My live-in boyfriend and I had been together almost two years. Although he was on a six-month deployment to the Philippines, the relationship felt solid, and when I learned he would be home for a three day weekend mid-deployment, I was overjoyed.
We had a fantastic visit and lost no opportunity to make up for lost time in the bedroom. But about three days after he left, I started feeling strange. It felt as if my vagina was literally on fire, and obviously, I knew something was terribly wrong. The pain became unbearable and I went to see the doctor to get treated. Unfortunately, part of the treatment was a lesson in brutal honesty. I'll never forget her face when she said she would send the skin samples to the lab but she was certain it would be positive for herpes. At that moment I wasn't sure which was worse: the feeling of impending doom as I waited for confirmation that I had an STD, or the lingering pain from having my insides scraped to acquire the lab samples.
I was given oral medications and creams along with instructions, and was told my name would be reported to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). They gave me pamphlets that clearly spelled out the facts, and I was questioned about any other sexual partners he or I may have had. I assured her I had not been with anyone else and we were in a committed relationship, so I was sure he had not been either. She almost shouted when she told me that my boyfriend had most definitely cheated on me. She said the symptoms are usually only this bad with the first outbreak and he must have had an active outbreak to spread it to me. 10 Things You Should Know About Herpes
Outbreak. It was a term I would come to know well over the coming months.
As soon as I hit the apartment door, I ran for the phone. He denied having an STD. He denied cheating. He refused to seek treatment with the military doctor for fear it would go in his records. I couldn't believe it. Later he admitted that he had experienced blisters on his penis before but thought it was just from rough sex. Now he tells me.