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Now18

Punished by other people's ignorance

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Now18

Sometimes, I find it hard to judge people who don't disclose their status. (Even though I plan on always doing it myself). The chances of you passing it on knowing that you're not having an OB and if you're on anti-virals or using a condom are so slim for a one night stand... I really don't think it's any worse than having unprotected sex with someone if you've never been tested, that's much more potentially reckless to someone's health IMO.

Yet most people would call the person in the first situation immoral, and most people don't view the person in the second situation as being anything other than ignorant. Why is ignorance so excusable? So few people in this country are educated about herpes. Why are only the educated/aware people expected to take on the responsibility regarding their partner's health?

Also if 90% of GHSV positive people are unaware of their status... then only ~2.5% of the U.S. population have herpes and are aware of it. This percentage, which most of us on this forum fall in, have to deal with a stigma- which exists in many ways due to the misconception that herpes is a rare disease. If everyone who was positive knew their status, than I bet the stigma would be reduced significantly. Probably to that of cold-sores. So again, we are being burdened by our awareness.

This fundamentally bothers me. I think from now on I'm going to try my hardest to refuse to care what uneducated people think about herpes. Every time it starts to bother me, I'm going to pinch myself or something. I don't want to be an educated person who gives into a stigma created by other people's ignorance. I full well know that with my infrequent OBS with minor symptoms, that herpes doesn't significantly affect me. I'm proud of myself for being responsible and health conscious, and if I get more rejection in the dating world because of that- then so be it.

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jericho

I know educated, intelligent people who refuse to get tested for herpes, despite having numerous partners. They don't have any obvious symptoms, so they figure it's better to assume you don't have it than get tested and maybe find out you do.

Because herpes is usually mild and non-progressive, it is the rare disease where you can make the argument that you are better off not knowing you have it. This is also the medical community's stance on both oral and genital herpes.

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Guest Seatortuga

Right On! I'm tired of other people's ignorance resting on my shoulders. I am one of those people that never had symptoms,but yet would be screened once yearly for everything. I still have had no symptoms, but a positive test. I'd rather know,though, and I don't feel guilty or ashamed of being responsible for mine-and everyone else's- sexual health.

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gotitsowhat

Bravo!

...I think from now on I'm going to try my hardest to refuse to care what uneducated people think about herpes. Every time it starts to bother me, I'm going to pinch myself or something. I don't want to be an educated person who gives into a stigma created by other people's ignorance. I full well know that with my infrequent OBS with minor symptoms, that herpes doesn't significantly affect me. I'm proud of myself for being responsible and health conscious, and if I get more rejection in the dating world because of that- then so be it.

I love your attitude. I have become very angry at the herpes social stigma. People certainly have a right to turn down sex with someone they know to be herpes infected but they have no right to treat herpes infected people with scorn. They have no right to feel superior to us, the unlucky infected people who know they are infected. They have no right to ridicule us for catching a common virus. I do not accept this. That is why I have had tee shirts made that have something about herpes on them--so I can give the social stigma the finger in public.

If more of us are willing to take this attitude, we can erase the stigma. It is hard to speak up about having herpes. I know I am afraid to at work because I promised a friend/co-worker that I wouldn't--she is afraid she would have to defend me from ugly talk. But in my own private life, I am very open about it and all of my friends now know I have genital herpes.

It seems so unfair that this virus gets passed around like crazy and then after dozens of people have had it, it gets passed to someone who has symptoms and who then gets tested and diagnosed. And then THAT person has to bear the social scorn and alienation of the stigma, inflicted on him or her by others who have it but do not know it. It's like an evil game of musical chairs. I hate it.

I have had to suffer a fair amount of social stigmas in my life (I've posted about this) and this herpes crap is just one more stupid thing. As I see it, a convicted child molester deserves to be the butt of a social stigma, or someone who sells their country's secrets to the enemy in war time. But someone who has caught a common, medically minor, virus? Pul--eeezz!

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LoyalPaw

Good job

I agree completely.

HSV is the kind of thing everyone can be affected by, but the fact that someone knows they have it seems to be the curse that brings upon the wrath of society.

When I think of this, sometimes I visualize a crowd of people, many of them with herpes, but only one of them is aware. When that persons status is revealed, they are abandoned and ridiculed by the group. Deep down, they all hope to their highest power they don't have it, and are as equally afraid.

..and of course some people are just totally oblivious, or selectivley ignorant.

So forget them, you have the upper hand, knowing that you have HSV, and can protect those around. Furthermore, if you happen to come across it in the future, it may be less likely to affect you.

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Lookonthesunnyside

I've been thinking the same thing. As time goes on I find it more and more unfair that every person who is actually aware of their status has to be a fucking nun and have relationship-only sex or be judged by others who also know their status. Its so ridiculous. People who are having one-night stands are taking the risk anyways, and the majority of people spreading herpes are the people who dont know they have it. We are not actually a huge threat against other people yet we're treated like the largest threat out there and are expected to behave accordingly.

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chooseyourbattles

People are far too moralistic when it comes to genital herpes. I don't think it's wrong not to tell casual partners when you know you have herpes. I don't think it's wrong to refuse to be tested for herpes. However, I do think it's wrong not to tell long-term partners, when there is an assumption of trust, and I also think it's wrong to judge people with herpes, especially if you haven't been tested.

This topic is bloated and overused. Whenever I hear these arguments, I am reminded about how I, the idiot asymptomatic who got tested at someone else's request, am being punished for my responsibility because I don't feel comfortable withholding my status. So I'm just going to jump off this one now, and let others argue for me about the logistics of right and wrong.

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foxyloxy25

Great thread, I agree with everyone.

I find it especially irritating because I have genital hsv-1 and I know so many people walking around with cold sores who would still shun me for having genital herpes, and none of them carry this burden of moral responsibility people with genital herpes are supposed to take on.

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