Last Updated on June 4, 2020 by Saurabh Sethi, MD, MPH
It never ceases to amaze me some of the simply awful things people will say to or about someone with an STD, and in this case, genital herpes.
As if an STD diagnosis weren’t enough, couple that with hearing the most audacious reactions from someone you trust. It’s enough to make anyone want to stick their head in the sand. It’s any wonder we accomplish anything at all.
Since I can’t personally be there to drink a beer with each and every one of you while simultaneously lamenting about the ridiculousness of those responses (my liver is thanking me), I will continue to share your stories. Despite only being words on a page right now, one day, there will be so many of us there will be no other alternative than a paradigm shift.
Until then, though, thank you, interviewee, for sharing your story. Reading your perspective will most definitely help others.
And if you’re reading this with a cocktail in hand, know that if I’m the neighborhood, I’ll happily stop by and have a drink with you while telling you how absolutely awesome you are and that your diagnosis – no matter what someone else says – does not define you or indicate anything about your character. Cheers, readers, cheers!
1. How old are you?
2. What do you do for a living?
I work in two fast food jobs.
3. What STI/STD do you have/have you had?
4. How long have you had or known you have an STI/STD?
Almost two years now
5. Do you know how you contracted this STI/STD?
Yes…I was at a kickback, and I had a lot to drink. My friends were all passed out, so I went into another room with this guy, and before I knew it, I was losing my virginity and gaining a lifelong disease.
6. How has your life changed since you contracted an STI/STD?
I’ve had so many emotions go through my head since this all transpired: anger, sadness, pity, hatred, depression, confusion, emptiness…and now I’m like an ostrich…I don’t know how to deal with any of this or how to come to terms with it, so I just bury my head in the sand.
I’m at the point where I’m not even living anymore; I’m just going through the motions.
7. Do the people who know you have an STI/STD treat you differently than they treated you before they knew?
I think, whenever someone goes through a life-changing event, people are going to treat you differently; it’s not necessarily a bad thing.
My best friend has been by my side since day one, but I know she’s careful to say certain things around me, because she doesn’t want to bring up old wounds.
Then there’s this guy, and I thought we were good friends, but when I told him I had herpes, he had nothing but bad things to say, like, “What were you thinking? Why didn’t you use protection? How could you be so stupid? If I had what you had, I would kill myself.” So everything that I was already thinking he reconfirmed.
8. Are you currently under treatment for your STI/STD? If so, please share whether you have explored prescription medication, over-the-counter medication, or holistic and natural approaches.
I got medication when I first found out, but I haven’t gone back since.
9. Has having an STI/STD hindered past relationships?
It’s hindered relationships period. I already had a low self-esteem before all of this, and now I’m terrified to put myself out there.
The one guy I told said he would never be with a girl who had anything, so now, I imagine, that’s how every guy will react.
10. Do you have a significant other? If so, how has this STI/STD affected your partner?
11. Have you been sexually active with someone since contracting an STI/STD whom you did not tell you had an STI/STD?
12. How have you changed as a result of contracting an STI/STD?
I believe everything happens for a reason.
I used to be a good Christian girl, but then I started drinking and smoking, and I know this was my wake-up call. If I didn’t stop the path I was on, I was going to wind up dead.
I’m trying to stay positive, but it’s hard when I feel so alone, when the only people who truly understand are just words on a computer screen.
13. Why are you choosing to participate in this interview and/or is there anything else you would like to share with us?
I needed to get this off of my chest.
I know everyone on here is at different levels of coping with their diagnosis, and most of the ones on here are positive, which is great, but I know I’m not the only one who is still dealing with the darker side of it, and that’s ok too.
Just know, you’re not alone, and WE WILL GET THROUGH THIS!
Can you relate to this interviewee? Did it help you to read someone else’s story? Have you experienced something similar or do you have some feedback to share with this individual? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!