The STD Project: An Inspiring Story

Founder and Administrator of The STD Project, Jenelle Marie contracted genital herpes at the age of 16.

Jenelle was initially shamed by a trusted physician, ostracized from her local community, and generally endured a terrible array of judgmental behavior at a vulnerable age.

But this did not ruin her life; far from it.

From Jenelle’s piece for

Rest assured, however, this is not a “woe is me” kind of story. On the contrary, having herpes never stopped me from dating, having a (very) healthy sex life, or accomplishing my goals, despite my initial misconceptions. In some ways, it likely lit a necessary fire within me — I’ve always been rather indignant and reticent toward social constructs — so I set off to prove to others, and mostly to myself, that I deserved more and could be more than just a woman with genital herpes. Having auditioned for “American Idol,” conquered my fear of heights by skydiving (three times), run a 25K, and earned two honors degrees, I’ve accomplished that.

This event in Jenelle’s life – contracting, and being diagnosed with Genital Herpes – could have, and has, destroyed many good, strong people. Events following diagnosis, namely social cruelty, seem almost unbearable.

However, not only is Jenelle an accomplished, well-rounded person – with an active, fulfilling love life – she also channeled her terrifying experience to build and maintain one of the most impressive STI/STD online resources this author has seen.

Jenelle – well done.







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