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Living, Loving, & Having An Std


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Living, Loving, & Having an STD

After Mikayla wrote her article on STDs, I thought I would write something a bit more personal for those people that have other questions, & are also carriers of STDs. The STD I have is genital herpes.

There are 2 types of herpes simplex viruses (HSV):

HSV-1 can cause genital herpes, but more commonly causes infections of the mouth and lips, a.k.a. "fever blisters".

HSV-1 infection of the genitals can be caused by oral-genital or genital-genital contact with a person who has HSV-1 infection. Genital HSV-1 outbreaks aren't as common as genital HSV-2 outbreaks.

Genital HSV-2 infection is more common in women (approx. 1 out of 4) than in men (almost 1 out of 8). This may be due to male-to-female transmission being more likely than female-to-male transmission for some reason.

HSV-1 and HSV-2 can be found in and released from the sores caused by the virus, but they can also be released between outbreaks from skin that doesn't show any visible signs of a sore, also known as "shedding".

If infected, whether you know it or not, you can pass herpes on to others even when you don't have any signs of any sores. Yes, it is possible to have this & NOT know you have it. Some people can carry herpes up to 8 years before any outbreak occurs, which is rare. & can pass it on to other lovers unwittingly. And, though, in extremely rare cases, it's been documented that herpes can lay dormant up to 25 years before showing up!

I discovered that I had herpes at the beginning of October 2001. I woke up one morning, about 3 a.m., with a burning, itching sensation around my labia that I'd never felt before. I'd had yeast infections, bladder infections, heck, I even had an allergic reaction to some sort of detergent before, & NOTHING felt like this did! I used the restroom, &, well, do you know that cartoon of the cat that gets scared & screeches up to the ceiling, holding on to it with his claws & shaking? That is exactly how I felt each time I urinated. I called in sick from work, & thought that maybe it was some sort of new allergic reaction, but somehow, I knew deep down, that this probably wasn't the case.

My sister also has genital herpes, since 1991, & had told me what she gets for sores, & what she felt like with her first outbreak. So, I just "knew" that this is what I had. The first outbreak is always the worst it will ever get, &, by the second day, I was screaming into a towel with each visit to the restroom.

I call my doctor, & tell her I need an emergency appointment. She was able to squeeze me in the next (my third) day. Calling in sick, again, I go to my early morning appointment, alone. I had wanted to go alone. I had a Jeep at the time, & I recall bouncing along to the appointment, wishing I had a smoother riding vehicle, because I felt each & every crack, bump, & pebble in the road. I get to the doctor's, she gets me in rather quickly, & asks me some questions with her wonderfully thick Irish accent. I answer all of them, in a fog. Then, came the exam. I strip down, get the gown on, & she came back in, talking very calmly while she got her gloves on, getting me to lay down, put my feet in the stirrups, & adjust the little light. I remember her clearly saying, "Yes, that is looking like da herpes virus right there. I will have to do a scraping to test it, but I would say that you have genital herpes." The scraping was, to say the least, unpleasant. Scrapings have to be done on active sores, to be diagnosed accurately, and it hurts!

I get dressed, still in a fog. She gives me a prescription for Valtrex, & gives me some information in the form of a pamphlet about herpes. She also lets me know what agency will be sending me my test results. Then she sits & explains to me how I am now legally responsible for informing current & future lovers that I have this disease, & if I do NOT, that I can be held legally responsible for any future claims that they may have, due to complications caused by herpes.

My head was spinning. I kept thinking, "Where did I get this from? Who's the bastard that infected me? WHEN did it happen? Did he even know? Did he care? Did I do something so wrong/bad to deserve this?" I called my boyfriend to let him know that my fears were confirmed. I told him that I could be out of his place by day's end, if he chose to break up with me, & I wouldn't hold it against him, & wouldn't blame him either. He was so sweet. I remember him saying, "This isn't the end of the world darlin'. It's unfortunate, but manageable. It's not fatal. We'll work through this." I cried right there in the store, alone, while waiting for the pharmacy to open. He came home early to take care of me.

When I went back to work on the fourth day, everyone asked if I was ok. I just said I had some feminine issues that I needed to rest from. I don't like lying, so this was the best honest explanation I could give while still maintaining some privacy.

My boyfriend was great. I finally healed after about 2 weeks. During that time, he babied me, took care of me, held me when I needed it, & gave me space when I wanted. He kept reassuring me that he was fine with all of that. In fact, the middle of the same month, he proposed to me, & I accepted.

I told him that I wanted him to wear condoms again. We both got clean bills of health, other than my herpes. My boyfriend said that, hadn't used condoms for a while, & wasn't worried about it now. The chance of him being infected was already there. But it was HIS choice to make.

The first 4 months I had an outbreak every month, though it was NEVER as bad as that first one. Each time, I felt this insanely itchy spot each time I was to have an outbreak. I learned, quickly, not to scratch the sores. This only prolongs the flare up, & can cause another sore. Some people get a twinge of pain, get a bit of an irritated feeling, or, like me, get itchy spots where an outbreak is about to surface. It really depends on the person.

