ASHA STI Message Board
It is currently Fri Apr 18, 2014 8:33 am

All times are UTC - 5 hours


 

National Cervical Cancer Coalition


Forum locked This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  [ 4 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: oh no dear abby :(
PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 3:00 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 11:47 am
Posts: 5443
Location: PA
Recently someone wrote Dear Abby for advice on dating someone with herpes . Here is the question and her answer :

DEAR ABBY: I met the most amazing guy. He's in grad school, has a job, his own home, loves music, movies and good food -- he can even cook.

We exchanged phone numbers, and I was excited about finally meeting a man who could be "the one." And then he casually dropped a bomb on me: He told me he has herpes. I thought he was kidding, but he said: "I live stress-free, so I never break out. Herpes is no big deal."

He left voicemails asking if we can go out on a date soon, and I had to tell him I just couldn't date someone with herpes. My male friends support me, so why do I feel so guilty about this? Is it wrong of me not to date someone because of his STD status? -- FEELING MISERABLE IN GAINESVILLE, FLA.

DEAR FEELING MISERABLE: I don't think so. And it was OK to be honest about your feelings, so stop feeling guilty. While herpes isn't life-threatening, it is NOT "no big deal." And while the young man in your letter may "never break out," the virus is shed all the time. That's how the disease is spread, and it is widespread. If you need more information, I recommend you discuss this with your OB/GYN or visit the Web site of ASHA (American Social Health Association) at www.ashastd.org.



Well Abby I'm glad that you pointed folks to ASHA to get more accurate information than you are giving out!!! I really wish you would've given out some more basic facts in your reply too to be honest.

Was this gal justified in her ending the relationship with this man with genital herpes? Well of course she is! Everyone has a right to their own opinions and I fully support that even when the decision is that you can't handle the idea of herpes so you don't want to pursue a relationship with someone who has it. Kudos to the man in this post for being up front and honest with the gal who wrote too. Not sure he knows as much about his herpes as he should but at least he's honest about it with partners and that says a lot about him as a person too. I just hope that the gal who wrote did her homework first and didn't just give in to a knee jerk reaction to hearing that her man had genital herpes. Herpes is incredibly common whether it's oral or genital but no it doesn't shed all the time - in fact it's not shedding more than it is. Precautions really do work to help reduce transmission too and you can get a partner's risk down pretty darn low. It's not a good reason to run from someone that you are attracted to but if you are honest to yourself about your reasons for running that's all that matters. If you just run because you heard herpes, you owe it to yourself to better educate yourself on this incredibly common infection so that in the future, you are getting tested for it and asking potential partners to get tested too. With 1 out of every 2-3 adults having oral herpes and 1 out of every 4 having genital herpes, it's not something most of us get thru life without.

A man who is in grad school and cooks??? Heck not even herpes could keep me away from a guy like that :)

betsy

_________________
ASHA Moderator


Top
   
 
 Post subject: Re: oh no dear abby :(
PostPosted: Fri Mar 12, 2010 1:32 pm 

Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2010 1:44 pm
Posts: 1
Location: houston
Just want to give you an insiders point of view. I love my husband unconditionally. I know he feels the same about me. we dated for a while and i found out i was pregnant with our daughter. which we all know std testing is part of prenatal care. everything came back normal (so i thought). life went on..... 5 years later we wanted to have another baby. Another round of std testing. everything came back normal. My second daughter followed. I went to get my IUD put back in and they asked if i wanted my std testing done. I said sure. two weeks later i received a phone call that i had tested positive for gential herpes. To my shock i immediatly pointed the finger at my husband. i thought there was some unfaithfullness. Sitting down with the doctor she explained to me herpes is not part of the std testing that was done for whatever reason (my insurance). Following that my husband got tested and was positive as well. The doctor explained with the anti bodies that we had it wasent a new infection but that one of us most likely brought it into the relationship. It hurt my husband and me for alittle while but we grew to appreciate that we werent dying and we could go on normal and watch our beautiful daughters grow into beautiful women. Had one of us known that we had it prior and revealed it to the other the relationship would not have happened. It brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it. I love him so very much, and could not imagine life without him. We live outbreak free, so there is not much interuption from the virus. I do believe now that most of our pain was from stereotypes. But we are not bad people, and yes it still does bring me down sometimes, the guilt that it may have been me who brought it into the relationship.


