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I would offer to answer questions, but refused to allow anyone to shame me or make me feel less than because I have herpes.
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!
” There is a disproportionate amount of stigma around herpes and other STDs.
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 have provided HIV and STD prevention education to a variety of audiences.By the time I was diagnosed with Herpes Simplex Virus 2 (HSV-2) in 2015, I was well-versed in the stigma surrounding HIV and STDs.I did not, however, anticipate how much stigma I would experience when I was diagnosed.I wasn’t looking for anyone to blame, I just wanted to be responsible and respectful of my partners.One person nervously insisted he tested negative for the HSV-2 antibody and promised to send me his testing history.