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Readers Respond: How Did You Handle Finding Out You Had Herpes?

Responses: 147


Updated April 06, 2009


I was 21 when I was diagnosed. I had only slept with 3 guys in my life and every time it was protected sex. I wondered how on earth could this have happened??? My boyfriend had herpes of the mouth and didn't know. He thought they were just cold sores. A few days after he had given me oral sex I had the most painful experience... The blisters didn't hurt that bad but I dreaded peeing! The burning hurt so bad!!! I was misdiagnosed in the er for bactrial STD and the prescription I was on didn't help at all!!! So I was going through this swollen blustry itching painful urination for 2 weeks before I was correcty diagnose. Praise the lord for valtrex!! Haha but it's really not thAt big of a deal now that I'm on surpressive therapy. Life goes on!
—Guest Dingleberry

first breakout

i am 19 years old and just found out yesterday that i had herpes i usually hav frequent yeast infections so i mistaked it for one of those after using monistat for 6 days i knew it was somthing else, ive had a boyfreind for the last 2 years i got drunk and cheated on him with a guy i knew slept with a lot of girls... 9 of them were my freinds duhhhh! i shoulda used a condom! well im in the middle of my first breakout it the worst pain ive ever felt in my life!!! im on my 9th day of this and my 2nd day of valtrex but im trying to cope with it and look on the bright side i hope i get better soon!
—Guest owww!


I found out that I have herpes when I just graduated high school after only having been with one guy. I was scared, alone and devastated when I found out. It was one of the most painful things I have felt, I couldn't sleep, sit or even stand without feeling pain. Its been 4 years since I found out and I have not had an outbreak since. Thankfully I have had my family, friends and my boyfriend to support me when I'm feeling down about it. I try to stay positive and look at it as a "blessing in disguise" because at least now I will know when a guy is truly interested in me. When I found out, I thought my life was crushed, but over the years I have learned that I can have everything I always wanted. No one wants herpes, but its not the end of the world that I have it and I think it makes me a stronger person.
—Guest Jen

Somehow Comforted.

Ironically, I'm somehow comforted by these responses. I'm 16, and I found out about a month ago that I have herpes. I have had cold sores since I was 6, but never thought anything of them. I never thought I could contract anything. [So young and so naive]. My first outbreak wasn't too bad. Only a could sores, and the only time it really hurt was when my hood rubbed together. I've been taking Valtrex daily, on time. Things seem to be getting better, but I'm terrified that my stress level will bring back the outbreaks more often than not. I've used a condom almost every time I've had sex; never had an orgy or a threesome. So for some reason, I still feel guilty and wrong. Perhaps it's because I'm so young, but I really don't know. I'd like to some day be able to tell man I fall in love with [if I ever do] that he could be in danger having sex with me. Sorry about the rant :D We're all strong, amazing people. No matter what the crappy thoughts are on our disease!
—Guest MuchTooYoung

How I found out i had herpes

The awful way i found out I had herpes was on my 29th birthday. My "committed" live in boyfriend of 3 years had taken me on a 3 city birthday road trip. by the end of the road trip i was tingling and sore in between my vagina and anus. so the entire vacation i was in outbreak mode unkmowningly. Soon as we returned I went directly to my OB where he gave me the news. I was hurt down to depths inside i never knew exsited, I was in shock initailly then mad as hell. I put my boyfriend out and he acted as if he wasn't bothered by the diagnosis he didn't even bother to go get checked out. He told me him and the girl he'd been cheating wit would go together and get checked out. Its been 2 years now and I still have those days when I am totally fucked up about what I have but each day that passes it gets just a tiny bit easier to deal with. Have only told one other person i am infected it didnt change their view of me. but its horobile to know u can potentially give this to someone else.
—Guest michelle

Trying to deal

I have had unprotected sex once in my life, about six weeks ago. It was painful, and I wasn't sure why. Mild soreness stayed around for a couple days, and then got exponentially worse all of a sudden. I couldn't sleep well, and it was painful just to get up. I hate doctors, so it took me forever to go in. The first doctor didn't even look at it -- he took a urine sample, diagnosed me with a UTI, and sent me home. The next doctor actually DID look at it, and he decided I had a bacterial vaginal infection (which explained why the sex was painful). I started to feel a little better, but my antibiotics ran out, so I went to another doctor (I don't have a regular doctor). That doctor looked and said, "This doesn't look like a bacterial infection, it looks like herpes." She did the test, and sure enough! The treatments worked, and I feel better now, but I'm really having a hard time dealing with it emotionally. I have had two sexual partners in my life, and I have herpes, age 25.
—Guest Kay

Going through it

I've just found out that I have herpes and I'm in day 3 or 4. I have not experienced any flu symptoms or intense burning/itching. For the most part its been pretty mild. When I first found out I was in shock and terrified about after researching and reading testimonials, I've realized that society has hyped the thought of herpe torture. My only concern is letting anyone who I chose to date know. I hope that I have limited to no future outbreaks but only time will tell. I haven't stopped laughing or smiling or living. This will not be the death of me.
—Guest Arbour

i joked about it

My boyfriend of 3 months and i got it together.i took it really hard when i was diagnosed. i had a horrible first time break out and was hospitalized. i had never been to the gyno before and my family didnt know i was sexually active. my boyfriend was the only one that knew about it and we decided to make jokes about it. we call it the predator, and we joke about it being for life. (i swear all the doc will tell you is that its for life). when they tried to do the pelvic exam on me i couldnt handle the pain. to make the process easier for me though the docs told me they would insert a tube that looked like a duck. so now aflac is what we say anytime herpes is a topic of discussion. having something so serious is much easier if you can laugh about it. laughing reduces stress and takes your mind off the negative side of the infection.
—Guest yikes

Really!?! Are you sure?

