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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 club separately.

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 doctor.

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. My daughter was born healthy and my ex wife did not contract herpes during our marriage.

I am now a chairperson for a support group for people who have herpes. I counsel those who are ‘newbies” and “old timers" such as myself.

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.


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