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Home Personal Perspectives Personal Perspectives "I am so glad that I didn't let the virus take over my life."

"I am so glad that I didn't let the virus take over my life."

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I'll never forget the first time I stumbled upon the ASHA web site and the herpes message board after I found out I had HSV-2 almost 3 years ago. It was a very depressing and desperate time in my life. I had just quit a job to start my first business. I had just dumped a man with whom I had a short fling and nothing but disappointment. I was so focused, driven, and excited to begin a journey of self-development and acquiring self-love. Then I had unexpectedly fallen ill, became hospitalized, and was discharged one week later with a hefty hospital bill and medically incapable of taking care of myself. As if it couldn't get any worse, I discovered lesions all over my pelvic region and went back to seek medical attention to learn that I had HSV-2. I almost fainted on the examination bed and I remember saying out loud, "Oh God, why?!" It was as if I had just been told I had an incurable disease and only had a few weeks to live.

Shortly after that doctor visit, I began doing research online to find out all I could learn about the health concerns or risks associated with having HSV-2. It took a good five or so months to finally feel like I could be sexy, lovable, and worthy again. Before that, I was really drowning in my sorrows and feeling defeated.

Sure, there would always be some risk when dealing with HSV-2, but the risks of spreading the virus are reduced when in a monogamous relationship with both parties well informed and taking precaution. There was always doubt whispering in my ear from time to time, but I trusted the process and believed everything would work out in the end as long as I maintained my integrity and lived by that example.

I'm happy to report that earlier this year, I met the man of my dreams. We took about 3 months to get to know and court each other slowly. We had a responsible and mature conversation when we decided to take our relationship to the next level, make a commitment to each other, and finally make love for the first time. It was a little unnerving trying to choose the right words to discuss my sexual health with him, but I did so with as much confidence as I could. It was and wasn't difficult, because I had already gotten to a place where I knew he had my love and I had his. Now, we just needed to inform each other of things that needed special care and consideration.

He handled the news well. He seemed to just be taking it in and not saying much as to let me finish my thought. Then he asked a few specific questions. Finally, he held me and thanked me for being open and honest and commended me for my courage to address this concern in such a good manner. When I asked him of his sexual history, he expressed that to his knowledge, he has no STI concerns. He asked about precautions to take and I explained to him the usage of condoms and not having sex when lesions are present, but let him know that there were always risks due to asymptomatic shedding.

If you would have asked me three years ago whether I could fathom finding love and being able to have wonderful, healthy sex like this living with HSV-2, I would have told you it wouldn't be impossible, but it would be unlikely. I am so glad that I didn't let the virus take over my life. I am so happy that I learned to live my life more deliberately and intentionally. It is because I learned to fill that void in me with things that brought me passion and joy in life, I have been able to live a healthier and happier life. I have been able to exude confidence that makes me so attractive to others and attracts me to others like me. I am 34, divorced, and mother to amazing 17 year old son. I have HSV-2. I have love. I make love. I am happier than I've ever been in my whole life.

This is a friendly reminder to let you know that there is life AND love after HSV-2!


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