Herpes and Self Esteem

I am 18 and I contracted hsv-2 around mid-June. My boyfriend didn’t know he had it. He got tested for everything just before we had sex, but, of course, they don’t automatically test for herpes along with everything else (although they really should). At first, I just thought it was a bad yeast infection. I’d had one before and it felt similar, so I just got some otc medication for it and started using that. But after a few days, the itching didn’t go away and sores began to appear. I quickly developed a fever and such a throbbing headache that I couldn’t get out of bed for two days.

I went to the doctor who could tell what it was just by looking at it. She took a swab anyway, just to be safe and prescribed me acyclovir. I got a call a week later telling me that I did test positive. By then, I was doing a lot better. But before I got my medication, I was miserable. I didn’t feel human. The sores made it impossible to walk or even sit comfortably. And then I started thinking that no one would ever want to have sex with me or be in a relationship with me ever again because of this thing I had.

I have always had issues with sex. I was terrified of it for years and, seeing as this was only my second time, I became even more terrified of it. And I began hating myself for letting this happen to me.

But as my condition got better, so did my outlook. I realized that, while this isn’t ideal, it’s not the end of the world. And it could be a lot worse. This doesn’t affect my day-to-day life at all. I just have to watch how I take care of myself, which really isn’t a bad thing. I take medication now whenever I have an ob. I’ve had two more since my initial one and each has been much better than the last. I’m hopeful that it will continue that way. Each time I have an ob, I get a little down and don’t feel at my best, but in between obs, I feel normal and sometimes forget that I even have herpes.

Hopefully I’ll get to the point where I’ll have obs very infrequently. But, either way, I refuse to let herpes define who I am and let it affect my life in any negative way.

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