A little about me I’m in my late twenties and an African American female. I was diagnosed with genital hsv1 about 10 years ago while I was a senior in high school. I was so devastated and embarrassed to learn that I had this disease, especially because of the stigma and ignorance behind it especially in my community and with black people in general. Exploring this forum makes me feel a lot better knowing that I’m not alone and it’s more common that people care to admit. I remember when I was first diagnosed, I sat in the doctors office with lord knows how many painful blisters in my vagina and all the way to my anus. I felt so bad because the doctor made it seem as though almost all black women and men had this disease and hinted towards the fact that I must’ve been promiscuous although i had been with the same guy since 9th grade. I left the doctors office with a prescription and an invisible Scarlett letter on my chest that day, I was so torn and had such low self asteem I stayed with the guy who gave it to me and we soon had a child. Fast forward to 2015 I finally broke things off but have been dealing with the fear of dating because I dread the disclosure talk as well as possibly transmitting this to someone else. I’ve read all the statistics regarding genital hsv1 and I try not to stress as much to prevent having an outbreak. The physical part of having herpes is no where near as bad as the emotional part, I think I’ve had about 7 outbreaks in 10 years and it’s always one small blister in the same spot between my vagina and anus and they usually go away within 4 Days. I recently began taking antivirals although I don’t know if it’s all that helpful with ghsv1 and because I met a new guy that I really like and if we become sexually active I would like to reduce the transmission as much as possible. I’m not sure if we’ll get to that point yet because of my fear of being rejected or telling someone and they go around telling everyone you have herpes. It’s crazy because when I try to bring up herpes with my family and friends I just get shrugs and everyone acts like I’m a leper, it baffles me how statistics shows that herpes is common in the African American community but no one will admit it and acts like it doesn’t affect them. Anyway I feel like I’m rambling lol but I just wanted to share my story and I’d love to hear from anyone who can relate or wants to share anything.