Last semester, I was sitting at work eating lunch and two coworkers, male and female, sat down with me. I’m involved in tumblr’s sprawling sexual health support community and track the tags for herpes and HPV, two of the most common and most misunderstood sexualized illnesses. At the time I was blown away by a text that focused on the study of chronic, non-fatal sexually transmitted infections (STIs) at a time when the majority of research on gender and STIs focused on the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the United States and abroad. I’m 6′ 3″. 1. They feel that jokes like this will never stop, and that they just need to learn to roll with it. While we agree that the discomfort of cold sores is (literally) a pain, we think the embarrassment that accompanies them is unwarranted and unhelpful.
Oh my god I didn’t know! How did he get it? There are a few home remedies that can help you through an episode, however. Rather than presenting simple factual information in an inclusive environment, it starts out by indicating that teen sex is Not Okay and proceeds from there — the goal often seems to be shaming teens who have sex and telling them that they’re doing something wrong. I suspect that this resident is a victim of sexual abuse because he has severe cerebral palsy and is confined to a wheelchair – he has minimal movement in his extremities. I doubt that he could have intercourse in his condition, so it made me feel so awful that he likely contracted this as a result of abuse and the staff continue to react this way. It’s so unprofessional.
Then I, of course, feel bad about myself because I have genital herpes, and they’re talking about this right in front of me. Potential alternative lifestyle options that the CDC chooses to discursively withhold from the readership of their genital herpes webpage lead the analytical eye to observe two things: 1) according to the CDC, the herpes population should not be sexually active, or only in restrictive ways and 2) that transmission should be avoided at all costs. Ok ok so long story short, in December I decided to get a tattoo that was specifically a mark of my herpes. Privacy is assured. These strategies have worked before and they will work again but only if the herpes community unites, stands up and demand that our voices be heard. We still don’t get tested frequently.