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Topic : Coping with STDs

Number of Replies: 231
New Messages This Week: 0
Last Reply On:
Created on : Tuesday, August 08, 2006, 01:50:08 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1
Do you or a loved one have, or suspect you may have an STD? Share support and advice with others dealing with a sexually transmitted disease.

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September 24, 2006, 7:01 am CDT

Dating

Hi, I'm a 35 year old female living in a small city. I've tried MPWH and there are just not that many people on the site. I have also tried support groups and did not find what I was looking for. For many years I did not date because every time I told someone they ran. Well I finally figured out what I really needed was a change in attitude. Is herpes a big deal? To some people yes! others No. I started by practicing with my friends and family - people I could trust - I actually practiced telling them. For me this was very hard but I learned how to say it without assuming I was going to be judged or looked down upon. Then I started dating again. I ended going on a LOT of dates. I ended up sharing my information with 5 men. Four men decided they did not want to pursue a relationship with me based on the fact I had herpes. They all treated me with respect and thanked me for being honest. All of them also seriously considered a relationship with me because each of them were aware what a rare trait honesty and is. The fifth one I asked did want to pursue a relationship. We dated for two months and went our separate ways for other reasons. Telling someone is HARD because you know you may be rejected. But rejection is hard in dating with or without herpes. You have to be able to stand a some rejection. There is also an underlying fear that someone is going to talk about your secret. Well, it would be humiliating but if everyone knew, it would not be the end of the world. It at least would probably stop the "Why are you single?" questions. But I don't believe herpes is why I'm single. I think I simply have not found the right guy yet. I am thinking I might join a group where I could meet other people as my next dating strategy because I know when the right guy comes along the herpes is not really going to matter. I am sharing this with you because I don't want someone out there spending years of their life not pursueing what they want (a relationship) because their head is in the wrong place. It's not easy - dating with herpes and being upfront about it - but it is possible and you get to keep your conscience and integrity.
 
September 24, 2006, 8:14 am CDT

SMILE..its great medicine

I have to agree with one of the posters on here..If I had to give back everything that has happened to me since getting the virus I would never give it back!!

Having herpes is not the end of the world I PROMISE!! You have to remeber that it is something that you have it is NOT who you are..The stigma that comes with it sucks, no doubt..but by educating others we can hopefully put and end to that ridiciulous stigma.

I highly reccomend Mpwh.net..let me tell you why..

I believe in not passing "the gift" so I choose to stay within the "H" community and let me tell you there are some gorgeous people on this site of both genders...inside and out! I met my special guy ..my soul mate..and we have been together almost a year!!

I have made some great and wonderful friends on the site that I would have never met otherwise..and not just on the net I have met them in person!

I think in a way having h humbles you and most of the people on the site are just the sweetest amazing people and the bulletin boards on there are addictive and amazingly fun to read because of all of the great people.

They hold events so you get to meet and greet with other members on the site and even have a mentor thread in case you really just need someone to talk too..or theres chat where the conversations can be serious or seriously funny!!

just remeber that you are not alone...mpwh has 60,000 members and continues to grow every day! You are still YOU and if people dont realize that due to a virus. They really werent worth your time to begin with. I too was afraid at first but just jump in on any support site and you are sure to feel the kindness of people who will welcome you with open arms..Its important to know others are there for you..I promise we dont bite(unless asked):)

P.S. I do not work for mpwh in any way (though you would think so ) It has just really been a lifesaver to me and so many others!  whatever site you end up..just end up on one! sometimes all you need to do is share and it helps:)

 
September 24, 2006, 9:42 am CDT

Perspective is a wonderful thing

I am 38, and single.  Dating is HARD, with or without an STD.

 

I think we have to remember that herpes isn't, by far, the biggest thing to mar a potential relationship.

 

By the time we reach our 30s, we all have some sort of "baggage."  I have found that exes, kids, finances, addictions, in laws, jobs, etc., are all far more taxing to a relationship than herpes or hpv ever could be.

 

It also helps to remember that while you are sitting there sweating about herpes or hpv, your date is also sweating about you finding out about something.

 

It might be debt, intense sibling rivalry, a bad job (or no job at all), or a lack of ability to save money.  They might be worrying about your reaction to a beer gut, baby flab, scars, acne, a hairy back, stinky feet, or flatuence issues.  They might have a criminal record, might have problems with being a mama's boy, or worse, might still LIVE with mama.   They might be worried about how to tell you about how many (or few) sexual partners they've had.

 

Or they might be sitting there sweating and worrying about how to tell you they have *gasp* HERPES (or hpv).  That actually happened to me.

