My new life after herpes
I met a woman in a
club in the early 80’s in New York. I had just moved out of my foster home
for the very first time. I was a young 23 year old man. I went to a dance club
and asked a woman to dance. She said yes and we spoke after leaving the
One day she came over my apartment and we started to
become intimate. I had condoms on my dresser and did not use them. I
subsequently had a great night until two weeks later. I discovered waking
up with a fever that made me very sick. I then observed my first outbreak
but didn’t know what it was. I didn’t want to go to my regular doctor so I
sought out a Dr. in the back of the “Village Voice”. I found one and he
just said, “I had the flu”. I still was not satisfied and sought another
This doctor asked me to come to the back of his
office and undress. He put on disposable gloves and examined me with my
blisters. He asked me to get dressed and told me to sit with him in his
office. He told me that I have contracted Herpes.
I was stunned by the news at first. I then became
angry with the woman whom I got it from. He told me “she probably doesn’t
even know she has it”.
I confronted the woman and she denies it and didn’t
even know what it was that I accused of her. We departed and I led a life
of avoidance from woman for many years. At this time there were no support
groups and nothing to help with my outbreaks.
I immersed myself in sports, running, mainly
marathon’s and races practically every weekend. I did this for years and
finally stopped. I wanted to give myself the chance that I am not a
failure but someone who has contracted a skin disease.
I respond to a dating service and met my wife. She
was a nurse and had no problem dealing with. We were married after a year
of courtship and two years later we had a daughter.
was born healthy and my ex wife did not contract herpes during our
I am now a chairperson for a support group for
people who have herpes. I counsel those who are ‘newbies” and “old
I have dated women who don’t have it and those who
do. My experiences with those who don’t have herpes tend to react well to
my sharing. I am told that I am admiring for be honest and being open to
others about my private life.
I shared with people at our meetings that just
because you tell someone that you have herpes doesn’t mean the person has
to date you. They have the right to choose and you should not take it as
an insult or rejection of you as a human being.
I attend many social functions in the Herpes
community. I have attended Las Vegas, Indianapolis, New York, New Jersey,
etc. The people in the “H” community are very positive people and I am
honored to have them as my friends.
Living with herpes had has one side benefit and that
is I have a great empathy of people no matter the misfortunes that have
happen in their life.