Age : 22
Sex : F
Year Infected: July 1999
Type: HSV2 (I think, but I am not sure)
Prodomes: fatigue, a "stinging" itch, redness, a feeling on my upper legs
like if I got sunburned there, sometimes unusual discharge
I was 18.5 years old when I got infected by my first boyfriend. About ten
months into the relationship we went on vacation together and had
unprotected sex. Only three days later I started showing symptoms. I got
very dizzy and tired at first, and blamed it on the hot weather. I also
thought I was coming down with a bladder infection, as it burned a little
when I urinated.I started to suspect something was really wrong when I started to get very
watery discharge.Two days after I got home, urinating became incredibly painful as I started
to develop blisters. My boyfriend called me and told me he thought I should
know that he had an outbreak of cold sores on his mouth. I immediately felt
that it had to do with what was going on with me genitally, and he got
irritated when I expressed my thoughts. I went to the doctor right away and
soon after I was diagnosed with a primary case of genital herpes.
It was terrible. I ended up in hospital eventually because I couldn't
urinate anymore -it was too painful- and they had to catheterize me through
my tummy to help me out. I lost 10 pounds and it took me 5 to 6 weeks to get
better. My now ex-boyfriend broke up with me a week after I got out of the
hospital. He said he couldn't handle it. Emotionally that was a harder blow
to deal with than my infection with herpes.
Well, it wasn't bad but it wasn't perfect either. My own doctor visually
diagnosed me and told me that medication for the outbreak wouldn't help
anymore because the blisters were already there. In other words: my body had
to pull through this on its own, according to him. He also didn't talk to me
a whole lot about what exactly herpes was. He told me it was a sexually
transmitted viral infection that would never go away anymore and that in
time I wouldn't have much physical problems with it.
He gave me 2 sheets with very little info, and that was it. He WAS very
helpful and caring when I needed to go to the ER. His earlier behaviour was
simply caused by the fact that he didn't know a whole lot about herpes. In
hospital I was assisted by a gyno who admitted -during a follow-up two
months later- that I knew more about herpes than he did (in the meantime I
had been researching a lot).
At this point medical care is great. My home physician prescribes me
suppressive therapy without much trouble. We do discuss it, but he trusts my
knowledge and personal experiences.
Soon I will ask him to type-test me as I am still not sure what type I have.
After my primary the doctors told me I had type 2, but I believe they have
only cultured me and I suspect that they assumed that I have 2 because it's
genital. Well, I know for sure my ex has oral herpes. During our vacation he
did experience some irritation on his penis, so it could also be that he has
type 2. Up until now though, I am still not sure what type I have. I hope to
find out soon.
This is still very hard for me...In the last year I have been very open to
friends. About 10 people close to me know about it now and they are very
sympathetic and supportive. They have listened to me a lot and also asked me
lots of questions. Only 2 people knew what herpes was, so go figure :)
Telling friends is way different however than telling someone you are going
to share your bed with.
Since my diagnosis, I have told 2 men. The first one made no problem of it
at all. A good friend of him had it, so he was already quite informed and
hasn't been scared one minute. We had a wonderful love life together and he's
never been infected. Suppressive therapy was our only precaution.
The second time I told a guy is almost 1 year ago. And that didn't turn out
well. I must add though that the situation wasn't ideal. He just broke up
with his long term girlfriend and soon after he became involved with me. It
all went TOO fast between us. Sex included. When I told him he seemed
accepting at first. He still wanted to sleep with me, and we did. But
shortly after (2 days later) he went back to his girlfriend.
This situation really broke my heart, because I really liked him and wanted
him and I to work out. I also felt that genital herpes played a big part in
how it all went. Now I've learned that it didn't. It did play a part, but
not the leading one.
After feeling sad and very worried for about 8 months, I finally discovered
that I had to learn a lot about myself and my own judgement. I misjudged the
situation and the particular guy. And I have done that before, so it was
about time for some self-reflection :)
I feel quite good and confident about myself right now. I am still scared of
rejection, sure, and it would still hurt me if it happens again. But I know
I'll be fine eventually. I really do believe that herpes works as a filter:
if someone can't look through this virus, it wouldn't be the right person
Love is important in life, but there are plenty of other things that can
make a person happy. I have decided that I want to do all the things in life
that I enjoy, and I'll try to take life as it comes.