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Author Topic: STD Support
tiptoe
Neophyte
Member # 11733

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Several weeks ago I was diagnosed with HPV(genital warts) and now I'm afraid that I have herpes (I made a gyn appointment to check this out.) as well.

I feel so depressed about this. I feel like some sort of leper. I know that medically neither of these diseases are that big of a deal. But there is still a huge stigma attached to them. I've read the statistics, and I know that I'm not the only person out there that has this. But I still feel like I will be rejected by every possible partner.

I guess what I'm looking for right now are people that have been through this. How did you come to terms with having HPV/herpes? Were there any books, support groups, etc. that were especially helpful? Have you had any relationships since you were diagnosed? How did you go about telling your partner about the disease?

Any answers to these questions or any other information that might be useful would really be appreciated. Thanks in advance.


Posts: 13 | From: Wisco | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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Hey there tiptoe.

In 1990, I was also diagnosed with HPV. I had one wart, it was frozen off. They have never reappearered, my pap screens have always been normal, but because those things are no guarantee that I don't still have the virus, and thus, that partners can't aquire it, it's always something I bring up before becoming sexually active with someone.

No one has yet treated me like a leper.

How do I bring it up? Pretty normally. In the context of talking about safer sex, I mention I've had it and may have it dormant still. If a partner doesn't know about it, I pass on some information, including the info that while safer sex tools help, they don't offer 100% protection from the virus. I make clear a risk of transmission may be being taken.

I have yet to have a partner decline to be active based on that, but I'm always prepared for that to happen and to accept it gladly if need be.

In terms of dealing when it happened, it wasn't fun, but these things rarely are. It was in the context of a relationship where all the precautions were taken (again, even with safer sex practices, testing, mmonogamy and condom use, it can happen), and because male screens for HPV are notoriously inaccurate, my partners two screens had come back all okay, but tracing back, it seemed likely he got it two partners before me, years before. But it took some doubting and blaming and worry about cheating before we could get there. Had we known more about it in advance, that likely wouldn't have happened.

I didn't have a support group, but my GYN was very supportive and very informative. Never forget that that's part of what your doctor is there for -- to provide support and information, not just tests and medications.

It is worth noting that HPV can actually be very medically serious for women because some strains can cause cervical cancer. So, while one can deal with it -- even if unlike me you do get warts regularly -- it does mean making sure to have your paps every year without fail, for instance. And if you do end up with both those viruses, you may find your immune system doesn't work as well as it should and may have to learn to take extra good care of yourself to stay healthy.

Understand lastly, that your current partner (and those previous) will need screens if he hasn't been having them already, and that, as I said before, unless men have visible warts, you really can't get a test that will tell them if they have HPV. And since about 90% of cases are asymptomatic, that's some iffy stuff.

------------------
Heather Corinna
Editor and Founder, Scarleteen

My epitaph should read: "She worked herself into this ground."
-- Kay Bailey Hutchinson


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tiptoe
Neophyte
Member # 11733

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Thanks for the advice/information Miz Scarlet.

I've been pretty depressed and down on myself for the last few months and this definately impacted the way I felt about having HPV. I'm getting help for the depression and hopefully as I start to feel better about myself in general, I'll start to feel better about the HPV aspect as well.

Your post reminded me that a partner that is down with and educated about or willing to become educated about safer sex (which is, of course, a must) will most likely be educated about or willing to become educated about STDs as well. Which all (I hope) goes a long way towards acceptance and a desire to be active with me.

Anyway, as you can see, I'm feeling a lot better about things today. (Even though I'm still waiting and nervous about the possibility of herpes.)


Posts: 13 | From: Wisco | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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