 

While you think herpes or hpv is the worst thing ever, others don't.  And most people, by the time they are in their 30s or 40s or 50s, know someone with herpes or hpv , have dated someone with herpes (that's happened to me also) or hpv, or have herpes or hpv, and just know its not a huge deal.

 

Don't let yourself fall into the stigma trap.  You are worth more than that.

 

Jess

 
September 24, 2006, 2:17 pm CDT

re:Lack of Knowledge

Genital herpes is considered a std. Oral herpes isn't.

 

 

 
September 24, 2006, 6:23 pm CDT

Dr. Phil do a show on this

Dr. Phil do a show on this topic. The community of people who deal with these issues have wanted one for years. One of the reasons I want to see a show on this topic is because as I have gotten more open and honest with others about the fact that I have herpes I have been shocked at some of the responses. MANY of the people I have talked too have said, "Oh, you know, I think I may have that," or "My ex had that." Upon further questioning I find out they have never been tested and don't want to know. They would rather be in a state of denial than change their behavior. No wonder this disease is present in 25% of the population. Even people that know they have it won't neccessarily admit it or tell their partner. What an awful thing - to find out your partner has not been honest and forthcoming by finding out you have an incurable disease. Your show helps people to get out of denial and do the right thing. You help people face the truth even when they don't want to. Your show would be the perfect forum for this topic. I know some people think it is no big deal... When I had my first outbreak I was pregnant and I almost lost my son. Women can have SEVERE outbreaks their first time. I threw up for three days straight. I could not even keep down water. I finally was admitted to the hospital. I had no idea I had even been exposed to herpes. The shame and humiliation I felt was nothing compared to the fear of being that sick and pregnant.... So it can be a big deal. But people have a lot of misconceptions when it comes to STD's. One of the guys I talked too while dating more recently said, "If you sleep with quality people you don't have to worry about HIV." He also told me he usually only slept with young women and they would be less likely to carry an STD?!?!?!? I did not tell him I had herpes - apparently I am not a quality person. I also declined his offer for a date. The lax attitude that has developed over "just viruses" is irresponsible. Yes, they are just viruses but they can have long term effects. What scares me more is what I'm hearing out of the younger generation concerning AIDS and HIV. They consider it "No big dea," because people are no longer dying from it. Phil, please do a show on this topic in an effort to promote honesty between partners and potential partners. Thanks! PS I saw one of your dating shows - think about it 25% of those people have an STD. At least one person in that studio audience probably had it and knew it. But how many have it and are clueless and ready to pass it on to someone else?
 
September 24, 2006, 8:40 pm CDT

Please Listen

Dr. Phil.  I have been watching your show all summer.  It has been very educational for me -- on a lot of subjects.  I first posed a question on your message board because I was hoping to get some really good advise.  Believe it or not, I have learned more about people and herpes since  Luanne saw the new topic.  I did check out herpes-virus.blogspot.com and Hover50 -- I have learned a lot.  I believe you doing a show on this topic would help out millions of people who are in the dark.  You should check out these websites or have someone on your staff check it out -- or maybe someone on your staff is a member and they could give you some feedback.  Information is what we all need -- no matter what the age.  It is hard to find reliable information -- even from your own doctor.  Again, you could help a lot of people -- think about.  Remember you can fix something until you acknowledge it!  :)  Chantel2

 
September 25, 2006, 3:48 am CDT

Herpes awareness

Quote From: doris2day

Genital herpes is considered a std. Oral herpes isn't.

 

 

 

 Many many people have no idea that you can give someone genital herpes by performing oral sex while they have a cancker sore or cold sore in their mouth.

 

 I'd like to see a show about herpes awareness. 90% of the people who have herpes, have no idea they have it. Valtrex commercials promote awareness for treatment. They should have public awareness commercials, prompting people to get tested.

 

 Too many people are ignorant about this disease, and this is one instance where ignorance is not bliss.

 
September 25, 2006, 5:12 am CDT

mouth sores

Quote From: foalfan

 

 Many many people have no idea that you can give someone genital herpes by performing oral sex while they have a cancker sore or cold sore in their mouth.

 

 I'd like to see a show about herpes awareness. 90% of the people who have herpes, have no idea they have it. Valtrex commercials promote awareness for treatment. They should have public awareness commercials, prompting people to get tested.

 

 Too many people are ignorant about this disease, and this is one instance where ignorance is not bliss.

Canker sores are not herpes.  They are very different things. 

 

Cold sores are typically on or around the lips or just inside them.  Canker sores can appear anywhere in the mouth.

 

You are correct that many people don't know that if you have hsv1 you can give someone genital hsv1 by performing oral sex.

