Wednesday, August 03, 2005

1 in 5 Has Herpes?

Disclaimer: This post is not meant to judge, point fingers, or humilate. It's intention is only to educate. At Posted Note our love is unconditional and we love you with or without sexually transmitted diseases.

Last night while watching reality tv and icing my elbows I decided to peruse a copy of "Details" magazine that had come to me by way of a free subscription. "Details" is similar to GQ in that it is a men's fashion magazine that deals with issues such as, "Why you are better off if your boss is a tyrant", "Is your new baby making you gay?", "Can the average guy wear diamonds", and "How pot went gourmet" - as you can see this magazine is marketed to engineers and rocket scientists.

I was flipping through the fluff when an article caught my eye. It was titled, "1 in 5 Has Herpes". Last time I checked the population of America was 296,660,730. That means that 60 million Americans are walking around with herpes. As I read the article some things popped out at me and so I decided to quote them here not for shock value but for educational purposes. In my 29 years no one has really ever described to me what genital herpes looked like or felt like and really I had no idea how what all it entailed.

This is an excerpt from page 69 of the August issue of Details,

"By the next morning, however, it felt like my [privates] had been dipped in kerosene and set on fire. In the bathroom I discovered several bubbling, crusting sores on my penis. "

The article goes into more detail about the problems with the herpes, but I had already read enough to know that this was not a pleasant disease.

I continued to read the article and was shocked to read this:

"Thankfully, if you have the H-bomb in your pants, there's no shortage of fellow sufferers willing to help you cope- or even copulate, if you'd like. From Istanbul to Bakersfield, millions of infectees are out of the closet and looking to party - through online dating services and support groups called H clubs, which arrange matches, set up cruises, or simply let memebers vent...

...The uprising of the once shunned Herpes Nation is admireable for its attempt to destigmatize the virus. But it's also kind of cynical triumph for Valtrex and its maker, GlaxoSmithKline... The message, according to health experts and commentators, is not just I'm okay, your okay. It's If I have it, it's no big deal if you get it too. 'I think the Herpes stigma is gone, ' says Adam Corolla, cohost of the syndicated radio call-in show Loveline. 'The commercials where the chicks are wakeboarding and kickboxing don't hurt herpes either. If you don't know what the commercials are for, you'd be like, 'Sign me up for this Shit'."

I read this and I read it again and thought, "Are these guys taking drugs?" Apparently, yes, they are taking Valtrex every day for the rest of their lives to combat a very painful disease. What is worse is that they are making light of a very serious condition.

If you read Posted Note often then you know that I only occasionally jump up on my soap box. Most of what I post here is intended to be funny and entertaining, but when I read this I couldn't help but feel sick to my stomach.

America has become such a backward society. The only time you are supposed to worry about the consequences is when you are in the fast food line. When it comes to sex, any type of sex, then you should be allowed to enjoy it consequences be damned. If you get pregnant, it is okay, just have an abortion. If you get a horrific disease, no problem, we have a 60 million others who will sympathize with you.

I don't want sympathy. I don't want people to put a happy face on my problems, I want to be informed and I want to know the consequences.


Ben said...

First of all... ew... glad I am married and can have as much married sex with all of the pleasures and none of the pain.

Secondly, You are SO right on Eddie... The US is a society filled with people who justify their actions by reasoning the consequences. We have become a society of no absolutes. It's all relative... and nothing is right or wrong. Consequences... whatever, there is a drug that will help me out. Herpes is not wrong... "EVERYONE" has it... no big deal.


9:05 AM  
jes said...

good post, eddo. i didn't know those statistics. perhaps you should get a subscription to that mag and frequently post the articles they have.

also, i wholeheartedly agree with ben's first paragraph. :)

10:39 AM  
Katie said...

Eddie I have started to read your blog fifteen times this morning and keep getting pulled away. But I am here to stay. The title peaked my interest.

10:51 AM  
steve said...

Right on Eddo! Sex is for marriage. the world is so bassackwards

11:28 AM  
Cookie723 said...

And for those of us that aren't married...yikes. I really can't get over how casual people are with not just 'sex' but their bodies...ewwww. To have any body part of mine burning like described in the article excerpt - ouch!
Thanks for your post, Eddo - whether you're insightful, humorous, or factoidfull - you're fabulous. :)

12:26 PM  
whaaaat! said...

Thanks for the comment on my blog. I was successful in getting at least one. :) I finally made it over to your blog, and this is the post I had to read. Ewww is right. Thanks for the info. though. So glad I am married too.

12:34 PM  
Katie said...

Eddie - preach it brother.

I can give the girl side of this after working for an OB/GYN. Human paplova virus is a sexually transmitted disease carried by men but with no effects on them. In women it cause cancer. Cancer that kills many of the women that get the virus. It is an STD, a preventable one and women are dying from this and men never know they are carriers.

Sex is safe within the confines of marriage, but without that trust and that security it is a dangerous thing.

12:46 PM  
Cav said...

Yikes - I had heard this before but the fact of the matter is just sad to me...

Dontcha think people who ask or tell if they had herpes to their partner...

anyway - clean as a whistle.

12:54 PM  
Joe & Julie said...

I agree w/some of the others that I am sooo glad I am married! It really is a shame that too many people really do try to justify their actions...whether by saying they don't care b/c 60 million others have it or what! People just don't honor their bodies as they rightfully should. However, I did get a small laugh out of the line "if you have the H-bomb in your pants" I'm sorry but it was funny!

1:25 PM  
Leann said...

I was shocked and appalled that there are actually groups out there. How dysfunctional is that??

1:35 PM  
Snik said...

