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The Moral High Ground

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We hear it all the time, but what does it mean? I mean, do any of us really understand it? Are any of us really standing atop that point where we are flawless and infallible?


It came up in a couple of other discussion threads today, and I think it's a topic that deserves it's own thread because it's an important component of the H+ community. It is something we have to address, and of course, it means something different for all of us. So, let's get it out in the open and tackle the topic head on rather than dancing around it.


First, I don't think any of us are atop the moral high ground. Let's look at some of the things that got us all here:


"I didn't use a condom."

"I had premarital sex."

"I was promiscuous."

"I didn't get tested. I didn't make my partner get tested."

"I didn't discuss STD's with my partner."

"I didn't think my partner would lie to me."

"I didn't think I was at risk."

"I didn't, I didn't, I didn't."


The list of things we did, and things we didn't do is endless. But, the result is the same: We all have HSV1, HSV2, or both because of the things we did and didn't do. That's the cold hard reality of the situation, and we need to be honest with ourselves and others in acknowledging our own faults so that others won't make the same mistakes we did, and that we don't make the mistakes that others have.


For me, I got tested, I used a condom, I believed my partner when she said she'd been tested and I had nothing to worry about. As a child of the 80's, I should have remembered Reagan's admonition to "trust, but verify." I didn't and I have to live with that every day for the rest of my life, and it will be a long time before I fully forgive myself for my mistake. Yes, it was my mistake. Every one of us has to come to terms with how we got here, and that road has different starting points, twists, and turns for each of us. How we got here doesn't matter anymore. The point is we're here now, and how we each deal with this new virally enhanced state is our own choice.


If you ask me, we all fell off the moral high ground long ago. Some of us regain it and fall back off again. That's being human. When it comes to STD's like herpes, falling off that high ground has some serious consequences and we have to acknowledge that and can never forget it. That's a fact that everyone should be able to agree on.


Knowing we have the herps places a burden upon us that is enormous. It's the burden of truth. It's the burden of responsibility. It's the burden of integrity. None of us wanted to be here. Not one person wakes up and says "Today, I want to go to work, grab some lunch, and on the way home I want to contract herpes." All of us were shocked at the diagnosis, and that diagnosis changed us. It wounded us. It hurt us. It cheated us. It broke our spirits and shattered our dreams in an instant. It turned our lives upside down and there isn't a single person here who doesn't understand that. As such, it's our responsibility to do everything we can to educate, to support those within our community, and to work together stop the spread of this virus and the stigma that follows it.


And, here's the secret no one talks about because only a few realize that it exists.


If you look at the herpes burden as a gift instead of a punishment, the load suddenly becomes lighter because there's a lot of power in that gift. Yes, having herpes gives you power. Child of the 80's here, it's like the Force and it can be used for both good or bad.


That power has the incredible ability to make us strong, brave, honest, and compassionate. If we let this virus change us, but change us into the types of people that others admire and look up to, well then we've used that power to accomplish something amazing. As with any transformation, it's not easy and it can hurt as you climb the ladder back up to the high ground, but I promise you it's worth it.


By acting responsibly and helping others understand herpes, avoid herpes, and cope with it if they contract it, we also control the narrative. We control our bodies. We gain some control over our love lives. We earn respect in the process. If enough of us and climb that ladder at the same time, then the stigma, shame, fear, and embarrassment that we've all felt deep within our souls melts away in our lifetimes and we've done something that's truly changed the world. We create a world where others don't have to go through the experiences we've gone through.


I yield the soap box.



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Today as took an emotional toll on I.. It made me relive those moments.. Being lied to, finding out. That wound is still there and that wound will always be there, but as a person with Herpes, I hold that high. That is apart of me. That is my secret, which is not really a secret any more. I still hold that smile on my face. I am still there for the people that I love and cherish.. Because I have herpes.


All these things that I have gone through in life made me the person I am right now. I don't want anyone to go through the same things that I went through. At least not on my watch. I hold myself to that standard that if I can make that change, at least for myself and for the people around me then I am doing a lot more than I did the day before..


This is me.

A recovering addict.




The black sheep.


This is why I am still here today. Saying the things that I say. Being the person that I have always wanted to be. & Keep your head up always..

For you will never know what tomorrow may bring you..


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@victoria... off topic totally (I know herry won't mind lol) but I admire your strength for over coming those things. I lost my dad to an addiction and to hear youre recovering and inspiring others while doing so makes my heart smile so big. ♡


As for the soap box.. nobody does it like you herry... well besides dancer lol... but I totally agree. In a world full of diagnosis that we have no choice over... (cancer, heart disease, infertility etc)

I believe (in my opinion) a person should have the RIGHT to choose to stay and be precautious

OR have the choice not to. I will always give the choice to another.

I'd rather have his respect and be single then have him angry or resentful.


I look at it like this... if i couldnt have children and was with a man who wanted kids badly, but i never told him for fear of rejection.. (say i didnt give him an STD )and took away HIS CHOICE to maybe find someone who could. So you see its not about "judging or calling ppl monsters" its just about being human

. With humans... we all screw up, but the beauty of it is tomorrow is another day to find yourself & be who you want to be. Someone others can admire. Everyday is a chance for change and love :) I always tell myself "Do to others as you would have done to you." Be kind to each other bc love beats hate everytime♡

*drops microphone* Goodnight yall :)

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@JustSmile My mother an addict also. A lot of people an addict.. I saw them losing themselves, and I haven't lost myself yet.. I wanted to be that person they could come to and lead by example..


I agree I look up to Herry and Dancer soo much. They help me every day grow and reading their posts and their experience. Helps us all.

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I love you guys...


Sorry but I had a client then my dance class and just got in. Sorry to not be there with the other conversation...


I like @justsmile's analogy of being with someone who wants kids...if you are infertile, and you knew they wanted kids, it would be a travesty to fool them into loving you with that lie in the room....day in and day out.


I for one just plain can't lie.... I'm a terrible liar. And the more transparent I get the better my life gets. I can't imagine living with a lie like having Herpes and not telling the person I love....



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  • 2 months later...

I wanted to bring this thread back up because i think its a great thread and lots if wisdom on it. Taking the high road isn't always the easiest but when we look back we are so proud to have accomplished the path we took. When I'm in a positive mood like now i see herpes as being a great lesson in being humble. And not being so judgmental. before herpes i was a very judgmental person with a "High horse" attitude at times. And if its not herpes then something needed to be done in my life to "get me off the high horse" lol.

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This is a really amazing post. This is all stuff I've been thinking about the last week. When I heard those words from the doctor, "oh this is herpes", I have never felt so much all at once. Guilt, shame, anger, shock, even amusement (sorry, I just laugh at the worst times). I spent the next few days after this questioning if I was such a horrible person that I deserved it. I'm not the most sympathetic towards people, I slept with someone where the feelings that should have been there for that action took place weren't a possibly, I can be very impatient. Then I realized that shit happens. Or in this case, herpes. I am a good mom, a good friend, and overall a good person. This isn't karma kicking me in the lady jungle (LOVE that phrase) this is just a case of shit happening. It's not a reflection of me as a person, maybe a choice I made, but not me as a person. If anything a reflection of me is my happy and healthy child, my friends coming to me with troubles because they trust and rely on me, my family and I being close because it's something I value I'm my life and make the effort to have strong bonds with them. I think all too often people are too quick to focus on all the "bad" in them that they ignore the good.

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