Inspirational Women with Herpes

Inspirational Women with Herpes

This post has one purpose, and one purpose only: to inspire all of you through the stories of real women with herpes.  The women I am going to share with you today all have one thing in common – well, one thing aside from being diagnosed with genital herpes.  Each of these women have used determination to find the positive aspects of their diagnoses, used their courage to share their stories, and used their stories to inspire and help others in their situation.

The first woman I would like to share with you all is Kristy Spraggon.  Kristy is an inspiring woman who has chosen to embrace her diagnosis by sharing her secret with the world.  By doing so, I believe she has inspired many others to share their own secrets, whether those are related to sexual health or not.  Kristy has also used her experience of being diagnosed with herpes to start a discussion around overcoming shame.  I encourage you all to check out her website, as she has so much to offer us as we embark on our healing journeys!

The next woman I am excited to share with you all is Ella Dawson.  I first came across Ella’s story when my mom and thesis adviser sent me her article in Women’s Health.  I was immediately inspired and in awe of her courage to tell everyone and anyone that she has genital herpes.  Ella’s mission is to combat the stigma associated with STDs and STIs. Listen to her story and why she is telling it as she willingly creates a vulnerable place for herself in this incredibly inspiring video.

The last woman I believe will inspire and motivate you all to find your inner courage is Jenelle Marie Davis. Jenelle is the founder and executive director of the STD Project. The STD project exists to eradicate the stigma associated with STDs by spreading awareness.  The project spread awareness through story sharing, education, and exposure to resources.  Yet again, Jenelle shows us all how we can use our experience as women with herpes as a teacher and a motivator to create positive outcomes in our lives.

Each of these women have their own approach to using their own stories to inspire and help others, but regardless of their approach they are making differences in their own lives as well as others’.  The purpose of this blog is not to make you all feel as though you need to go to such great extents to use a negative experience as a positive motivator in your lives, but rather to show you all the power of sharing your story.  Saying the words “I have herpes” can sometimes seem like the most difficult thing you will ever say, but as these women show it gets easier with every attempt.

I encourage you all to kick-start your healing process again by sharing your story on the Pink Tent forum.  I speak from personal experience when I say that it is extremely liberating and therapeutic to share your story, even if just in print!

I hope you have all found the women mentioned above to be as inspiring as I have.  And remember, you are just like each of them.

Live, Love, Thrive.

Dr. Kelly

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