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Feeling Ashamed and Tainted

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I will never forget the phone call from the nurse telling me that I had a bacterial infections and was shedding HSV2. I went into complete shock. How was this possible? I didn’t have an outbreak, no lesions, not itchiness. I immediately contacted my boyfriend at the time and cried my eyes for months. I guess I’ll start from the beginning.


Six months before this dreaded call I had begun dating a new guy after being single and celibate for 6 plus years. I have always been paranoid about STDs and adamant about using protection. This new guy was strongly against using protection and we always had disagreements about it. I discussed getting tested for STDs and he showed me paperwork that said he was negative. However, thinking back now only recall seeing HIV, gonorrhea, and chlamydia on the paper. I let my guard down, decided to trust him and proceeded to have sex, occasionally, without protection even though I was not completely comfortable with the idea.


January of last year I begun to have problems with pelvic pain, random spotting, vaginal irritation which I thought was due to my birth control and sexual friction. This was originally diagnosed a UTI and I was given antibiotics and new birth control prescriptions to try. After months of going back and forth to different doctors (because I didn’t trust the diagnosis) I was finally tested for ALL vaginal infections and came back positive for herpes and BV. P.S the spotting and pelvic pain i believe was associated with the BC since it has stopped since I quit taking them


My boyfriend took the news surprisingly well, told me he loved me regardless and was still very insistent that we not use protection. After I told him he said he went to the doctor and got tested and was fine. I went into a slight depression, worried about my future, and even want to want my life to just end. About two months after my diagnosis I had an actual outbreak. It was the worst time of my life. Extremely painful and stressful. My relationship started to go down hill (for reasons not related to the disease). I was afraid of the idea of having to tell a new partner that I had a disease so I stayed in an unhealthy and unfulfilling relationship for serval months knowing that I was unhappy. I started to think I would never get married or have kids. Even wished that I had contracted something else. Something that at lease had a cure.


Now that my relationship has ended and I can’t help but sit here and wonder. I now wondering if my ex was telling me the truth about being negative. Was this why he was so insistent that we be in a relationship so quickly or why he took the news so well. I was so distraught after my diagnosis that I didn’t even think to ask for proof. When I did think about it I figured there was no point in knowing since it wouldn’t change anything. I would like to think that he did not intentionally give me this and the maybe he found out when I did. Or maybe he was telling the truth. It’s just hard to believe that I would be perfectly fine for several years and all of a sudden start having outbreaks every month. It’s upsetting knowing that even condoms may not have protected me. Upsetting that testing for it isn’t routinely done unless you ask specifically for it. I get angry and feel like he has ruined my life.


Just when I think I have found a way to cope with this disease low and behold I have another outbreak and the emotional roller-coaster begins all over again. It just seems so unfair. What did I do to deserve this? I’ve only had sex with four people. The sad thing is I almost wish I had been promiscuous. What was the point of being so caution, passing up the many opportunities only to still end up like this. I know it is simply a “skin disease” in an inconvenient place but because of the stigma I feel tainted. I’ve only told my mom, sister, and ex that I have it. I’m too ashamed to tell my best friend so how I can tell someone I may want to date in the future. Every time someone makes a joke or negative comment referencing a STD I feel like I have this big sign on me like the scarlet letter. I mad at myself.


Sorry for the long rant. Days like this I just need to get everything off my chest to try and feel better. I need to feel some kind of hope for my future.

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I totally relate. Scarlett letter. Who will ever love me. Depressing. I wish I had somethibg encouragi g to say but I'm struggling myself. I hate feeling sad and worthless. Hopefully soon we will be more accepting of ourselves. Until then...you are not alone.


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Welcome to the forum. I am Victoria(Megan). I know that this is hard and you do have a lot of hope for your future. My boyfriend and I have only been together for a little bit, but I decided to go get tested for everything because I wanted him to be safe.. I Knew that herpes wasn't included in a normal STD screening so I already knew that I had to specifically ask for it.. I came back postive for HSV-2..

He stayed with me and we have not had sex. I have seen his tests and made him specifically go get tested for herpes.. Just so we know if he is h-. He is. We are going to work around this and he still wants to be with me...


