Name: Rainstorm
Age: 17
Sex: Female
Year Diagnosed: August, 1999
Type: HSV1 Genitally

My story: I had been with my boyfriend for nearly 2 years, and we had
never had sex, vaginal, oral, or otherwise. I was a good student, top ten
of my class, and I never did anything really bad to anyone. My boyfriend
and I tried oral sex a few times prior to my infection, despite the fact
that he had cold sores. We never knew that you can get herpes from cold
sores. I guess the old myth that you can't catch genital herpes from mouth
herpes applies here.

Diagnosis: I itched for a week, and thought I had a really bad yeast
infection. Then I noticed this spot, which didn't bother me until it
started pussing up. So I looked on the Internet and saw this picture of a
woman with syphilis, and it looked KINDA like what that OB looked like, so
I just about passed out. I was terrified. I got my mom to make me a
gynecologist's appointment. We went in there and sat down, and Mom and I
talked for a long time, laughing and all that. Then the gyno came in, she
was really nice. We talked for a while, about boys and all that. We made
jokes. Then she had to look at it really quick because she got beeped for
a delivery. Suddenly, she started asking me these really quick questions
about me and my boyfriend and what we've done. I started to get really
worried and I asked her what was wrong and what I had. She told me Herpes.
I curled up on the table and cried like a baby, screaming "I want my
mommy... get my mommy". And I cried and cried. It was horrible. My
doctor was wonderful though. Even with a pregnancy on her hands, she came
back to see if I was all right and told me that a lot of people have it. She
explained a lot. But I still felt horrible.

Telling: I told my boyfriend that he had cold sores on his mouth and I'll
be damned if I didn't get them down south. He laughed. Then I said "It's
called herpes". He looked at me and started crying. He thought I was
going to die or something. And he felt horrible. We sat there in each
other's arms on my parents' front porch crying. I still have problems
whenever he gets too close, like when we're making out. I haven't learned
to deal with it yet.

Aftermath: I cry all the time and I get in these deep pits of depression.
But I'm coping. And I know everything will be okay. My boyfriend and I
plan to get married when I'm 20 and he's 21, and I have decided that I'm
interested in becoming a research scientist. Maybe someday I can come up
with a cure for herpes. Thank you for listening and I hope this helps
somebody.

: )