Even being freshly engaged, I fell into depression. All of the doubts, worries, concerns, & bad feelings kept haunting me. I didn't feel overly sexy anymore. Did I deserve to be happy, even with an STD? In talking with my sister, & more with my boyfriend, & even disclosing to a few close friends, I found that I was the same person I was before I found out I had herpes. It didn't make me a bad person. It was just a bad thing that happened to me.

We decided to try for a baby after talking with my doctor. She told me the possible problems I could go through, & risks to the baby. The risks of transmitting herpes to a baby are extremely low, but the risk does increase if there's a vaginal birth, & the herpes is either shedding, or if a sore is present.

We got pregnant of May 2002. The OB/GYN I had was great. She was very educated in the world of STDs, & talked at length with me about issues I may face. I had to stop taking Valtrex due to the side effects I experienced.

I had a mild outbreak every month of my pregnancy. At my 9-month mark, I had my usual outbreak, &, being closely monitored by my doctor, she scheduled an induction right after my outbreak, for a vaginal delivery, with a possibility of a c-section. I get to the hospital on the appointed date, & wasn't overly sure if I was experiencing some sort of odd feelings on my labia due to labor, hormones, or if it was another outbreak. So, I had a c-section, & have a beautiful, healthy girl.

People with STDs don't LOOK like they're sick. You just can't tell. The best defense, is a good offense. The guy that I think infected me, though I won't ever be sure, didn't look sick at all. In fact, he could've been a GQ model. I don't think he knew. At least, that's what I choose to believe. We had a condom slip off one time. He moved before I had a chance to inform him of the possibility of him infecting me, so I guess I'll never know for sure.

My husband & I use condoms for part of our birth control methods for now. It also gives me piece of mind that he's safer than if he didn't use them, though he doesn't care if he contracts it or not. My outbreaks come once every 3 months or so, & aren't really that bad now, though they are inconvenient. They're not fun, & vary from place to place in my genital region, but I deal with it the best I can. I don't allow my husband to touch me down there when I even FEEL a twinge down there. He has yet to show any signs of contracting it.

Now, almost 7 yrs after finding out I am part of an ever-growing statistic, I can say that I am NOT ashamed anymore. These things happen. I was as safe, & smart as I could be. I am not dirty, slutty, nasty, or a bad person just because I have an STD. It's been hard, but I've learned to deal with it, cope when I have too, and help others if I can, by educating them. I've read, researched, & talked with my doctors, to learn all I can about what is in my body. There is always something new to learn, and I hope that someday I will learn of a cure. But for now, I can deal with it , learn what I can, and cope the best way I know how.

I live, I love, I have great sex, and I have genital herpes.

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That was VERY well written, informative, personal and just overall great information! Thanks for sharing that with the board, and I agree, you have NOTHING to be ashamed of - EVER!


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...He was so sweet. I remember him saying, “This isn’t the end of the world darlin’. It’s unfortunate, but manageable. It’s not fatal. We’ll work through this.” I cried right there in the store, alone, while waiting for the pharmacy to open. He came home early to take care of me....

...My boyfriend was great. I finally healed after about 2 weeks. During that time, he babied me, took care of me, held me when I needed it, & gave me space when I wanted. He kept reassuring me that he was fine with all of that. In fact, the middle of the same month, he proposed to me, & I accepted....

Very nicely written, Tyger! *big hugs* I LOVED reading this. Big brownie points to that cowboy!

Oo... did I say BROWNIE?! :kiss:

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Thanks all. I hope it helps someone else...

Brownie MIX Val!!! LMAO

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 4 years later...

I wanted to add a small update to this posted article.

Due to stress in our relationship, stressing about taxes, and feeling run down, I had the biggest breakout I've had since my first one this week. I've had breakouts sporadically, here and there. Last year, I only had 3 breakouts. One had 3 sores, the others had just 2. They didn't really bother me too much due to where they came out.

This time, due to all the emotions & stress, I had SEVEN sores! Yes, 7! Owie is an understatement. I'm still not ashamed, or feel like I'm a bad person, but I was extremely uncomfortable these last few days! Itchy, uncomfortable, and sore. Ugh. On top of that, they were right next to my labia, and I was on my monthly. Added fun, oh yes, please! LOL

They're starting to go away now. I even showed them to hubby. That's the first time I showed him any sores whatsoever. I'm still embarrassed to show him those sorts of things, but I wanted to prove to him why I was sore. What they looked like, and for him to understand. He said they looked like huge bite marks. LOL Yes, well, not good ones, that's for sure.

Why share this? I want people to know that it's a continual thing. It doesn't happen once or twice and go away. I have to live with this for the rest of my life. All due to a slip of a condom! These thing happen to normal people. Most people suffer in silence. I mean, who's going to announce they have an STD?

I had a friend, a few months ago, text me some questions, knowing I have genital herpes, and she asked me a lot of specific questions about first outbreaks, what they look like, ect. She now has a doctor-confirmed case of herpes. So we have one more thing in common & share info about. Though I'd rather not have anyone else I know and care about, have this sort of thing in common with me. I feel bad that she has it, since she has a lot of health issues.

Which is another point: If you do have a compromised immune system, due to whatever reason, taking extra care not to be too caught up in the heat of the moment is very, very important. Your are more prone to get an STD if you have a weakened/overworked immune system.

So please, everyone be careful. Don't judge a book by its cover, or what you may think you know, and stay safe my lovies!

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