Dr. Sheila Loanzon shares her own personal experience contracting herpes and how she got back to a place of self-love and acceptance. We dig into the facts about STDs, the stigma they present, and how to disclose this to a new partner.
S5E4 Yes I have herpes
00:00:03 - 00:05:07
The Dateable podcast is an insider's look into modern dating that the Huffington post calls one of the top ten podcast about love and sex. On each episode, we'll talk to real daters about. From sex parties to sex droughts, date fails a diaper fetishes and first moves to first loves. I'm your host Yue Xu, former dating coach turned dating sociologists. You also hear from my co host and producer Julie Krafchick as we explored this crazy dateable world.
This episode of dateable is brought to you by five hundred brunches. Five hundred branches connects like minded people with similar interests to meet in real life brunch. You answer a questionnaire about your interest and how you spend your time. And then they'll match you in groups of sixty eight at a brunch spot in san francisco. Get a free entry into brench now by signing up at five hundred brunches dot com and using the code date able everyone. Welcome to another episode of dateable a show all about modern dating and along with modern dating. There comes consequences as we all know we've talked about you know people flaking and ghosting. But what about std's i mean. That's also a consequence of modern dating today and today we have an expert. Her name is dr sheila lan and she is in the house with us in this really cute pantsuit that i stop looking at it after and ones are the way to go very comfortable and speaking of comfortable. That's std's you're not. I wanna give a little background on dr lawns. And she was born in san jose. She's thirty seven years old. And she's in a monogamous relationship herself. Now she's a board certified. Gyn who has diagnosed with herpes at the age of twenty. So she's had herpes for seventeen years and she wrote a book called. Yes i have. Her base as voice could be any other title. I know beating around the bush. It's it's about her journey to acceptance disclosure and just giving reassurance to others who may be going through some lur circumstances. So let's start with when you first got diagnosed. What was that like. Yeah so. I was diagnosed when he was twenty years old. I was on my college campus with my first real boyfriend. I was a virgin and we'd actually probably dated for a year or so before we decided to get into the sexual intimacy part so like most of the patients that i see who were exploring their sexuality. It's usually when. Std happens whether it's clemencia gonorrhea or in my instance herpes and is a situation where he hit a history of cold source Did not have any outbreak and I had received oral sex and it was after that that i started to notice sores in the genital area. It was very painful. When a urinated in i went to the campus nurse and she pretty much said it. Looks like herpes. I can't know for sure. I'm gonna go ahead and do a culture. Here's the medication. So he didn't have sexual herpes. No he had the cold cores on now. Yeah which are the ones that people get when their grandmother kisses them at christmas. Or you know they have a culture's come out when it's really hot out. Sunburns oral sex is involved than it became sexual herpes for you exactly so. Herpes actually has two types type. One is usually the oral type. Time to the genital part. However with the advent of oral sex things are kinda spreading all over the place and so How most patients i find. You're actually getting. It is through oral sex with a partner who has a history of cold source. Well that's why they tell you you're supposed to put condoms on your mouth so correct people don't but most people don't have that super awkward. Okay so let's start talking about this When did you write the book. So he wrote the book. I had a little bit of a convoluted story. Because when i was diagnosed the internet was not as rampant as it is now so i knew that it was a virus. That people didn't really talk about You know. I really didn't get any counseling from the the nurse that i had seen on campus was kind of like be safe. Here's a meds. Don't have sex when you have an outbreak. By and i'm like what am i you know and i'm and i'm pre-med at the time And i was in a serious relationship however with a lot of young relationships that we have they don't always last And i will say that. I was very ashamed of the virus In so i through. The course of about fifteen years was sexually active with people I did not disclose my status I was always very careful to not be sexually active. When i had an outbreak i was suppression medication But to verbalize and save those words were extremely difficult for me right.
