Last year, a few days before my birthday, I went to see a doctor for some uncomfortable pimples around my genital area. Some tests were done and I was told to wait for a call from the doctor. Because it was a few days to my birthday, I did not worry much about my visit to the doctor, since there were major plans by my parents and friends.
On the day I was supposed to be celebrating, I received a call early morning from the doctor and he told me that what I was suffering from was not all that serious because it could be managed with proper treatment. This was the first time I heard about HSV2 (I always called it herpes and thought it was a curable infection). To get the news that I was infected, and now I carried an incurable infection was too much for me to handle. I thought of my friends, my life, my girlfriend and started getting angry at anyone I suspected might have given me the virus. I hid from people for the rest of the day.
The doctor tried to calm me down but I was over any counseling but I agreed to go to his office the next day. What got me worried is that I just turned 18 and had HSV2. The next day I went to his office, and after some explanations, I calmed down and began accepting the situation as it was. It took a few other visits and I thank the doctor for being such a helpful professional in assisting me cope with my infection. Word of advice; the infection is more in the mind than it is in your physical body. The faster you learn to accept yourself, the faster your body will learn to fight the virus.
As I sit to write this, I cannot help but say how much I love mu life. Just a few months ago, I had my first out break at the age of 22 and to say it was devastating is an understatement. At the time, I was visiting my grandmother and there was no way I c could show her that I was in pain. The discomfort, the pain and confusion made everything worse and I could not help but lock myself in the guestroom and cry.
My grandmother, being a retired counselor, approached me and I explained everything. She took me to see her doctor and as I waited patiently for the results, I had nothing close to HSV2 in mind. The news broke me down further but my grandma was there to take me through the pain and heartache. I know most people might be thinking that I was a promiscuous person at my age but the shocking truth is that I was a virgin till I was 22 and it is in this same year that I got infected.
I confronted the guy who I had lost my virginity to but he said that I had got it from somewhere else and up to this day, I just can’t tell if he was the one who gave me HV2. Anyway, my grandmother extended my visit and she counseled me through the acceptance stage and I can look around and all I see is a beautiful life and a bright future a head of me.
I know this statement is a bit confusing because every piece of advice you get will direct you to be positive. This is not the positivity I am talking about; I am talking about the infection. Though your body is infected, the infection should not get to your head. At first, I thought it was a cold sore and treated it as that until my girlfriend started having outbreaks in her genital area.
Since we were in love, we went to see a doctor together and the results showed that she had HSV2. The doctor explained that the cold sore I had was herpes simplex virus 1 and through oral sex, I had infected my girlfriend. I became a villain and she broke off our relationship. I got depressed because I thought I had ruined her life. As I was looking for information related to herpes, I came across a piece that explained that most people are infected without knowing and that herpes is just an infection that can be managed and treated.
I also learned that stress can trigger the outbreaks. This is why I say that your mind should be negative though your body is positive. You should not let the infection affect your mind as this will only make the situation worse. Accept that you have the infection and move on and this will help in reducing the outbreaks to almost zero levels and let you get back to your normal life.
My initial diagnosis for HSV2 virus was 10 years ago. At first, I thought it was acne as this is what it looked like. After a period of less than a week, there was a cluster of lesion around my genital area and this became frightening for me. I called my family doctor and got an appointment. I cannot forget this day because as I was standing there, he examined my groin and said ‘this looks like herpes’. My heart sunk and I started feeling like I was loosing my breath.
What I did not understand is how the doctor was calm and he had just spoken the worst words I have ever heard in my life. He said that he had seen similar cases and they most turned out to be herpes and that herpes was just a minor distraction. I said I could not understand because I was married and our marriage was a faithful union. He said he had heard a lot of similar stories and explained that though I was faithful, it was not a guarantee that my partner was. The test came out positive and I now faced the difficult part of letting my wife know but I had time because she was out of town.
The funny sad story is that when she came back, I told her I had something to say and she said she also had something and I let her go first. She told me she had been seeing someone and she wanted out. I was angry and relieved at the same time because I now knew where the infection came from. I had nothing much to say apart from letting her know that she needed to get tested for herpes because I just tested positive.
It’s been ten years now, I am divorced, I accepted my fate and surprisingly, the happier I got, the less frequent the outbreaks got. Herpes might be a bad infection to get but living happily is possible. Keep in mind that it is an infection which can be well managed and treated.
After receiving the news that I had herpes, I fell into depression and thought about my life, my boyfriend and my family. For some reason, I thought HSV2 was a matter of life and death but I was so wrong. The first lesson I learnt is that the people around you and how they react to the news is more important than your own reaction. Keep in mind that you still will be loved and you deserve to be loved.
