Hey everyone! I’ve shared this information with my dearest friends and I don’t have a problem discussing it in person, (although I do tend to change the tone of my voice when I say it, herpes, like a whisper), but telling the world at large is a bigger deal. Worse, I row with my boyfriend about it because I feel like he wants to deny he gave it to me or that I even have it. The location of the shingles reference being on the butt added a bit of humor and pointed out how herpes works in the body. There are two sides to the genital herpes coin. When someone is diagnosed with an STD and lets people know about it, there is often a strong negative reaction. They may find that people think of them as dirty or slutty.
More than half of people in the same age range had herpes simplex virus type 1, most commonly associated with cold sores. People fear that having HSV will affect their current or future relationships. Why? Type 1 herpes outbreaks usually manifest themselves as a group of blisters around the mouth. Facebook commenters make a hobby out of questioning my humanity, and strangers send me emails informing me they’d like to fuck the shit out of me. . The poll also showed that people with herpes are not comfortable talking about the matter with their partners.
After all, concerns about stigma and rejection are a major reason why people don’t disclose herpes infections to their partners. It makes many people decide they’d rather not know their status/ Therefore people often spend years spreading diseases before they experience any serious personal consequences,. They think that if they don’t know, then they don’t have to lie about it or risk rejection. When we finally did have sex, he still had some questions, but we used protection, and all was good. As well, some kinds of illness are impacted by hygiene: in a real way, by how clean we, parts of our bodies or things we take into our bodies have or have not been, in the free-of-bacteria sense. Having an STD says nothing about your sexual history except that you, probably, didn’t reliably practice safer sex. STDs are incredibly common.
Some, like HPV, infect more than half the sexually active population. Many of the people shaming people with STD stigma probably have an STD themselves. Disclosing his status to future partners was the scariest part. For example, herpes stigma can be bad enough to leave people feeling suicidal after a new diagnosis. In my opinion, the only real cure for STD stigma is better sex education. Though the virus is more contagious when you have a cold sore outbreak, you can infect other people even when you have no outward symptoms. While I went quiet online, women I had mentored were attacked and stalked.
Then, maybe, we can start working on making screening more common. After all, one of the worst parts of STD stigma is that doctors can suffer from it too. Sometimes that makes it hard to get tested, even if you don’t suffer from STD stigma yourself.