Jamie*(34) and Joel*(39) were married for 12 years when Jamie came across a video of him having sex with another woman.
A few days later she got herself tested for sexually transmitted disease (STD) and discovered to her horror that she had contracted chlamydia, herpes simplex virus 1 and herpes simplex virus 2 – which is incurable.
Now, she has come forward to tell her story and explain to women that HIV is not the only STD.
This is her story:
"I used to think that my husband was faithful. I hate the way I found out he was cheating on me. I needed to make a call one day so I asked to use his phone. This was when I found a video of him and another woman having sex in our family car, the same one he always refused to make love to me in.
To this day I don’t know if it was by accident or if it was his intention for me to find the clip but it was devastating.
He explained the video away by saying he made it in case the woman accused him of rape so he could prove she was wrong – as if that made it any easier for me!
I’d started having irritation in my private parts, which I dismissed as vaginal infection or an allergic reaction to non-cotton underwear. But then it started occurring between my buttocks. I didn't know what it was, but I dismissed it without going to the doctor.
After struggling with this then seeing the sex tape I finally told him that we both had to get tested for HIV and STDs.
After two days we received the results and that's when all was revealed. It turns out we both have the STDs herpes simplex 1 and 2 and also chlamydia. Herpes simplex 2 affects the genital area. Herpes is incurable although in some people it lies inactive for a long time.
Unfortunately for me my herpes keep recurring because stress is a trigger for the virus. I constantly feel like I am paying for his sins.
I haven’t left him. We’re still together but I don’t trust him as I did before and it's a daily struggle. Every day I pray for the strength to just stand up and leave because it's not right to live like this.
When I found about his infidelity I was devastated because even though other men wanted to have affairs with me, I have been respectful enough to honour my marriage vows.
I want to make other woman aware of the importance of getting tested for STDs. There STDs that are permanent so your focus shouldn’t only be on HIV.
In terms of support, I have a friend who listens but, it’s never enough because she isn't in the same boat so she can never really understand the extent of my pain and humiliation.
If you find yourself in this situation speak to someone who has been through it or a person you trust to be your support system."
*Names have been changed.
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