Herpes puts a damper on weekends away

SINGLE FILE

October 31, 1993|By SUSAN DEITZ | SUSAN DEITZ,Los Angeles Times Syndicate

Q: I don't think I can stand another episode of this:

HIM: I really like you, you are very special to me. Let's go away for the weekend.

ME: I like you too. But I have to tell you something. I have herpes.

HIM: Wow, really? Well, maybe we can still be friends.

Help me.

A: Having herpes doesn't make you an untouchable . . . unless you feel (and behave) as if it does. Being current on the newest treatments and medicines can change your "victim" thinking into one of independence; at the same time, it will broaden your social horizons to include all prospective partners, not only those who share the virus.

Herpes is now very much manageable, no longer a scourge and certainly not a source of shame! (Acyclovir is the current treatment of choice.) Talk to your physician and get the latest medical facts about your condition, because only then will you be able to manage your social life without embarrassment and awkward pauses. For more facts and a newsletter called the Helper, contact the Herpes Resource Center, P.O. Box 13827, Research Triangle Park, N.C. 27709. Herpes Hotline: (919) 361-8488.

Fortified with facts and knowledge, you can rewrite the social scenario to go along lines like this:

HIM: I really like you. You are very special to me. Let's go away for the weekend.

YOU: I like you too. But it's too soon for a weekend together. Come over for dinner on Saturday and let's talk about it.

See the point? The herpes virus is only a small part of who you are. It needs to be discussed and explained, but then it can -- and should -- retreat from sight and become merely a fact of life, one among many.

Q: In the past I had considered contacting a herpes dating service, but felt I could do better on my own. Things haven't worked out the way I had hoped . . . I never had the courage to tell my partner about my condition for all the obvious reasons. Perhaps if I went a different route, such as a dating service particularly geared for people with my affliction, things may turn out better for me.

I live on Long Island, work in the financial district and have eight more classes left to finish my degree. I hope that the dating service you mention includes professionals (not to exclude blue-collar workers) with at least some college education who love New York and all it has to offer.

A: The dating service you refer to is Herpes Anonymous, P.O. Box 278, Westbury, N.Y. 11590; (516) 334-5718. Write or phone Lenny Sobel to learn more about his service. It's been around a while, begun back when herpes was a shameful scourge, but happily that phase has been phased out . . . by those who know the facts about the virus. The annoying part is that the media don't say much about it anymore; people are left dangling, without support or reliable resources to supply current treatment news.

Q: Be lover or be loved? It's not the either/or that's the answer to that . . . the answer is to Be Love Itself. That is, realize you are not two people, you are one. The separation into two bodies is a trick, a way to enable Love to move and know itself, to travel in time and space.

My best lover walked right into my heart, completely unafraid, at the very moment I opened the door and said Welcome. In that moment I felt myself enter his heart. We were lovers for six years; we aren't anymore, but we are still one because we became Love . . . again! and again!

The answer is rather like the swirl of the yin/yang symbol (i.e., equal, opposite, complete).

A: It's not easy to imagine someone walking out of your life after six years of such spiritual communion. But two lives were enriched by the relationship, and the memories linger. Yes, indeed, love is a rhythm, a dance, a moving back and forth of feeling and adoration. Embodying love is an ideal way to encompass all of its movement. But easier said . . .

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