Auntie Herpes

On March 16, 2014, in Blog, Race for Awareness, Team H, by RunnerGirl
Before I went public about my HSV & HPV status, I needed to have a discussion with my nieces and nephews. They were the only immediate family members that didn’t know my status. Most of them are teenagers getting ready to embark on life as adults. If I could teach them one thing before they venture out into this world, it was definitely going to be about this.

I was nervous and nauseous the whole day. In fact, I even worked out with my sister right before the family meeting to help settle the nerves. That even brought on more tears. I, indeed, was scared. Scared of what they might think…scared of what their reaction would be…just plain scared. Let’s face it, teenagers can be vicious sometimes!


Then something miraculous happened….a couple of friends starting text-ing me. One…gave me all the statistics I need to know to be successful on presenting the information in such a way that it had absolutely nothing to do with my diagnosis and everything to do with educating them so they didn’t learn about HSV and HPV the hard way like I did. A lot of weight was lifted off my shoulders in that very short conversation.


The second friend has the ability to make me laugh at myself, which honestly, is hard for me to do sometimes. He simply told me, “so you’re going to tell them you have cooties, from here on out, you’ll be known as Auntie Herpes”. I laughed so hard on that comment I almost cried.


Let’s face it, talking to teenagers and helping them relate is hard stuff for us adults. They see life differently, think they are invincible and tend to clam up when you talk about stuff that is awkward. Needless to say, when I said, “Okay, let’s just laugh about the term Auntie Herpes”  ….they giggled…but even more importantly they felt more comfortable having the discussion and seems way more receptive to what I had to say. Yay!


From my perspective, all parents should be having discussions like this with their kids. The problem is no one talks about these viruses and with the huge stigma society places on theses viruses it’s a no brain-er why so maybe people become inflicted.


Just another reason why I need your help.


3/4 of Americans carry at least one type of HSV.  Over 80% of them have no idea.


Note: Just don’t use the term “Auntie Herpes”. While it was funny at the time, it could be taken in a negative manner and only enhance the stigma.



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