Happy Monday, everyone! I’m back with another blog and today I want to discuss the stigma associated with Herpes and HIV. STDs (sexually transmitted diseases) can cause a break in relationships, shame, embarrassment, and can even lead to depression and/or substance abuse. Over the years, many have viewed those who contract an STD as promiscuous, irresponsible, or having a certain socioeconomic status. The reality is, anyone who is sexually active can contract an STD, but certain parameters should be put in place in order to hopefully lessen your chances. But first, let’s tackle how an STD can affect an individual’s life.

While some STDs are curable, herpes and HIV are among those that are not. As a result, many feel as if these diagnoses mean the end of romantic relationships and success in life. However, that is not necessarily the case. As a mental health expert and television host, I’ve had the opportunity to speak with people who are transparent about their diseases. They can all attest to the fact that an STD only holds you back as much as you allow it. Running a successful business, thriving in your career, traveling, having a family and accomplishing goals are all possible even while living with an STD. There are some key pieces of advice I’d like to give you in order to help you live the most fulfilled life possible.

First, ask as many questions as necessary before beginning a sexual relationship with someone. Don’t be afraid to ask about their past relationships, etc. Secondly, if your “gut” is telling you something isn’t adding up, take note of that, take a step back, and assess the situation. Use protection! A few moments have pleasure can have life-altering effects. And lastly, get checked. Ignoring a problem or symptoms does not cause the issue to disappear. If you have cause for concern, get checked as soon as possible, so that you can begin treatment if you have in fact contracted an STD.

If you’re already living with an STD, please know there is hope. There are so many books and YouTube videos available to help you overcome the emotional challenges associated with a diagnosis. You can also use your own voice to empower others! Sharing your experience can help you heal and can help others understand they are not alone. Please understand that you control whether not the STD alters the course of your life. You don’t have to allow your disease to define you and determine how far you go in life.

I’d love to hear your feedback! Feel free to leave me a comment. I’ll be back next week with another empowerment blog to help you overcome some of life’s most difficult challenges. I’m your mental health expert and relationship guru. It’s what I do!

Be Well,
Dr. Mya