00:05:07 - 00:10:14
And so i had a one point gotten divorced and was dating again and i kept attracting the same men over and over and over again and i kept thinking. Well i can't keep blaming them So there must be something going on. I was attracting men who were Very not always forthcoming the cheated on me. They lied about certain aspects of their lives and i realized. I think that there's something here that i must be putting out into the universe that i keep attracting back to myself so i actually took a break from dating and i said okay. Let's just start working with a life coach. Let's see if we can do a deep dive and figure out what's happening here and we had processed through a lot of stuff and my. My coach was like you know. There's just really something that. I think we're not really overcoming. Can you think of anything and for the first time in my life. I said Do you think it's the fact that i have reason. I've never told anybody. And he was like y- us because you know if you're spending time looking in the mirror and seeking i'm not worthy. I feel dirty. I am. I deserve to be punished for my activities That can really start to weigh on a subconscious level. So did the work. I did the processing Fast forward i'm dating. I'm being been. I'm sharing my am disclosing and i finally realized you know. I have a really unique stance. I know that there are people out there in the community who also don't share their status and you know i. I realized that until i accepted the parts of myself that i was ashamed. Embarrassed frustrated angry about quitting. Actually gain. When i wanted which was self love and confidence and a partner that i could trust completely and so i found that actually once i loved that part of myself in accepted it. Did i actually get what. I was really looking for him. And so. I thought if i could share my story with other people to show one. It's a struggle put in the work. You can get there too. You can be very verbal in obvious. Yes i have her herpes and not be chastised and stormed in the streets. And you know and you can thrive and be safe with. It thought that that was a great story and of course on the backside of it is. I'm a board certified. Obgyn right so. I'm also coming from the perspective of being a a healthcare provider young credibility. Yeah so rewind to when you first found out you had herpes. Did you tell your boyfriend at the time. Yeah so he did. No he knew any. We were both stunned as we're like Is that something. can you really down. And we didn't have research at the times we said we'll if the doctor is saying it that it must be true right one of your interviews. He said after your book came out. You actually told all of your sexual partners who you didn't tell them the past about your situation. Yeah and how did they react. Yes so actually told him before. The book came out was didn't want to blind sign the than i have already a by the way like in a bookstore. But she looks for villier and they've been all really wonderful. I think the the great thing is attracting a certain level of guys that were already decent people and they said okay we understand. None of us have had an outbreak Some didn't take it so well. But i think that they had a a one did not take it very well but i think he had a little bit more of a personal issue with me a not necessarily just because of the diagnosis And i've still stayed in contact with all of them. They're still friends. But at the same time to i knew that by telling them i had created the situation myself and so any reaction that they could have possibly had was a reaction that i deserved And it was the reaction that they could only have an. It would be okay. Why do you think there's so much stigma. Attached to cd's it's it's a few things It's a little bit different than garnering media. You take an antibiotic. You don't even have to tell anybody a little bit different than hiv. You know there support groups out there. There's all this research that's happening. There's large communities out there. They're celebrities living with it but herpes is something that people. Just don't want to talk about a originally started from pharmaceutical stigma. Because they found that this was a very vulnerable group. Oh if you have genital herpes. You don't want to have sex with it so here. let's give you some medication. Because that's a bad thing to have and so it really kind of just caught on. That was on the advent of the sixties and free lusts sixties and seventies of free love and sex with everybody and it was a really good kind of push for people to stay at home in stay in monogamous relationships and so it just win around like wildfire and It's the butt of jokes in movies and tv and there's no celebrities that have really come out and say yes.
00:10:14 - 00:15:01
I have this. I own this and this is the way that it is and so it's there's no face to it him like hr v. and even like columbia. There is a stigma. Still get like it is more can just issue is different. But the other gathered of with a pill. But there's a stigma of like. I did something wrong or like. I did something sturdy again. That's like your example. Like this is like your first time having sex with your boyfriend. Which is like be sturdy of that like what's your thoughts on those stick and those are absolutely one of the the difficult. Stereotypes is because people usually think that it's like a dirty promiscuous person. And i think that the the hard part that a lot of people grapple with when they are diagnosed is that they're usually with their first partner and it's usually in a monogamous relationship and it's the first time that most people are like my body is either failing me or i don't understand it or i have no control In so it's a big conversion of thoughts in a lot of it becomes internalized because you really don't have a community where you can say you know just like let's say you have a break up and you can go to your best friend who probably understand some nature of what's going on and so it's very difficult and i really wanted to come out just to show my colleagues in people that i know in patients that hey there is someone out there. And they're doing fine and the more that we talk about it and bring it out into the open. I think this stigma can't survive can't survive in the dark when when people are out there talking about it. I think there's a stigma tash std's because it's one of the only diseases where where it involves you and someone else so it's like this disease was. Genetics is passed down to me or contracted a you know through whatever diet. Yeah poor diet or bacteria but this is the only disease if you come out. You're actually outing someone else right like your your sexual partner and i think that's why there is stigma because again there's still sort of this negative connotation with sex in