Having unprotected s*x may seem like fun at the time, but what happens when you find out that those few minutes of passion have turned into an STD with no cure? Sometimes even when you use protection you can still contract certain STDs such as HSV-2 (herpes simplex virus). One woman shared her experience with Women’s Health Magazine in an effort to warn women that this can be contracted even when you are using protection and what to do about it.
The woman was noticing some itching while she was on a trip but chalked it up to a yeast infection since her most recent STD panel had been clean. She had spoken to a friend on the phone about it and her friend asked her if she ever thought that it may be herpes as they do not test for that on a standard STD panel. She brushed it off at first. She went to the doctor when she got home and got tests done. They gave her some pills and sent her on her way after the yeast infection test came back positive. Her friend’s question was still in the back of her mind. She decided that she would get the tests done for herpes just in case but knew that she had only been with two people, both times were when they were in monogamous relationships, and there had never been a time when they weren’t using protection.
The woman ordered a kit from the mail that is sent directly to an urgent care facility nearby. She got the blood work done and was horrified to learn that she had tested positive for HSV-2. She didn’t understand as she had no symptoms and had used c0ndoms every time. After reading more about it she found out that HSV-2 is transmitted by skin cell contact, not by fluids like other STDs. She found out that 81% of people who have HSV-2 don’t know that they have it because like her they have no symptoms. She called up her two exes and spoke with them about the matter.
After visiting with her gynecologist she found out some interesting information. Even though she had technically tested positive, she tested at a low risk index and there was a good chance she didn’t actually have herpes, it just detected some of the antibodies that may be present. Still to this day she does not know if she is in fact HSV-2 positive for sure or not. It was hard to tell with no symptoms. There is one test that is 100% accurate called the Western Blot but it’s only performed at the University of Washington and is a very expensive test that most insurance companies will not cover.
The woman sometimes regrets taking that test and wishes that she were living in blissful ignorance about the whole thing. She is now faced with a lifetime of wondering if she in fact has this incurable disease that could affect all of her future relationships.