Sex, Love, And Psych
Sex, Love, And Psych

Episode 34 · 1 month ago

Episode 34: Herpes Interview Part 1


Join me as a I chat with my friend who has herpes. In this episode we dive into some mythbusting, stigma, and some of the medical side of dealing with herpes. Tune in next week to hear more about disclosure and dating with herpes. 

... and I have a little special guest on today to talk about something very specific that a lot of people might know about but might know a lot of infamous information about. Yeah, so my name is Kate and some of you might know me, some of you might not, but at least at this point you're going to know what I have, and I have herpes. So for me personally, my herkeys strain is scientifically called HSB and it is one. So that is commonly for most people, recognized as oral herpes, which would be like cold doors, but I have it on my gentals, so I actually have it on the lower half of my body, which a lot of people know. It considered as HSB to, which is more of a powerful strain, but that is a myth because you can get it anywhere on your body. And Yeah, mine specifically wanted to go downstairs. And how long have you known about your Herbes? So I have my first visible outbreak in October two thousand and twenty, and the thing with knowing when I contracted it is that I do not know for sure, but I don't know when I had it. I don't know who I got it from. It wasn't to say that I was sleeping with a lot of people at once. I thought I was being very careful, using a condom, using my own protection for birth control, things that they tell you to do. So I thought I was being pretty safe. But at some point or another I did get it and I don't know how long I did have it, because it can stay dormant in your system for more than a year. You may not know you have it for years and years and years until you do have an outbreak. So yeah, yeah, so you covered a couple myths kind of within your story there, but too kind of break into a few ones, like I guess the number one that we've kind of already covered is that herpies is rare. Yes, so herpes is actually a lot less rare than you may think. It is considered to have one in three people that have it and any way, shape or form. So, because it's not only one kind of form, you can get it as HSB, one HSV too. You can get it wit low, which is anywhere on your skin. You can have outbreaks anywhere on your body, including your eyes, your ears, anywhere internally. In your throat. So there are a lot of misconceptions that herpes is just on your private area, it's just your genitals. It's not just that...

...only through skin to skin contact. Yeah, so you can't just like contract it from sitting on a toilet seat then no. So the the virus is actually very unstable. Once it's outside of the human body, it basically dies. It doesn't matter how long it has been there for, it will once it leaves human contact. It is considered a dead virus so will not spread. So any inanimate objects like a toothbrush, you know, like a razor to a bath towel, things like that. If it's been outside the body in any way, shape or form, even in water, that is not an actual active virus at that point. Yeah, so I guess one big reaction a lot of people have to herpes in general, or do our herbes disclosure, is thinking that you must be a hoe or a slut or whatever if you have herpes. You don't know how long you've had it. So, with that being said, you can have a partner. You could literally have sex with one person and be monogamous and, you know, do the whole wham Bam thanky, ma'am, get married, would be together for seven years and one day, because you don't know your partner sexual history. They don't know their own sexual history. They might have contracted it from a family member when they were a child, like. There's so many factors where you don't have to be just sleeping with multiple partners to increase that risk. So, yeah, you can be very man honous of one person. They might have it for a very long time and not even know. They can show symptoms. You can show symptoms one day. It's not all about cheating. A lot of people think that too, right. Yeah, so they think that okay, like, you know, I got something, you must have meant it on it on me. It's really not like that. It could be like that. In some cases. It is like that, unfortunately, where people, you know, go out and they think that they're just teaming on somebody and there thing's going to be fine, but then they bring home the STD to their partners, which is another way that herpes is spread so rapidly. And then, because there are so many different strains, you have the HSC one, which is primarily quolt sours and oral. If you were to have that for any reason against skin to skin contact. So if you had an outbreak and you kissed your child or somebody like you know he's never had any kind of like sexual contact, just like any kind of family member, you could give them the virus just from doing that. So it's really just a matter of not if, but when. In some circumstances. Yeah, thinking a lot of circumstances for sure, because, as we've said,... can have it for a really long time. You can be a symptomatic forever. It can just be up in your system. Yeah, and I think, yeah, that's definitely one thing a lot of people don't understand is that they just think that it's constant outbreaks and then the only way you can spread it. But that's definitely not true. We both know. So can you spread it when you're not in an active flare up, or is it just when you're in an active breakout with a bunch of swords and stuff like? You can be something called viral shedding. So if you think about it, it's kind of like you can stick your hand and toilet. That's all poopy, and then you can obviously physically don't do that. You can help it. Don't. Maybe don't do that one. But if you, if you did, and then you physically wash off the the poop, it's gone in your in you know, and in your eyes it's gone. But if you took a microscope to it, there's still be fecal matter somewhere in your pores, under your fingernails, things like that. So just because you can't visibly see any kind of reaction and he kind of sore, any kind of bump, doesn't mean it's not there and it can't be transferred. So again, skin to skin contact. Guess what? A condom protects insects. That little thing, I mean whatever you want to go little there. You know, compared to your body size, very little thing on your body is actually protected by this latex condom. When you are having sex as somebody you can transfer it, with an outbreak or without an outbreak, again, viral shutting, just by rubbing on their thighs. If they when you have sex, you're probably not, you know, between a sheet on the other side of it, when we'll just your column to Penis. It. Yeah, like literally, that's not you know, you're not like extending your body and pushing it out like a thrust it like it's not going to happen like that. Everybody knows you're all over each other. Can Be other contacts. There's literally you're just getting is somewhere else on their body. That's robbing us, pushing it's, you know, getting sweaty and getting all over the place, and we believe in for playing here's yeah, and that's the thing. It's like, yeah, you are literally skin to skin contact during that whole experience, when you're cuddling, after you have sex, like before whatever, when you're touching each other's skin, there is a risk that the spread. It can happen. So something that happens when you are diagnosed with it is that you can use anti viral medication. So once the first thing that doctors do you recommend is that you do get onto through the pills, which are used to kind of depress the virus from shedding or to decrease the risk of it shedding and also lessons the symptoms for the actual patient that actually has the virus and...

