Two years ago, I was dating this guy and we both got tested for STD’s before we became intimate. A few months after we began a sexual relationship, I was in excruciating pain. I couldn’t walk, pee, or drive; I couldn’t do anything without being in severe pain. I finally decided to make a trip to my doctor, in hopes that she could figure out what was wrong with me and possibly prescribe something for the pain. Unfortunately, the doctor couldn’t figure out what was wrong, and so I returned home with no answers and no medication. The doctor visit was hopeless, and the pain grew worse as I attempted to urinate. As I could take the pain no longer, I urinated in the tub doggy style just so cold water can hit my vagina, so it wouldn’t burn as bad. Certain that the condition was getting worse, I went back to the doctor the next day. She again informs me that she isn’t able to diagnose my condition, and I arrive to my breaking point. I could not believe that my own doctor couldn’t figure out what was happening to my body, nor did she feel the need to supply me any medication. I had to know what was wrong with me…so I took a trip to the emergency room, while my mother accompanied me for support.
During my emergency room visit, they determined that I was severely dehydrated. That was not a surprise to me, since I had cut out a lot of fluids since urination had become so painful. I was given an i.v. and a catheter because I had held in my urine for 26 hours. They collected one liter of urine from me. The visit went downhill from here.
The doctor arrives to the room, and I’m nervous and anxious to hear what has been causing me all this misery. I did not expect to find out what I did. In a matter of seconds, my entire life was changed.
He (the doctor) informs me that I have Herpes and 14 open lesions on my vagina. At 22 years old, I was diagnosed with an STD that I would have for the rest of my life.
I was stunned, but unable to cry anymore. I laid in the hospital bed feeling defeated, and listened as my mother wept. I had trusted my boyfriend, and in turn, he had given me an STD that would remain with me forever.
The doctor prescribed me some type of numbing creme to ease the pain, and allow me to urinate with experiencing any pain. I was also prescribed Valtrex, as well as a visit to the ENT (ears, nose, and throat) doctor since I also had strep throat.
When I returned home, I was still in pain and too afraid to pee. I decided to call my boyfriend, and I wanted answers. Did he know he had Herpes? And did he do this intentionally? I needed to know, because I felt life my entire life was over, and because of him, I was now just damaged goods.
My boyfriend claimed he had no idea that he had Herpes, and apologized for my the pain he had caused me. To me, these words were just bulls–t, and I decided to get the real answers from a more reliable source: his best friend.
I called his best friend, and told him everything. As I got emotional on the phone, my boyfriend’s best friend decided it would be best for me to speak to my boyfriend’s last girlfriend. He gave me the ex’s number, and I dialed her number to get the answers I needed. She tells me that my boyfriend had given her Herpes too, knocked her up, and had the nerve to demand she get an abortion. The tears that I couldn’t find in the emergency room began to run down my cheeks.
I explained to her that I had been responsible,,,we did get tested, together. Everything came back negative. She then tells me that he pulled the same trick on her, and the test he took with her had came back negative as well. She said that he knows that you have to ask to be tested for herpes, but I again explained that we had been tested. But it was at that moment that I realized that I didn’t know enough about STD’s, and that perhaps my boyfriend took advantage of that, and intentionally infected me with an STD.
We hung up and shortly after I called my boyfriend’s best friend back. I asked him why he decided to help me, and he told me that he felt like it was the right thing to do, since this is not the first time my boyfriend has done this. During all of this, my boyfriend could not be found for 2 weeks. I made frequent trips to his house, waited for hours, and he never showed up. I finally heard from a little birdy that he had relocated to another city, and eventually moved in with his mother, and I had no idea where she stayed.
What’s the worst part of all of this, in addiction to me a having an STD that I can never get rid of? I work with this “man.” So everyday I go to work, I am constantly reminded of all the pain he put me through.
The entire situation took a toll on me emotionally. I was embarrassed, depressed and I felt completely betrayed and alone. Every time I saw someone, I thought to myself that they weren’t carrying a STD that they would have for the rest of their life. I honestly felt like I was the only one in the world who had Herpes. I had no one to talk to. Who would honestly understand what I was going through?
But just like that, a co-worker pulled me to the side one day and told me that she had Herpes. I began to cry, as she told me her story. Only my mother and my cousin knew I had Herpes, so how did she know what I had been going through? My [ex] boyfriend was purposely infecting women with the disease, so I know that he had not told any of our co-workers that I had the STD. I took this as a blessing from God, and she and I formed a close friendship. She is now like a big sister to me, and she has helped me cope with the lifelong disease.
And even though I felt like damaged goods, I met an amazing man who though otherwise. I cried for days before I told him I had Herpes, but even after I told him, he told me he still wanted to be with me. He was willing to learn more about the disease, so we could both have a safe relationship. He also didn’t view me as a nasty infected tramp, but instead, as a woman who had trusted a man that she shouldn’t have. He doesn’t feel contracting the disease is the end of the world, and he still wanted to be with me. And two years later, we’re still going strong and he still loves me. He knows that stress can cause outbreaks, so he makes sure that I have less stress in my life and in our relationship. I want to have a family one day, so I am afraid of giving it to my man, and having an outbreak through my pregnancy. But I know we will work together to make sure that those things don’t happen.
I’m sharing my story because I know I want to help someone else like my coworker helped me. Sometimes we all just need to see someone in our lives overcome the obstacles that we are stumbling against. I figure if someone else is infected with the disease, this will give them the courage they need to forgive themselves and move forward. I am at a point in my life where I love myself, and I accept that this STD will always be a part of me. I didn’t know enough about getting tested, and I trusted someone with my life when I shouldn’t have. But I hope women will read this story, and realize that they should be getting tested for EVERY SINGLE STD out there. I know we always hear about AIDS and HIV, but there are so many other STDs out there that can impact your life forever. Some of these disease are lifelong like Herpes, and some of them can lead to cervical cancer and even keep women from ever having children.
We have to be more protective of our bodies, and get more education on these diseases. Most importantly, we have to be mentors to these young girls who don’t understand the dangers of sex. Children are having sex at an even younger age than we were, and they need to know all of the risks.
And most importantly, these stories shouldn’t be taboo anymore, but instead motivation to make better choices. If more people came out and shared their experiences like I have chosen to do, just maybe we can initiate the dialogue necessary to save lives and empower women to value theirs.
No Longer a Victim