Living with Herpes

by Chiara
(United States)

I contracted herpes four years ago at the age of 18. I had only been with one man in my life. After being sexually active for several months, we were visiting some family of his when I fell ill.

I had chills, sweats, nausea.. your run of the mill flu-like symptoms. On top of that, my genital area was stingy and raw with white bumps. My boyfriend drove me down to the clinic and I was almost immediately diagnosed with herpes.

I started to sob uncontrollably and the doctor kept telling me that it could have happened to anyone. I kept telling myself, "BUT WHY THE HELL DID IT HAPPEN TO ME?!" Most of all, I just wanted to crawl into a hole and die. Growing up with Christian values, I was told that only sluts and sinners contracted STDs. I felt ugly, immoral, and disgusting. My boyfriend denied that it was him who gave me an STD. For months, even years I've been furious at him.

I'm still in the healing process but I'm a lot better than I was before. For months, I would cry myself to sleep. But I'd like to think that because of this, I'm a stronger person. I'm more understanding, compassionate, and full of conviction. This site helps me a lot and I know it'll help others too.

To any person new to reading this:

DO NOT BLAME YOURSELF FOR THIS. What the doctors say is true: it could happen to ANYONE. We're just the lucky ones who got blessed. You are still beautiful and lovely as ever. You deserve to be loved and cared for. Also, I've forgiven my boyfriend (the forgiveness wasn't for him but mostly for myself). He's been there for me through it all (even the worst parts).

I love you.


Dear Chiara,

Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful story with us! We're glad that you've found helpful to your recovery. You are indeed an inspiration to others with this condition.

All the best,



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