...makes it a little bit better for them and they do have an outbreak. But yeah, that is definitely always a risk factor and people to realize is that it's not a condom that will protect you from contracting any kind of STD that is a viral. See like that. It's just not going to do the trick. But does this mean you can't ever have a healthy suck to life or that you'll be single forever? No, absolutely not. So this is like a very huge thing because I think for me to like when I was first diagnosed, to caught me off guard completely. When I first realize that I even had it, I was like I was itchy for one thing. So first thing that comes to mind is like, Oh, I have a yeast infection. Yeah, something like our an ingrown hair. Yeah, he doesn't say hair growing back or literally a need to urge break wins pray white. Go with it, right, under he being too tight? Yeah, anything. He just anything. Right. So, like you're thinking like okay, yeah, like sure, like, I know, I've been protecting myself, I've been using a condom, I have, you know, doing the things I'm supposed to do when I'm, you know, going through the Hook up phase. And Yeah, and so you're like why am I so issy? And I'm not talking like literally like you just like once in a while it's like it's she it's like like it's like full on, especially right before bed, and you're sitting there and you're like holy mother trucker, like I'm sitting here like just like like nothing stopping this itch. That visual was great. Like I like I'm I think at one point I was just like masturbating hardcore all the time. Cuts the only thing that would like makes me blood flow differently down there. So like it would just like fired it out stop the ITCH. It was a thing that I figured out. But unfortunately you can't just be masturbating like all night. So I I mean, sure, we got other stuff to like do. It like to of ten, but like it's uncomfortable feeling so so in that. This was. This is, ironically so. This was years before I was actually diagnosed and I had this moment where I was actually embededching the crap out of myself. So I was like hey, maybe I should go see a doctor, maybe maybe I should go get tested, I don't know, and so ended up going into the doctor and Sidebar, the doctor forgot that I was even there to put me in a room. I was there for like two hours, but I didn't think to actually go on. But they're like creaking doctor were like saying, yeah, they were closing and then this one nurse goes into check the room, probably a clean everything, and she's like Oh, like, what are you doing here, like waiting for someone to look at my vagina? It was wild, but anyway, it's not something I have to wait two hours for. No, apparently not that. See, that just tells you I didn't go for any kind of testing before for that. That is a...

