She believes it’s divine intervention.
A Las Vegas mother says God gave her genital herpes as a “wake-up call” to turn her life around.
Alexandra Harbushka, now 39, was diagnosed with the STI in 2011 after contracting it from her then-boyfriend.
The Nevada native — who now runs the website LifeWithHerpes — was in her late 20s and feeling directionless at the time, living with her parents, struggling with her finances and frequently binge drinking.
“I believe that God was giving me messages that I wasn’t on my path. I wasn’t being who I was meant to be,” Harbushka told Kennedy News in an interview. “Finally, he gave me herpes so I would wake up, listen and make changes.”
Harbushka says she was not promiscuous at the time she contracted the infection — which can be passed on through vaginal, anal and oral sex.
According to the CDC, 11.9% of persons aged 14 to 49 years have genital herpes — a lifelong virus for which there is no cure. There are an estimated 572,000 new infections recorded across the United States each year.
Despite its prevalence, the “stigma” of the STI sent Harbushka spiraling into depression before she finally managed to see the infection as a “physical manifestation” sent from God.
“It was absolutely devastating, crushing and suffocating,” the brunette recalled. “I thought that now I had herpes, nothing mattered. I didn’t think I was deserving of love.”
“It took me two years before I came to terms with it,” she said, adding: “I felt like Eeyore from ‘Winnie the Pooh.’ I cried every day, I just couldn’t seem to get out of this fog.”
Then, Harbushka decided to turn her life around, starting her LifeWithHerpes website to raise awareness about the STI in a bid to break down the stigma.
Recently, she started a related TikTok account and has clocked up more than 36,000 fans — many of whom also suffer from genital herpes.
“I want people to be educated so they can practice safe sex. If somebody has herpes, I want them to know how to live with it and to not let it hold them back,” Harbushka declared.
She told Kennedy News that the condition can flare up if she’s not taking care of her health.
“Bad lifestyle habits make outbreaks more frequent and intense,” she stated. “A lower immune system can lead to outbreaks, and there are certain foods that can trigger outbreaks. Chocolate, coffee beans, coconuts, peanuts and sugar can trigger them.”
Harbushka eventually broke up with the boyfriend who gave her the STI, and found dating difficult in the years afterward.
“It made me realize that whoever I dated would truly love me for me, and it wouldn’t just be a fling,” the TikTokker declared. “When I disclosed that I had herpes, I would find out if the guy genuinely wanted to be with me.”
The brunette beauty said she was often rejected by men, but defiantly decided to transform the setbacks into something positive.
“I realized that if somebody rejected me for having herpes, they weren’t a person I would want to be with,” she explained.
Now, Harbushka is happily married to her husband Bill, and the pair share a 2-year-old son.
The stunner says her hubby is so supportive of her speaking publicly about her STI that it was actually his idea to start the TikTok account.
Indeed, the popular page has helped many people struggling with their herpes diagnoses, including one fan who wrote beneath a recent video: “I really needed this today. It forced me to realize how much of a people pleaser I was.”
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