Hi, everyone! I’m new to the forum, but unfortunately not new to HSV. I want to share my experience so that others don’t feel so alone. In June of 2020, I had my first HSV outbreak without knowing what it was. I was in so much pain, and using the bathroom made me cry in agony. I had not yet started seeing an OBGYN annually, so I went to a nurse practitioner where I was treated for an extreme UTI, which was not the issue. I would sit in the bathtub for hours each day crying and wondering what was happening to my 21 year old body. I sought help from multiple professionals as a naive individual who did not know to request a blood test. I had HSV for over a year before I was diagnosed and knew what was happening, but my OBGYN didn’t explain much to me besides telling me I had it, and I was too stunned to ask any questions. I sat there on the phone and cried as she told me it wasn’t the end of the world. That’s pretty easy for someone to say who isn’t getting such bombshell news. I was prescribed Valacyclovir 500 MG to take once a day, and I have only had one outbreak since starting my medication. I am newly single with no intention of sexually mingling for a while; however, I fear telling new partners of my situation. I fear being rejected because of something I contracted as a result of being with 1 of the 3 sexual partners I’ve had in my short life. I am afraid. I feel disgusting. I feel regret. By joining this forum, I am biting my HSV by the balls and trying to accept that it is my reality as well as so many others’. I will not be afraid. I will not feel disgusting. I will not feel regret. I will be an independent and capable woman unafraid of rejection because I will love myself too much for it to phase me. I will.