Episode #35: My Life with Genital Herpes w/ Bianca Hughes

Mandi Benecke and Naomi Marquez welcome Bianca Hughes who lives with genital herpes. We discuss her life from when she was first told she had genital herpes through today. We dive into the stigma behind genital herpes which is similar to any sexually transmitted infection, whether that’s oral herpes, genital herpes, syphilis, chlamydia, gonorrhea, genital warts, or HIV.
The diseases we typically think of as “herpes” are caused by viruses that belong to the herpesvirus family. This family contains a number of viruses, but the ones important here are herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-2) and type 2 (HSV-2). HSV-1 is what we typically associate with cold sores around the mouth or on the lips or tongue. HSV-2 is what we associate with genital herpes, which can present as ulcers or blisters on the genitals or around the anus.
Bianca specializes in perfectionism, helping people embrace their imperfections and authentically be themselves. She helps clients work through concerns of self-worth, unhealthy relationships, identity, or feeling overwhelmed. Her approach within therapy is direct but open, meeting clients where they are, providing them the freedom to change when they’re ready. She believes in empowering and equipping people with skills, tools, and resources they can utilize for life. In addition, her passion is to eliminate mental health stigmas, which are prevalent within the black community. As well as eliminating the gap between Christianity and therapy. Bianca is a licensed professional counselor in Georgia, podcast host, speaker, and authenticity coach.
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