The emotional impact of discovering that you have herpes or HIV can, for some people, outweigh the physical health issues one has to deal with.
Many people have found out that they have herpes from a partner or former partner who has not been open about their health condition, and the sense of betrayal can be profound and even damaging.
The largest and anonymous STD dating and friendship website, pozloving.com has collected stories of site members and used them (with permission and anonymously) with the media. This work has helped break the stigma attached to having and STD. It has also given people an outlet to express their feelings.
One woman told the site that her boyfriend gave her herpes and she was left devastated by the experience and found it hard to trust people. She said that herpes dating site HerpesandDating.org gave her a sense of hope about her future and new opportunities to meet people.
A woman who is HIV positive revealed her status to her work manager due to the need for doctor’s appointments, but then found herself being harassed for taking time off work. A man living in Scotland almost became destitute after becoming HIV positive. He became too ill to work and admitted to selling drugs in a desperate attempt to support himself.
To help deal with these issues, HerpesandDating.org has secured a fully qualified counsellor, to provide support to members. Questions can be sent to him without revealing a name, and the questions and answers are posted on the website blog. A fully qualified sexual health specialist, Dr. Laurence, provides answers to questions about health conditions.
One woman said that life became intolerable after she got herpes, and the opportunity to email site members and seek support from a counsellor made all the difference. You can read some of the member stories at pozloving.com