general i know we've gone through sexual liberation and all that there is still something dirty about sex. You know telling me that you do have sex. And you contracted a disease from. It is still seen negativity. Yeah it's interesting even in the office. Women have a difficult time. Even saying the word sex when i am you know with my husband and we know you have to make the baby. You mean sex intercourse. Yeah right we. We really got to get over that. How so. let's talk about I want to talk about the scientific facts about h about herpes about. Std's about everything so we've had a lot of listeners. Sent in their question And some of these questions are very basic. But i think it's good to cover them. One of them is. What are some of the symptoms purpose so usually when someone has a first outbreak. It's usually a sore so if you think about it. Some people out there can kim kind of like an to sore. Like let's say you just you know. Eat some bread. Nick puts a cut in your mouth or eat some super acidic pineapple nam. And you get like a source. It's kind of like that. But on the genital area. I will tell you. It is not as scary as google makes it. Look so don't go. Google never google usually has a tendency to do something to the jazz like the worst possible thing. Ever the thing that people see in sex ed in school on my daughter. I so it's just one of those things where it's actually usually just either one or two source Very important to be seen by a physician because stores like that can be also an ulcerations from a really bad yeast infection or it can look philis or it can look like just a variety of different things that happened in the vaginal area. But it's usually just sores like that some people actually the complaint that people say. It hurts. When i urinate. But it's a little bit different than a. Uti a urinary tract infection which is more like it hurts as the urine is coming out. More internal right yes. This is a little bit more like when the urine hits the wall. The vaginal skin is on. It hurts so If i have a young patient in office and she says it hurts. When i urinate. I'm usually. Let's examine you just to make sure yet. What about for men for men just because of the where the you re three is. They don't have the urinating thing it's usually just the sore so it should be on the shaft the holding league. I remember like other. Std's blood work or you get just different diagnosis but with herpes.
00:15:02 - 00:20:01
I actually like recently. Got like just i get my test run annually and i looked to see her was on there just out and they really actually. Don't test that with blood tests regularly so that being said how do you know like i mean i. Obviously the symptoms is one way but like what. If you don't have them could you pass it to someone before getting tested. That is one of the biggest issues in the community Because her bs from a physician standpoint herpes to us is. When there's a genital sore that you take a culture of and it comes back positive Now that's how we say. A person has herpes. The cdc the center of disease control and prevention does not believe in doing blood testing The reason why is because the blood test itself is extremely nonspecific it can give false positives and false negatives meaning if someone let's say did have the virus or had been exposed in their body at some point like someone who has the flu you may not necessarily be showing symptoms and then the test may not actually say that you're positive or negative where we don't believe it and the itself feels that because the stigma of the virus itself is so dramatic for people. They would prefer to save people from that diagnosis. I think in fact. That's the crux of where i believe. The medical community should actually change because it can be very upsetting for patients to not know their status. And i actually think the people who have been exposed and maybe carriers but never had an outbreak. Those are the people who can go around and be sexually active people and then be passing the virus. Yeah and they're not a fault either right because they didn't know exactly and so. That's that's something that i would love to change in the community Just because i think it will help prevent the spread of the virus But the blood test is so difficult to count on that. That is also just the very difficult part. So how can someone get tested. So you can ask for it. You have to be fairly persistent. I will say because the medical community itself just doesn't want to go against our governing bodies. You know we don't want to go against the cdc or the academy of american congress obgyn's don't want to Encourage that at this point so a lot of physicians will follow that we're board certified physicians and not the the people that we follow. But i'm just seeing in the community. how much strife. it gives people to not know their status and and that's hard so would you just recommend that people ask for the tests on a regular basis. Yeah sexually active false positives. Is that gonna do anything. So if it's a false positive which means that the person is negative. They're probably there should be fine. But there is a transition period so It's not to say that. Maybe they become positive in the future. You know in so you. Just as i think the most important thing is to encourage safe sex right. That's really the the most important thing Out there and to talk about your sexual histories which can be very difficult for people to totally. How long does it take for That time going from having sexual intercourse to experiencing symptoms so usually they say within two to three weeks to three weeks. You could still be having sex with other people and be passing on the virus What about some other. Std's were there is more routine blood work like what are just people that may not do annual tasks like what are the process that you would recommend test so in general. I recommend when people are sexually active to have an suv. Check about every six months. I think that that's very very reasonable. And blood. Testing that can be done on. Hiv syphilis hepatitis b. and hepatitis c. Those are all things that can be transmitted by blood or fluid sparkly fluids. You can do either a urine or a culture swab near the cervix for gonorrhea and chlamydia and his herpes only. Std's that stays in your system. Forever yes i mean i guess the other one is hiv and possibly the hp human papillomavirus right. Because even things like syphilis. You treat just one. Last question about testing is their wage test for oral mouth. Herpes as well or is that the same situation as yet you can do the same culture That you do generally for the oral cold sores. I'm truthfully unless it's if it's a cold sore on the inside which is more like a canker sore like from a trauma or the you know sita acidic food That would be a canker sores.
