Do You Have An STD?
Are you living with herpes? Have you recently been diagnosed with herpes? If you are living with Herpes, life is not over - You can still have a successful and fulfilling life. People who are diagnosed with any form of an STD are subject to ridiculed when compared with people who are not diagnosed with an STD, and many can be cruel because they don’t understand the diagnosis, and they have mis-conceptions about the character and conduct of people who have STDs. Remember in the 1980s when researchers and doctors discovered AIDS/HIV? For a long time, the general public believed that HIV/AIDS will was a homosexual disease. Individuals started to practically crucify the homosexual community until heterosexuals start to contract the disease. After heterosexuals started contracting the disease, anyone that contracted STDs, including HIV/AIDs, were perceived as having engaged in sexually promiscuous or even homosexual behavior.
People make mistakes. That doesn’t mean that they have to subject to irrational and poor treatment by others - Remember that ppeople generally negatively respond to things that they don’t know or understand. Herpes has been around for a long time, so don’t let it be a death sentence.
What is Herpes and what is the Treatment?
More people are more people are more strongly informed about HIV/AIDS than herpes, and alot people do know how it works and how can continue an intimate relationship without your partner contracting the same disease. There are two types Herpes: Herpes Simplex Virus-1 and Herpes Simplex Virus-2. Herpes Simplex Virus-1 is often referred to as cold sores and can also cause Herpes Simplex Virus-2. Over 50% of the population contracts or have contracted cold sores. The most common strain of the herpes virus is Herpes Simplex Virus-2 or genital herpes. Genital herpes is usually contracted through sex. Initial treatment for genital herpes is oral medication and creams to help sores heal more quickly and to minimize outbreaks. Overtime, you will experience fewer outbreaks. No matter what, always use protection and inform you partner before you become intimate. Never mislead anyone for selfish reasons.
1. Depression: After a person is diagnosed with Herpes, many people go through bouts of depression. They may feel “dirty”, hopeless, helpless, and feel that they can’t enjoy a healthy productive life. The first thing that comes to mind is "I will ever date again, and I will never have children." However, if you want to, you will. However, you have to seek help in order to learn how to move forward with your life. You may feel like you have a dirty secret, so he point of psychotherapy is learn to not broadcast your condition to the world and be dignified with your own personal challenges. Only people that are close to you need to know. The point of therapy is also to help you build your self-esteem, learn how to adjust to your situation, and not to have one mistake affect all of your choices. You are neither a failure nor “trashy”. Negative thoughts about yourself will affect your work life and personal life, so begin changing any negative thoughts you may have now.
2. Isolation: At a certain point you may feel that you don’t want be around anyone, and this is okay, at first. However, you need to develop a support system. Your support system must include people you trust to keep your information confidential. It is also beneficial to go to support groups at your local hospital. Avoiding people and living alone is not the best way to handle your situation.
3. Dating: Dating becomes an issue if you are looking to have casual sex. Numerous thoughts may go through you mind such as how I tell someone that I have herpes, when do I tell them, and how do we deal with sex? Your response to those questions depends on you, but you can certainly date after contracting herpes. You just have to be more selective, and you may want to begin thinking about long-term relationships or marriage rather than short term hook-ups, where you could expose somebody else to the condition.
Of course, if you feel like the relationship is becoming more platonic, you don't need to tell the other person anything. There are dating websites that are specifically for people with STDs. I suggest Positive Singles.com, because there are millions of people in the world that are living with Herpes, and if you have already contracted the virus, there is no harm in being intimate with somebody else who also had the same conditoin. It’s hard to realize it when you feel that you are the only one who has it or you feel like people are staring at you because they know your secret, so you may want to connect with other sexy, intelligent individuals who have decided not to date those who are not exposed. It's ethical and probably alot more fun.
Society in general tends to negatively react to people with an STD, because most people are educated about STDs and their life-long impact. However it's important that you find a community that will not reject and persecute you for one night of bad judgment. Keep a positive attitude when it's hard to do, and remember that the world is not over and you have to find peace and acceptance with your situation and continue live your life.
- Heather Browning, MBA, BA
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