My sister and cousins were supportive enough to get me through the stage of accepting I have herpes. I might have lost a few friends and my mom could not believe that I had herpes at only 19. I made decisions that I am not proud of and thought that herpes and STDs were infections I could not get. I must have contracted the infection in one of the many parties I attended and ended up in bed with random people.
That part of my life is behind me but herpes came to my new life with me. You can not tell that I am infected by just looking at me. You will have to get my blood and test it to believe that I am infected. This simply means that herpes is not the end of the world and you can still go on with your life just like you are not infected only that you will need to be careful not to infect other people.
Some time in 2010, my girlfriend came to my house crying and told me that over the weekend she had seen her doctor and she was tested and the tests showed that she had genital herpes. The news hit me like a high wave because I just thought that she had given me the virus already. I tried as much as I could to calm her down but I could not help but think about myself.
The next day I went to my doctor knowing I was positive though I had not experienced any outbreaks. My fear came to reality when the result came out positive and when I went home, my girlfriend was not there but there was a note on the dining table wishing me the worst in life for infecting her with herpes. I spent a few days indoors trying to let everything sink in but I had to talk to someone.
I called my best friend who happened to be a medical student then and when he came over, our talk was the best thing that happened to me. He explained a number of things about HSV2 and this is when it hit me that I might have had herpes longer than I thought. I remembered the cold sores that I had to deal with growing up. My friend just told me to take it easy because I might have had herpes almost all my life and now that the condition had a name nothing had really changed. To this day, my life is still great and the only thing that changed was that I now can protect the people I love.
I want to state it here and now that you or your partner can have herpes without a single sign. In my early twenties, I was living the life, the booze, the partying and sleeping with different women. Never thought that one day I will look back at this life and feel ashamed but this day came. I never worried about infections or any unwanted pregnancies because I always used protection and according to my own judgment, none of the women I slept with could have been infected.
One day I got a call from one of the women I slept with and I could not hear her over the insults she had for me but she said I gave her herpes. I never took this seriously and thought that since I had not seen any symptoms, she must have contracted the infection from someone else. I pushed this call to the back of my mind but it was not long before I got a text with the same news only that it was from a different woman. Now, this got worrying and I made a decision to go see a doctor.
The doctor was surprised that I insisted on the herpes test and to my shock, the test came out positive. It took time before I got my mind around this and I started thinking about my life. The doctor however explained that it is possible to live with herpes and not know because there will be no symptoms. It turns out there are people with strong immunity that can suppress the virus and I just happen to be lucky enough to have such an immunity system. The problem with this kind of infection is that you can pass it to other people without even knowing. My advice is that any person with an active sex life should be tested because you never know what you are living with.
When I met my boyfriend, he was a private person especially when it came to his genitals. I always thought this is how a man should be because I never knew much. But one day as we were getting intimate, I noticed a few warts on his penis and when I asked he got angry and the intimate moment faded away. The next day he apologized and told me that the warts were not a big deal since they were not contagious.
A few months into the relationship, I started noting a pimple-like thing in my vagina. I did not take it seriously because it was just a pimple and it did not cause me any pain. When I told my best and closest friend about the pimple, she told me to go see a doctor because it could be serious. The doctor told me it was condyloma. I was given medication to eliminate the pimple but with time another one appeared. I decided to go to our family doctor and after examinations and tests, it turned out I had HPV, and the doctor told me that ‘condyloma’ was just a \fancy name for genital warts.
I couldn’t believe what my boyfriend had put me through so I left him. The doctor assured me that with treatment, the warts could be managed and I agreed to follow any prescribed medication from his clinic. Today, my life is as normal as it was before the infection and I am looking forward to getting back to the dating world.
Herpes is a sexually transmitted infection, or at least that is what I thought. My room mate had a cold sore once in a while and also complained of an itchy genital area often. Well, I never took this serious since we were in college and he was always wearing tight pants. It never crossed my mind that he was suffering from a sexually transmitted infection because we were still young and I though STDs were ‘things’ for older people.
One day as I was taking a shower, I noticed a lesion on my inner thigh near my testicles and I first thought it was a heat rash or an injury caused by friction since I was an active athlete. With time, the area got worse and I had to see a doctor. She asked me about my sex life and since I was not that active she asked about my room mate and this is when it hit me that my friend might have infected me.
I do not blame him because I should have told him to go get tested before I got infected. In short, what I am trying to say is that not everyone who has herpes is promiscuous; some get it from their partners who are unfaithful. Some get it from skin contact like me and some are infected by people who got infected long time ago and were unaware of their status. The stereotype is not justified and it is good to get tested even without the symptoms.