Sexual Health » STIs / STDs; Relationships » In General; Society » Culture: "Knock Knock. Who’s There? Herpes."

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Knock Knock. Who’s There? