September 7, 2019 at 3:48 pm #39513PAjessParticipant
I have been dx with HSV2 for 5 years and I go through bouts of depression and low self esteem. I am in PA school now and I think a lot of my anxiety stems from people reactions when STD are brought up and the faces and yuck sounds they make. I really hurts my feelings but I cant disclose my feeling because no one knows and it brings up feelings I had in undergrad. I did tell one student who opened up to me about some personal issues and she was like its not a big deal but I feel like she looks at me when we have a HSV1/2 case in class.
How do I deal with other people remarks without internalizing my self doubt and hurt?September 7, 2019 at 5:21 pm #39514KitCParticipant
I totally understand. I too am in PA school and have not disclosed to any students my status. What’s more is I also get occasional breakouts on my fingers and I was told by my PCP that I always need to wear gloves when touching patients. It has been so hard to interact with my classmates because we have to practice physical exam on each other and they always question why I have gloves on. It’s sad that you feel there is a stigma in class because as future health care professionals it should be approached with professionalism and compassion . That is our duty as providers so I would not feel bad. If anything, they should feel ashamed they are adding to the stigma of STDs. Furthermore that is telling of the type of provider they will be – not very good ones. As for the friend you disclosed to I would gently remind her that you feel she is subconsciously staring at you or pointing you out when the topic comes up so that she can correct her behavior and not make it obvious. I know how you feel because the subject of herpes seems to be brought up in almost every class . It’s sad that there is still a mystery surrounding herpes as many people don’t know much about it , even health care workers are ignorant. However, more light is being shed on the virus and more research too. I believe as people learn more about it then stigma will decrease. And who knows, there may be many people in the class with herpes who know it or not. Don’t feel badSeptember 8, 2019 at 3:28 am #39517MiaParticipant
I am having a hard time, with the same issue. I never realized how many cruel jokes ppl makes about those with STI’s until I was diagnosed. I want to defend others so badly, but I don’t to disclose my status. Over the last few months some of my family members have made statements about HSV unknowing of my diagnosis.It is very hard not to let these jokes or statements get be depressed, but I am working on that daily.
Since my diagnosis it has made me realize how uneducated people are about herpes even though so many people have HSV 2. I also wonder how many people who judge those with herpes actually have it themselves. I have seen statistics saying that 80% of those who have HSV 2 are unaware because they have little to no symptoms.
To make me feel better I often count the ppl in the room and think statistically I’m not the only one in the room with HSV 2, so I am not alone.According to the CDC more than 1 out 6 ppl aged 14 to 49 has HSV 2. So look around the room and know you are not alone we are not alone.
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