Genital herpes dating network
I did not, however, anticipate how much stigma I would experience when I was diagnosed.It started with the diagnosing provider, who seemed to suggest that I should have known better, that I should have been more responsible given my profession.It was in this moment that I took complete ownership of herpes, and suddenly felt empowered by this guy’s ignorance. But, I was the one with the virus and I was the one with the knowledge.I used that to take back the power in this situation.I now work full time as a director at the National Coalition of STD Directors. I have counseled friends when they’ve come to me with news of their herpes diagnosis.I have sat with patients after a herpes diagnosis, giving them the pep talk I would end up wishing I had received.One person nervously insisted he tested negative for the HSV-2 antibody and promised to send me his testing history.
There was no counseling on how to disclose my diagnosis or advice on dating after herpes.I soothed the worries of distraught parents asking if their newly diagnosed teenage daughter’s clothes could be washed with everyone else’s or if they could still babysit their younger cousin.By the time I was diagnosed with Herpes Simplex Virus 2 (HSV-2) in 2015, I was well-versed in the stigma surrounding HIV and STDs.There was no concern for my mental health, or how I was digesting this news that so many find devastating.And, as the provider hurriedly left the exam room, I was left to navigate this new and unexpected reality alone.