(nick)Name: Ren
Age: 21
Sex: Female
Occupation: College Student
Type: I don't know...all I heard from the dr was blah blah blah...herpes. I think I'm going to call them and ask.
Year infected: 2004
Number of outbreaks per year: None since my first in February.

Prodromes: Itching, painful urination

Story: My boyfriend of now 2.5 years and I were each other's firsts, as far as intercourse goes. He had had oral sex with a previous girlfriend, and I hadn't at all. We don't see each other often, as we go to different schools and are both very busy. After a fun weekend, I started having trouble urinating. When I sat down, it hurt. I called my sister and told her about it and she told me to see a doctor immediately. For some reason, I thought I had a UTI. I went to this doctor that treated me like crap. As soon as he heard that I went to college, he started implying that I'm a slut who can't keep her hands off guys. Especially since I was on the pill (which, by the way, I took primarily for cramps). After making me pee in a cup, he told me I had a bladder infection. I believed him, for some reason, even though it doesn't make sense now. My bladder didn't hurt. He didn't even ask me where it hurt. He treated me like crap.

Things started get worse, as I got more and more sores on my labia. Pretty soon I had to go home because I couldn't walk, sit, or stand very well. Going to the bathroom was hell. I ended up biting a towel so I wouldn't scream in pain every time in the bathroom. My teachers wanted to know where I was and what was happening. I had to email them all, saying that I was having medical issues.

I went to the clinic again, and this time, I got a nice doctor who actually examined me. The minute he took a look at me, he said in his thick Polish accent, "I hope this isn't herpes". I said nothing, but my brain was screaming "HERPES?!". They took a culture sample (which, by the way, was very very painful) and I went home. The next day, I got a call from the clinic saying that I had herpes. I cried after I hung up, and immediately called my boyfriend, who was in such shock, he couldn't speak.

Once I went back to school, EVERYone was asking me where I was. Everyone was so nosey. My choir director kept asking me over and over what was the matter, but I never told him. I had told some people I couldn't walk, sit or stand...and then they assumed I had issues with my legs. I decided that the best thing to tell them was that it was something personal. I did tell a few close friends. And I was very depressed for a while. My boyfriend didn't want to get close to me, and felt really guilty for giving it to me. It's still a touchy subject to talk to him about.

Medication: during the last part of my outbreak, I was on Valtrex. That seemed to help a lot. I wish I could always be on it, but my family and I don't have a lot of money, and I have minimal student insurance that doesn't cover medication. I'm crossing my fingers; I haven't gotten another o.b. yet.

Telling: Like I said, my boyfriend was the first person I told. And I told my sisters and close friends. I was nervous to tell my mother, because she's weird about things like that, and when I finally did, she already knew because when she went to pick up the prescription, the pharmacist told her. Ironically, my mother just found out this past summer that she had it, and she had 2 minor o.b.'s. It's still a mystery how she got it, because she and my father haven't been sexually active since my conception.