00:20:01 - 00:25:00
So that is not her. The ones that are on the outside. Like on the corner of the lips on the dark border Or on the border of your lips. Those are the ones that are right. And how can you pass those on without oral sex so even by kissing. You can do that. That's how a lot of people's grandmothers are kissed them on limbs and then that's held it usually gets passed. What about sharing food. So it's not through the objects so it's not like through sharing a drink at a club or lipstick although in general i just wouldn't encourage people to share lipsticks pursue hygiene but it's herpes is spread by skin to skin contact so really has to be skin to skin kissing touching laying things like other. Std's leno you try vs Not saliva right so that is also just a break in the skin so that can be in any kind of sexual situation obvious. Seniors should not great kissing. You should not. But i guess it just depends because even if someone who is hiv positive depending on their viral load. There is any kind of Cut vaginal are you know in the general area you can still pass it so i guess the other thing that it's important to that even if we're talking about safe sex condoms doesn't always protect so you that's always something very important. So for instance It's still skin contract. But condoms really only covers certain parts so if there is perhaps like a cut. Let's say on the rectum. Some people develop Herpes outbreaks on the rectum. If you're in that area you can also pass the virus. What about when. You don't have an outbreak. Can you still pass. So there is some amount of viral shedding Where generally within the first year of outbreak. It's the highest amount of shedding of the virus. That that happens and as your body develops. Antibodies and gets used to it. It can decrease but studies do show that there can be transmission of the virus even when there is no outbreak. So if you have herpes and you're in a long term relationship with someone you basically are expected to give them herpes right. So there's a few things that you can do to prevent the transmission One is using condoms. the other is Avoiding when you have an outbreak. Tb sexually active. I'm in the third is as you can take antiviral medication. I'm and what that does is it can It's a suppression. That you can take every day and it helps to decrease the amount of shutting too so amongst those three things you can prevent the the spread to your partners does affect people who are trying to get pregnant. Absolutely not in fact That's a very common question that people who have herpes come into the office. Requesting guidance on i would say you can absolutely be sexually active without any issues You if you're concerned about your partner You can take the pills daily and that can decrease your outbreak Likelihood and people can deliver very healthy babies. They just take the medication at thirty six weeks of pregnancy to decrease any outbreaks. Because if someone has a viral outbreak in having vaginal delivery they can pass the infection to the and and so you know in my career. I don't know i've been doing this for ten years. And i know delivered three thousand babies and only to section once for someone who thought she might be having symptoms so if because of the thought process we just said you know to be on the safe side. Let's just see sexual sorry just to clarify if you if you don't have an outbreak can't pass it or you can you still can't and then for other. Std's i know like if you got like community for example in teak a pill within that week though you can't have sex with your part because then you'll be passing it back and forth correct and when you have an herpes outbreak. How long does that outbreak last four. So it depends like people who within the first year outbreaks can last a little bit longer. Usually because they're not quite sure first off what it is and then their bodies just has to kind of just get used to build the antibodies when you take the suppression medication. It decreases the link of the time so some people the course of anti-viral medicine can be for five to seven days. And most people find their symptoms improve after like to god how 'bout you have to take the full course. There are some people for instance who aren't on daily suppression. Who when they have an outbreak. They think that they're starting to get it. They just start taking the medicine. It could be done in like two days as your partner now have herpes and if not. What are the preventative measures. So he does not he does not. he's not had. An outbreak. studies told me but he actually had a girlfriend previously.
