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Friday, August 06, 2010

Living with Herpes in a Small Town

I have spoken with and read where many people who live in a small town, struggle with their herpes diagnosis. They feel as though they need to move from their surroundings, that they will never be accepted. I used to feel this way too, early on in my herpes journey, but I've progressed to the point, where I could care a less who knows anymore. My job is secure; my co-workers know and don't really care, it doesn't impact them.

It's the people that keep quiet or don't speak out because of fear of rejection and fear of negative backlash to having herpes that perpetuate the negative stigma associated with this std.
There is a time and a place to talk about herpes. People should talk about it when they feel the need to and when it's comfortable for them to do so. AND sometimes talking about herpes when the timing is not perfect CAN and does make a difference in squashing the negative stigma associated with this std.

If you aren't willing to talk about it then you can't very well complain about the negative stigma associated with herpes - now can you?

We - the people that have herpes - have NOTHING to be ashamed of. I refuse to live in fear because of it... to me... that IS the only way to make a difference.

So, if you're concerned, you simply pick and choose who you tell. You might want to think twice about telling people that you don't know all that well. In the 23 years that I've had herpes, I've run into many forms of ignorance and prejudice aimed not only at myself, but also I've been told by a good number of people via the internet and in person as well. They range from rejection (common) to death threats - my own personal experience.

I have read stories of others who claim they have lost their job due to telling someone that they had herpes. I also know of at least one person that was black balled from her church after word got out that she had herpes. Another lady had a very negative experience after telling a man that she was interested in that she had herpes. No physical violence but the verbal abuse was rather nasty from what I recall. Yes, it can get ugly, but it sure helps to show people's true colors when they have the full deck of cards laid out in front of them.

I am all for being upfront and honest at an appropriate time but a small measure of common sense and caution are in order if you want to avoid paying the price for having something that isn't your fault in the first place.

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Blogger Antoine said...

This blog entry helped me out a lot!

Thank you :)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011 11:24:00 AM  
Blogger Luanne said...

I'm glad Antoine. We have to take our power back and not let others demean us. It's all good and it is what it is :-)

Tuesday, February 01, 2011 7:08:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I found an amazing guy and we went out on a few dates, while we were watching a movie we started kissing and he stopped midway and blurted out that he has herpes. He contracted it in the womb and has lived with it his whole life.It immediately caught me very off guard but being the guy he is I accepted it as us meeting for a reason. He is now my boyfriend. We don't talk about aside from our original conversation and I have so many questions. I want to know if he can have kids, what his daily symptoms are if any, I want to know what that means for him and his health in the future. I'm becoming so close to him mentally and emotionally so quickly ( myself being a bit of a commitaphobe) it's freaking me out because there is something involved that I have never dealt with but part of me just wants to not ask and just see where we go, I just know it'll have to come up eventually especially if we end up getting more serious but at the same time I don't want to bring anything up and make a big deal out of anything when we are still so new. I need advice. Big time.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011 12:18:00 AM  
Blogger Luanne said...

Hi anonymous from Tuesday, February 22, 2011 12:18:00 AM

Hi good morning and thank you for taking the time to post.

To be honest, this is the 1st time I've had someone come to me w/this situation.

Did he say if he ever has outbreaks and what type does he have? I'll have to do some checking to see if I can find an answer for you. I don't know if it becomes a different kind of virus when you're "born" with it. I suspect he contracted it as he was exiting his mothers' womb and her dr. didn't know she was contagious at time of delivery.

Don't be afraid to ask him questions. He might be relieved to know that you want to know more. Try that first and see how it goes. If he's been living with it all of his life, I suspect it's obviously in the forefront of his mind, esp. when meeting someone new so he knows more about his situation than I would.

The bottom line is you won't die from herpes, it's simply an inconvenience for the majority of us.

If it reacts the same way as those of us who contracted the virus during our lives after birth, then he most likely doesn't have daily symptoms (I don't). His mother had him, so yes, he should be able to have children. We can live a full life living with herpes.

I do understand about wanting/needing to know and that's your right. I applaud you for wanting to know more.

If I find out anything else, I'll post here :-)


Tuesday, February 22, 2011 11:51:00 AM  
Blogger Hua said...

It's inspiring how you speak out on behalf of those who are afraid to do so. You're an inspiration to your community.


Sunday, March 06, 2011 9:48:00 PM  
Blogger Lorraine said...

people with herpes should be positive ,this words is said by one of my herpes friend,who I met him at a Std Dating site Herpesmingle.com. And we should be positive ,right?

Monday, March 14, 2011 3:24:00 AM  
Blogger Luanne said...

ty Hua - What other choice do we have than to see the bright side of living with herpes :-)

Lorraine - positive is as positive does ;-) It's all good and we won't die from herpes.

Friday, March 18, 2011 11:46:00 AM  

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