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Jagg

Discrimination?

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Jagg

Well...I can't be certain but I do believe I've had two encounters since being diagnosed on the 22nd of Feb. where I have been discriminated against due to this virus. I am not one to pull discrimination-cards over issues and perhaps I am feeling paranoid due to my recent diagnosis, but either way... I was texting back and forth with a man I know (I'm currently moving and he is my old landlord who did have a crush on me) and his responses were immediate, I texted him saying "My boyfriend might have given me something" to which he replied "What do you mean?" and that's when I dropped the STD bomb...I haven't heard anything from him since...

I just emailed a professor of mine, I always call her by her first name, I've actually never had a professor who took offense to being called by their first name. Well, I decided to be upfront and tell her why I missed a week and a half of class (My first OB) and that I'd like to know what I missed so I can catch up (this is grad. school, so I tried to shrug it off as her being pompous but again, I've called her by her first name several times)...The first thing she said to me was "It's Dr. ----- by the way, not M-----." then she proceeded to very dryly tell me what I need to do to get caught up. The whole message had a nasty tone and showed very little empathy.

Am I being paranoid, or are people going to treat me differently? Perhaps discrimination is too harsh a word... I don't want to be one of those people who feels I have to hide my secret, the way I see it, if I tell you and you treat me differently from there on out, you are a shit person on the inside!!!! Or just very ignorant...

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babybooh

I dont know.

I was diagnosed recently too, and i havnt told anyone, but i still feel like people are treating me differently, so it may just be in your head like it's in mine.

But also, it's your medical stuff... you dont have to tell anyone. If you want to, that's fine. But you have to realize that there is a huge stigma in most places that if you have herp you're a dirty whore (which we all know isnt true), and that you brought it on yourself (which we also know isnt true). So if you tell people you have to be prepared for them to think that. But there is always the option to educate them, if they are willing to listen to reduce the stigma.

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Jagg

Well... What you say is right, people will judge me and think I'm a skank, thanks for telling me that I have to be prepared for what they will think, I didn't really think about that. I guess I got so caught up in the research I've done about herpes being so common and not the huge, ugly monster that everyone thinks it is, I guess I started to believe it would be okay to tell people... But I guess I have to be way more careful now, I didn't want to live with this secret, I feel like the character in the novel "The Scarlet Letter" if you've ever read that - haha... Boo...I'll probably only tell my closest friends and family, and also educate them in the process. What about you? Do you plan to tell, or not? How do people deal with this...grrrrr!!!! :(

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babybooh

I havnt told many people at all. I told a mentor of mine, who is a medicine woman and like.. 50 years old. She is helping me with the medical issues of it, trying to help me find some herbal remidies. I also told a guy i was talking to, but he didnt care.

I havnt been able to bring my self to tell my family. I still live at home with my parents and two sisters. My older sister is my best friend, and i havnt been able to tell her cause she cant keep a secret to save her life. lol. I want to though. My mentor and the guy i was talking to both live far away, i wish i had someone close to me who knew what was going on.

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Kitty123

There is no reason why you need to disclose your personal medical information to ANYONE unless you plan on becoming sexually active with them. I'm sure you don't go around to just anyone and tell them so freely, "I have a yeast infection". No one really needs to know that but you and you only.

So, in the future, if you miss class or miss something important, whether its due to an OB, a cold, flu or your skin is turning all shades of the rainbow, that is YOUR OWN personal medical info. Your professor does not need to know :)

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Misty67

Most people that do not have HSV are ignorant to the virus, because they have never had the need to educate themselves on it.

I have told a total of 3 people that I am HSV+...It is NO one else's concern.

For most the stigma that goes with the virus is worse the the actual virus.

Good luck..

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MsLucy

In the 4+ years since I was diagnosed, I've told one person... my partner, who I got it from. Not because I feel any particular embarrassment about having it, but because I'm well aware of the attitudes that prevail about H among the general population and, frankly, I have enough crappola in my life without asking for more.

Being the age that I am (I'm on the downhill slide now), herpes doesn't come up much in conversations with my peers, but when it does, I try to educate people on the commonality of the virus, and help alleviate the stigma when I can. But I'm not a crusader, nor do I have any illusions that my status would be accepted without repercussions among my acquaintances.

While I admire people who have no compunctions about putting their positive status out there for the world to accept or reject, I personally prefer to keep my medical info, and a lot of other things about myself, private. Like the song lyrics go... 'ain't nobody's business but my own..."

Were you discriminated against? Most likely. It happens all the time. If you plan to disclose your status to people whom you're not close to, my advice would be to grow a thick skin. You're probably going to need it.

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ImStillBeautiful

I think the best thing for all of us- anyone with a recent diagnosis of herpes- to do is to give ourselves the time to prosess the news. I found out on the 21st and the only people who know are my mother and partner. They are the onlyones who really need to know at this point. The only reason i share any personal information is to relate to people, use them as sounding board, see if they have any insight. tips on how to deal with "fall on the floor cramps" are something i will turn to my lady friends for, tips on how to deal with the emotional and physical pain of herpes is why i am here. i KNOW i can relate to the people on this sight and get support and no judgment. Im too fragile at this point and know that any form of rejection could really set back the progress im trying to make in forgiving and accepting my self and this diagnosis. Perhaps, with enough time i will be strong enough to share this with other people, but at this point i don't see what can come of it. I need time to process and get setteled with my new disease before i open myself up to potential criticism and judgment from others. For now, i have all of you to remind me i'm not alone. I cried when i read some of these posts. i needed this encouragment. It has been the scariest 4 days. Thanks for placing the ground beneath my feet.

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Luckystars505
There is no reason why you need to disclose your personal medical information to ANYONE unless you plan on becoming sexually active with them. I'm sure you don't go around to just anyone and tell them so freely, "I have a yeast infection". No one really needs to know that but you and you only.

So, in the future, if you miss class or miss something important, whether its due to an OB, a cold, flu or your skin is turning all shades of the rainbow, that is YOUR OWN personal medical info. Your professor does not need to know :)

I agree.^^

Also, Jagg, I know how you feel, you were looking for sympathy (which is normal) from others but they did not give you any. I was in your same shoes and did the same thing when my best friend was killed and I decided to talk to a few people but they did not care and just ignored what I said.

As far as your teacher, you must remember that people work very hard to get that Dr. before their name and it's an insult to disregard that. It's also even more disrespectful if you call an elder by their first name and they did not give you permission to do so.

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Luckystars505
In the 4+ years since I was diagnosed, I've told one person... my partner, who I got it from. Not because I feel any particular embarrassment about having it, but because I'm well aware of the attitudes that prevail about H among the general population and, frankly, I have enough crappola in my life without asking for more.

Being the age that I am (I'm on the downhill slide now), herpes doesn't come up much in conversations with my peers, but when it does, I try to educate people on the commonality of the virus, and help alleviate the stigma when I can. But I'm not a crusader, nor do I have any illusions that my status would be accepted without repercussions among my acquaintances.

While I admire people who have no compunctions about putting their positive status out there for the world to accept or reject, I personally prefer to keep my medical info, and a lot of other things about myself, private. Like the song lyrics go... 'ain't nobody's business but my own..."

Were you discriminated against? Most likely. It happens all the time. If you plan to disclose your status to people whom you're not close to, my advice would be to grow a thick skin. You're probably going to need it.

Excellent post and well written.

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