00:25:01 - 00:30:03
Who had a history of herpes. He didn't contract it from that relationship either so we are very cautious. It was a discussion that him and i made. Because my outbreaks are so few and far between We decided that i would not be on a daily suppression again. I very infrequent outbreaks to begin with. But if i do. Or if. I think i'm just not quite sure then. I will take the medication sustain from being sexually active but that was a discussion him and i had to really make sure he felt comfortable. I felt comfortable in in. That's something individualized to a couple. So is just your like your risk is up if you have an outbreak. Yes okay and did you when you enter into this relationship win. Did you tell him. Yes so i told him on our third tuned So i will say that. I had dated several people beforehand and i found my best method. Everybody's method is a little bit different Is to tell them about the third or fourth. That's usually the time that you're trying to figure out. Do i wanna be and yeah. And so i didn't wanna do it. And most of the times. I didn't tell people in the first one or two days and people even say on their online profile which i think is fine but i wanted to get to know the person right because if i don't even like them oh i don't need to tell them my right history at all and so But you know everybody's everybody's different. And i wanted it to be my choice. I didn't want to be a situation where i have this virus. I need to take whoever guy comes along next. And i didn't think that that was very fair to myself And i had done the work to realize that that was Very important to me. So i wanted to find out if i even liked the guy i before i would even tell them and he was just like well. Do you have one now. No haiti. let's go for what was generally the reaction from most of these matters very so when i first started dating the first few guys a little bit like it's not really quite my scene I think that You know that's just not quite what i was looking for which is okay Because i realized that they were scared of the virus. They weren't scared of me. They just didn't know how it was going to play into their lives And i thought that's fine. There's going to be somebody else down the line so it's okay. Thank you and thanks for dinner. You know that kind of thing. But then i started to attract men that were just so much better. such a better match for me because they were men that were open who were educated. He wanted to get to know me and it really gave us the opportunity. Like in one instance of this gentleman that i still am friends with an absolutely adore. Is he just like you now. That's interesting. I'm gonna go ahead and do my own research and Let's just keep talking about it. Let's get to know each other. He was in. He had a lot of sex positive friends. So he spoken to them and He's a highly educated guy and he just said you know. I just really like you. Why don't we just kind of get to know each other. If you could be on suppression in case you know a crazy night happens and at least ready okay And we'll just go from there. You know what boggles my mind. The amount of time people spend researching if they can combine certain drugs when they're at a music festival versus amount of time they really should be educating themselves on. Std's it just boggles my mind that people waste so much time on these other things that may not matter as much and like you said it's all about educating yourself. It's nothing to be scared about because of you knew more information about it. It doesn't become a monster. I will have to say that when. I told my one of my great friends from school that i was coming out with this book. Will i have a history of cold source. Does that mean that. I could have given it to my husband and i was like okay. We're both board certified. Yes yes and so. it's just. It's a common misconception that the education particularly i think you know for all the male listeners out there who have a history of culture is that you can spread it to women. And that's i think a really important point that. I don't think it's gets honed in on in sex ed because they don't think they have s. T. d. just something that's happening. I remember i. I like what you're saying about It's interesting to me. The sort of response you get from. Men actually determines their suitability right. I remember in college i had. Hp which like all everybody had at that. Time was like oprah hp hp. And i remember. i called. When i found out. I called my Then sexual partner who was not my boyfriend and he immediately said oh are you sure are sure i.
00:30:03 - 00:35:02
I'm the one who gave it to you. Are you positive about that. Have you checked the other man you slept with. I mean there was a lot of blame and he immediately said like. I don't want to talk about this anymore. He hung up the phone. And so i knew. Okay well this guy obviously is not very mature and didn't have a conversation about it at all so it's interesting to see how people react to think like of the other hand actually defend people. That's a different situation. But it's tough. Like i mean you've obviously handled so uncomfortable but i can see how someone would say like if a guy had a pick between someone that doesn't have it or someone that does has it. Why would they be like. How do you get help. People like that gain confidence. I think in the end you know i it was. It's a natural filter. It really is a natural filter. And i think the important thing about that person who's choosing between the two is that it has no judgment on that person who's making the choice. It's it's literally. He may be a perfect part. That person may be a perfect partner. But just maybe not the right person for you right And we just have to accept it. And i think that's the important thing about justice herpes platform in general. That is my platform. That's where my book came from but it could be anything it'd be someone with issues of Infertility or weight or You know that they don't have blonde here like their best friend or anything In so really. It's just building the self confidence in yourself. That person seems really great. Just may not be the right person for you right there. Something about dating for straight people. I know that the gay community doesn't experience as the but for the person you're currently seeing you don't want to know about their sexual pasts. Yeah it's almost like. I want to think about my partner as someone who's god yes. Who so pure but also amazing in the bedroom somehow skill. but i don't want hear anybo. It's really is selective. And i wish we could be more open about talking about previous sexual partners. Your top pick. But i'd like to know right even with numbers. Some people really weird about giving out usually that you take the whatever number the woman gives you multiply it by three hundred and it's like the by true though especially with like. Std's if you have if you come forward and say you have asked tv shows that you've had that sexual pass and like we were saying earlier. There's sometimes that like stereotype of being more promiscuous. When i see that at all and at this age i mean. We're all in our thirties. Even when you're you're twenties we have to accept that whoever we meet now has had multiple partners and it doesn't matter how many partners have been with. It's it's really about how they treat you now right so if you shoot the person who's sitting in front of you. Yes yes and a forms. They are so what are some. Take away from all of this around. How this can relate dating. Well i think first and foremost educate yourself. It's always good to know more than the less envy get tested regularly. I know. Like i don't know the ins and outs of men's physicals. No with women like you do this on a regular basis so make sure you're getting those tests and requesting those tests. Yeah dr lawns and said every six months. I think that sounds very reasonable. Also disclosure. I think it's really important to disclose if you do have std's before you become intimate with someone obviously not right in the moment to but if you feel like you're debating that maybe that time has come that is the time to reveal right to disclose and i think like you said like how you say it to like coming from a vulnerable state. I think also ex like having empathy that someone may be taken back by it and like not expecting them to be like gung ho right away and not necessarily seeing that as a reflection of you look more just them either not knowing about the disease or just processing it all. Yeah and really. I don't want to sound like an after school special. We've really have to be more careful in the city. I know people sleep around with each other. I need like it's a small city and we've probably all slept with each other in some way or another. We need to be more careful and be more safe. Not only were protecting ourselves. But we're protecting other people. Like i mean yes were saying with modern dating. Especially you're like people are dating more than ever before but even like your situations like your first boyfriend like i just. Yeah in general you never know for the nfl so be respectful of other other people and you know be careful.
