Why I Got Herpes

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Why me? This is something I asked myself for years. I would sit crying wondering why this happened to me. What did I do to deserve this? I couldn’t think of anything worse than getting diagnosed with herpes. 

Things that ran through my head were: why me and why not her? How is this going to impact my life? I wasn’t a slut, I didn’t sleep around and I was careful so how did I get this?

The truth is the herpes virus doesn’t really care how many people you’ve slept with. The way you get herpes is having skin to skin contact with someone who has the virus. And with 2 out of 3 people having HSV1 and 1 out of 6 people having HSV2, it’s extremely easy to find someone with herpes. (source)

Here’s why I got herpes.

I got herpes because I had sex with someone who got his regular STI tests done but herpes wasn’t included. He also was asymptomatic so he had never had an outbreak. Or if he did it was probably pretty minor.

I got herpes because I didn’t ask to see his tests. Had I asked to see his test results then I would have seen that herpes wasn’t included and I would have asked him to go get tested. I got tested and my results came back negative and I just took his word for it. 

My story is not that uncommon, in fact it probably sounds pretty similar to yours. We think we’re being careful and we ask our potential partner if they have anything or about STI tests and then we just take their word for it. I never though someone would lie to me, nor did I think that someone wouldn’t know. Maybe I was naive, maybe it was my youth, but that was how I rolled. I also believed that I would never sleep with someone like that, nor would the guy I was interested in, ever sleep with someone like that. 

I was full of stereotypes, full of trust and also thinking that it would never happen to me. But it did. 

Looking back, would I change it? Well, yes and no. I wouldn’t change the chapter in my book because I got herpes. It’s part of who I am and it’s part of my journey and my story. I live with my decision and use that as a learning experience to move forward and make different choices. The yes part to the answer is that I made different choices after I was diagnosed with herpes. I raised my standards, gained my confidence and set out on a journey not to settle. I realized I was settling when I was dating prior to being diagnosed with herpes. And now that I had herpes I had to stand up for myself and what I expected. 

We can’t beat ourselves up what choices we made in the past or things that happen in the past. Our decisions were made and that happened, they are done and we now move forward. We can’t answer the question of why I got herpes and someone else didn't. Or why if I just finally got herpes and didn’t get it when I was in a different relationship. All we can do is move forward. 

The one thing I wish I had when I was diagnosed was a community. I was in so much pain physically and emotionally and was all alone. That is why I created the Secret Society. It’s an online community of people who are just like you and me. They are from all over the world with their own story but the funny thing is that it’s probably very similar to yours. Anyway, we’re here and we have 2 live calls a week as well as a community of people who just get you. 

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