There are a lot of MEN out there who will want you for you. I honestly don't think that he took the news well just because he knew he had it. 80% of people do not know that they have Herpes, because it is not in a regular screening.


You have come to the right place to get things like this off your chest. We here for support. (: I am here for you. <3 I promise things will get better.


This is all apart of the acceptance process.

Know the statistics and know the facts about this disease, and know that with someone that you are potentially with that you keep them safe. It is all about communication. (:


We also talk a lot about how to come out to potential partners.

Love I am here for you. (: I promise look up ! Things are all okay.

Life is a big chance itself. && I found somone, many of us have success stories. I know you can do it also. ((:


Its all about how you see and accept yourself.


-big hugs-


BREATHE. :D You will be just fine.

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First - Welcome! You are in the perfect place to start your healing :)


As Victoria said...first thing is to BREATHE! I promise, things will get better and life WILL go on.


I've had H2 for 35 years and H1 a lot longer. I went through most of my life blissfully ignorant of the real implications and no real awareness of the stigma because when I got it, it really wan't talked about people just accepted it as a nuisance virus. So here's the thing.... the stigma associated with Herpes has only come to pass in the last 15-20 years...thanks to a very successful campaign by Big Pharma to market H as a Disease (IE: using the power of words to get people to buy their drugs). Now, there's nothing wrong with using the drugs and they are a WONDERFUL thing for many people...BUT, the result of their "doom and gloom" marketing made people start to view Herpes (and pretty much every STD) as a vile disease that encrusts your junk and ruins your life. While it's true that many have some pretty miserable outbreaks when they first get our little H friend, most get it under control over time and it DOES become a nuisance over time.


For me, and for many who have been here awhile, we choose to view the Positive side of being Positive. You see, Herpes can become your Wing-man. I say time and again on here, I find that H helps me figure out which guys are really into ME....rather than wanting to GET INTO me. :p


So will you get rejected because of your herpes status? Yes. But really, be honest. It's just one of MANY deal breakers out there. You don't take it personally if someone decides to not date you if you smoke, have kids, are a different religion, live in a different region, or because you dress in funky clothes. But all of those things, and many, many more, can be a reason for someone to choose to pass on dating you. So why is it all of a sudden that Herpes gets such power to get us to react to a perceived rejection in such a personal way???? Because of the stigma WE give it. Because of the power WE give to Herpes.


Adrial says all the time - learn to choose your words carefully when you think and talk about herpes. Words have way more power than you realize. Once you gain confidence in yourself, once you choose to not let H define who you are (becaue you are NOT dirty or tainted... because if YOU are, then so are the other 25 MILLION Americans who have Herpes. You see, Herpes is an Equal Opportunity Virus. It doesn't care if you are a Movie Star, a CEO, a car mechanic, a student, or whatever. Mr H is a slippery little bugger. We have people on here who got it from Oral Sex (thinking that was a "safe" alternative), from their first sexual experience (Go ME!), from their long time partner/spouse who didn't know they had it, and WITH condoms. I have a client who had her FIRST EVER outbreak after 32 years of marriage!


So here's the tin... read the handouts and e-book that Adrial has kindly designed and offered to everyone here...print the Disclosure page out and have it on hand for any disclosures you may have in the future. And read/contribute/rant as much as you need to here. We have a lot of great contributors on here.






Disclosure e-book:



I promise... it may not feel like it right now but you WILL be ok and you WILL find love... you just need to learn to not allow H to define who you are.



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Our situations are eerily similar, and I completely and totally feel your pain. I just joined this site yesterday and have already experienced overwhelming support from the community here. So we are both definitely in the right place.


Something I have kind of realized simply sitting here and reading and thinking and reflecting is that there are many "what if" questions we can ask ourselves. What if we had been more careful, what if we hadn't done that, what if what if what if.


And as I have sat here I have realized that ultimately, that is a torturous question to ask ourselves under any circumstance because honestly we will never know. I have also spent a lot of time questioning my former significant other...did he know? Did he do this? And honestly, like you said, it doesn't really matter. It is what it is. We just need to figure out how to move forward. And this site is a great start! Amazing people, incredibly useful information, every tool we could possibly need to work on loving ourselves and realizing that we deserve love from others, with or without herpes. As it has already been said, it does not define who we are.


Much love!



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