Writer Ella Dawson opened up about the “tidal wave of shame” she felt when she first found out she had genital herpes. Through the support of her family and friends, she’s gained the strength to speak out and combat the stigma of the sexually transmitted infections.
Dawson was diagnosed two years ago, her “first instinct was panic and shame” and certainty that it was going to ruin her life. After some research she found out how common genital herpes actually is her fear started to leave. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in six people have it.
“As I met more people and learned that herpes is incredibly common, I became less afraid of it and less ashamed of it and sort of immune to the nastiness that I had always seen,” Dawson said. “And I also understood that with the crazy statistics and numbers, it doesn’t make sense to associate herpes with people who are liars or cheaters or rampantly promiscuous. All of these myths I had seen were completely inaccurate and not based in lived experience.”
On May 9, Dawson will celebrate her “herpiversary,” marking two years since she was diagnosed. Let it be known, Dawson said she’s not celebrating having the infection, but rather her triumphs.
“With my herpiversary, I like to celebrate the fact that I’ve survived the stigma,”
Source: Huffington Post