Fifty-year-old male living with Herpes and HPV diagnosed eight years into his marriage – that was almost 30 years ago. He had not been unfaithful to his wife, so this is a perfect example of those living with the virus and not knowing. He remained married for many years – divorcing only three years ago. Check out his responses to our interview questions below.
Are you Male or Female?
How old are you?
Are you married or single?
What do you do for a living?
What STD do you have?
HSV and HPV
How long have you had an STD?
Close to 30 years
Do you know precisely when, and from whom you contracted this STD?
For my HSV, no. For my HPV, yes. I know the circumstance but not the person, or persons.
Were you using protection at the time you contracted this STD?
What was it like when you were first diagnosed?
I was first diagnosed 8 years into my marriage. I had never cheated on my wife nor had she cheated on me. I knew she would question my fidelity. So, I would say I was fearful.
Did your healthcare provider offer you information on your STD and resources to help you cope with your new diagnosis? What could your healthcare provider do differently that would have helped you?
No he did not. Any information ( pamphlets, informational websites ) would have been helpful. But, this was also close to 30 years ago.
Have you been sexually active with someone and NOT tell them you had an STD?
No. Since my divorce 3 years ago I immediately looked for Herpes dating sites and was amazed by what was out there. I found the groups I’m in by doing that. I have only dated within these groups.
Have you ever been rejected by a potential partner because of your STD?
No, because I only date within the Herpes community. I don’t deal with rejection well.
Do you have a significant other? If so, how has this STD affected your relationship?
I was married for 23 years. It was inevitable that at some point she too would be infected by this. Early on it was tenuous. My current partner has it as well. So, it’s not affecting our relationship at all
How did you meet your significant other?
My current one I had met through our local H group
Do you attend support or social group activities in your area? Have you ever attended a national social event? If yes, has it helped?
I’m active in the social groups both locally and nationally and I have attended events in both. have had this infliction for close to 30 years so support is not something I’m seeking
Do your friends and family know you have an STD? Do they treat you differently since you told them?
My ex wife knew, of course. I told my adult daughters in November 2014. They were both happy that I had told them. I told them because I wanted them to know that if their dad could get this that they could also get it too. I wanted to educate them more than anything.
How do you treat your STD? Please share brief details of medications and remedies you have tried.
When an outbreak has occurred, I take Acyclovir
How has your life changed since you contracted an STD?
Not one bit. I was married when I found out.
How have you personally changed as a result of contracting an STD?
Other than dating within the H communities, my personality has not changed at all.
Is there anything else you would like to share with us?
For people just finding out, it’s a shot to the psyche. It’s not life threatening. I may alter your life a little but don’t let this define who you really are.