The stigma of herpes can be worse than the virus itself
“I think I have herpes.” All of the sudden, a Hazmat team rushes in with full bio-hazard suits and gas masks, they gas the evil herpes offender, then swiftly drag her out of the house (see “live and love: let’s talk about HSV” video below) … It’s actually humorous when put into this kind of a context, but isn’t this how most people feel when they first get herpes? At first, there’s an overwhelming feeling of being contagious and dirty … a sneaky suspicion that quarantine may be necessary for the sake of saving the future of humanity. We need to start getting real with our priorities. The harsh stigma of genital herpes grossly misrepresents herpes itself.
There are two sides to the genital herpes coin. On one side is the fact that herpes is not a big deal from a physical perspective (for most it’s simply the occasional discomfort for a few days). But shouting “no big deal” from the rooftops might spread herpes more, so the other side to the coin is exaggerating the stigma to keep everyone else herpes-free. Basically, the stigma serves to terrify the non-herpes population sufficiently to avoid it, but intensifies the outcast feeling for those who have it. Can’t we simply say something like “Everyone, try not to get herpes, but if you do, then it’s simple to live with”? This brings the conversation down to the level where it should be.
But really all this stuff doesn’t matter. What it really comes down to is how you interpret it.
So with this in mind, how do you talk to yourself about herpes? Which side do you fall on? The side that tells you that it’s easily manageable or the side that intensifies your own pain and suffering? That choice is huge. But it’s ultimately yours to make. Which perspective serves you in your life? If you start relating to herpes from the point of view that it’s not life-altering, then — surprise! — it won’t be.
Here’s the video:
This video is one of many that the Australian government is backing to get increased awareness out about HSV in general, both oral herpes and genital herpes. It’s a great campaign and only shows that there’s only a matter of time before the stigma is rightly taken away. http://www.liveandlove.com.au
This entry was posted by Adrial on December 28, 2010 at 11:06 am, and is filed under herpes in our mind. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.