You are asking excellent questions and I’m not at all sure that I have the answers that you are seeking. The statistics that you cite are correct but why they are correct we are not certain. There may be biologic factors or there may be social and sexual factors. It may have to do with the sexual behavior of AA males. We know that with the same number of sexual partners as white women of the same age, black women are more likely to have HSV. We also know that with one of the herpes medicines, Famvir, AA people are less likely to respond than white people. That has to be a biologic factor.
Whatever the reason, I think it is a statistic that we must pay attention to. You don’t say your age, but the farther you are away from 14, the more likely you are to be infected.
If people you were with had cold sores, that is most likely HSV 1, not HSV 2, statistically.
The symptoms that you are experiencing around your menstrual cycle could be many things and not necessarily herpes. Are you scared to test because you might be positive? What would that mean for you personally? Stigma? Childbirth? Telling new partners? Perhaps I can help you walk through some of those concerns.
Sometimes it helps to remember that was is, already is. It’s just knowing what is. If you knew that you had herpes, you could do things to reduce the risk of infecting others. If you knew that you didn’t have herpes, it might spur you on to protect that status. Let me know what you’re thinking, we can talk about this together.