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Home Personal Perspectives Personal Perspectives "I am still learning how this disease fits into my life and how to manage . . ."

"I am still learning how this disease fits into my life and how to manage . . ."

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When I was diagnosed with herpes, a year and a half ago, I was devastated. I screamed, cried and called out of work few a days, basically hiding in my room before making the decision to tell some of my closest friends. About a month preceding my diagnosis I started to have an achy feeling in the back of my legs and buttocks. I was also constipated, for the first time in my life. I had a very mild outbreak the first time so I ignored it, telling myself that it couldn’t be herpes, thinking maybe it was just a yeast infection.

After this incident I had a much more severe outbreak that I went to the gynecologist for. The nurse practitioner was insensitive towards me and did not give me the information that I needed to take care of myself. When I called for my final results, which the nurse gave me over the phone (not a practice I encourage from providers), I was able to ask some questions, like how to manage having my period and an outbreak or how to not spread it to other parts of my body. She also suggested I look it up online, another practice I wouldn’t suggest unless you know the site is reputable.

Overall, my experience with my medical provider and my diagnosis and treatment has been very poor. For this reason I started to look for jobs in the field of STD prevention and education, so that I may be able to help others deal with their diagnosis and their medical providers. I am happy to say that now I work as an advocate for HIV/AIDS patients and I am getting my voice out there in that way. Unfortunately I was not able to get adequate support around me in my time of need but I am making sure this doesn’t happen to other people.

I am still learning how this disease fits into my life and how to manage. I still haven’t hit the milestone of having to tell a partner and it is something that I dread but I am comforted by the fact that I have resources and supports (like this one) to help me when the time comes.


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