Jump to content
  • Want to be a part of a supportive community? Join the H Opp community for free.

    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

What can we do to change the herpes stigma?

Recommended Posts

We've all watched a TV show where a jab or joke is made about H. I can tell you that in the last three months, there have been too many moments when my boyfriend and I have sat uncomfortably waiting to breathe. I don't understand how it goes on and I'm at the point where I want to do something. Are these writers that ignorant to statistics? I have to admit, I would have probably laughed at these jokes a year ago because it didn't affect me. Now it does and I want to do something about it. Anyone with me? Any ideas about what we can do to change how people see H?

Link to comment

We are doing it one by one in our daily lives. We are doing it by participating on this forum, practicing relating to herpes and ourselves without judgment. Being less and less taken by shame. Believing less and less of the bullshit story that we aren't enough and that we aren't lovable. When we disclose, we do it with less and less shame. The people we disclose to get to be exposed to a perspective of having herpes that is positive, not oozing with shame. Breaking down the stigma begins with each of us accepting ourselves and others. And becoming more and more transparent and open about having herpes and that not being a big deal. At all.

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. 

Link to comment

I feel silly trying to go big rather than start small, with me. I live in an extremely small town where everything and everyone are under a microscope. I have only disclosed to people I felt absolutely needed to know. Some of my closest friends have no idea. I'm not sure I'll ever be able to talk to some of them about it, but I know it's time for me to talk to a couple of them if only to see progress in myself. I worry too much about trusting people with this information. I feel that certain people would say "She got what she deserves." I don't find it necessary to make an announcement to the world, but thank you for reminding me that it starts with me, how I see myself, and how I can make a difference even if it is a small one.

Link to comment

I agree with Mr. H Opp 100%. For 7 years, the only person who knew were my parents and my wife. But in the last couple weeks, I have told 3 other people...just because they were close friends and I wanted them to know. I feel a lot less shame about it as time goes on. And the more I disclose to people I care about and trust (no sense to just walk down the street with a sign) the more confident and comfortable I feel.


And the more you talk about it, he is right, it become less of a big deal. Even found that one of those 3 people has the virus as well.

Link to comment

I hear ya Cliff. Funny how when you talk about it, you find out you are not alone and it takes the air out of it. I found out my own mother has it! Who knew!! LOL It really isn't a big deal if we don't let it be. It's only as big as we make it out to be in our mind. It's like the monster under the bed when we were kids. As we matured and got older, we realized the "monster" was nothing more than our own fears and dust bunnies. :)

Link to comment

I actually got my results just before Christmas and a confirmed test two weeks ago. For the first few days I was in shock and I felt like there was no way this will ever be told and its my own secret.... However, I'm not herpes and I'm not going to let it define who I am. I can't pretend I don't have it or just stop living my life. Since finding out, I've told my closest friends and my ex spouse who I'm still close to. Its better knowing I don't have this bottled up inside. And I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who has it. Maybe one day they (my friends) will feel safe enough to confide in me.


I work in health care and from my stand point medically, its a skin disorder which Ill have all my life while society looks at it like the black plague. I just wish people were more educated on what it is and how important it is to to know facts or assumption.



Link to comment

sassy couldn't agree more with you!!


I found much more relief in telling the people I'm close to. I haven't been rejected yet with the exception of the giver. But that was a door that needed closing years ago. Good riddance : ) My friends confided in me their std's they've had or scares or that they know someone or more with it. We are definitely not herpes! We are so much more than that!

Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...