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Cosmo Article

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I don't know if anyone has seen the recent Cosmo article about a young woman whose life got rocked after her ex transmitted herpes to her, but it is a fairly interesting read. The woman did not know what was wrong with her and after not treating it for a long time, she ended up getting very sick and her partner would not admit to her that he did have herpes. Once he did, there were able to treat the woman.

As I read the article, I felt bad for the woman and proud that she is putting herself out there in order for more people to become aware of what herpes is but at the same time, the article made me feel not so great about myself. I felt as if her attitude about people with herpes is negative and all people who have it, are liars and won't tell you the truth. Then again, I may be reading too much into it. I guess I am just worried that a lot of uniformed people will read this article and have some new fear about herpes.

I myself still am uncomfortable with the topic (even though I am closing in on year 3). I have found comfort in talking to close friends but they don't totally understand it because, well, they haven't lived through it. I find it hard to even try dating because, what if we have to get to that awkward conversation? Will that person even stick around? And with so much pressure to get physical fast, how can someone gain enough trust to even work up the nerve to have the conversation? And once you do, will they think back to this article and have an even worse idea of what could happen? Granted though, the man in the article should have been up front with her in the first place and told the truth after the fact, but her experience is probably on the extreme negative side of bad when it comes to what could happen to a person.

I guess I have two questions in one, will it ever get any easier and if any of you have read, or will read the article, please, share your thoughts! I'd love to hear different perspectives from you and maybe it will shed some light as to how I can cope with mainstream media and this lovely life of H.


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@lb32 For me, it has quickly become much easier. I haven't seen the article you mentioned but when I disclose, I choose to be very matter-of-fact about it. I don't get into how or when I might have contracted it or who might have given it to me or really anything that could be interpreted as defensive or shame based. I don't want the person coming away with the impression that there's always a good guy and a bad guy when it comes to herpes transmission or that I am the victim of a tragedy. I feel that would only reinforce the stigma, and it's really not my experience anyway. (Note: I do understand some people are actually victimized and do not mean to minimize that.) I don't start out by saying I "have" to tell you something, as if it's a terrible dark secret. I approach it as a conversation about safe sex in general, not a herpes confession. I keep the disclosure part brief, including the core facts, and I offer to answer questions. I've educated myself so I can answer those questions. I give the person space if they need it. I go into the conversation expecting things will probably go well as that has been my experience, but I also go in prepared to accept rejection and swiftly move on if it should play out that way. I don't shout my status from the rooftops, but I don't allow fear of gossip to limit my choices. The worst that could happen would be that someone judgmental would find out I have HSV2 and then observe that it doesn't limit me in my life.


Sometimes I think about a friend I had years ago who was HIV+. He never had any trouble getting dates with amazing women who were HIV-. Part of that was probably because he was particularly charismatic, but I think another part was that he lived his life as if there were no limits and others picked up on that attitude.



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I have disclosed before and don't make it a big deal but the last time I disclosed, it didn't go well. I was very factual about it and answered questions that he had but in the end, he couldn't accept it. I guess I just don't want a bunch of people to know about my situation unless I think they are worth it.

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@lb32 I understand. I think maybe if you feel they aren't worth taking the risk of disclosing to them, that is a major clue that *you* are not interested in them, which is just as valuable for you to know as however they may feel about your HSV status. But when you're interested enough in someone, I think there's really no getting around being willing to tell someone who ultimately may not be accepting. Thankfully for us, it seems like most people *are* accepting and able to put the risk in perspective. But we can't really know who will and will not be accepting before putting it out there. So many factors go into someone's thought process in that regard, I just don't think their desire to proceed or impulse to retreat can be predicted.

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@lb32 I think maybe another thing to consider here is how you would live your life if you had frequent cold sores as a result of HSV1 instead of genital herpes. Would you hide away so nobody would know you have HSV, or would you accept that it's part of being human? I know the stigma differs between oral herpes and genital herpes, but sometimes I find it helpful to compare them in this way as they are so similar, really, and it brings home to me that the biggest issue is the stigma and we really don't have to buy into it if we don't want to.

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From the article: "Finally, he confessed he not only had genital herpes but also oral herpes, and that was the final straw." This is a pretty odd statement, considering most people are infected with oral herpes. I agree with you @lb32 that the article is alarmist, about both HSV1 and HSV2.

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Thanks for the link!

Not even sure I believe the entire article is true and not fabricated...her reaction to the virus was to the extreme max and very rare, nothing inspiring about it, pure negativity, and an abrupt end.

Also, like above was stated, oral h the last straw? H2 apparently ruined her life, that wasn't a straw lying about that?


Whatever...this is why we have stigma.

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Thank you all for the responses :) I have a tendency to read to much into things sometimes so I just wanted to see others opinions about it. I really appreciate the feedback about the article as well as disclosing. I'm so glad that we have a place like this so we can talk openly about our hlife :)

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