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    Welcome to the Herpes Opportunity Support Forum! We are a supportive and positive group to help you discover and live your Opportunity. Together, we can shed the shame and embrace vulnerability and true connection. Because who you are is more important than what you have. Get your free e-book and handouts here: https://www.herpesopportunity.com/lp/ebook

Scarlett letters HSV

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**Negative post alert**

So I know this group is supppose to be encouraging and uplifting,  I just dont see the "opportunity". 

This virus wreaks havoc on our lives physically and more so emotionally in a lot of cases. It steals joy and depletes self confidence. Though I see the morality in self disclosure-- why are we supppse to be the sole defenders in eliminating transmission? Afterall, no one saved (most of)  us and waived the HSV warning flag in our face. I truly believe that dating someone  that already has virus is the way to go. Disclosing is such a vlunerable thing, that causes stress and anxiety, followed by hurt-once rejected; dating someone with the virus elimates all of that. I also think having to worry about keeping your partner safe equally causes stress and anxiety and less sexual enjoyment. The social/mental aspect of the virus is horrific; no other disease would have people gossipping, riduculing, and talking about you. Additionally the medical community has no clue about anything other than textbook symptoms. This virus is not textbook and litterally manifests differently from person to person. The virus can and does spread to different areas including lips, mouth, throat, ears, eyes, nose, fingers, hands, etc. You can look at many forums and find people suffering from the above ailments. It is easily spread despite statistics that may lead you to believe otherwise. They additionally are not even working to find functional- cures as is being done for HIV.  Ive read multiple forums and followed various HSV advocates, and have come to the conclusion that this virus is like a scarlett letter internally on our chest. I apologize in advance if my rant has offended anyone...just needed to vent. 

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I feel this post so much! I’m desperate for a cure, so much so that I almost bought a supplement I came across that costs hundreds of dollars and claims to cure you of herpes. My husband had to talk me out of it because it’s most likely a scam but I was willing to try anyway. You’re right about the medical community not knowing a lot. My doctors have offered no help and don’t really know what to do beyond taking valtrex. If it’s SO common why hasn’t anyone been concerned with finding a cure?

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@Montana Skies

(It's all good! Bring your negativity, we've all been there, so you're in good company. 😆 Just be open to seeing things positively, too!)

"I'm so happy I got herpes! Yay!" — Said no one, ever.

I totally get it! On its face, it doesn't make any sense to call herpes an opportunity. An affront to supposed common sense, right? I'm with you, two decades ago I certainly wouldn't have called it that (and I would have gotten very upset at anyone who might have insinuated anything of the sort!). I got herpes from my then-girlfriend who cheated on me with her ex over Christmas holiday. So I also understand the anger and the feelings of unfairness that we have to disclose when we never got that common courtesy to make our own decision to take the risk or not. (I once got an email from someone saying "It's not an opportunity!" if you'd like to read a more in-depth response to that.)

But here's what I've come to realize: It isn't reeeally about herpes. Herpes can be a powerful catalyst for cultivating our self-confidence, our self-acceptance, embracing our vulnerability (and finding others who will do the same). And the biggest payback to the person who was dishonest with us is to be a better person, to feel the goodness that comes with disclosing (flip it from it feeling like a burden to feeling empowering). So yes, there is a physical/medical part of this, but there is also a much bigger emotional/perspective piece, and that is the piece that is ironically the most painful to most people. It's the behind-the-scenes stuff that runs over and over through our heads.

And the great news here is that you have control over that perspective; you have control over how you see yourself and how you feel about being a person who has herpes. Does having herpes mean you're dirty, unwanted, a castaway, unlovable, etc.? Or does it mean that you are someone who does the right thing even when it's difficult, someone who is considerate, honest, authentic and real? We get to create the meaning. Not society. Not the stigma. You decide for yourself, then act accordingly. (This perspective shift is what the free e-book is all about.)

And here's the kicker: Dating only others with herpes is a form of pre-rejecting yourself. You're cutting down your viable dating pool to only a small fraction of what it actually is. All those fish in the sea becomes a teeny tiny puddle (roughly 2% of the eligible dating population — I crunched the numbers). And it's all based on the premise that you'll probably be rejected anyway by those who don't have herpes, so why bother, right? But that couldn't be further from the truth. So much of whether you are "accepted" or "rejected" is either 1) that it's not meant to be anyway and we aren't a good match or 2) you smuggle in unfair judgments about yourself and what having herpes means, so you paint the situation in a negative light and create an unfortunate self-fulfilling prophecy (in short, you think and act as if they'll reject you anyway, so they do). Read this article for more on that: https://www.herpesopportunity.com/post/herpes-dating-sites

So yeah, it's not about herpes itself being the opportunity; it's about who you are in the face of life's challenges. You are your opportunity. We don't celebrate herpes; we celebrate you! We celebrate how you choose to let this define you, how your challenges can help mold you into a better you ... and the courage and strength that takes. Just to put this in perspective and bring it full circle, the day I disclosed to the woman who is now my wife (and mother of our 6-year-old) was a beautiful day of connection and vulnerability in both directions. It was a step in us falling deeply in love. It didn't feel like a burden. And it wasn't about herpes. It was about us being human together, and all the beauty that vulnerability and authenticity can bring. 

Note: This is for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute medical advice or diagnosis.
I'm not a medical professional, so please take this as friendly peer support. 

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