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Where does the stigma come from??


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And hello again!!

This is just a general question. At the moment, for the purpose of my book that I am writing on herpes I am trying to find as much information as I can as to how the stigma of herpes has arisen. Of course I have my own theories but I would love to know what everyones thoughts are on it.

Also, I'm sure this virus has been around a lot longer than the last few decades: does anyone know how I could find out what it was called in olden times or did they just call everything barr syphillis and gonorhea venereal disease. During the war years I'm sure there were military related issues with it also, maybe if any of you have served in the military you might have some ideas as well. I would like to go back and build a kind of time line in relation to herpes and the general attitude that has developed with it.

Please throw all your thoughts at me, a lot of you have been dealing with herpes a lot longer than I have (five years) and I would love to know how you were treated (and felt), say, twenty odd years ago.

Tell me everything you know and I'll do the digging, research and verifying and let you know what I find.



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  • 2 weeks later...

I don't know if this will help but i used to hear that back in the day when STD's weren't as prevolent in the US, the majority of Americans who had STD's were sailors who had been somewhere else and gotten it from an exotic place. We all know the reputations of sailors: they go from port to port sleeping with any woman willing. These women were considered whores, and thus they contracted the virus(es) from the sailors. Everyone KNEW that if they had a disease it was from a sailor, so they were branded as dirty. And the same concept has kept throughout the years. Men who have it just "made a mistake while sewing their wild oats" but women were "easy, dirty whores who gave themselves to anyone."

Kinda burns ya huh? I hate this stigma. Nowadays, it's the girls who didn't DEMAND that their lover use a condom, thus they're STUPID and stupid women are always whores right? Wrong.

I hope in your book you mention that people can get herpes even through a condom(!) That's how yours truly got it.

Work it out with the book thing, do you have a publisher yet? love to read the manuscript if possible.

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history of herpes

Christi...the word herpes is derived from a greek term meaning the creeping...so herpes has been around for a long time...research ...history of herpes, and greek definition herpes...www.racoon.com/herpes and www.plannedparenthood.org/sti-safesexherpes.htm ...or just type herpes into search....good luck with your book...GREAT positive action to deal and to help others!!! goodgirl

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Thanks to the both of you!

I haven't got a formal manuscript yet but once I do or once if excerpts that are ready for viewing I will definately share them with you as this is a book for us all! I am so blessed to have found this site and I am determined that as this is a book for everyone, who better to review, edit and constructively criticise it's contents then the members of this forum!

Thanks goodgirl for the links to that site I will definately check it out. Out of all the available research material out there trying to build a 'time line' of the 'history' of herpes and the growth of the stigma that has been born from it, finding herpes specific information such as: what was the common slang or nickname used for it, how it was viewed as opposed to other venereal diseases of the times etc has been the most difficult.

I haven't found a publisher yet but then I haven't really been looking for one until I have reached an 'editable' stage. I haven't decided exactly how I want to market this book. What I do know is that I want to make it accessible in a way that people aren't 'afraid' to be seen purchasing it, having it sitting on their bookshelf once they do have it etc. I definately want it to be available online, via mail order, advertised in magazines etc. I want to get it out there! Any ideas you have will be appreciated. (also there is just the little problem with cost....I am a humble office worker so contracting a publisher is probably the only way to do it.....anyone out there know a good one??).

P.S. Being the passionate person I am, I am almost considering 'coming out' and putting a nice big picture of my face on the back cover! (I feel like outing myself as a demonstration that the stigma doesn't have to make us hide our identities away (now you think I'm nuts!) Don't know whether that's a wise idea though as I don't want people sueing just because they know me and don't want to be associated with the stigma via indirect association with the author!!!! Groan, there are soooo many things to be considered! :shock:

Talk soon,


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book in the works

Christi...I think it's awesome that you are channeling your energy in such a positive way!!! I was shocked to find out this virus has been around since ancient greek and roman times...dosen't seem like we've made alot of progress in the "stigma" area...but it's people like you who will make a difference with that... goodgirl

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