Living with genital herpes

I’m stuck with herpes for the rest of my life. No orgasm is worth that.

It will certainly pass, the doctor said to 26-year-old medical student Mirthe. Instead, the herpes attacks became so bad that she constantly has to take medication. The virus will never go away. “I always found condoms such a hassle. Now I know that sex is not worth the consequences of an STI”

“Two years ago, I had sex with my ex. Without a condom. A week later, I had a fever. Urinating was painful. And I got little blisters on my vagina. I went to the doctor for an STI test. My suspicions were confirmed: genital herpes. The attack will certainly pass the doctor said. A common misconception. The blisters only got worse. Two days later I went to the local STI clinic. I received medication immediately.

The virus will never disappear from my body. Some people never get another herpes attack. They are only carrying the virus. But I have an attack every month. For a year and a half. That’s why I take medication every day. It’s no fun. But now I don’t have problems. Sadly it doesn’t mean that I can’t infect other people. As long as I take the medication and don’t have an attack, there’s very little chance of infection.

Because of herpes, I certainly use condoms now. Particularly if I don’t know someone well. And if I have an attack, I don’t have sex. I’m a little ashamed about it. I prefer not to talk about it with a guy. I didn’t tell my previous boyfriend until after a few months, when a condom got torn. Luckily he was very understanding. My latest regular partner also knows that I’m carrying the virus. We decided together to stop using condoms. But although the chance is small, I’m always a little scared that I’ll infect him.

I’m not angry with the ex who gave me herpes. At school I heard enough about the dangers of unprotected sex. But I always found condoms such a hassle. I never thought I would catch an STI. I was very stupid in retrospect. My ex didn’t want to use a condom, but I should have known better. It was very painful when he denied giving me the STI.

Now I know that anyone can have an STI. You can’t trust someone just because you’re in love. The disadvantages of condoms don’t outweigh the benefits. People are only frightened of HIV. Yet other STIs can have far-reaching consequences. I’m stuck with herpes for the rest of my life. No orgasm is worth that.”