Herpes simplex dating
From that point on, I disclosed my virus to any potential date like it wasn’t a big deal, because it’s not.
I would offer to answer questions, but refused to allow anyone to shame me or make me feel less than because I have herpes.
It was in this moment that I took complete ownership of herpes, and suddenly felt empowered by this guy’s ignorance. But, I was the one with the virus and I was the one with the knowledge.
I used that to take back the power in this situation.
One person nervously insisted he tested negative for the HSV-2 antibody and promised to send me his testing history.
Another accidentally texted me when she meant to text a friend to say “how sorry she felt” for me and how “devastated” she would be if she were in my place.
I now work full time as a director at the National Coalition of STD Directors. I have counseled friends when they’ve come to me with news of their herpes diagnosis.
I have sat with patients after a herpes diagnosis, giving them the pep talk I would end up wishing I had received.
And like one-in-five sexually active people, I contracted genital herpes.
My experience with stigma continued as I made a point to inform partners of my diagnosis.
I wasn’t looking for anyone to blame, I just wanted to be responsible and respectful of my partners.
In the years that followed, I got so bold as to include my status in my online dating profile.
I had men and women message me just to say, “Thank you for being honest,” or, “It’s so awesome to see you standing up to the stigma of having an STD,” or even, “I have herpes, too!