There are a lot of things that are far more important to who you are as a person.
And that's what you bring to a relationship—the person you are, not the virus you have. Check out The STD Project and Herpes Opportunity for more info.
Ella Dawson: Now, when I date, I have to have a conversation about the fact that I have an STI.
It can be really scary to have a conversation with someone that you just started dating because you're so worried that the other person will judge you in that moment.
MC: Can you talk about some of the specific experiences you've had?
Also, I always tell people: If you need time, take it.
I've had partners disappear and then come back because they were off getting tested and wanted to know before they got involved with me what they already had and bring that to the table. I had a disclosure when I was in college where I told someone that I had herpes and in mid-conversation he Googled it, looked at the transmission statistics and was like, "I don't care. Everybody's different, but I try not to let that anxiety get the best of me when I'm waiting for someone to make up their mind.
People really want a script and to know exactly what to say.