I went to the doctor today to find out why I was experiencing a painful breakout on my nether regions, and it turns out I have herpes. I have been with only one man for the last two years, and he is the only man I have ever had intercourse with.
I had a serious talk with him today, and he told me that before we started dating, he got tested for every STI, and they all came back negative. I'm so confused because from what I have read online, the initial outbreak usually happens within two to four weeks of contraction, but we have been together for more than two years! Did he cheat? Has this infection laid dormant in him for years? I am scared and confused. Any advice would be a great comfort to me right now. — Taken Aback Abbie
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Dear Taken Aback Abbie,
You are right, the first outbreak of genital herpes usually happens within two weeks after it's contracted, so I'm a little wary of your boyfriend's honesty. It is possible for someone not to know he has the infection — sores can often be present in places where they can't easily be seen — but if he was tested two years ago and got a negative result, it's pretty obvious that he's contracted this STI since then; in other words, he most likely did cheat on you.
Unfortunately, what's done is done, and I'm terribly sorry that you've been put in this situation, but now you have to decide how to proceed. Obviously you need to have another serious talk with your boyfriend, but I also suggest you get tested for other STIs and talk to you doctor about medication and treatment options for the herpes you do have.
I know that you're scared right now, and I wouldn't be surprised if you start to experience feelings of betrayal and sadness too, so turn to your loved ones for support. Good luck to you.