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I hesitated before entering into relationships: interview about herpes, genital herpes

Sexually transmitted diseases can, in a very short time, emotionally devastate a person. Psychologists believe that herpes is not as scary as society has made it over the years.

Given the right medication, pain can be greatly reduced during an outbreak. Also, in due course, the body develops an immunity against the herpes simplex virus.

In an interview with a 19-year-old girl, she reveals how she got the virus and what changed after she was diagnosed.

• How old were you when you were diagnosed with herpes?

I was 18 years old.

• How did you find out you had herpes?

I noticed sores in the lower abdominal region and around my vagina. It hurt a bit, but I ignored these symptoms thinking they were the result of some skin ailment. However, there came a time when I couldn’t wear skinny jeans because it hurt a bit more.

It was then that I realized something was terribly wrong and took a blood test. After that I came to know that I have genital herpes.

• Who do you think transmitted the virus?

It was on my 18th birthday that I went to a bar to celebrate. I put a handsome boy there, who I had sex with that night. Since it was the first time I had sex, I suspect he was the one who gave me herpes. I never saw or met him after that.

• How long did your first outbreak last?

It lasted about half a month. Although it was not very severe and my life was more or less normal, it still had a significant impact. I’ve never experienced anything like this before.

• Has herpes hindered your relationships?

Yes actually. I couldn’t tell people that I had herpes and I turned down many proposals. She would make an excuse saying she wasn’t ready for a relationship yet or a simple, “I don’t love you.”

He didn’t want to make things uncomfortable for the two of them later on. I felt it was better to go back in the initial stages. I was hesitant to enter a relationship, courtesy of my medical condition.

• Has life changed after contracting herpes? If so, could you tell us how?

I have become more aware than before. I know I can’t have casual sex like most of my friends do. On many occasions I refrained from doing a physical exam so as not to transmit the infection.

Also, my opinion of people with STDs has changed. Before, I was under the impression that STDs are caused by people’s own mistakes. But now I know that those things can also happen without knowing it.

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