Last Updated on June 4, 2020 by Valinda Riggins Nwadike, MD, MPH
A concise and poignant interview submitted anonymously via the contact form. This full-time student shares how her genital herpes diagnosis has impacted her emotionally and has affected her relationships with family, friends, and partners.
The process of simply writing about your feelings can be healing, but it’s always nice to know you’re not alone and that others have experienced similar emotions.
You’re definitely not alone, interiewee, and we’re thankful you were willing to share your story with us in hopes of helping others as well.
1. How old are you?
2. What do you do for a living?
3. What STI/STD do you have/have you had?
Genital Herpes (HSV2)
4. How long have you had or known you have an STI/STD?
About 5 months
5. Do you know how you contracted this STI/STD?
6. How has your life changed since you contracted an STI/STD?
I am not as happy as I once was.
Some days, it is hard to get out of bed when I awaken into reality. I am still learning to accept herpes.
I am often miserable due to side effects from medications.
7. Do the people who know you have an STI/STD treat you differently than they treated you before they knew?
My parents, unfortunately, do not respect me as much as they did before. However, my friends are always there for me.
8. Are you currently under treatment for your STI/STD? If so, please share whether you have explored prescription medication, over-the-counter medication, or holistic and natural approaches.
I tried Valtrex – 1 gram 1x a day for my first outbreak. It cleared the outbreak up fast but came with bad side effects. I experienced migraines and constant fatigue.
I am now taking Zoirvax 400 MG 2x a day, but it does not seem to be working.
9. Has having an STI/STD hindered past relationships?
Yes, the last person I was with wanted nothing to do with me when they found out I had herpes.
10. Do you have a significant other? If so, how has this STI/STD affected your partner?
I don’t have a significant other currently.
11. Have you been sexually active with someone since contracting an STI/STD whom you did not tell you had an STI/STD?
Not on purpose. We engaged in unprotected sex before I found that I had herpes. Thankfully, the guy did not end up contracting it.
12. How have you changed as a result of contracting an STI/STD?
I feel depressed, ashamed, and guilty everyday. And very angry.
13. Why are you choosing to participate in this interview and/or is there anything else you would like to share with us?
Reading other people’s interviews that are in similar situations as myself made me feel so much better. It gives me support to know that there are other people out there that are trying to live with herpes.
Can you relate to this interviewee? Did it help you to read someone else’s story? Have you experienced something similar or do you have some feedback to share with this individual? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!