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Understanding the Herpes Stigma: How Perception Doesn't Match Reality

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In a world where fear often overshadows facts, herpes stands as a prime example. The perception of this virus as a severe health threat doesn't align with its actual impact. Let's dive deeper into the reality behind the stigma and how it's evolved over time.

Herpes simplex virus, particularly HSV-2, usually linked with genital outbreaks, affects approximately 11.9 percent of Americans aged 14 to 49, with the majority being unaware of their infection. This lack of awareness is partly due to the …

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My Fifth Cold Sore Ever and How We Support Each Other in Our Support Group Calls

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As we gather each week for our support group, it never fails to amaze me how our conversations organically weave around different themes. Sometimes it's dating, rejection, diet – each sharing a piece of our lives. This time, I'm stepping into vulnerability to share my recent experience.

Let me take you to my Sunday. Picture this: a serene Sunday afternoon, watching my son splash in the bathtub when suddenly, I felt a tiny bump on my lip. Disbelief and panic struck. I had minutes before work…

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Thyroid & Gut Health and It's Connection to Herpes With Coach Sarah Joy

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I recently had this amazing chat with Coach Sarah Joy on my podcast Life with Herpes. We really got into the nitty-gritty of how thyroid health, gut stuff, and even herpes are all connected. It was a real eye-opener!

During our talk, we dug deep into the whole health scene, sharing our personal stories and experiences. Sarah opened up about her own struggles with Epstein Barr, hypothyroidism, and dealing with the challenges of herpes. It's what got her super passionate about educating and e…

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Best Herpes Dating Advice: What Community Says?

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Dating with herpes might feel like a the biggest task. The already complex world of dating seems to gain an additional layer of challenge—navigating the disclosure and acceptance of having herpes. When I received my genital herpes diagnosis back in 2011, fear engulfed me. It petrified me so much that I stayed in a relationship with the person I'd contracted herpes from. For two years, I held back, not knowing how to broach the daunting conversation of disclosure. Looking back, I wish I had posse…

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Understanding Cold Sores

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Dealing with a cold sore, also known as oral herpes, can be both physically uncomfortable and emotionally distressing. "When people hear 'herpes,' there's an immediate association with a highly stigmatized virus," notes Dr. Chris Adigun, a board-certified dermatologist in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

The stigma surrounding cold sores carries tangible repercussions. According to a Compeed poll, 28 percent of respondents admitted staying home due to a cold sore outbreak. Those affected often gr…

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Overcoming Anxiety from a Herpes Diagnosis and Embracing Life's Moments

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The moment we leave the doctor's office or hang up the phone after hearing the diagnosis, a whirlwind of emotions takes over. Questions flood our minds – will I be loved, will I ever have sex again, can I accept myself? It's a storm of confusion, blame, and the relentless 'why me?' echoing in our thoughts. Then, the days pass, and the worry intensifies.

We might turn to Google, only to plunge into a world of terrifying possibilities, imagining ourselves as walking hazards, capable of transm…

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Herpes & Forgiveness

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In this week's support group call, our discussion centered around a topic that resonates deeply with many of us - forgiveness. A member shared a significant moment when she reached out to the person who gave her herpes, expressing her forgiveness. This act, born out of a conversation we had in a previous emergency call, highlighted a crucial truth: forgiveness is the key to overcoming the challenges that come with a diagnosis.


Initially, a herpes diagnosis can be overwhelming, inundating us…

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Choosing Yourself Over Rejection

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When we receive a herpes diagnosis, it's not uncommon to feel paralyzed at the thought of dating. I know I certainly did. I remained in a relationship for two more years than I should have, mainly because I didn't know how to disclose my condition, and I was overwhelmed by the fear of rejection.

Over the years, as I've spoken to thousands of people since starting "Life With Herpes" in 2017, a recurring theme I've observed is the tendency to push away someone we're genuinely interested in. This …

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Navigating Trauma, Applied Neurology, and Healing: A Personal Journey

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In a recent interview, Elisabeth Kristof shared her transformative journey through applied neurology, shedding light on the profound connection between our nervous system and overall well-being. Elisabeth's story begins in Austin, where she ran movement studios and recognized the pivotal role of the nervous system in movement science. This realization led her to dive deep into applied neurology, becoming certified and immersing herself in the field.

Initially, Elisabeth applied her newfound e…

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Herpes as a Filter: Transforming Your Life beyond the Diagnosis

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In those first, overwhelming moments, it's entirely natural to feel as if your world has come crashing down. The weight of fear, uncertainty, and the mistaken belief that your life is forever altered can be all-consuming. However, what you may not realize is that this diagnosis is far from the end; it's a profound opportunity to transform your life. It's a chance to initiate the changes that have been waiting to happen.

On a recent support group call, a major theme emerged: using herpes as …

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