I’m Jennifer (28F) have genital herpes – My Story

My bf of 5 years (34M) doesn’t want to touch me.

My boyfriend (34M) of 5 years and I (28F) just returned from vacation. I got an STD test profile. And the results are positive for the Herpes test. While out of state, I noticed a horrible itching and pain in my genital area. I wasn’t sure what it was at first, but once I got home, I took a closer look and noticed small blisters in a cluster.

I immediately freaked out and told my bf, who was extremely suspicious and judgmental. He told me he had always been super careful and knew for a fact he didn’t have HSV2. He asked if I cheated on him, and I most definitely have not. We both have HSV1, so I was wondering if maybe it wasn’t type 2, and I somehow gave it to myself down there. Shortly after our fight, I went to a clinic, and they confirmed with a swab it was HSV2.

Before dating him

I wasn’t one to “sleep around”, but I also think sex is important in bond building, so I wasn’t abstinent with prospective partners or anything. I also used condoms for the first few times, but I think it’s normal to stop after seeing someone more or less exclusively for a while.

My mother has HSV2, and I know it’s also possible I got it from her during pregnancy/birth, but, weirdly, I never had symptoms for 28 years. I had extreme fatigue and lethargy as a baby. My mother had a few outbreaks leading up to delivery so that I could have gotten it from her. It feels like I’m floundering, trying to find an acceptable excuse for why this is my new reality.

I took daily antivirals for the past few years for my HSV1 until very recently when I noticed my immune system weakening. And weekly or monthly STD and Herpes tests. Stopping that for a month likely allowed the HSV2 to activate after who knows how long. My boyfriend decided to get an STI Panel test to see if HE gave it to me, and we just got the results back. It turns out he was correct and does not have it himself.

After this news, I want to die.

It probably sounds dramatic, but I have preexisting mental health issues, and this is pushing me over the edge. I am overcome with guilt and shame over my past. I feel like I can’t date anyone else again without being ghosted after telling them. My current partner of several years doesn’t want to touch me. This disease is so stigmatised. It’s almost a meme, and misinformation makes the stigma even worse.

In my boyfriend’s eyes, I made our relationship 1000x times more difficult. We had Herpes tests before, and they were negative. He had a full STD test profile panel before, and it was negative. We had intimacy issues before, and it finally felt like things were looking up during our vacation. Now we’re back to square -100. I have a feeling we’re going to break up over this. It was so convincing; this was my last relationship.

TLDR: I just found out that I have HSV2 (NOT from cheating), and my bf does not. We’ve been together for several years, and now he looks at me like I have no morals and doesn’t want to touch me. I’m also having dark thoughts about it.

Comments:

Twenty-eight years sounds like a long time, but I have a grandparent who had a blood transfusion as a child and, at 73, developed symptoms of hepatitis. Whose family had to get a test? The transfusion was the link. While I know it’s different things, the human body is a madhouse of insanity.

I’m sorry for the diagnosis, and it is adding to a difficult time as is. The stigma is real, and it sucks, and I’m sorry you will have to deal with that. You mentioned pre-existing mental health issues. I hope you are seeing someone and not getting overwhelmed. Many people who have had STD tests and been positive for HSV2 live perfectly well with it and have partners who never get it. You have to be careful.

I hope your boyfriend is able not to make it more difficult than it already is on you or make it seem like it’s your fault or is to blame somehow, and if not, screw that guy.

Comments:

I never knew this was possible until I dealt with it myself. I know for a fact he was my only sexual contact for five+ years, and if I never had an outbreak, then it must have been dormant for at least that long. Hearing about your grandparents does make 28 years sound possible – thanks so much for sharing that.

You’re very sweet for the support! I am also most definitely making arrangements to seek out a therapist. I recently moved and left my old (really good!) one behind, so there are big shoes to fill, but I’m hopeful.

Comments:

My doctor made me get a Herpes test, and he told me I got genital herpes from my husband giving me oral sex with a cold sore in his mouth. Getting an STD is one of the I remember that conversation with him, too; I said, “Hey, idk if that’s fully healed yet.” But we were dumb and young. Anyway, it was devastating at first, but honestly, it’s manageable. I take L lysine (vitamin supplements), which does help with outbreaks.

I should share that my outbreaks, even without lysine, are not bad. Getting a Herpes Test and being positive for HSV 11 is shocking. It’s like after shaving kind of feeling. But with lysine, it’s like non-existent. The first (of all time) outbreak will be the worst (good god, the pain was AWFUL and fucking scary). It should be SIGNIFICANTLY better from there with regular STD Tests each time I have an outbreak, even without meds or vitamins. I frame this by getting a pimple down there every so often. It doesn’t interfere with my life; I think more people need honest conversations about this.