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Quick poll if everyone doesn't mind

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I was diagnosed about 4 years ago but it took me a few years before I told my kids. Since then I have told all 3 of my kids, 2 girls (22 & 19) and my 15YO son. I wanted to make sure they knew the risks involved in having sex but to also know that if it happened and they did get some form of an STD that they knew they could talk to me about it and that they would be better able to cope with it and that it was in no way the end of the world.


Since then my kids and I have had numerous conversation on this, some humorous and some not but my kids all know they can talk to me about anything with absolutely no judgement. I have even had some of their friends talk to me about such things.


My poll is this...how many of you out there (that have kids) that have some kind of an STD no matter what kind it is have told your kids? I can't help but think that if more of us talked to our kids that much of the stigma behind this might be put to rest somewhat.

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I have. My kids know my husband gets cold sores and we've always warned them not to share drinks/utensils or kiss during that time. My oldest made a crack about me needing to be careful having sex with him because I might get herpes too. And since I felt she was old enough to understand, I made a comment back- something along the lines of it being too late. There are many herpes jokes made in the house now! (In good fun, not a bad way). It has opened up many STD conversations and I think they will be better off for knowing. They aren't sexually active yet (15, 13, and 11 now) but I would hope that they are better informed for future encounters.

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MMissouri, I feel exactly the same way. Kids now a days are talking about sex at a much younger age then even most parents realize. The conversations that have gone on around my home over the years would make most people blush LOL. I kind of feel sorry for parents that can't or don't feel the need to have these discussions. I remember once when my son was probably about 8 or so, we were sitting at the table eating with a few of his friends over and he all the sudden blurts out "sex,sex,sex,sex" over and over again LOL. The look on his friends faces was classic. He just wanted to see what they would do or say if he did it. We still laugh about that now.

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What a great and thought provoking topic!


I've had limited discussions with my child about sex and plan to have more in depth discussions in early teen years. I will very likely share my HSV status with her at that time for the very reasons you mentioned (educating, opening lines of communication, humanizing, decreasing stigma).


OTOH, depending on how the conversation is framed, the stigma may be increased on decreased. I know someone whose mother shared with him that she contracted genital herpes as a very young divorcee and therefore chose to never date or have sex again. She has romantically secluded herself for 30 years as a result of her genital herpes diagnosis. This has influenced how he perceives the threat of contracting HSV2. He sees it as something that would prevent him from marrying and having children or at the very least would severely limit his romantic options. When I have this conversation with my child, I plan to educate about STI risk reduction but also put STIs in perspective and clearly send the message that having HSV2 does not limit me or my life choices.



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Optimist, Good point on how it's portrayed making a difference. If spoken of negatively or like it's a curse then that would definitely be a problem. I think when I told my son I was talking to my daughter in the kitchen about it and he walked in, I think I said something like "get what kid? Your moms a statistic" LOL. My daughter thought that was very amusing and my son was like "What"? I said, "Yep, I'm one of the millions in the world who were lucky enough to get herpes" Since then we've never looked back on talking about it. They know that if they do ever come down with this that's it means little in the reality of life and that hopefully they will be more accepting of others who have this then most people are. If we educate the young, hopefully in their lifetime the stigma will be gone replaced with either acceptance or a cure :).

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