Dating with Herpes: Disclosure, Stigma & Healing

Sex with Dr. Jess


Welcome back courtney. How're you doing doing almost like guilty. Well despite how things going for a lot of people at this point right now There is a lot of overwhelm on my end in a positive way so Just this past week was two weeks ago While something positive positive people now is a nonprofit organization in a met with my board about me paying myself salary in being able to partner working to raise more money so that we can extend the services that we provide which were providing mental health related services for people who have experienced sexual trauma. That's what i want to eventually be able to say but right now for where we are. I'm basically paying for people to get their if he if they needed so Where we are right now. I got that approved in now. I mean conversations with some sexual health related organizations about partnering with them on their grant applications in getting funding. So things suddenly got very real for me. That that's great. Congratulations congrats on some needed support because with a herpes diagnosis. Oftentimes your medical practitioner will focus on the physical side but not necessarily the mental health side. And one of the things that i've learned throughout just doing this work and recording the podcasts and all of the different conversations. I've had with people not only with hiv but also have hiv or who've experienced a media gonorrhea. Syphilis diagnosis is that there is a direct connection between sexual health and mental health. And i think that that intersection is really wear stigma resides and until that gets addressed from that perspective. Like i think there's an over emphasis on the fact that someone has. Sei being Just like oh. This is sex related when it's also so mental related and then that part is completely goes unnoticed. Oftentimes like winds. Someone's being given a diagnosis well. Let's back up just a moment For folks who haven't listened to your podcast yet. But i know they will i. Can you tell us your story and why you started something positive for positive people. I will keep this as brief as possible. Because it's such a long story but The most important things that i've been positive for general. Hse to which is the virus that causes herpes outbreaks. For about eight years. Now and for the first four to five years of my diagnosis. I just kind of was doing things away that i knew to do them with. Just take care of abidi manage my stress And just keeping my immune system of his best i could. It was year four. Five into my diagnosis that i began to come across different communities of people. With herbie's in this is a in various social platforms as well as dating websites. And once. i got there. Like i was excited to be there because there were so many other people who were living with this when i get your diagnosis despite what the statistics say you're the only person you know who has virus unless someone has opened up to you pass or less than one opens up to you recently. After your experience you know for many of us were the only person that we know. And so i got into these communities in start socializing. I'm dating in. Life is great for me. But here and there i would find it. There was someone who expressed wanting to end their live after their diagnosis. So suicide idea even suicide attempts and after seeing that a few times it wasn't just like a one off thing was pretty calm and so i began to reach out to these people go. Hey you know it's not that bad and this is probably the worst thing you can say to someone who is having suicide at the asian. So what i started to do was a lot of these. People didn't look like means they didn't have my life experiences so to speak. So for instance like me saying that to a younger white woman or an older hispanic man or someone of a different ethnicity or age range or geographical location didn't really carry the same way as it would from someone may have looked like them or had like similar cultural background so i began just recording conversations with people that perhaps we otherwise wouldn't hear from These are people who are okay with their diagnosis. There's good days and bad days due to the stigma but these people who would probably never hear from about their experience were willing to just converse with me on a recorded platform for me to send to these people directly after a while To give you an idea like there's so many people that this was happening for that. I got overwhelmed with just sending emails and butchering the email address. Having the recent making sure they got it in all of that. So i decided to put all of these recordings up into one place which turned into something positive for positive people podcast platform

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