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Attempting to break the stigma of genital herpes, a woman has openly shared on social media that she has the infection.
She refuses to let the diagnosis get in the way of her dating life – even putting her diagnosis on her Tinder bio.
Speaking to the The Tab, Suzanna Brusikiewicz said she was worried about her love life when she first tested positive for having herpes.
This caused her to quickly break up with her then-boyfriend after she found out that he was being unfaithful and had been cheating on her.
She explained: “We put up with relationships we don’t deserve or don’t see red flags or stay in situations we shouldn’t because we think we can’t find love after this or have a normal sex life.”
She continued: "And it’s just completely untrue. You know, it has no reflection on our worth whatsoever.”
“That’s all stigma.”
Not letting her diagnosis define her, Suzanna has taken herpes in her stride and has used it to empower herself and others with herpes.
Posting under the username @suzbubs, she now often posts videos to her 69,600 TikTok followers to break the stigma around the sexually transmitted infection.
Noting that the herpes has been in the world “forever”, Suzanna has proposed that people should not be looked down upon for having it.
In a video titled “Lets Talk Stigma”, Suzanna has said that she has noticed that there is a lot of "fear-mongering" around herpes.
She added: "Part of why the stigma is there is because in a lot of abstinence education, you are terrified into staying away from sex, so they show you the worst of the worst"
"They also paint herpes as this horrible affliction that's gonna cover your whole body in burning blisters and you're gonna die."
Making the point that people often do not feel embarrassed for having a cold sore, which is a common type of herpes, a lot of people may feel disgusted when someone announces that they have genital herpes.
Discussing the different reactions to the forms of herpes, Suzanna stated: "People with cold sores who are not educated with the fact that that is herpes, or that it works the same way, are going to transmit it.
"The worst part of me dealing with herpes is dealing with idiots."
The empowering video has now racked up 12,000 views on the video sharing app.
Inspired by Suzanna's confidence, many people took to the comments to thank her for being so open about her diagnosis.
One person commented: “I’m still trying to figure out how to gain confidence with it.”
Another user added: “I needed to hear this today, I just found out 3 weeks ago and I am not sure where to go from here tbh…”
A third person noted: “And doesn’t define you as a person, keep it up, good for you!”
Whilst, someone else stated: “Thanks so much for sharing this, I was hoping to find someone who talks about it and the stigma around it, I feel like you saved me.”
Meanwhile, a fifth person said: "I was just diagnosed..finding your channel is really helping me, I have been in such a dark place and I'm glad I'm not."
According to the NHS website: “Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) passed on through vaginal, anal and oral sex.”
It is advised that you seek treatment if you have herpes.
“Treatment from a sexual health clinic can help. Symptoms clear up on their own but can come back.”
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