00:35:02 - 00:40:19
Protect yourself. Use condoms or or just know the measures. You need to take to be preventative. So i want to talk about some common misconceptions. We've talked about some of it but does having std's war. I guess herpes in particular affect your immune system. So i actually do find that. Some patients have more frequent breaks May have a lower immune system you know. Just from stress diet exercise You know kind of just those those basic things in general. I mean a dozen window down dwindle down your immune system so the 'cause no got when you do have herpes. Can you affect other people other than the people who you're sleeping with. So could you affect your family members. Your loved ones your friends. It's a situation that had happened to me. Actually when my book came out my beautiful niece was born and i was very cautious. Where you know my herpes genital can again like i and been spread skin-to-skin and so but i knew that my family would be very careful and concern. You know babies in their arms. They do all the things. I wanted to remove the concern that oh if it lands in my mouth. Oh gosh now. The baby's going to get it puts her fingers in her mouth. And and i really had to just sit down with my family and say you know. My outbreaks are down here You know of anything. I'm probably the most cautious. I will ever be. Even though i know. I can't pass a tour by giving her a kiss. You can see. I always on the top of her head on her face. Kissed her on the arm And so that's just really something that. I'm super cautious about. And she has a higher likelihood of probably getting a cold sore herpes from all the other family. Who don't really know. And they're driving kissing her all over the place to that question. Like how do you tell other people not like people that are significant others. But like did you tell your parents. Did you tell your friends like. How did you rich conversation. So most of my family and friends probably found out when my book came out. Got it and i will tell most patients who asked me and a lot of the people who contact me Through social media that they don't really have to tell their families or friends if they don't want to I think the most important thing is to tell their sexual partner because that's really who it ends up affecting the most if they wanna you know i've had some people want to just tell everybody in the whole world and they've put it on their social media the not is absolutely up to them but they don't have to. I think it would help the stigma if we all just kind of went out and did it because about eighty percent of the population has herbie's just don't know it are sharing it and you know in it's not a reportable disease. It's not something that we tell our state like gonorrhea. Hiv supplies just because well we're not really tracking it right because we're not doing the blood tests an and People don't die from it truthfully. People don't die from it and it doesn't cause infertility issues and you know it isn't like a pandemic that you know. The state has to try to control all the garnering that are happening out there. So what is the worst thing that could happen if you have abuse. So you have outbreaks now and again i you know there. There are quotes that are out there that talk about how like a herpes. Just the skin. Rash that's really annoying and there are a lot of people in the community who like don't like that But it is a skin thing that just happens again and and affects your sex life. Which is the pain of it. It's the news. It's just the thing you have to deal with but people have psoriasis. Have those things. It's just it's it's it's common with a water. Some of the other symptoms are the consequences of the other. Std's so if there's Gonorrhea chlamydia if it's untreated. It can cause pelvic inflammatory disease so it can cause infection on the inside of the uterus. I'm some people can just treated with outpatient antibiotics. Some people need to be admitted to the hospital for iv antibiotics and so that can take someone out of work and all that kind of stuff if there's an untreated infection. Sometimes it can cause infertility issues because it can cause scarring along the tubes and so that can be an issue down the line when people aren't really untreated like forever like if you had it like let's you got it in like four years pass and you didn't know with that still yes. Yeah it's possible so something that would have to be evaluated in the future Issue is a situation where they would need to take Antiviral medications and wonderful medications out there now and if untreated certainly it ends up with skin issues it can cause neurologic issues In oregon what about the death rate of hiv is like obviously in the eighties was first coming out.
