Last Updated on August 6, 2021 by Jenelle Marie Pierce, CSE, Executive Director
Want to help eradicate STI stigma? Want to change the way people view you, your loved ones, and all of the people who contract STIs/STDs and are living with an STI/STD? Share your story!
An easy-to-use Interview Template
Simply fill in your answers below and send them via the contact form. Your interview will remain anonymous, and what you choose to share with our readers is entirely up to you; your privacy and comfort is our priority – we never share your contact information or other defining characteristics unless you’ve explicitly requested they be included.
Once you’ve submitted your interview, we’ll contact you to let you know we’ve received your submission. Please remember to be patient with our publishing process – depending on what’s happening behind the scenes, sometimes it takes a little while for us to schedule your submission (want to help speed up the process? ask about volunteer opportunities), but rest assured, we will definitely include your story (there have not been any we’ve had to turn away).
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?
5. Do you know how you contracted this STI/STD?
6. How has your life changed since you contracted an STI/STD?
7. Do the people who know you have an STI/STD treat you differently than they treated you before they knew?
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.
9. Has having an STI/STD hindered past relationships?
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?
13. Why are you choosing to participate in this interview and/or is there anything else you would like to share with us?
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Are you someone who loves someone who has an STI?
Would you like to share how you feel and your experiences? The People Who Love People with STIs Interview Template is below as well!
Send your answers and any questions you have via the contact form. All submissions from loved ones are kept anonymous, we never share your contact information, and we remove any defining characteristics in these interviews as well.
People Who Love Someone with an STI Template
1. What relation is the person you are writing about (ie. partner, family member, friend, etc.)?
2. What STI(s) does this person have (or has this person had)?
3. How has their STI(s) affected your relationship?
4. Has this impacted your view of STIs? Please explain.
5. If you could change one thing about how people view contracting and/or living with an STI, what would it be?
6. Why have you chosen to participate in these interviews and/or is there anything else you would like to share with the readers?
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I’m 21 years old, have a 6 week old baby boy. I’ve had herpes for 2 years now, I’m not sure when I could have gotten them or even from who. I feel like I’m doomed for life of never finding a man that will accept me with this disease. Ive never told any guy I’ve been with since I’ve known because I’m so terrifIed of what there reaction would be. I don’t know how to Live with this and it scares me to death.
Hi mari –
Thanks for your comments, and congratulations on the birth of your child!
I can understand why you’d feel like you’re doomed – I did for quite some time, actually. However, you’re not doomed at all! My suggestion is to begin by reading some of the articles we’ve included under ‘STD? What Now?’…
There’s no real way to sugar coat this, so I’m just going to say it: you absolutely positively MUST tell the guy you’re with. Here’s my suggestion on how to do it. The thing is, it isn’t going to be easy, but you need to learn how to talk about your experience/infection with partners. What you’re doing right now is unethical, and you’re not allowing your guy to make an informed, conscientious decision. He very well might choose to stay with you, but you’ll never know without giving him the chance… Even if he reacts poorly, you’ll be able to feel good about yourself knowing you did the right thing, and taking responsibility is part of the healing process – you can’t start feeling better about yourself and your situation until you begin to behave in a way that is contrary to what people say about people with STDs. Until then, you’re perpetuating the stigma.
Just remember, you’re not alone in this – despite how much it feels that way, and you’re also not alone in having been unable to tell someone right away. The good news is, none of this makes you a bad person and the stigma and misconceptions that abound are just that. They don’t have to define you or break you, so don’t let them. Right now, you have the ability to be part of the solution, and that’s empowering. Be empowered not broken! (Not to mention, all of this will eventually do great things for your confidence, and that will be an epic example for your son!) 🙂
Thanks so much for your message, and feel free to reach out should you have questions or additional thoughts. You’re always welcome here.
It comforts me to know I’m not so alone with this. I was diagnosed last week and did not know how to cope when I was told that there was no cure for this. I was told I have HSV 1 (oral) and that it appeared that the virus looked as if it was caught recently. I was an am extremely upset because I took a lot of precaution and have been with the same partner for 7 months now, and I also make it a habit to test in between partners. I have a 9 month old daughter. My question is, how do I go about living a normal life? I am 20 years old. I want to date, have a relationship, get married, and eventually have more children. How can I have a relationship without passing the virus on to my next partner? How do I go about explaining to my daughter that she cannot use the same fork as me? Growing up I was always raised to be extremely cautious and I have been. If I could have any advice from anyone in the same situation as me, it would be greatly appreciated. I feel too embarrassed to even tell my friends or family, and right now the only person who knows is my partner who passed it to me.
Hi Vanessa –
Thank for reaching out.
“My question is, how do I go about living a normal life? I am 20 years old. I want to date, have a relationship, get married, and eventually have more children.”
You can still do all of those things, despite it feeling a bit like there’s no or little hope right now. Keep in mind, the reason you feel that way is because of the immense stigma associated with herpes and all STDS – not because the infections are actually that horrible to live with. This post STD? What Now? will help walk you through thinking about that stigma, what it’s like to date with an infection, and what partners might feel about you having an infection. Short story, though? This doesn’t have to be a deal-breaker, nor does it have to impede your ability to have a fun dating life, a great relationship, marriage, or additional children. It will likely alter some of the conversations you have with potential partners, and it might change how you approach relationships a bit (some people find this is for the better, as it helps weed out the good ones from the bad ones), but it most certainly does not have to limit your potential.
“How can I have a relationship without passing the virus on to my next partner?”
Well, it will always be a risk, but it doesn’t have to limit your potential for a healthy, rewarding, and loving relationship. This forum post about safer sex with herpes will be really helpful when it comes to dating again.
“How do I go about explaining to my daughter that she cannot use the same fork as me?”
There are two schools of thought here. One, it might not be such a bad idea to teach your daughter not to share utensils with other people anyhow. There are so many non-STD-related infections someone can contract from sharing silverware or eating from the same dishes – parasites, viral infections, bacterial infections, you name it. The second and probably the most important thing to know is that STDs are not transmitted via surfaces like toilet seats, chapsticks, or utensils. Sure, if you have an active outbreak on your mouth (a cold sore), and you immediately hand your daughter the fork you were just eating from or the chapstick you were just using, there is a risk, and transmission is possible, but HSV is transmitted via skin-to-skin contact, because the virus is incredibly unstable and begins to degrade immediately upon leaving the body. So, two things, it’s not a horrible idea to tell your daughter that you have an ‘owie’ or as she gets older a ‘cold sore’ and that you shouldn’t share utensils, but it’s also not highly likely that you’ll transmit via surfaces – rather, it’s more common for children to contract HSV1 via their parents kissing them, and that you certainly want to avoid when you have an outbreak and also when you feel one might be coming. (If you’re taking suppressive therapy, you’ll be shedding less and less likely to transmit it too – see the article linked in the forum thread above.)
Thanks again for your message!