News
A University of Calgary student was diagnosed with herpes and found there was no support group in Calgary.
the Gauntlet

Dealing with herpes

Publication YearIssue Date 

Herpes is a sexually transmitted disease that affects about five per cent of all people in North America. There is a large misconception STDs only affect the sexually promiscuous, and because of this, many don't expect to contract the disease.

This is the story of an anonymous female first-year University of Calgary student who contracted the disease last summer. After what she called "a deep depression, for close to two months," she decided to put her experience to good use.

"I have learned to cope with herpes basically on my own, and with the support of a man who used to be involved in Calgary's old support group, which disintegrated a few years ago due to a lack of attendance," the anonymous student said. "Because I know how I felt when I got my diagnosis, I would like others who are diagnosed to have an outlet to go to for support and companionship."

The student is setting up an emotional support group for herpes-affected individuals. Her goals for the group include discussion forums, transmission of information and providing an open environment to meet or date other affected people. She also wants to spread the message that people who get STDs aren't always promiscuous.

"Herpes is not a joke and people need to realize how much their jokes about this virus hurt and affect those of us affected, who have done nothing to deserve the virus or the discrimination," the student said. "Anyone who shrugs off this article and thinks it won't happen to them, listen up, it can happen to you."

The University Health Clinic offers help to students affected by STDs. They have doctors and therapists willing to help with any STD-related problem, and they also have many articles and pamphlets with support information.

Also, the student health plan covers herpes medication.

"There's medication available to stop a [herpes breakout] when it happens," said the University Health Clinic's Dr. L. Torfason. "The university health plan covers 70 per cent of it."

Dr. Torfason added there is also a medication for continuous herpes breakouts available through the health plan.

There are also many websites, good resources for recently diagnosed people, including herpesalliance.com and genitalherpes.com.

Section: 

Issue: 

Comments

You play around with sex with so many partners you get this.. Plan and simple.

Think before you open your legs and maybe this would not be around if people had/have some form of respect for themselves and others.

Oh my gosh Tony - you have no idea do you!

Who are you to take the moral high ground and look down on anyone that has this virus - bracketing them in some category as "skanks". Wake up precious!!!! People can contract these viruses after their first sexual experiences. And yes, bright spark, you can still contract it while using a condom! It is "people like you" that lead to the wide spread attitute out there that leads to people turning off when it comes to the subject and therefore the ignornace that follows.

Well for everyone who's reading my response, we all make mistakes but to rub it in somebodys face is whole different game! And like Max said Tony you can not judge anybody, For all we know you might have it yourself! {This goes out to Tony} You might want to get your act together before putting stuff like that on the internet, learn to keep your smart ass mouth shut at the right time. It's time like this when people need to be loved not criticized.

I have live 16 years with an infected person and i did not have any idea or symptoms. Is this good lock or what?

Calgary definately does need a way to meet with others with Herpes for support, friendship and dating. Way to go.

I have lived with herpes for more than ten years and been married to a man who also has it. We are not certain of how or who introduced it but we have learned to live with it together.
Being open and honest about it with each other is the only way to be. Rather than hold on to resentment it is better to deal with it, preferably together or by taking something like Valtrex with your morning vitamins.
It is not the end of the world. I consider herpes the same way someone with eczema would consider their skin irritation. Precautions should be made first and foremost but it needs to be treated if you don\'t want an outbreak.

A final word, both my husband and I have had long term partners in the past. Neither of us could be considered promiscuous yet somehow these things happen. No one can be blamed except the person that knows they have it and don\'t tell their partner before being intimate with them. We both found out together and we have battled it together ever since.