So, I am in my 40's. Haven't had sex for several years, about 6. Went through a bought of depression but for last few years started getting out of my funk and pulling it back together. I am probably the happiest and healthiest all-around that I've been in a very long time. I thought I had a yeast infection that suddenly got extremely worse over night. Did visual inspection with mirror and knew it wasn't right. Went to doctor who didn't know what it was at first, thought it was a yeast infection. So, I got to live with a bad breakout for several days before I went back and she said now I think it's herpes. My response, WHAT? are you sure?? How could that be. To say I have felt so completely dumbfounded on how this could be is putting it midly!!! They say it can happen years later, but I'm still just more than confused. Used to be more of party girl 20+ years ago. Thankfully I do have supportive friends helping me cope and I'm sure I will eventually come to terms with their help.
—Guest pretty shocked

It could be worse

Im 20 and i just got over my first outbreak. I want to say I deserved it but even if i had protected myself Herpes is still a contact disease, so don't beat yourself up about what can't be changed. I take it as life teaching me a lesson and I have definitley learned. The pain, headaches and depression was horrible but I got over it and now I have just devoted my life to school. The only advice I can give is please do not ignore it. Remember how you felt when you contracted it and do your best, even if it means abstinence, to avoid spreading it to anyone else. Herpes cant control your life if you don't let it. There is more to life than Sex.
—Guest Sorry God

Trying to deal

I just found out I have it, a few days ago. I always had protected sex, as did my boyfriend, and we've had bloodtests and I had a pap smear, but that doesnt mean one of us did not carry the virus... (Could be from oral) My regular doctor is away til next week, but I went to a walk-in and thankfully got a prescription, altho I am horrible with taking pills. I had to miss more time at work, I nearly fainted this morning from not eating, my parents dont know whats going on, only my sister and boyfriend know, and he has been SO supportive, its amazing. I just had my 23rd b-day, and it seems like when something good happens in my life, something bad overshadows it... I'm really emotional right now, and want this to be over, and to be back to my normal self. My bf came over and cheered me up, and helped me forget abt it, and feel better, if only for a little while... Even tho he;ll stay with me, I'm still so scared how it will affect us, and our active sex life... I love him, and I'm scared
—Guest Emotional hell

Still not sure what to do or think

I just got back from my gyn appointment a few hours ago. I went in to get my results from an appoimtment I had last week. I had them do a regular exam and asked them to check me for all std's. There were a few reasons as to why I wanted them to check..first one being my husband had cheated on me before we seperated a year and a half ago...secondly a few months ago a friend of mine called me to tell me that he just found out that a mutual friend of ours had herpes. About four months ago I was with this very same friend of ours. I have known him for 20+ years and I suppose I turned to him for what I had been missing in a year and a half. Thinking I could trust him...I dont know if I contracted it from him or if it was something I already had. But I am devestated by it I dont think that I have had an outbreak like I have read about...outside of some itching and a bit a swelling. Right now I keep telling myself this is pay back for having unprotected sex when I knew better.
—Guest Me

Still Pondering

Being middle aged fem I have never contracted any std.I'm still trying to figure out how to tell my partner that is so sure that he is clean. After being involved in a new relationshi for 3 weeks, 3 days after having sex I began to have flu like symptoms but only sniffles, scratchy throat and feelin tired. My partner has a very large penis and I thought that I was simply taking a longer period time to heal. I was having some extreme soreness in my vaginal area. I eventually took a mirror to look down to see what was going on. I was shocked to what I had found. There were several white blisters on my vagina. I called him immediately and asked him if he needed to share anything with me. I didn't tell him what I had found but did tell him that I was going to the hospital to get checked out. The MD immediately looked and said that it was herpes but I could go to the health clinic to confirm. I'm still in shock. how did I get it? Does this mean that he is a carrier? Will he test pos?

Its not as bad as people make out..

I found out i had a week ago.. The first outbreak is the worst thing in the world.. I couldnt walk for a week, it hurt when i did anything.. When i found out i had it i cried an didnt know what to do.. I researched it online and didnt seem as bad as people make it out to be, i think its to do with the name, it should be changed! The other is the fact that it stays in your body and can come up at anytime, but then again so does glandular fever.. Obviously i havnt been able to experience a reocuurence but iv been told there no where near as bad as the first lot and you hardly notice. Obviously the bad thing is you can pass it on and you have to be honest with people you sleep with, and with being young this is hard. The hardest thing is tellin ur boyfriend even tho uv bin faithful an its from the past, which is what i now have to face.. Then again if he runs hes just not the one for me!
—Guest :)


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