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Hi everyone, 

I’ve only been on here for a few months, I contracted the virus in august of last year, so it hasn’t been a full year for me yet but that isn’t really what I’m here to discuss. I wanted to just come on here and say how thankful I am for this forum. 8 months ago, I think if left alone for a long enough period of time I had to potential to do unspeakable things to myself. I was 21, female, and not in a serious relationship. For the very FIRST time I had allowed myself to be intimate with someone I was interested in, but not exclusive with, and as a result of my decisions I contracted this virus. I will never really know if he knew that he carried it or not but it gives me peace of mind to just believe that he didn’t. The way I felt was like nothing I had before and I was lost, sick, and spiraling... and then I found you guys. Never really speaking out, just reading from behind the screen, this site taught me that I am not alone. What I was feeling was valid and I had every right to process things the way that I was. It was 100% ok for me to be angry, upset, sad.. whatever I was feeling at the time because it’s apart of the process. My process. I am loved, and even though I’m surrounded by people I feel like may never  truly understand, that too was okay because I have an entire online community who does. Without even realizing it so many of you comforted me just from hearing your stories, and sometimes I even felt disgusted with myself for being so distraught when I could have come across this virus in a much more traumatic way. I know that now I’m allowed to have bad days, and just from knowing that my days have gotten a lot better. I still have my off days, and when experiencing an outbreak, my bad days tend to run together.. but then I come here, and I slowly (but surely) am ok again. If you’re reading this on a bad day, YOU ARE IMPORTANT. You are more than this virus, you are more than the stigma, you are MORE than your bad days. I am sending you virtual hugs and positivity. If reading this on a good day, CONTINUE to be great. Don’t let anything get you down, because you too will always be more than this virus. I hope this helps someone the way that this forum has helped me, and if anyone needs someone to just vent to I’m only a message away! Praying for everyone’s peace ❤️ Thank you all again

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This is very sweet and kind! I feel very similarly to you - I was diagnosed about two years ago and it completely shook my world. I have always been a very outgoing person and I genuinely enjoy dating and going out and talking to guys. I'm not perfect, and haven't always made the smartest decisions regarding my sexual health, but ironically I contracted this from someone I'd seen on and off for 7 years. It really destroyed me at first - I was in my early twenties, and I would look at my friends who were casually dating and think "why did this happen to me? we're all out here dating around." But looking back, for me personally, I was sinking so much of my self worth into male attention, and I think that was why this diagnosis brought upon such a huge amount of depression for me. Everyone says it to you at first and it seems so oversimplified, but herpes really does help you find meaningful relationships. Before my diagnosis, I was so desperately looking for love in all the wrong places, and going about it in all the wrong ways. It's been a few years now, and it really took this diagnosis to snap me out of my old ways, and on an emotional level, I am so much happier! Sure, there is the stress of disclosing, but I think in life, everything truly happens for a reason. It took me many emotional months to start seeing that, but I hope you all can find out what your reason is, as well. Also, I should note - you WILL find people who don't care about this. Sure, you'll find people who do reject it, and it stings, but I strongly believe it's just from a lack of education. The first guy I told (on the first date...bold move from me!) said that he could tell I disclosed because I cared about him. We continued seeing each other and it was a complete non-issue. Sending positivity to everyone! xo

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I really needed to have this unity today. I’m having one of those low days. And I’ve had the virus for years now. It’s such a small part of my life when I’ve made it over the hump and I’m in a long term committed relationship but every time I go back to the single world it comes center focus like a pit in my stomach once again. I recently made a mistake with someone I really care about and slept with him (with protection) without disclosing first. I could say it was the alcohol or the heat of the moment, but at the core it was my cowardice. But then the next day arrives and I’m totally undone over it because I’m oh so ashamed and angry at myself. I’ve tried to make it right by coming clean to him after the fact but I still haven’t heard back from him. I may have ruined our friendship and his trust in me. Only time will tell. But it’s been one of those days for me.... for those of you who recently contracted, I could say it gets better, and it does in many ways, but we all still have these days. 

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@mrh1227 don't be too hard on yourself! I think more people on here have put themselves into similar situations than some will admit - myself included! Not that it's right, but I think many of us have made mistakes out of fear of rejection; you're only human! I remember once I told someone RIGHT before we did the deed after a night of drinking, and I felt horrible after because I knew I didn't give him a fair opportunity to really assess the situation. I could tell it bothered him, but we eventually had further conversations about it after he had taken his own time to do more research, and ended up being fine. You have to tell yourself that you still did the right thing and were honest with him! Many people would not have the courage to go back and do so - I would say that's even harder than disclosing in the first place! Give him some time and maybe try to reconnect once he's had some space 🙂 Sending you hugs! 

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@mrh1227 I’m happy that we could bring you a little bit of comfort on a day that you needed it. I completely agree with @akirn. You telling the truth afterwards was probably way more difficult than disclosing in the first place. You did the right thing! It may not have happened in the way you would have liked for it to, but the important thing is that you righted your wrong. The ball is now in their court and as you said, only time will tell. If the friendship recovers, great! If it doesn’t, that is completely okay too. We can’t tell people what they will and will not accept. But what you can do is be okay with the fact that you have a conscious and you ended up doing what you knew was right. I hope that you feel better soon! Sending hugs and positivity ❤️

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