I had barely finished my first semester of college when I found out I had herpes.
When I confronted my friend about the situation, I asked if he knew that he had herpes. It was hard enough to face the fact that we'd had sex, or tried to, and it was much harder to cope with the fact that I had caught an incurable sexually transmitted disease.
In 1989, when I got herpes, the nurse told me I couldn't transmit the virus unless I was having an outbreak.
He said he would know if he had been with someone who had herpes. In the end, instead of rejecting me, he chose to continue our relationship. But after we had sex, he would always wash himself like a doctor scrubbing down for an operation.
I could hardly blame him, but it wreaked havoc on my self-esteem.
Less than a week later, I found myself in excruciating pain.
It hurt to walk, and I couldn't use soap anywhere near my genital area.
I knew enough about sexually transmitted diseases to know that I had herpes, but I didn't know exactly what to do.
As I sat in the college health center waiting to see a doctor, I watched my very short-lived social life drift by.
Each time I had an outbreak, which for me consisted of a very small cluster of blisters that lasted two or three days, I'd pretend I had a yeast infection and say I couldn't have sex until it was gone.