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Her mission is to teach readers of Yes, I Have Herpes that they are deserving of love and self-respect from both themselves and their partners, regardless of their STI-status. Loanzon tells Bustle that it was after working with a life coach, Julien Adler, in 2014 that she began to love all of herself for the first time. Loanzon had been repeatedly having the same issues in relationships, and since she was the common thread, she decided it had to have something to do with her. Loanzon nervously admitted to Adler that she had the herpes virus, and his coaching helped her move on from her diagnosis. Here you are entering into relationships and thinking that you are tainted and that something is wrong with you.
But why can't people start recognizing herpes for what it is — an extremely common virus that says nothing about the person who has it?There is a heavy stigma against herpes infected people. Herpes is treated as a punchline in countless American comedies: the worst, most embarrassing thing that can happen to somebody when they have sex — a scarlet letter forever branding you for some horrible decision that you made, preventing you from ever finding love or engaging in sex ever again."It took a lot of work and the realization that I was created perfectly exactly as I am, and if somebody doesn't love me for that aspect, there are plenty of [people] out there who are very interested in this beautiful, shiny self that I am," she tells Bustle. Loanzon realized this about herself, she changed her perspective in dating and self acceptance, and says, " ..world opened up."Here's why you shouldn't feel ashamed if you have herpes. It's a normal, non-life threatening part of a lot of people's lives. Loanzon contracted the virus when she had not yet even had vaginal intercourse — only oral sex with her college boyfriend.It doesn't make sense that STIs are so stigmatized when you look at the statistics. Loanzon explains, the secrecy with which we discuss herpes clouds our perception of how common the virus truly is. Herpes is not a virus that only affects one type of person, nor is it only spread in one specific way.