Here Goes…

On January 16, 2013, in H Stories, by Admin

I’m a 44-year-old divorced mother of two (8 yo daughter and 6 yo son). I was with the now ex-husband for 14 years. Neither of us knows who had HSV before we got together, but obviously someone did. It revealed several years into the relationship, and since we were together for so long, neither had to “deal” with stigma issues. But then when we finally divorced 2 years ago (delayed possibly bc of the HSV) I had to face this. One of the first things I realized is that I had a terrible marriage because of my fear of facing the HSV reality. Once I “took the plunge” though, quickly realized there was a fantastic world of humans out there walking the same bed of coals — and none the worse for wear.

Navigating the world as an HSV-positive person is not nearly as complicated, isolating, or challenging as I had assumed it would be during my marriage. This is a principle motivator for why I believe so strongly in the PA movement. It is tragic that lives are unnecessarily and negatively impacted by this (usually) mild medical condition. I don’t want my daughter or my son to experience a sense of doom, isolation, or have their future in any way limited by HSV (or any other chronic viral disease) diagnosis.

I feel strongly that the message to the public – first and foremost – should be that every adult has a moral and medical obligation to know their status. Once the true volume of persons living with this is known – 1) people will realize that for most, it is exceptionally benign, and 2) will realize that only through disclosure can we ever hope to curtail transmission bc for some people it is not benign and we don’t want to encourage transmission. But, if people are ashamed to admit they have it or to disclose they have it, they won’t and it will pass on and on and on.

No one individual can tackle what it takes to turn a society’s unfair condemnation. Not even an organization comprised of thousands could do it all. Good efforts are underway in several fronts, but until hearing about PA via the Walk for H organization, I hadn’t encountered any group that was directly addressing the social stigma. Quite the opposite – the groups that promote only social contact effectively promote secrecy (which increases stigma) and those that emphasize reducing transmission only, also increase stigma by failing to address the normalcy of this condition.

So, Go, Go ProjectAccept!  Good things are happening here.

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