How to Deal with an STD
The guide to thriving after diagnosis, and also a prevention for dummies.
Three years ago, I was casually dating a boy, and one day this boy had a cold sore on his mouth. Some cunnilingus and few days later, I was experiencing extreme pain in my womanly regions... enflamed vulva and outer skin, strange sores that looked like popped blisters that invaded the whole area, pain while sitting, standing, doing anything, smelly discharge, and thick rough skin. I know, gross.
I rushed to the emergency room instead of my first class of the day. Some painful and utterly shameful testing later, I was informed that I had herpes. Boy did not take it well, and the relationship ended that day.
Being so naive yet so sexual at this age was a bad combination, as I knew nothing about how STDs could spread. I thought that condoms was precautionary enough, yet I did not think that a mere cold sore could transmit and translate to my vagina.
I was more than distraught, depressed, and desperate. I thought this was the end of my dating career, and imagined an image of my lonely old body engulfed in knitting yarn and cat feces as my own kittens ate my body. Funny how the mind always assumes the worst.
My (horrible) general practitioner told me to withhold the information of my conditions to a partner until I had a diamond ring on my fing. This advice never sat well with me, yet my mother agreed, so I ran with it at first.
I began dating again, after too little time of wound licking, and boy #2 arrived. We dated for a few months, using condoms to do the deed, and eventually he desired to hit it raw, and I realized it was time to tell him. He was horrified, wondering what his family would think (like it was anyone else's business other than ours), wept, and I went home. We did not see each other for a week as he collected his thoughts and did research, got tested, etc.
Moving on, boy #3 comes along, and I decide to be more strict this time, telling him before having sex, but after a bit of other activities. He took it well at first and did his research... but then a few months later, became ill with bronchitis and misdiagnosed himself at first in peer panic with meningitis (which can be caused by herpes (or literally any bacterial/viral infection, or injury, cancer, or certain drugs... LOL)) and wrongfully accused me of afflicting this upon him. I couldn't handle him much longer after that strange episode.
<Insert the love of my gd life>
This man began to court and chase me, and I ultimately left boy #3 because of him. Don't worry, I'm a faithful bean and there was no overlap.
I was falling for him quicker than I was able to manage, and intimacy was starting to get heated. Although he was very respectful and patient, he started wondering why I'd button my pants back up after he unbuttoned them. I realized it was time, and told him about my herpes before any sexual activity had taken place, just some kissing. The beautiful thing was his response, which was "Are you okay?" as tears streamed down my face in fear.
The first thing you need to know if you have been diagnosed with an STD is your worth is not dampened by your STD. You are still worthy of love, compassion, passion, desire, attention, and all the things. You are amazing, as you were before and will remain.
Do not allow your partners to make you feel like a slut or whore, do not allow them to tear you apart making you feel like you did not take proper precautions. That is not their business whether you did or did not, and not their place to make you feel less than because of it. If one does, see this as a major red flag and deal breaker, and move the hell on, so quick.
Second, although STDs barely interfere with your sex life, you should tell every partner before any sexual activity of any sort past kissing, because it would be so unfair not to and move forward as though it weren't there. Accept it, and be just.
Third, go to your doctor and get all the information and medications needed. You must be knowledgable so you can inform your partners if they are undereducated!
With genital herpes, 1 in 8 Americans carry it, and up to 90% never know due to never experiencing symptoms. I carry valacyclovir, the anti-viral pills prescribed to me for when I have breakouts, with me in my purse so I can begin taking them whenever I feel a breakout start. During a breakout, if I'm experiencing the specific discharge (I can distinguish it apart) or have any sores, I start my dosage and refrain from sex completely until the sore and discharge disappear or I've finished the bottle. Although herpes *allegedly* can be transmitted even while dormant, I've been informed by multiple doctors it is truly only while a breakout is present. Do your own research, I am not a doctor and my word is no where close to fact.
At the end of the day, one in two people develop an STD in America. Chlamydia is so damn common it would blow your mind, and they are just bodily infections or viruses like any other. It doesn't matter how it was spread, there is no need to get sheepish or become embarrassed over the subject, and your life will go on!
Thank you for reading, and I wish the best damn sex upon you all!