Last Updated on June 4, 2020 by Saurabh Sethi, MD, MPH
The number one concern we hear when someone is first diagnosed is that they’ll never find a partner who’s willing to accept that they have a long-term infection. While we never say never here at The STI Project, that fear is not at all unfounded.
Getting diagnosed with an STI – in this case, HSV2 – is traumatizing. It often takes a fair amount of time to overcome the stigma associated with all sexually transmitted infections, and even once the initial shock has worn off, most people can’t imagine that anyone else will still be interested in pursuing a relationship with them. This interview is a perfect example of that perspective.
1. How old are you?
2. What do you do for a living?
3. What STI/STD do you have/have you had?
4. How long have you had or known you have an STI/STD?
5. Do you know how you contracted this STI/STD?
Some random in Las Vegas on my 21st
6. How has your life changed since you contracted an STI/STD?
I’m bitter, sad, and I feel as if there’s a dark sheet over my life and everything’s dark.
7. Do the people who know you have an STI/STD treat you differently than they treated you before they knew?
They just ‘feel so bad‘ for me.
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.
No, I’m not – I haven’t even had an outbreak that I’m aware of. The doctor said not to worry about it till something happens.
9. Has having an STI/STD hindered past relationships?
It scares me, and I feel like I’m going to be forever alone.
10. Do you have a significant other? If so, how has this STI/STD affected your partner?
I did, and I didn’t know I had HSV2. Now, he’s moved 200 miles away, and I don’t know how to tell him. FaceTime? I mean, ugh!
11. Have you been sexually active with someone since contracting an STI/STD whom you did not tell you had an STI/STD?
No, not since I found out. But I had sex while having HSV2.
12. How have you changed as a result of contracting an STI/STD?
Well, I lost my father in the Fall, so I’m already kind of depressed, and now I find out I have an incurable virus. So nothing’s really looking up right now.
13. Why are you choosing to participate in this interview and/or is there anything else you would like to share with us?
I don’t feel like I have anyone to talk to, so this felt like an easy way to express my feelings without being scared to actually talk about it.
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!