My story

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    Hello, my name is Jenna and I am from Ohio. I will be turning 30 in December and learned about a few weeks ago that I have Hsv2, genital herpes. I hope that my story below gives you hope that all will be okay, especially if you do your research on this site.

    How was I diagnosed with genital herpes? A few months ago, I noticed a cut inside my cheek. Over a few weeks, it developed into a lump. I was worried that it was cancerous or even an oral hpv wart.. (I was diagnosed with high risk hpv in 2012 so that is how I came up with the oral wart story).

    I went to my doctor and told him about my past Hpv history and how paps are now clear and no concerns since 2013. I showed him the inside of my cheek. He barely examined it and said that I should do a cold sore test first and if it is negative, he will refer me to ear, nose and throat doctor. I agreed and afterwards told my boyfriend of 4 years how herpes test was ridiculous because I have never had Cold sores and totally would know if I carried herpes!

    So after a week, I get a call back from nurse asking for me to come in to review results. I became afraid, panicked. I began to worry about carrying HIV (remember I was sure that I didn’t have herpes so I thought perhaps every blood test looks for HIV and because my immune system was low due to virus, I wasn’t able to suppress my past hpv causing oral wart now……crazy, I know!)

    I get online and check doctor’s medical portal and find where it has detected Hsv2 antibodies. I was panicked and shared news with my boyfriend. I told him to schedule doctor’s appointment asap to test for Hsv2 and HIV. I looked at my past doctor records… I knew that I had sti testing in 2013 after I met my boyfriend. Every test but hsv1 and 2. I couldn’t believe it. My last herpes test was in 2012.

    Week later, boyfriend finds out that he is negative for Hsv2 and hsv1 and HIV. I am the carrier! But hey that demonstrates that you CAN have sex without transmitting to others. I had no idea about the herpes and we had unprotected sex for 4 years.

    But get this, when I found out my diagnosis, I started having herpes symptoms.. tingling, slight ache, 3 to 6 tiny sores. I guarantee it is due to stress. It was like I called out to the herpes to appear due to my disbelief.

    But this shows that I probably had herpes since 2012… For 5 years and it didn’t affect my life or my partner’s…. Until I got the diagnosis but I plan on following pink Tent’s course and managing these symptoms and destroying this shame. I am a beautiful woman and I know that herpes from experience is a minor inconvenience. It is a slight skin irritation or even a major one at times. Everyone’s symptoms vary. It doesn’t define someone. Please don’t listen to all the scare tactics out there (some of it was fueled by the herpes drug companies to get business).

    I have faith that my life is going to be fantastic and contracting herpes has already taught me to be more empathetic and compassionate to others. If someone judges you or rejects you, that is a sign that you can find a better friend or lover out there. It is a sign that person may not be safe or empathetic, traits desirable for friendship. You now have a better detector out there to weed out the people not worth your time.

    Don’t hide in shame. We must embrace what life throws at us. If you stop the self-hatred and shaming, your stress is going to decrease and the outbreaks most likely will lessen. Our bodies can be the best teachers in life.

    Oh and guess what.. the sore/wart inside my cheek was scar tissue due to a cut from my teeth retainer…

    My boyfriend still wants to have unprotected sex with me after my outbreak goes away. He understands there is a slight risk but I wonder how many times we had sex over the last 4 years raw with no issues. I just get so mad at the online articles saying that a condom should always be used due asymptomatic shedding. Of course wear a condom with a new partner to protect both parties (we don’t know what he has) but that isn’t realistic for committed couples and another scare tactic to reduce intimacy.

    Thanks for reading my story. Remember this to will pass if you are feeling blue 😀



    Thanks for sharing your story. You are right – this is minor in the big scheme of things. Always good to know what you are dealing with but don’t let it define who you are…like you said all the time you were probably carrying the virus unknown to you without symptoms…so let’s go back to that time and live our lives as we once did before the diagnosis…just with knowledge to take care of ourselves and loved ones.

    It’s that stigma that it’s genital but basically the same thing that happens on people’s lips and no one frowns on that.

    Chin up and remain positive – it’s not the end of the world by far

    Love to you



    That’s so great to hear that you don’t let it define you. SO much of how we all feel is because of the stigma and not the actual symptoms or reality!!

    I am also in a committed relationship — my boyfriend had a cold sore and now I have HSV-2. He understands the risks and still wants to have unprotected sex like we usually do. My plan is to just take valtrex when I have I experience symptoms, since at this point I don’t know how often I’ll have outbreaks. Do you think it would be better for me to just take it daily if I’m having sex without a condom? Or would me just being in tune with my body and doing things like taking zinc etc be okay?

    Just not sure what to do regarding me and my partner. He says he is honestly fine if he ends up getting it, but I still want to make sure we are being as safe as possible.

    Thanks so much 🙂

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