 

This is just more proof that we need a show on herpes.

 
September 25, 2006, 1:40 pm CDT

Coping with STDs

Quote From: chantel2

Dr. Phil.  I have been watching your show all summer.  It has been very educational for me -- on a lot of subjects.  I first posed a question on your message board because I was hoping to get some really good advise.  Believe it or not, I have learned more about people and herpes since  Luanne saw the new topic.  I did check out herpes-virus.blogspot.com and Hover50 -- I have learned a lot.  I believe you doing a show on this topic would help out millions of people who are in the dark.  You should check out these websites or have someone on your staff check it out -- or maybe someone on your staff is a member and they could give you some feedback.  Information is what we all need -- no matter what the age.  It is hard to find reliable information -- even from your own doctor.  Again, you could help a lot of people -- think about.  Remember you can fix something until you acknowledge it!  :)  Chantel2

Right on Chantel  :-)    I know that Dr. Phil certainly can't disagree with that quote huh  ;-)    Love it!!  In fact, I'm going to post my letter to Dr. Phil which I had sent a long time ago, after he did a show and encouraged people to write in and "USE YOUR LIFE" to help others.   It's also on my blog, but feel it's important to post here as well.  So here is my letter which I had written to Dr. Phil some time ago.......

 

Dear Dr. Phil

My letter to Dr. Phil McGraw

I watched the show with Stephanie and the fact that she had been harboring a secret in regard to being assaulted when she was younger from her friends and family. At the end of the show, Dr. Phil mentioned "If you would like to share a story and to USE YOUR LIFE to help others, please go to www.drphil.com. I was unsuccessful when I typed in keywords "use your life" and found nothing. I searched for a separate message board on this subject as well. There are many topics which people out there are needing to "talk" about, get off their chests and not feel stigmas which have been attached by society. Things which people SHOULD NOT be shameful about. Society needs to be educated and realize what herpes is exactly. Too many people go through life, only learning about something if they have been impacted by it. I was guilty of that as well until the internet came along. I was under the impression that I wouldn't pass the virus along unless I was having an active outbreak. Well, I've learned differently. Did you know that 90% of people out there that have genital herpes don't even know that they have it because they don't get any signs or symptoms? Did you know that herpes is not included in the routine std testing process? Many people don't realize this and I feel we need to do whatever we can to bring more light to the subject.

My "use my life" topic is in regard to the fact that I have genital herpes and for me, it's a "skin condition" but the emotional issues and stigma's attached to it can be overwhelming, in fact I've even heard of folks committing suicide because they felt as though they would never be loved or be able to be intimate or sexual with another person. Over what?? A cold sore located "down yonder", but sadly society has said . . . it's not a good thing, but I along with a whole lot of other people have come to understand that having herpes is NOT the end of the world.

I encourage one of your staff members to join a yahoo group (which I personally help to moderate) for additional information and education on this topic, to understand what those of us who go through having herpes, dating issues, etc. The group is called Picking Up the Pieces.

We also have several members who are on Picking Up the Pieces, who have HPV (human papillomavirus). The site admin of Picking Up the Pieces also created a website which has tons of valuable information as well as true stories written by people who live with genital herpes and oral herpes (reminder: the common cold sore is herpes) each day. You will gain alot of insight by reading many of the true inspirational stories.

Many in the herpes community are ready to step up to the plate, be a member of the audience or one which Dr. Phil might possibly interview on stage, in order to help squash the negative stigma associated with herpes. I personally would love to fill each and every audience seat with people who have herpes, just to show the world, that herpes does not discriminate. It's time for a change and we would like to help others out there to realize they are NOT ALONE. We do have several members though, who have not yet gotten to the point in their herpes journey where they feel comfortable "outing" themselves on national television and that's OK. I know that the Dr. Phil show producers will respect their privacy. Everyone deals with and accepts having herpes at their own pace. I am proud to say, that by having this "Pick Up" board available to those who have herpes has been a godsend for them. If you'll read through the past posts, you'll see many people indicate how grateful they are to all of the information we provide.

We continually refer people to the "Updated Herpes Handbook" which Terri Warren is affiliated with and also answers medical questions about herpes over on WebMD. In my opinion, she would be an excellent candidate as a guest speaker for the show. Other people who I know I can speak for from our community and who would be willing to speak on the show, would be the other two moderators from Picking Up the Pieces, Gayla (who speaks to Doctors at conferences) along with Angela who is also known as yoshi2me and is a Patient Advocate.