...scary thing out its own. Get regularly tested. That's yeah, please, please, new partners every six months. It's such an easy thing and it like literally it takes much time as you probably going to get gas at a gas station. Yeah, you just walk in, they like take your your blood and your P and the go okay, cool, callie off anything. And it's just one of those things that, again, they don't talk about. In the school system. was much without remember them ever talking about going to get tested. Yeah, no, and I learned about a university. Yeah. So, so another sidebar, whack, whack, but like yeah, and I'm like, I'm totally going off track here because I'm not writing anything down, so I forgot the question completely. That's okay, you can still have a healthy sex life. Yeah, I think that's Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, so we brought it back. So, but I just kind of want to tell the back story to write. Yeah, obviously, like, yes, I didn't know, and then I went to the doctors and then they said everything's everything's cool. Like they came back and they're just like, you know what, there's nothing's wrong with you. We did a full STD panel. HMM, a full STD panel. Yeah, we can talk about that in a second. Well, and then and they said nothing's wrong. So just must be like some hormones or something and give me like all these weird things that are just touched women in our hormones. Yeah, so, so, at any rate, I think it was like maybe a couple weeks later, like the symptoms actually did go away on their own and I was fine and it was great, and so I went back on my whole shit. And so, yeah, you did. Naturally, fig around that time I actually gotten too a serious relationship to so it's kind of like ending to that, but go ring, just getting right, but like no, but, but, yeah, it was not a very long hope face at that point. But I say hope face very lovingly and and daringly. Yeah, hope phases. Yeah, that's like a kind of like a part of it, your sexual being, and you gotta like do your Shit, because you know, one day maybe you don't do that shit anymore because you know, life is what is. But Um, you get all you die, so you have the on your home shit at least. Yeah, yeah, I don't know, but yeah, let's so shit safely. Hohit safely. So, Um. So, yeah, then I ended up forgetting and loving and forgetting and during my entire relationship with the partner that I was with, I didn't get tested because I thought again, Oh, I'm with somebody monogamously, why should I get tested? Get tested, I don't care if you're with a person. When you first start seeing a person, like it doesn't matter who they are, there should be like a like a conversation, like you're asking them what their favorite color is. Yeah, it should be like, Hey, let's go down to the thing and will make a date out of it and make a day. I getting a STD screamed, and then go for I scream. Yeah, exactly, like make it a cute little like thing. Go good blood or something to adding that to the list of date ideas cues a orrible for us. And then, anyway, so then back to my actual like story about like what I was...

...diagnosed. So again, same thing happened. I started getting itchy again, but the difference between this and the last time because I went to the doctor, it was because I was getting red bumpies on my area. HMM. Yeah, Um, and they were bumps. They were just look like in growners. Yeah, like raisor burn. Look literally like razor burn, and which made sense to me because I was like shaving. So raizorburn happen. So like, yes, there's burn and raiser bird's itchy. Yeah, but like the only thing that made a difference is has started getting really, really tingly. It's did start smelling kind of like fish, not that like nice little, like Yummy fishy odor of that. Everybody's looking choice so good. Wanted to us about so yeah. So, yeah, I ended up anything getting like this whole thing happening where I was just like, something is wrong, I have to check this out. I'm looking on noise, I'm tapping up heat. So I was like, yeah, something's wrong, I got to check it out. So I ended up going to the STD panelist and then getting that done and it came back negative and I was like that is really weird, because this is not normal. And keep in mind that maybe a week or two before, I did have sex with somebody that I, I'm knew for about four months prior. I worked with this person and I ended up going over to his place where one night stand and I was using a used condom and everything like that. So I mean like it was great and wonderful and everything was good and Daddy, but it wasn't. So around that same time I was also kind of seeing another person because I was, you know, of dating people and trying to get to know NA datting around. I was stating around, and I how shy about it, like yeah, I was just like doing my damn thing, I'm keeping young fun. So but you know, I was. I was kind of like seeing someone, we're getting to know each other, and so it kind of put a halt to that where obviously I didn't want to do anything sexual that person because I was like there is something wrong. I know they're saying there isn't anything wrong, but there's something wrong with me. Um. And I think it was a week after that I started getting actual like source and they were open source. They were like they were chosing like they were like literally what you picture her pies to look like. They're everywhere and some on my butt like you're on but whole like it was like everywhere down there. It was bye out, it was and it hurt. And it hurt when You peeed because your pee as a woman, it comes out and it splashes everywhere in all in the area in your shit, like it's literally like it there's no escaping it. There's not unless you like literally hover over the toilet and spread open your lips, like like everywhere, and it's like it's like getting the cat...

