But neither of us realized that I could catch genital herpes from oral sex.He had a history of cold sores, though none were visible when we'd been intimate.As a physician, I was informing and educating patients on how to treat outbreaks, engage in safe sex, and live successfully with the virus.
While I would readily discuss herpes and other viruses over coffee with my study group at Starbucks, I’d simply ignore the fact that we were reviewing and perfecting our knowledge of a taboo sexually transmitted disease that I housed in my own body.
Initially, I wanted to specialize in family practice, but once I did a rotation in the ob-gyn department, I knew that that was my calling.
I did inform my partners before my new book, came out, and understandably, a few were surprised.
But the majority of the reactions were positive, and they wished me the best.
After that, it was really hard to emotionally connect with another guy.
I was scared that if I admitted I had herpes to a potential partner, he would deem me imperfect and tainted, leave me, and confirm what I already feared about myself: I was unworthy of love, was meant to suffer, and didn't deserve a true partner in life. Eventually, I realized my dream of attending medical school, though I never disclosed my virus to my fellow students.I concealed my virus from my partners and friends for over 15 years until I made a personal commitment to marry these two parts of myself.Before I made the desicion to be open about having herpes, my desire to be loved was so strong that lying became my survival mode.Now, I disclose my herpes status to potential partners when I feel that we are heading in the direction of intimacy.I've been with my current partner for a year and am really happy. I do my best to avoid confusing medical terms and instead offer the straightforward facts and comforting hug that I craved the most when I received my own diagnosis in college.This would have allowed them to make their own informed decisions.