later...

Hi, only tell the people you feel comfortable with. For me, I went right to my mother. I knew she wouldn't judge me. She has supported me through my entire first week of knowing about genital herpes. I would like to tell others, yet I just want to live as though I don't have it...so that means that I am not going to be telling anyone else...(my b/f knows and a 2 friends) that's it.

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"Live as though I don't have it" gets me curious about your relationship to having herpes ... The truth is that you DO have it. But that doesn't mean you have to be sad/angry/negative about having it. There's a thin line between perceived acceptance and actual denial. You can still live a truly fulfilling and happy life AND know that you have herpes. Just wanted to throw that out there. The point of the herpes opportunity is not to live as though something ISN'T so. It's living from what IS so fully and completely.

Note: This is for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute medical advice or diagnosis.
I'm not a medical professional, so please take this as friendly peer support. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

hi Vanessa, i can relate to you by being a young woman getting this STD, i was only 16 when i got it. i was terrified, all i did was cry. im telling you, from my experience it taught me an incredible amount of things, 1. to learn how to never stop loving myself, but only more 2. to appreciate life and that we could of gotten something worse 3. be wiser with who we date and could trust, it could lead to a great relationship and many more things it has taught me. but yes its hard, its scary, its depressing, herpes causes a lot of negative feelings, thats at first when it just happens, eventually it subsides a bit.. it takes time, and i know your young so the constant thought is running through your head on whose going to want to be with you, or if the word gets around, people around our age dont get it and only view it as "dirty" but thats not always the case, people dont look at the bigger picture of it.. people are raped, or dont know if they even have it, or someone didnt tell them they had it and just pursued having sex anyways and giving it to someone innocent. .. theres so many reasons as to why things like this happen. but just dont hate yourself or feel dirty or any of that kind of bullshit because in reality your so much more. never take less than what you deserve from somebody. and by the way dont feel guilty and dont feel like your life is ruined. your still living and breathing and thats what matters, you will find someone who looks within you deeper than what you caught. my heart goes out to you. and im always here to talk xo.

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