As a former employee of Cummings & Assoc. OB/GYN, having had to look at many a bottom... Don't EVEN get me started! Don't EEEEEEVEN GET ME STARTED!!

2:41 PM  
Katie said...

Snik knows. I filed pictures she got it up close and in living color.

2:57 PM  
jes said...

i so would have gagged.

4:51 PM  
jes said...

let me clarify: i so would have gagged if i were nikki.

4:52 PM  
Saur?Kraut said...

Well, the statistics are misleading, I believe. There are genital AND oral herpes. Oral herpes are what we commonly call canker sores, which are very common. Or, did it say that 1 in 5 have GENITAL herpes? Either way, that's only 20 percent. I'm not one of them, thankfully. That being said, I knew someone who did have it. He didn't have to take meds all the time, but learned to recognize the symptoms of the beginnings of it and knew when to take the meds to prevent an outbreak. So it IS manageable. But there's no doubt it's a sexually transmitted disease...

6:31 PM  
Angelica said...

The way you word things. It is just too funny.
But that is something serious. People just don't seem to think about the consequences too much. I would rather be healthy all my life than to have privates that feel like they have been lit on fire.

7:14 PM  
Stephen said...

Like bacteria in a petri dish... consume, defecate, mutate, multiply, die.

Since I'm not having sex... *cough* I'm less worried about people with Herpes than I am with about the article titled, "How Pot Went Gourmet".

If Herpes infected people wanna screw themselves into oblivion and have a party doing it, who cares? The guy I'm looking out for is the stoned one about to run me over on the street.

12:10 AM  
Saur?Kraut said...

Stephen, good point. But I do think it's terribly sad to see how widespread these sorts of diseases are getting.

6:46 PM  
Anonymous said...

Please be careful about information you discover on the internet, particularly something as important as medical info. Check out, type in STD (sexually transmitted disease) to get accurate info. (By the way, genital warts are human papillomavirus, or HPV.) I ran into this website while doing some research for a paper. As a retired grandmother living with Herpes for 35 years, I was really disappointed at some of the mean-spirited and judgmental comments. Not everyone gets these things because of their behavior. I was married and didn't know the husband (now ex-) was messing around. Fortunately, my outbreaks are mild. So mild, in fact, that at first I wasn't even aware that I had it. (Most people don't have the horrifying symptoms mentioned in the magazine.) I was pregnant when the ex- left and, because he didn't tell me about the Herpes, I actually put my baby in danger by having a vaginal birth. I have known several other women who trusted the men they were with and ended up with similar - and worse -problems. So, I could be judgmental, too, and say all men are dicks, but I wouldn't do that. A little kind-heartedness and understanding goes a long way. Thanks. Deby

2:24 PM  
Mother's Against Internet Sexual Predators said...

Very good article and good that you posted it.
Our situation is different. My duaghter met a man (Brock Purviance) over the internet when she was 14 and he was 28. He is what is know as a "groomer". To make a long painful story short, he flew to our state, initated a sexual relationship with our daughter five days after her 15th birthday.
She tested postive to the HPV and the markers that cause cervical cancer. She will forever have to worry about developing cancer.
This man is still out as of this day at his music school. The denver school of music. in Arvada Colorado.
1. This is a real disease that affects even those that are victims.
2. Men can give it without adverse side affects
3. My daughters doctor said men are not even tested for this disease because it does not affect them.
4. They are working on a immunization that can be given in a couple of years to those who have never contracted the virus as part of childrens immunizations, and hopefully will wipe out cervical cancer to which 95% of all cervical cancers are related to HPV.
By the way Brock told me personaly even if he did give it to my daughter it is no big deal because 70% of the population has it... yah easy for him to say, it won't give him cancer.
Moral of this story....
Parents check your kids cell phone logs, see who they are talking to... check their e-mails and see who is in their contact list..
People be careful of each other, just because something does not affect you, does not mean it won't someone else.
Thank you for this chance to comment.

9:25 PM  
Anonymous said...

Your blog post here is such a glaring waste of time and space that I'm kicking my own ass for wasting mine on this comment. Herpes is not a "horrible disease" but one that can usually be easily managed. If the statistics for genital herpes freak people out then those for oral herpes should create mass chaos among everyone here since 80 percent of the world's population is said to carry Herpes simplex type 1. The two forms of the virus are virtually identical and either kind can be transferred to either area of the body. The majority of people who have herpes don't even know that they do, which is the largest contributing factor to the spread of both strains of the virus. Many people have no symptoms or have mild symptoms that they confuse for something else - "I couldn't get herpes, so it must be something else right?"

Everyone should have protected sex. People who have herpes should inform their partners that they do, in addition to using protection. Anyone who opposes medication which helps a medical condition due to prejudice and ignorance can stay holed up in their religious compound in Montana, in the interest of protecting civilization from your dumb ass. Get an education! Or maybe you should get a blood test first...

1:41 PM  
Your Pal Pete said...

Thank you anonymous!
The herpes virus that most commonly causes cold sores is now becoming one of the most common types of genital herpes as well-including myself. There are even cases of herpes among married couples who have never even been with anyone else(they got oral herpes as a child-like many people, then transmitted through oral sex. Also as many as 1 in 4 women have it (check the official CDC website)
Also I have done a lot of research on it and it's the stigma and ignorance on it that causes a lot more shame than pride. Educate yourself and use condoms for EVERYTHING if you want to totally avoid it.

7:03 AM  
Your Pal Pete said...

Also don't get your medical or social information from Details, a magazine with headlines like,"She's pregnant, should you take off?" and "We say it's OK to sleep with your teacher."

7:12 AM  

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