It's Truly Not The End

by Kate

I am a 20 year old female diagnosed with HSV-2 about a year ago. I had been in a 3 year relationship prior to acquiring the disease. It was a serious/intimate relationship, us being each other’s firsts, with zero STD's.

Being young I had felt as though I needed to explore dating. I abandoned my relationship of 3 years for a "new exciting" one. I had jumped into my next relationship very quickly. I had asked my new boyfriend if he had a large sexual past, his answer being "yes" and my next question being whether or not he had any STD's. He then showed me test results indicating negative for all STD's from 6 months prior to our first intimate encounters. That had been enough information for me to feel comfortable towards pursuing a sexual relationship with him.

One week after having slept with him I had felt extremely sick, painful urination, and light pain in the genital region. It had never crossed my mind that these symptoms were those of genital herpes. I set an appointment with my local family health services. As soon as the doctor had examined me, she had told me it was genital herpes. I was shocked!

The doctor had stepped out of the room and her words played in my head "genital herpes". I had no idea what this would entail to my life mainly because I didn't know what the disease truly was. As I was sitting on the bench I had turned my head and saw
a poster on the different types of STD's. I glanced over herpes and the first thing that caught my eye was "no cure, lifelong", those words were enough to make me pass out.

The doctor and a nurse woke me up; I had so many questions that felt as though they could never be answered. Once I had left the office, I immediately called my boyfriend and broke the news. The news was a major shock to him as well. We had learned that between receiving his test results and our first sexual encounter he had acquired HSV 1, thus giving me HSV 2 through oral sex.

I was scared and felt alone. I felt like I didn't deserve the hand I was given because I had only 1 other sexual partner. But the honesty behind that is everything happens for a reason and that life does not end from something like an STD. At first, learning you have acquired herpes can be the scariest news, but it is up to you to understand that you are so much more than a disease, you are a person who can turn this negative thing into a positive.

For example: spread the awareness of safe sex to other individuals, make sure people are aware of these diseases, and console those who are in similar situations. By being a more positive/helpful individual you are allowing herpes to change you for the better. And love and intimacy will come with your positive life style.

Thank you for reading my story.

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