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Struggling with Friends

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This is my first post on (H) Opp and I'm nervous. I've never been on an online forum before so be kind and gentle with me. Here's my story.


In March of last year that I was diagnosed with HSV II after a long time boyfriend cheated. It was devastating to me. I have slowly but surely been getting my life back together and trying to deal with the ramifications of all that this disease entails. I'm currently taking antivirals and have had few complications. But I have had no close relationships after finding out and have pushed away new dating opportunities.


Honestly, the hardest part of this is the fact that most people have no idea I have it and talk about it like we are lepers. Outcasts. Someone that is dirty and unloveable. I know these things to be lies. But, it is incredibly difficult to listen to close friends say things like, "I would just put a bullet in my head if I got herpes." or "That's so disgusting." or "I would NEVER be with anyone like that." It's a constant source of anxiety and reminder of the fight I have moving forward in future dating relationships.


I'm still hurting and still so broken up about this diagnosis and its been over a year.


Does it ever get easier?

How do I move forward?



Any and all feedback is welcome.


Really struggling. Hoping someone will respond or reply.


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Welcome to the forum. I'm not known for being sensitive but I'll try to be gentle lol. I agree, the hardest part is the stigma. Herpes doesn't even bother me anymore. It's the way people react to herpes that's tough. Honestly, the more I learn about it, the more I just view those people as uneducated.


Could you imagine the reaction to the statement "I would put a bullet in my head if I had herpes" if you would have said "Excuse me, I'm off to find a bullet". Or something similar. I'm sure that person would have been mortified.


If you aren't at the point where you can jokingly put them in their place, why not try educating them a little more? Just something like, "Well, I wouldn't go to that extreme seeing that most people aren't even aware they have HSV, and since hey don't test for it in typical STD screenings, you could very well have it". Or "Speaking of herpes, I just read somewhere that typical cold sores causes 50% of new genital infections". Or "Did you know that sex with condoms doesn't guarantee that you are protected from herpes?". Any little fact you can give them will chip away at the stigma.


It does get easier. And moving forward is partially just becoming accustomed to the fact you have it. You are in the right place for support. Read Adrial's messages, watch the videos, etc. They do help.

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So I've had H for about 2 years now. It does get easier! Especially when you accept that you can't change your situation and you see it for what it is. A skin condition. And yes, much easier to say that to do. I've tried to wish it away. It didn't work. I tried to pretend I didn't have it. I do. It was making me miserable. Will it suck at times? Sure. But you are still the same person. And honestly, telling my closest friends I have H is what made me realize that the most. Listening to people talk about H is definitely hard. But the majority of those people know nothing about it. Or what they do know is wrong. I love my friends, but they are very judgmental. I never planned to tell them. But I knew I would need to tell some of them bc I would need them one day if I was ever rejected by someone bc of H.


My first friend I told had a not so great reaction. She said "doesn't it suck you can't have sex anymore:" Uh well it would if that were true. And then I asked her what she knew about it. It was all what she saw in the media or general things that just weren't true. So I told her about it. I found that to be true with the majority of my other friends too. They knew nothing about it. But they knew who I was. And it didn't change their opinion of me at all. And I was able to educate them on it. They asked questions and I answered them. They still try to set me up with people they know, which tells me they don't see me any differently than they did before. But before I told them, I'd have to listen to H jokes or try to laugh through ones in movies or on tv, and it sucks. But now I can actually laugh off some of them or even make jokes myself with them.


Telling my friends also had some of them tell me about other people they knew that had H, so I didn't feel as alone. Now don't get me wrong, it took a year and a half to tell most of them. I wasn't ready to tell some of them until then. And that's ok! You can take your time telling them, if you even want to tell any of them. But it made having H easier for me and I was able to educate them on something they didn't know much about. But you have to do whats comfortable for you! :)

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I tried feeling out my husband once after my diagnosis, so I could inform him, my brave moment turned not so....he had a similar reaction as what you've stated above "I'd never be with someone with h" etc etc.

Whatever, I changed subject and moved on, knowing I was infected, and probably so was he.

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Like what @MMissouri said, I'm one of the jokingly put them in their places types because that typically embarrasses them way more than me haha. They're just uneducated. My best friend used to think she could never be with someone with H, but after I shared my experience and general info with her, she no longer feels that way. That's the reaction I've gotten from like 95% of people. Try not to let it get to you (easier said than done) and use it as a teaching moment.

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Those people are just ignorant of the facts of herpes, like I was before I got it. Hell, a bunch of them probably already have it either on their lips or genitals but might not even know it. They should get tested.


Don't worry about them. I have known about my herpes for about a year, and in that time I've disclosed and had sex with something like thirty different girls, so it's definitely possible to have sex and host the h.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I too have been running into this problem well not so much with my friends but my partners friends. We recently both have been dealing with the H diagnosis as I contracted it from her. I found myself upset and angry with her at first but I educate myself always on things that I do not fully understand I quickly realized she may have not known like she says and I can honestly tell from her emotional state and reactions. She has had a close friend discover that a girl she dosent care for, understandably so has H and this friend has been telling her all about this girl having H and all the glorious stigmatized uneducated speech even who she got it from which I also know him. I am an individual that usually doesn't have access to a filter for my mouth. You know, my thoughts come to mind and exit my mouth quickly and I have no shame in doing so. I've been wanting to mortify this girl and believe me I'm very good at the mortifying of people if need be, I want to say something but haven't out of respect for my partner, plus I feel she's already formulated her opinion on H and it may just throw my partner under the bus, especially because we're well known in town for the young crowded nightlife scene, literally everyone out here knows us lol not good when you don't want everyone knowing your business. But I reserve my instinct to let my mouth run out of respect, but I know it kills her inside every time were done hanging out with that friend we go home and she immediately starts to cry, I just tell her she dosent like that girl so this is golden for her and she's uneducated she dosent even know what's she's talking about all that she says has no factual basis around it, it's just formulated opinions based off TV and movies. This helps for a little but it still bothers her, any one have any suggestions on how to appropriately handle this without tipping off your hand?

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@MMissouri had some good suggestions above ... I'm 100% out so people actually come to me for info, but before I was out, I'd say something like "You know, I heard something recently that said that 80% of the population has H and only 80% of them know they have it. So I guess it's not that rare". Or ... "From what I hear they don't test for Herpes in STD tests unless you ask for it. Do you know anything about that?"


The thing that will stop stigma is education, and those statements act as a passive way to educate. Make the person stop and think. And maybe do some research on their own. You might even jump online and google Herpes with them if they try to act like you are crazy, pull up this site or the CDC pages and look at them with the person. Get them thinking and realizing that they may not know everything they need to about it.... and you may manage to mortify them anyway.... LOL

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  • 7 months later...

Another super awkward conversation with some friends today. It was an incredibly low point. I had to leave the bar we were at because I just couldn't muster up the courage to move past it. I've been doing a lot of research lately about it and because of all that education i just don't feel like it's as big of a deal as people think. So much damn stigma around this thing that it clouds people's judgement. Frustrating.

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