Share your Story of being Diagnosed and Living with Herpes
By Contributing Author Stephanie
As many of you know from reading my short bio, I am working on earning my MA in Sociology. I was diagnosed with herpes right around the time that I was accepted into my program and made the decision to go to graduate school. As I was brainstorming ideas for my thesis, my own experience as a woman living with herpes sparked my topic. I am now in the midst of exploring the connection between social stigma and the disclosure process. I am determined to understand the role that stigma plays in the ability, or inability, to give “the talk.” I also want to know how the social stigma of herpes affects simple dynamics of “the talk.” By understanding the relationship between stigma and the disclosure process a bit more clearly, I hope to shed light on the way that stigma can affect transmission rates. If we can get people to feel more comfortable talking about their sexual health, there is a possibility that STD transmission rates could drop. Of course this assumption would need to be explored further than my own research in order to make this claim, but one thing we do know is that simply knowing you have an STD decreases the chance of passing it on to your partner.
Now that you have learned a little bit about my thesis and the agenda of it, I would like to invite any and all of you to be a part of the process. My methods for data collection include individual, qualitative interviews with people who have been diagnosed with genital herpes (type 1 or type 2) and wish to share their experience with me. The interviews will give you a chance to share your story, including triumphs and struggles with “the talk.” By talking with as many people in the herpes community as possible, I am hoping to paint a representative and accurate picture of the experience of living with herpes.
If you are interested in sharing your story with me, I would greatly appreciate your participation and ask that you contact me with any questions and concerns. The research is completely confidential, meaning there will be no names mentioned in the final report. I will be the only one with access to names of the participants, and measures like keeping files on a locked computer and using numeric identifiers and pseudonyms will be taken to protect your identity. If you wish to contact me about participating in the study you can reach me at: email@example.com. I hope to hear from you all, and look forward to shedding light on the struggle associated with a genital herpes diagnosis through my thesis.
Hi Everyone! My name is Stephanie. I was diagnosed with HSV-2 in April of 2014 when I was 22 years old. Right now, almost three years later, I am a doctoral student in the sociology department at Purdue University. I recently completed my MA in sociology at the University of Northern Colorado where I explored the role of stigma in the process of disclosing a genital herpes diagnosis. With that said, if anyone is interested in reading what I discovered in my project, I am happy to share that with you! I plan to continue advocating for our community, as well as studying the social factors that influence sexual health in order to understand how we can create a world that is easier for people diagnosed with STIs. I really enjoy writing for the Pink Tent community and am excited to be able to share some of my experiences and thoughts about living with genital herpes with you all.