In regard to celebrity figures who "supposedly" have genital herpes, I would love to see them step up to the plate and help to spread awareness. I believe it would be beneficial for all of us. The more we can spread herpes awareness, the better it is for everyone and anyone. I did a google search on the keywords "celebrities with herpes". I realize that gossip is gossip, but some of you on staff at Dr. Phil, might have already had interactions with some of these people in the past and might be able to approach them, to verify if this information is true and to see if they'd be willing to help the rest of our community. Coming from The Dr. Phil Show, they might be more willing to help the rest of us out, than we as an anonymous group. (Ann Heche is one name who comes to mind, along with Robin Williams). Mind you, I honestly don't know or even care if they do or don't but that's what the rumor mill has put out there, so I'm sure it's not news to them and if they can help others to "cope" with it, I think they'd be willing to speak and help spread the awareness. Who better than someone who has walked a mile in those shoes.

Also, I'd like to add, that Dr. Ruth, recently wrote a book I'm sure she wouldn't mind having some exposure on called: "Dr. Ruth's Guide to Talking about Herpes".

Recently Michael Vick, (you can read his situation here) due to his ongoing law suit which has been made quite public, I'm not sure how much light he would be able to shed on this or if he'd even be interested, but if he knew the herpes community was behind him, that would be a plus for him. I bet it would be good for him too, to be reminded that he was not alone. My big question to the gal who is trying to sue him is "Did she have her full STD testing done, prior to engaging in sexual activities with him?" Probably not, but in the end, all of us are responsible for our own sexual health and need to be aware and responsible.

People who are diagnosed with herpes, needs someplace to turn for support and yoshi2me has created a web page, linking to Herpes H Pals. Here is my personal contribution to the H Pal Program.

So there you have it. I've given you lots of ideas as to how to formulate an awesome show on the topic of genital herpes and to help spread herpes awareness which is needed very badly. This virus NEEDS to be talked about. In the end, having herpes is not the end of the world for me. I've had it for 17 + years and I have basically quit counting because I've finally accepted having it within myself. I am so much more than herpes and so is anyone and everybody else who might have it. Our internet community is vast. It extends across the waters as well in regard to support and friendship. There are support groups nationwide in almost all major cities where people can go for friendship and support.

Feel free to contact any of those people who I have mentioned above. All of these people have already put themselves out there on the internet and would welcome a new opportunity to continue spreading awareness. They will all be eager to help and all feel that not only Herpes Awareness but STD Awareness is vital to the health and well being of not only adults, but teens as well.

Thank you in advance for taking the time to read my letter and your consideration on doing a show on this topic. I'm sure you will touch alot of people who are living in fear and silence about this by bringing it to the forefront. This is my opportunity to "Use My Life" to help other people.

Sincerely,

Luanne
43 years old from Northwestern Pennsylvania

 
September 25, 2006, 5:18 pm CDT

Herpes - my story

I contracted herpes (the gift) in April, 2006. My first outbreak (OB) was long and painful. Fortunately my Dr. was up on it and her husband has herpes 1 - cold sores. She made me feel better when she said that having H was really not a big deal. She gave me 1gram of Valtrex per day, but personally I did not see any improvement in the symptoms. Mine were pain in my back, legs and even sitting was painful. Urinating was also very difficult and painful. This lasted several weeks (6-8). When I found out I got on the web and searched and read and read about it. This gave me comfort also, because most web sites don't make a big deal about it. The only stigma in having genital herpes is the way people look at it as compared to having "cold sores". The viruses are basically no different except for the location. I also meditated a great deal about the change in my circumstances, which helped me put having this virus in perspective, with having coldsores, chicken pox, mononucleosis or any of the other sicknesses caused by the variety of herpes viruses. I am no different now than before. One web site that helped a great deal was Antopia or MPwH.com (meeting people with herpes). It helped me to see I wasn't alone by any means in having this. In chatting with some on the site I learned about support groups in my area (AZ). There are boards on the site and it is also a dating site. I have met several very nice men from the herpes dating site and now feel comfortable about dating men who do not have H. This requires having a talk with them before anything intimate happens; this is so they can make an educated decision whether they want to pursue the relationship, knowing there is a chance they make contract the infection too. I try to do this before there is much of an emotional attachment so that if they decide not to pursue it, both can go their separate ways with no hard feelings.

I do not blame the man that gave it too me. He did not even know he had it until I called him and he went and got tested. It is very common for people to not know they have H as their symptoms are so mild.

Quotes from different sites:

1 out of 5 American teenagers and adults is infected with HSV-2. Women are more commonly infected than men. In the United States, 1 out of 4 women is infected with HSV-2.

Three quarters of the people with the virus are not aware they are carrying it.

 

http://www.racoon.com/herpes/

http://www.niaid.nih.gov/factsheets/stdherp.htm

 
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