STDiaries: Living With Genital Herpes Really, Really Sucks

Name: Alana Brown

Age: 24

Current city you live in: San Francisco, California

Occupation: Assistant Producer

What STD do you have?

Genital Herpes

What are the symptoms of the STD?

I get these sores around my vagina that are very painful and make it hard to wear clothes or even sit down. A breakout can last anywhere from a couple days to a couple weeks depending on if you have the medication.

Is there medication for it/is it curable?

Herpes is incurable. There is medication you can take to help the symptoms when a breakout occurs. There is also preventative medication you take all the time to stop the breakouts from occurring.

When were you diagnosed?

I noticed a painful sore on my vagina and thought maybe it was a zit or a rash, but when it didn’t go away and more started to appear I went and got myself tested at Planned Parenthood. They called a week later and told me I had genital herpes.


Do you know how you contracted the STD?

I’m ashamed to say no. I was having unprotected sex with several different partners when I was diagnosed.

How has having this STD affected your life?

I am basically the poster girl for condoms now and I make sure all of my friends and loved ones know how shitty it can be if you don’t use a condom. I also won’t have sex at all if I have a breakout.

Your love/sex life (relationship with partner if you have one)?

I don’t have a boyfriend, but if I were to get into something more serious with someone I would obviously tell them I had herpes before anything happened.

Do you need to take medications? Are there side effects?

I take the medication to help when a breakout occurs, but I have an appointment with my gyno to get the preventative medication because I can’t take the breakouts anymore.

What methods are you using to cope with living with an STD?

I won’t lie, it really, really sucks. I’ve gotten really depressed about it sometimes because my sex life and romantic life is changed forever and it’s my own fault for not using protection.

Do you have a support system?

Yes, I have a strong group of friends and family supporting me.

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