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If he stood me up, it wasn’t his fault; I was the one with herpes, and I should be grateful he hadn’t left me,' she recalled.
'Eventually, I realized I deserved better than to be emotionally abused like that and ended the relationship.' Helping others: Christine (left), 44, said raising awareness has made living with a long-term infection easier, and Britni (right), 30, said helped her to have a supportive partner to write about having herpes Jenelle's supposed friends would talk about her behind her back, telling guys who liked her that she had herpes as was trying to spread it to as many people as possible.
We’re aware of the implications of HIV— on paper at least—and if they can help people with a disease that all too often can seem, if not a death sentence, at times like a sentence for a lifetime of celibacy, or so I’ve been told, then they’re necessary.
But an STI like herpes you can have without even realising (one in five, to be precise, don’t, with three in five having such mild symptoms it’s unlikely even to be diagnosed).
If anything, I’m probably a better person, and my HSV [Herpes Simplex Virus] status has nothing to do with who I am,' Lance, 41, explained.
And Britni, 30, noted: 'The people that judge and stigmatize you for it aren't worth having in your life anyway.
'I believe empowering people to make their own decisions and that requires full education,' she said.
A group of men and women of all ages have revealed what it is really like to live with herpes, in the hopes of showing others who have been diagnosed with the common sexually transmitted disease that they are not alone - nor are their lives over.
Jenelle Marie Davis, from Grand Rapids, Michigan, is an STD expert, and founder of The STD Project, a movement to eradicate the stigma surrounding sexually transmitted diseases.
Personally, I don’t think I’m the sum of my genitals any more than any other single part of me.
The sites are helping people, yes, but they’re also feeding into a greater stigma, which is what we really need to address. As Max explains: “I honestly do hope that the future of sites like H-YPE!
For some, they’ve even given the hope for a future of marriage and children that they thought lost to them when first diagnosed.