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Stupid HSV Virus

I was diagnosed with HSV when I was 18. I thought I was in love and this was the first partner I had ever had. After I was diagnosed, my partner told me that he had never had anything like that, so it must have been me????? He knew I had never been with anyone else, so I'm not sure how he thought that worked. I was in complete denial for a couple years. I really didn't date much, I was busy in college, studying, working, partying and I really didn't get serious with anyone. I was pretty "anti-men" for a long time, and I never really connected that to my HSV diagnosis.

After a few years, I finally was in a serious relationship and got up the nerve to tell my new boyfriend. Thankfully, he was ok with it. Unfortunately, he already knew, my "friends" had told him. I think it was then that I started to become more ashamed, as I knew I had been the subject of ugly gossip. After we had been dating for about 6 months, he developed a nasty case of oral HSV. He had an outbreak all over his throat and mouth. He went to the doctor on base, and they sent him to the DENTIST! (After 2 visits to the base hospital he was finally diagnosed with HSV) We dated for almost a year, and then broke up amicably. I did feel terribly guilty about giving him herpes, but logically, I knew that we had discussed it and he had known it was a possibility. As far as I know, he never had a genital outbreak.

Life went on and I had a few other relationships over the years. No one ever "rejected" me because of HSV, but I did have one vindictive ex-boyfriend who told  a lot of people after I broke up with him. After more harassment and a protection order, I realized it was well worth the price to be rid of him.

A year later, I met my husband to be. He was wonderful, and very accepting. We hadn't been dating very long when I told him. I already had a feeling he was "the one". He was perfect and couldn't have been more understanding. When I finally told him he said..."is that all? I thought you were going to tell me you had 3 kids hidden in the attic or something." After a while, I realized that everyone comes with baggage, be it emotional or physical. No one is perfect. Herpes isn't a huge part of my life - it stinks when I DO have an outbreak, and I will admit, on the rare occasion when I do, I silently curse the a**hole who gave it to me, but I also realize that by having sex, even with one partner, I was taking a risk and I paid a price.

A few years later my husband and I were married. We now have a beautiful little girl born without any complications. We had a fantastic Nurse Midwife who delivered her and was great about reassuring me and getting me on Valtrex a month before my due date. I don't know about "happily ever after"  but I can say that herpes has not stopped me from getting on with my life.

If you are reading this because you have been diagnosed with HSV - here is my message to you. A herpes diagnosis is only a SMALL part of who you are. Please don't let it consume your life. Sometimes I think when we tell potential partners, they make a bigger deal out of it because we make a big deal out of it. If we are ok and understand the diagnosis, I think it is easier for them to accept. Bottom line - keep your chin up. There is NO reason you can't have a perfectly normal life - including having healthy children and a great sex life. Don't let a stupid virus get the best of you!


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