00:40:19 - 00:45:03
There weren't nearly as many treatments as now like what is living with. Hiv now compared to them. I find that. I from what i hear Infectious disease physicians are usually the ones who see those patients. But i i understand that the quality life that they have is actually quite great. People are living so much longer taking less medications with less side effects And in doing very very well. I don't have specific numbers but most vicious stigma feels like it's take ma and you know what's ironic is that breast. Cancer actually used to have a huge stigma and really and so there was a big push With one of the first lady's who has ended up diagnosed. I don't know if it was roosevelt's but she ended up coming out and it changed the stigma and then they started pushing in terms of screening exams. And talking about it and all of a sudden you've got these marches and research and it just. It really changed the stigma. I will tell you that some of the herpes community wants to have a big parade. And i'm just like how about we. Just tell one person just one other person just gonna start there and hopefully our communities will start to coalesce together and then it'll just be so much more accepted my concern with something like that okay so breast cancer. When there was stigma now. there is no stigma. you can have these marches. And they're you know people are trying to. They're pouring money into finding a cure and all that but with something like std's what worries me is which what i'm seeing with the gay community we've talked about with some of our friends is that hiv has. Has this new stigma. Now it's it's treatable with prep so a lot of them are saying that they're not no longer afraid the disease and they feel that there is some sort of liberation and the result of that is wonder is lack not lack for. There's less of a stigma with hiv. But there's less protection and then there's also people being less cautious with with protection and when they're having sexual activities with each other so it worries me that something like with herpes on one hand. I want to say that there. Really should be no stigma attached to it. But i also don't want want it to sound like this disease that everyone has an right you'll free to spread it and you know don't be be way you don't need to be careful because there's ways to get around like xm up you know you're gonna make that deal. It still should be safe. Say social safe sex. So where's that middle ground i. That's a million dollar question. I mean an end to add on top of what you were just saying vaccines that are coming out. That they're working on where they are They're either trying to decrease outbreaks or to protect partner from the from a person Is herpes negative. So i don't know where that fine line is. I guess it's just as in moderation with the way that we eat our food. I think it's probably going to have to be the same with With jackson and certainly You know we don't necessarily have to advocate for monogamously but. I also think it's important that if you are actually with multiple people that you're using the protection that you can in disclosing as much as you can to. We have to respect our partners right. And that's one of the ways is using protection and having safe sex and getting tested on a regular basis. What do you think about people putting their status on their dating profile. I think you know student. There's there's a lot of different opinions because there are S td dating websites. There are one people and then they're one right now so i think there's I have to try. There's trustor is one. That's actually out of san francisco. And i think that they just came to chicago And that's an app that you can find online number one. Herpes dating site positive singles singles. That's who they're like. Hiv dating dating site call h. Asked the singles there even once for people who have who are hp positive. There's just a variety of different things out there and i think that that's a fine save community because i suspect that there might be less judgment But i also know that there are a lot of people on more popular datings. That's actually popular. Dating sites is where i was online dating and some people do just put it right out there because they hope that they can kind of weed out the people who are going to be judgmental again. I didn't want to be defined by virus.
00:45:03 - 00:50:04
Right wanted to be defined by the person that i am as sheila. Who is you know a law-abiding citizen and has his career in doing all these cool things so But to each their own everybody's different. Can you give some advice to any of our listeners. Who are having a hard time accepting their virus and coming out just saying yes. I have herpes or yes at that. Std's how should they get there. How what are some steps because you so. I know that the podcast is called dateable. One of the things that i actually recommend is to take some time and date for a little bit. I actually found that the six months they took to not date was probably the best amount of time that i could have done for myself because it gave me some time to go inward and to find out what is important to me. What am i looking for in a partner. Who am i You know and i actually through my book. There's a lot of the different exercises that i had gone through. That actually helped to build my self confidence. Because i've found that once. I built myself confidence no matter what anybody else thought about me. It didn't matter. It didn't matter because i- internally i knew who i was i valued who i was and And i started this endeavor being like you know if i end up a forty year old woman who doesn't have a partner but i could be a really awesome doctor and be a fantastic and then that's what my destiny is not as perfect and so if you can see if we can stand on our own by ourselves with that confidence then no matter. Whatever happened it just it. Didn't it didn't factor in and that's advice. We've given people not with cds to not just cds but i can definitely see why that's applicable in this case it's news that's coming to about you in a way. Yes until learning to love yourself again because it is change so I recommend just taking time. And i and i recommend grieving because it is. It's a. it's a time that you've had a loss of something whether it's a loss of your sexual freedom whether it's a loss of Belief in your body Whether it's Learning how to recognize signs in your body