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Also after reading up about it I understood that you can still get it even if you use condoms.
That made me feel better as I was feeling guilty about the times when I was younger and had had unprotected sex.
After a very uncomfortable night (having to sit in a warm bath to wee) I went to the sexual health centre in Bristol at 9am on New Years Eve. He and the nurse in the room were so kind and sympathetic.
I was in a lot of pain and they made me feel at ease.
Our mutual friend, her housemate was concerned she might ‘catch’ herpes from her and saw it as something dirty.
I didn’t know anything about herpes but I listened to her worries, didn’t judge and it was the start of a long friendship.
I remember they then listed all the others STIs I had been tested for – HIV was negative, syphilis negative etc etc.
I remember feeling relieved that I just had herpes rather than another STI as it didn’t have any long term health impacts.
There was no way of knowing who I had contracted it from as it can lie dormant but my partner occasionally suffered from cold sores so I did wonder if I had got it from oral sex. A week later we were in Waitrose when I got the call from the sexual health clinic – they confirmed that I had HSV type 1.Getting an STI or STD is a huge fear for most people.Conditions like these have both physical and social side effects.When we were messaging about it once it autocorrected to ‘heroes’ so that’s what we now call it. I tend to just think of it as I am someone who gets cold sores but instead of being on my face where everyone can see it they are in my knickers where I can hide them. If you need information about herpes visit your local sexual health service or the Herpes Virus Association for advice and support.If you’d like to read more about coping with herpes read our blog ‘Genital herpes – what is there to worry about?