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I recently found out I was infected with hsv2 about 4 months ago. Being 23 and now starting in life, especially sexually, having herpes can seem like the end of your world.

I started seeing a guy that I really like and I decided to get tested. Unfortunately, we did this backwards. We had unprotected sex thinking we were both clean in health. I mean, there were no physical signs. I went a few weeks later to get tested. Yup... you know the rest. My life has been downhill from there. One, I have no idea how/when I got infected. Was it him? Did I get it from someone else on one of my stupid nightouts? I'll never know. But I feel as though I gave it to him. I've had numerous sexual partners, I'm no saint. Sure I've used condoms but anything could've happened.

I've been depressed more than ever. Of course I disclosed my status to him as soon as i found out. I recently moved to another country, so I sent him a text message because I was scared shitless to tell him via skype or even a call. I was such a coward. I knew what his reaction would've been so I took the easy way out. He ignored me for a few weeks but now he talks to me every now and then. He still refuses to get tested though. Maybe he's in denial. I told him I was going back to his neck of the woods in a few weeks and he accepted to meet me to talk. Maybe there is potential for us to start up again but it all depends on how he feels when he sees me. To be honest, I'm scared. Not even sure I want to go.

During these last few months, I got my first outbreak, I swore my heart dropped. Or atleast, what I thought was my first. Because now I'm more vigilent down there more than ever. My mind was racing. I had to lay down and take a minute. As an overthinker, it was 2x worse the way my mind was racing. I'm a 2nd-year med student, I consider myself averagely pretty, great personality... How can I be myself now that I have an incurable STD?... And disclose all of this to my family and/or potential boyfriend(s)? My self-esteem has completely gone through the door. I told two of my closest girlfriends about my current predicament. They said all the right things but they don't get it. My choices, my world... just became so much more limited. So I started googling and I found this great site. Real people with real experiences and I must say I feel a bit better reading some of these stories. You are all so brave. I really hope I can go back to that point in my life where I'm once again confident. Kinda hard to do in this stigma world we live in. You know, I beat myself up every day. I'm a future doctor for crying out loud. How did I let this happen to me? I'm a paradox.

I don't know. I just needed to put my thoughts down. Thanks for reading if you've gotten this far.

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  • 1 month later...

Nicola, trust me your world has not ended.  But I can sympathize with you in that we've all been in your shoes and felt the same way.  Some things to consider:

  • I assume you had a blood test. Were you pos for HSV 1 or HSV2?  If you had no outbreaks prior maybe the test was positive for HSV1 which could just be from cold sores.
  • If you've only just had your first outbreak, maybe HE gave it to YOU?  (Wonder why he didn't want to get tested?).  Having said that, it really doesn't matter because you both made the choice to take the risk--as we all have, no judgement implied. 
  • Yes your world is now limited and that's a good thing.  You'll now have relationships with men who won't become a freaking basket case because of the small chance they could get an occasional, annoying skin rash which resolves quickly with prompt treatment. 
  • Consider that everyone has something they're ashamed of and would rather keep secret.  Some live high but have enormous debt, others have problems with substance abuse, or abortions, or gambling problems, or a troublesome family member, or a past relationship they'd like to hide or, or, or...the list is endless.  Our "something" is H.  Big deal (rolling eyes). Keep it in perspective--it's a rash.  A rash you got by having sex--something MOST people do unless they're extremely unlucky.  Anyone who judges you for this is unworthy of your friendship. Once YOU see it is the small thing as it is, others will too.  If we buy into the stigma, we perpetuate it thereby doing a horrible disservice to ourselves and others.

Make no mistake, a man may reject you because of H, but people get rejected all the time for all sorts of reasons.  Buuutt, there are good men out there who are sensible, and can look at the whole picture of you--pretty, smart, fun--and understand that H is only a little bitty part of your life and on balance you're freaking awesome. 

Be kind to yourself nicola12, and know you're going to be better than okay.  You'll develop the courage and honestly and vulnerability that good men prize. They're out there, trust me. 

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One thing you can do is get proactive about it. Many people find that even just going through the motions of doing something, anything, that helps them feel like they are doing something to address their anxiety about this issue helps to make them feel more in control, and for good reason: the more you know about this condition, the less you're going to worry about it and the faster you can get on with life (including sex and dating). Below is something of a barrage of links to information that might help. You're a med student, so some of this you will already know, but since it's the stigma that really gets to people, you might still inf this useful. 

This website, the one we're in, has a bunch of stuff you might find helpful here (they cost money):  https://herpeslife.com/opportunity2/index.html

There's also these helpful handouts here (they are free): https://herpesopportunity.com/free-ebook-signup.html?sc=welcomepage


Regarding disclosing, I like this guy's method, particularly if you are HSV 1: https://honeycomb.click/topic/49570-how-i-give-the-talk/?page=1

Also see these two helpful sites:

https://hsvblog.org/herpes-simplex-virus-101/

and

http://www.annathemag.com/home/2016/7/7/herpes-you-probably-already-have-it-and-its-no-big-deal

The more educated you get about this, the better you will feel; so start reading!

Personally, I'm a big proponent of the "it's not a big deal" approach. For a lot of people, this diagnosis is the beginning of a whole journey of self-discovery and acceptance. A lot of this website is geared toward that reaction. If you find yourself really upset by your diagnosis, I think that the self-help books Adrial has on this website are going to be a game changer for you. 

For me, however, I kind of fall more into this approach: https://www.bolde.com/herpes-actually-not-big-deal/

And you might find these helpful as well:

https://www.vice.com/en_ca/article/8gka95/lets-not-make-such-a-big-deal-about-genital-herpes

https://www.cosmopolitan.com/sex-love/news/a48497/herpes-is-not-a-sexual-death-sentence/

These were all things that I found useful, so I hope they can help other people as well. If and when you feel like you are starting to get a handle on things (4 months is still pretty raw for a lot of people) please come back and let someone like yourself know there is light on the other side of the tunnel! 

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@nicola12 I have a freaking MD and here I am . Was safe as I thought I could be my whole 44 years of life . Im reeling too - especially since it feels contradictory how could I get it do easily but it be so hard to pass?! 

I understand the limited choices feeling too - im right there with you . This forum is helping but I have a knot in my stomach every day .

Youre not alone 🙂 

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