Name: Elisa
Sex: Female
Age: 21
Occupation: Student/ acquiring a degree in education
Year infected: 01/01/00
OB's per year- so far two, the primary was a nightmare- this recent one I'm sure surfaced because of stress.

Methods of control: Well actually, my gynecologist is just awful. He examined me, and took an excruciating scraping of the lesions which he said would "not be painful in the least." Then he casually was like....well it might be herpes, might not. He prescribed me denivir cream....and lidocaine only upon my insistence. Denivir or perclovir cream, after reading more about it, is supposed to be used for oral herpes not gh. After an entire week of waiting to hear the results of my tests, I became increasingly impatient and called the ob/gyn's office. His secretary, says...oh well the Dr. says I can give you your results over the phone....so I am optimistically thinking that this must be good if they'll hand this info out over the phone... the idiot nurse comes back./..smacking her gum.."yep, you're positive" After that I remember sitting in the shower and crying for hours feeling like a contaminated disgusting leper.

My life has been totally different since. I've learned that doctors often dismiss HSV in this manner, because, for the most part it is not a "severe medical condition," but they do not take into account the awful and undeserving stigma that is attached to this very common condition.

My Story:
A landmark at the new millennium- I had a wonderful New Years celebration...it was dream like really. Myself and some of my brother's friends, and some of their acquaintances I had never met spent Jan 31st 1999 on a 75' yacht in Palm Beach. Ironically, as the millennium ball dropped we toasted Waterford champagne flutes to Sinatra's famous tune "The Best is Yet to Come." Later that night unbeknownst to me, I contracted HSV 2 from a freak sexual encounter of drunken stupor. At the time it was so insignificant, I hardly remember it at all. He is someone I know I'll never see again, thank God.

So anyway, then came my grueling experience with the doctor. I told one friend about it, but we haven't talked about it since. Through it all I have retained the optimism I am known for- but have declared abstinence for the rest of this millennium :-) if not for sex toys.. I would be a total basket case. My whole life is different now. I have always been an extremely sexual person- I enjoyed sex and was uninhibited. I am an attractive person both inside and out- I have been told that I radiate an incredible energy- I don't try to- I am just genuine, confident, compassionate, and try not to judge people. I have a zest for life and try to seize the day on a daily basis.

Men are still attracted to me, even more now that I have been working out regularly. But, I never meet a guy without thinking about the inevitable "Ummm..I have Herpes" speech. I hate that word so so much. Sometimes I wish that I could scream from the top of my lungs -- so everyone I may ever come into contact with would just know all at once. I know that there are much worse things in life. I am grateful for all my blessings. I know all of this....But the cold harsh facts are so hard, and disheartening. There are a few men I really like, that I cant even look at now. I am naturally flirtatious, I give off these sexual invitations without even realizing it. So then this "nice guy" and I get closer and start liking each other, then we'll kiss... and with the first mention of him going down on me..of course, I freak. I freeze up and turn into a totally unfamiliar and confused version of myself. I don't want to tell him about my situation, because chances are it is not "lasting love." But then what do I say to explain my sudden inhibited
nature.

Sometimes I think this would be easier to live with, if I were just an ugly and undesirable person. But that isn't me, the real me, talking. I mean- I'm no super model by any standard, but, I exude a confidence that even this wretched STD could not rob me of. I just hate this. It is awful. No time for a pity party though. I am a spiritual person and have prayed about all of this. Sometimes I feel like running off to a convent to escape all future encounters with men! I find strength and solace in God, my gratitude journal, and working out-(not really to look good- but more importantly to feel good). And I do feel really good. Thank god for my spirit of optimism- Now if I could only stop procrastinating and write my research paper! I guess for me Herpes is not an obstacle all the time. Eventually, as a future educator, I hope I can offer my own personal and reckless experience as a breathing example so that young people might recognize that STD's are more than articles in Cosmo or sex ed. I still do not know of anyone personally who has HSV 2, this website has helped my coping process tremendously.