Top
   
 
 Post subject: Re: oh no dear abby :(
PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2010 10:21 pm 

Joined: Sat Apr 03, 2010 9:09 pm
Posts: 1
Location: Boston
This makes me sad. I'm a single grad student living with herpes, and that conversation is the one I've been dreading. (I haven't dated anyone since finding out I have it.)

I recently joined an online dating site, because I don't want to meet people in bars or to date someone within my program. So far, nothing's progressed beyond a dinner or two. Eventually, though, it will, and I will have to sit down with my partner and tell him that I have an STD. When I think about this, I feel like I have to tell him that I'm "damaged goods" or somehow "dirty," and I wonder whether or not it's even FAIR for me to be on the dating website in the first place. I feel like I'm leading these men on to think I'm wholesome and pure, when instead I should have a big flashing red sign that says *I HAVE HERPES* so they know from the get-go.

Logically, I know this isn't true. Having herpes in no way affects who I am as a person. I did not get it because I was wild and promiscuous, but even if I had been, so what? My future partner should love me for the person I am and the things I want to achieve. When you find someone you want to be with, the fact that you could potentially get a disease that causes an (admittedly very) uncomfortable 7-10 days every so often should not be an end-all deciding factor. I believe that for people who are madly in love, an STD is something that can be worked through.

The problem is that sex often comes *before* a couple reaches the "madly in love" stage. The conversation about having an STD occurs at a time when stigma and fear outweigh love and hope for the future.

Writing this, it occurs to me that when I have "the talk," perhaps I'll throw in a third option. "I have herpes we can (1) Purse the relationship, have sex, and be careful about it, (2) Not pursue the relationship, or (3) WAIT to make the decision to have sex or end it until we know each other better." Maybe if given that third option, my partner won't run away in fear.

Another issue about "the talk" is over what medium to have it. Some people are adamant about bringing up the issue in a face-to-face conversation. I'm not sure I agree with them. It puts a lot of pressure on your partner to make an on-the-spot decision that he or she might regret later. I think when I do it, I'll do it over email or on the phone, and provide websites and resources for him to learn more information about it. My partner can take time in making his decision.

I think, also, that I will point out the fact that I have been tested regularly. I KNOW that I have herpes... just herpes... and I know that I need to be careful. Knowing, and talking about it, is a lot better than just assuming your partner is disease-free.


Top
   
 
 Post subject: Re: oh no dear abby :(
PostPosted: Sat Apr 10, 2010 7:25 am 

Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 11:47 am
Posts: 5443
Location: PA
Is it easy to talk about std's in general? No it is not because we've been mistakenly led to believe that only "those" kind of people even need testing. Unfortunately the medical profession continues to perpetuate this opinion too by not talking routinely about our sex lives and testing with us :( Just keep in mind that this isn't a confession about having herpes when you have the "talk", it's a discussion about the both of you. It's so much more than just the fact that you know you have herpes. When I have the "talk" , I talk about condom use and birth control too. Both are important parts of the conversation. You don't want to find out a few months later that your partner wasn't practicing good birth control when they come to you to tell you that they are pregnant! You also don't want to find out that your partner doesn't like to use condoms ( or has issues that make using a condom difficult for them ) in the heat of the moment when you are more likely to agree to not using them just because you are all hot and bothered. Most folks are not getting std testing done ( even those who say that they do! ). The ones who are getting it done, typically only get tested for 2 or 3 std's and aren't getting tested for herpes. for some reason tv especially has made us all think that sex is something that is "sexy" and totally heat of the moment and problem free instead of the reality of needing to talk about things before you head into the bedroom.

do you have to do the talk face to face? No you do not. It's totally up to you. I feel that face to face helps it be more of a discussion and less of a confession though.

Are you misleading folks by online dating and not making the first line of your ad say "CAUTION- I HAVE GENITAL HERPES"? HECK NO!!! they don't put all their baggage out there on their ad and you certainly shouldn't have to warn people off about your herpes! You can control your herpes for the most part and get the risk to a partner down as low as 1-3%/year depending on their gender. the idea risk of pregnancy on the pill is 1%. real use risk is 8%. Do you not date people because you risk pregnancy? You are not a walking biohazzard because you have herpes. You aren't any different from anyone else and you certainly are not damaged goods. You are only dirty if you don't shower on a regular basis! Don't perpetuate society's stigma against std's by believing in it yourself.

betsy

_________________
ASHA Moderator


Top
   
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Forum locked This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  [ 4 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 5 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Exabot [Bot] and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group