Last Updated on June 4, 2020 by Saurabh Sethi, MD, MPH
It’s always a bit disheartening when I read that partners are having a hard time being intimate with someone who has an STD, in this case, HSV2. I’ve been lucky to find mates who were both interested in being sexually healthy while also keen on enjoying all types of sexual activities together. However, that is not always the case.
At The STI Project, we will always respect a person’s choice when it comes to dating someone with an STD, but what we’ve found is that the more someone is educated about the actual risks at hand, the less likely they are to be unreasonably concerned about those risks.
Thank you, interviewee, for sharing your perspective, because the more we share our stories, the greater chance we have of meeting partners who are informed, yet open to sharing a life and a bed with someone who has a long-term infection (sans excessive fear).
1. How old are you?
2. What do you do for a living?
Technical Writer/Project Manager
3. What STD/STI do you have/have you had?
4. How long have you had or known you have an STD/STI?
5. Do you know how you contracted this STD/STI?
Yes, sex without a condom.
6. How has your life changed since you contracted an STD/STI?
I’ve been more depressed, of course. I feel guilty and shameful.
I am also very anxious when first going out with someone; I never know how they will react.
7. Do the people who know you have an STD/STI treat you differently than they treated you before they knew?
I don’t think so.
8. Are you currently under treatment for your STD/STI? If so, please share whether you have explored prescription medication, over-the-counter medication, or holistic and natural approaches.
Yes. I take generic Valtrex every day – suppressive therapy.
9. Has having an STD/STI hindered past relationships?
Ultimately, I have been rejected once (and I think maybe two more times because of it – but they didn’t admit it was herpes).
The relationship I am in right now is strained because of it. He is very nervous about contracting it.
10. Do you have a significant other? If so, how has this STD/STI affected your partner?
He is very nervous about contracting herpes, and he hates that he has to use a condom all of the time. I basically get no foreplay because he is too nervous to touch me.
11. Have you been sexually active with someone since contracting an STD/STI whom you did not tell you had an STD/STI?
12. How have you changed as a result of contracting an STD/STI?
I know now that having an STD is not the end of the world.
13. Why are you choosing to participate in this interview and/or is there anything else you would like to share with us?
Because I think we need to be more educated and open about this or else this social stigma will never go away.
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!