and what it's trying to tell you. Those are all really good things. Take time for yourself. So i always encourage that for people to. I'm sure after your book came out. People have written in to say that you really help them. Can you share one of those stories. Yeah i've had wonderful people who wanted to go into medicine and actually stopped when they were diagnosed interest which i thought was Very saddening because you have someone who is so capable of helping other people but because of something that happened to them they just shut down. I've had this handful of times and actually told them that. By far they have probably the best experience ever to be a physician provider a nurse or whatever because they're able to reach people on a level that i think are human race is looking for. They're looking for empathy. They're looking for compassion. In whether i have been through all the experiences that anybody you know that i've seen before has ever had. I can understand a feeling of you know confusion and frustration and and misunderstanding and communication. And so i think you can relate to people and people see that. I know you're gonna be your at premed before this happened. We did that change. Because of this diagnosis i think it led me in that direction. I found that women felt very comfortable to share their intimate situation with me very easily And then i just loved obgyn just because of the nature of the delivering babies in the emergency room medicine and the continuity of care just it fit my personality very very well and one last question so we had a listener right in say that she just started seeing this guy she met online and she really liked him. And through sort of a miscommunication overtax had revealed that he had gonorrhea and it was a really attacks met for her. But it's the reality of things so her question is how she she deal with the situation. How does she respond to him because she does really like him. So i think it's important to realize that this person is in a very vulnerable space in that instance through texas with a little bit different I will say that. I discovered that when i was telling partners i'm and i was in the beginning very very nervous to the point where i was actually reading off a script because i was afraid. The words weren't gonna come out well and i was tripping myself up and crying and most of the partners would realize like oh. She's she's talking about something serious so they would actually kind of perk up and lean in and could tell. I was visibly upset and that this was something really important for me to share And so i think it's important to realize that this is a human being in front of you and whether he had slipped up by accident by tax.
00:50:05 - 00:54:12
I'm he's sharing something very intimate about himself. So i think it's important to when they're disclosing this to take a breath and realize you know in her situation. Okay well we haven't been sexually intimate so you know we can talk about this without the eventual anger And and just realize that some things are treatable like on honoraria. Some things aren't and just kind of realizing how you feel about that And if you can separate the person the virus or the infection and then just kind of go from there or anything that you have that we didn't cover that you wanna make sure that gets out there. Yeah i think it's really important to not judge others Because until you actually know your own status of know that it's tried and true it's hard to judge other people. It's of that you know. Don't throw stones until you kind of know where you're at and if people wanna find your book where can they find. Yes so it's found on amazon You can either have a soft copy mailed to you. I do not very bold title. So there's also the kindle download version so you can always do. I'm on facebook. I have a public page doctor. She led you. And i'm on twitter and instagram and snapchat And then i have my website. Which is dr dr. She s. h. e. l. a. luanne l. o. a. n. z. zebra o. n. Dot com. Fantastic i wanna see people rocking your book on the subway. I i've had some people send me pictures. They're they're my family member. So i'd love to put that challenge out there. If anybody wants to send me that picture you can put it in random places ya viral and no down attended. Yeah obviously feel free to reach out to. She loved if anyone has any other questions that they want to send us. We're happy to send them along to you as well please do. I'm certainly so listeners. Home we want to hear your stories your questions. Whatever it may be you can contact us in any way and if you want to be a guest on our show we can always keep you anonymous to protect your identity if necessary alright so on that note last but not least stay dateable. Your action item for this week is to go get tested. It's the least you can do for yourself and for your partners. Hey sexual liberation's great go fuck each other's brains out but we have to do it responsibly. We have to prioritize our health and our safety. We're all adults here so we should start acting like adults starting with getting tested. We wanna give a huge dateable. Shout out to nick who has been helping us with sound. Thank you so much for your generosity your kindness and your technical skills to make all of some better on air. Thank you again nick. If you didn't know already in our offseason we launched a premium series called the y series where we dissect analyze and solutions to some of the most common dating conundrums. We've had some great feedback on. How actionable these episodes are so. Check it out on our website under the tab why series or you can now buy directly from eighteen. Music and other exciting announcement is that we revamped our website. We now have written stories from past guests and writers and we have playlist to organize episodes by topics. He's platelets can also be found on soundcloud so check out all the content we now have on dateable. Podcast dot com. The most efficient way to meet new people is a combination of online and offline five hundred branches has your offline covered connect over brunch with new friends. Come alone or bring a buddy. There's always a table of friendly faces mimosas. An eggs benedict sign up at five hundred branches dot com and use the code date able for free entry to connect with us visit dateable. Podcasts dot com. You can also find us on facebook twitter and instagram. All under dateable podcasts.