Q: In response to the man who has herpes and wants to know how to meet a woman with herpes I must ask, "Why limit your possibilities?"
I have had herpes for more than 10 years. I have never searched for a man who had herpes! My priorities in a partner included but were not limited to: communication, integrity, wisdom, humor, intelligence, warmth, honesty and joy in knowing the beauty of real love.
Now I'm engaged to a wonderful man who doesn't have herpes. We know that there are times when we can't physically connect. We also know that those times give us the opportunity to continue to laugh, share, watch a sunrise, walk, talk and experience the joys of knowing how beautiful that kind of connecting is.
Herpes is an opportunity to find someone who truly loves the whole of you and accepts you just the way you are. Don't limit the possibilities of finding such a love.
A: Your innate joy in living and loving and your upbeat outlook have outwitted what could be viewed as a social limitation and, even worse, a scourge and a shame. You are definitely not alone in your positivism.
Q: Your advice to a recent writer concerned herpes, and it was right on the money.
The American Social Health Association, the only voluntary, nonprofit national organization dedicated solely to the elimination of all STDs, maintains the National Herpes Hotline as part of our Herpes Resource Center. Confidential information over the phone as well as follow-up information sent by mail are available to anyone who calls. The phone number is (919) 361-8488. ASHA also operates approximately 90 local herpes self-help groups around the country.
Any of your readers wishing a free brochure on herpes as well as information about the help groups may send us a self-addressed, long stamped envelope to: ASHA, P.O. Box 13827-D, Research Triangle Park, N.C. 27709.
Q: I have found that my frequent recurrences of herpes were triggered by eating certain foods, in my case they included nuts, which are high in arginine. By avoiding nuts those outbreaks have ceased. Foods high in lysine are said to reduce the frequency of those outbreaks.
As a single woman I've had to deal with a variety of negative reactions by potential lovers when I told them of my situation. I had tried placing personal ads with a regular bio and always had to deal with the subject. In frustration I placed an ad beginning with the word herpes, followed by my hobbies and including "seeks relationship leading to commitment/family."
One of the men who answered seemed very compatible, and after several dates I raised the issue. It was such a non-issue to him that he had answered my ad based on my interests and values and didn't even have herpes himself!
We have now been happily married for almost two years.
A: Reassured by the support and inspiration you've just read, you are probably ready and eager to reach out to begin a new cycle of dating. I am offering the name and address of a free newsletter that charges only for the personal ads placed, because it is a resource serving those with herpes. My hope is that you explore it and speak to its founder, Lenny Sobol, before you place your ad. After this beginning step you will feel more confident to seek a relationship based solely on your interests and values.
To get started, contact Lenny Sobol at HERPES ANONYMOUS, P.O. Box 278, Westburg, Long Island, N.Y. 11590. Phone: (516) 334-5718.
Los Angeles Times Syndicate