What do you do when you find out about having Herpes?

First things first – question how it was diagnosed. If you got a Herpes Blood test, you can safely ignore that. If it was a swab, then you take it more seriously. This is because an STD blood test can only look for an antibody – which almost everyone has. It doesn’t say if you have an active virus, where it is located, Etc. The swab tells us that there is an active virus there.

Second – everyone is right. Do a bit of homework from some reputable sites. The best one I refer clients to is the NZ Herpes Test Foundation. It has easy-to-understand, up-to-date info and a great section about STD tests related to hips and HSV. Do not start googling; Google is not your friend.

The third and most important thing I recommend to people is to reframe their minds regarding HSV. HSV is the co-d-sore virus. Type one or two doesn’t overly matter (you can get type one on the genitals and type two on the face). People talk about cold sores like they are a normal thing, and they are, regardless of where they are located.

The big issue regarding it is the public perception

It’s on the genitals, so it is disgusting… no. On your face or genitals, they are managed the same way. If you get one, take a week off sex, just like you would take a week off kissing if you had one on your lips.

There is nothing wrong. You have a virus that 2/3rds of the adult population has been exposed to at some point in their daily lives. Don’t stress out; you don’t need to date only people with HSV; you don’t need to go onto a positive dating website. You’re completely normal.

Don’t use old Herpes tests. They are inaccurate and have a high rate of false positives. Particularly in low-prevalence populations from a population health perspective. These people have been recently incarcerated, people with reduced immune systems, street-based sex workers or men who have sex with men.

There are no current evidence-based interventions for people who have had STDs tested positive on a blood test but have never shown any symptoms. Gold standard testing is a NAAT or PCR swab of an outbreak.

Please do not get hung up about Herpes testing. The most important thing is if symptoms are showing – without the symptoms, you can safely assume you’re fine.

Story Two

Just found out I most likely have Herpes.

I have been dating the same person for 4 months, and we both agreed on monogamy. He has always said that he hates cheaters and things like that. He is the only person I’ve been sleeping with, and he’s the only person I’ve let touch me in almost any capacity. Last week, I stayed the night with him, and I remember him complaining about ingrown hairs on his genitals. I haven’t thought anything of it since I got them when I shaved, too. On Monday, I started noticing a bump inside my left labia and thought that maybe I had just cut myself. Over the next few days, it started getting worse to the point where I almost couldn’t move without being in pain.

I had been feeling extremely sick.

When I went to the doctor, they told me that it looked like it was Herpes but that they were going to swab the car to make sure. The doctor told me I needed to get medication from my pharmacy to try and suppress the outbreak. Yesterday, I asked my boyfriend if he had slept with anyone else, and he said no. Today, I asked again after my appointment, and again, he said no.

I made him call me and said, “A few things could’ve happened. 1. You had it, and you didn’t know and gave it to me. 2. You slept with someone else, got it and gave it to me. r 3. You somehow had a cold sore and gave it to me. I don’t care what you did, but I know you gave it to me. You need to get an STD test.” He didn’t say anything, so he hung up. I am extremely upset about a Positive Herpes Test Result. I feel like my life is over. This has been the absolute worst day of my life. I don’t solely blame my boyfriend if I can even call him that any more since I willingly had sex with him. But I know it was him, and I feel very emotional about it.

Recalling back

 I want to say that I appreciate every comment, even those criticizing me for this. I did apologize to my boyfriend for giving him Herpes, and we’re both trying to figure things out. I’ve told him that I don’t believe he cheated on me. My priority is educating myself and trying to help him as best as possible. I genuinely thought it was the end of my life, and many of you have made me feel so much better. I’m not sure what the future holds, and that’s okay. I also needed to take responsibility for all of this. There is a possibility I did have it before and just never had symptoms. I did overreact in an emotional state of mind; I’m not saying that made the accusations right or justified.

Many people say I should’ve waited to tell my boyfriend that I had a Herpes test, and it was bad news. So, I told him as soon as possible. He needs to get an STD Profile test and get treatment if necessary. Thank you to everyone who gave kind words and support. I appreciate it and thank those criticizing me for playing the blame game. Hopefully, I can move forward with my life, and I hope my boyfriend, no matter his decision to stay together, can also move forward with his. I can’t change things now, but I can try to improve things.