...scratch and putting freaking like, you know, Hans sanitizer on your hands, like it's kind of hurt Um. So yeah, so that happened. And so then I went to my actual doctor and the whole way that I was on the way there's the doctor, like a natural doctor, not stv analyst, I was thinking, Oh, I know it's her bees, I know it's her like I knew it. I knew it in the back of my mind. I was like, I know it is, I know it is. But then in my head I was like it's probably syphilis. That can be cured by a pill, like you're fine, it's one of the easy one. It's one of the easy ones. So you can like literally take a pill for it's probably some weird God rearrash, some Clemiti rash, like I don't know, it's probably just some other stdasypd gone in a week. And this is like coming from me where I was like I was so like I never had a worry about that ever in my life, like I never give a thought to having an STD before. HMM. So they're like literally sit there be like, oh, I hope it's this, like even though, like you know, intuition, you know what. It is a weird trend of thought to be in. It's a weird trending thought. And so I get there and then the doctor literally looks at it, looks at it. Yeah, he looks at it and he's just like yeah, her bees. Yeah, like didn't none have to, like he he did a swab at all that good stuff and everything, but he's like he of her bees and I don't think that if I mentioned it to him and just went for another STD screen paneling, that they would never know, they would never have cont it. So that's really scary too, because that you just don't know and then, yeah, and then I end up taking valtracks, which is a medication that use right. So end up taking the vowel tracks and then the actual like sores and everything went away. And when I say went away, like they left bruising and scars for like a week after they were there, but then it was like one day they just like all disappeared, like everything is beautiful and Peachy and amazing down below. It's great, love that for you, but it's really good. So, medically speaking, I was actually on the up and up at that point. This is just medically speaking. Emotionally as a whole, difference. Yeah, so, yeah, so, as you kind of covered, ste panel test don't usually test for her bees. You can get a full test, you can test regularly and unless you're going to see a doctor with an active visual outbreak, they're probably not going to say that that's what it is. Yeah, yeah, exactly. And Yeah, they don't. And then they don't even know like if, even if you say they're in you're like, I want to get tested for her bees and you request it specifically and say like okay, my partner has its, I want to get tested for it just to make sure if I have it already or if I did contract from them. The lot of doctors don't have enough information about it to even feel comfortable, first of all, talking about it. There's a lot of doctors that will actually just like write you off completely if you even come in and say it's about her bees. There's a lot that have misinformation. So quick example, bull my friend walked... This is like a long time ago, and I remember her coming home from her doctor's appointment and she said that she asked the doctor to check for herpes because her partner did have it, and they said, Oh, has he been cheating on you? You like stuff like that, where it's like these like they went's not a conversation that needs to be had with your doctor. No, and then that's the thing. It's like they dislike they amplify the stigmas that are already there about the whole thing. So yeah, I just I just feel like it's one of those things that are still in the medical community unless you're going to maybe like a specific like webbing doctor. Yeah, like an STI got to cologists clinic, like some specializes in all of them. Yeah, you're not going to get that same care. I was lucky enough to go to a random doctors and even have a family doctor. went to a random doctor and he was a freaking amazing man and he like, I trusted him as soon as I saw him. Kind of thing right. So yeah, fortunate and he was able to talk to me about it and give me the information that I needed. But even then, like, I don't remember getting a pamphlet. I don't remember getting any more information than this. Is what you have. I'll call you in a couple weeks to let you know what stream you have. Kind of M so could you some extra info there? For sure. So we have plenty more of this interview to cover, but we did go on for quite a while, so I have chosen to break it up into two episodes. This seems like a good spot to stop it. I hope that it offered you some new perspectives and new information, maybe something you didn't know before, maybe a conversation you want to start, or a little bit of a new perspective on the stigma around her bees. I did want to thank my friend here for joining in on this conversation and being so open and vulnerable and honest, and I hope you can all tune in for next week's episode, which will be a part to where we dive into a little bit more of the stigma and dating with her bees. So thank you so much for tuning in have a great week.

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