The title can be taken two ways, both of them true.
One, getting herpes is a choice in that having consensual sex is a choice. When we have sex, we understand the inherent joys and the inherent risks associated with the decision. Many times when people are hit like a ton of bricks that they have herpes it’s because they didn’t fully take this possibility into consideration before jumping in. Specifically, I was always under the distinct impression that “it won’t happen to me.” Once it did happen to me, then I immediately took on the victim mentality and shifted the blame to the person who “did this to me.” It’s so common, yet so destructive to our own feelings of personal power.

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But the more important meaning of the title is how we interpret herpes in our lives. This is the most important decision. Herpes by itself is just a virus, a thing with no inherent good or bad qualities. We can choose to have it mean the end of the world if we want, or we can choose it to be a learning experience and an opportunity for authenticity and greater depth of connection. All information comes to us as sensory stimuli … we then assign meaning to it to make it real. We are the deciders of our experience.