In the past, I thought I was invincible.

STD and HPV has Shown me another story.

Like many, I was/am pretty well educated about STD Tests. However, I still felt that I was “invincible” to HPV Tests and various sexual diseases and NEVER would have expected to get one.

I have had three partners—all long-term serious relationships. At age seventeen, I was not what most would expect an “HPV-tested-infected person(s)” to be. I graduated two years early, I was a cheerleader for my college, I graduated high school with a 4.0, I’ve held 2 state beauty pageant titles, and I currently hold a local title on my way to state! The important thing is that no ONE is invincible, and it can happen to ANYBODY. That’s part of the risk we take being sexually active.

In my case, knowledge is power. I discovered “skin-tag-like” warts on and around my vaginal opening. I figured it was an allergic reaction to a bubble bath or something. After a week of no improvements, I did research on genital warts on the internet. I was almost positive I had them. I told my mother, and we went to the doctor, and I am now undergoing treatment.

Unlike many others, I was able to trace the source of my positive STD tests. It was my first boyfriend and first partner. He had no idea he was carrying the virus (since there are often no symptoms). Since then, he has had over 10 partners…meaning possibly infecting over 10 people. They say, “You sleep with whoever your partner has slept with.” Never has the saying affected me more. I called him and told him what I had, what he had, what he should do (regarding telling his past partners), what treatment he should seek, and other key facts. Once again, knowledge is power.

Recent mistakes

After my HPV test report, I also called my most recent ex and partner in addition to the first. I screamed and cursed, and he even threatened to kill me. It brought out a side I had never seen. It hurt, but I did the right thing. I now understand why STD prevention may be difficult—it is hard to tell someone, especially when you get such a harsh reaction. I can’t lie. It was embarrassing, heartbreaking, and shameful. But as I told him, STDs are just one part of the risk we take from being sexually active, especially as teens.

Now to my third partner—my fiance. I have infected him. We are going to a clinic (so his parents won’t find out) next week for him. Luckily, there are many low-cost and even free STD Testing and treatment centres for cases just like this. It was so hard for us to get through this. He, unlike me, waited for “the one” before having sex. Being honoured, I never once thought that I might be capable of transmitting a disease to him.

I gave my love a virus.

Yes, I gave my love an STD. The “perfect” varsity player with perfect grades. We found out that knowledge/education, and communication are key. Though my communication issues were a bit more than just between us, it was something that had to be done. Something to think about. My first partner was angry and so embarrassed he refused to tell the 10+ people he slept with. Assuming they follow a pattern, in a year (since he started having sex with others)- they sleep with three males.

I have HPV. So does my fiance. His past: 0 partners. My past: 2 partners. All protected sex. We have HPV for the rest of my life. But we get through it together.

“My friend H.”

I am a 29-year-old woman recently diagnosed with genital herpes (HSV-2). For days and nights after my original diagnosis, the four simple words “I have genital herpes” haunted me. I had so many questions running through my mind. What will people say? How will I find someone who will want to be with me? How could anyone want to be around me if I feel uncomfortable in my skin?

I had many questions and a doctor who couldn’t be bothered, so I looked for information alone. Whilst searching online, I stumbled upon the ASHA website and the online forum and found a wealth of knowledge there, along with many others in the same predicament. I was able to come to grips with my situation and know that I cannot change the past. I cannot blame anyone for catching this virus; doing so will not help.

Once I was adjusted enough, I told my mother. She was sad and worried but was very supportive of me. After I got a positive reaction from her, I told two of my closest friends. They both were shocked but also very caring. They asked me many questions, and I proved to myself and them that I am well educated now about my situation.

When one of them looked at me and said, “Wow, maybe I should go get STD tested; it’s been a while,” I knew talking about it was a good thing. I know I am raising awareness, and people are getting HPV tests more than before.

Raising awareness

The true STD test factor was when an old friend came to visit me. He and I had known each other for a long time but were just friends. It quickly became clear that things were different, and he kissed me before I knew it!

I was shocked and amazed that someone found me interesting, but then I remembered he didn’t know that I had tested positive in an HPV test. I was so nervous, but I KNEW I had to tell him—and right away before I got carried away with things. We didn’t cry when I told him, but I was close. He was shocked but also understanding and was asking me some questions. I told him I understood if he didn’t want to go any farther than friendship because of this, and he laughed at me. He is now my boyfriend and very positive about the situation. He has read up about herpes on the message board on the website and has no problem talking to me about “my friend H.” It has helped me relax and enjoy this wonderful new relationship.

I have also taken the initiative to find a new HPV Test clinic and doctor, and I found one willing to take the time to talk to me. We discussed suppressive therapy and all my options—NO problem.

I can truly agree with my comment of “I have genital herpes, another STD”—because it doesn’t have me! I am in control now thanks to a good doctor, great support from friends and family and a positive outlook on life.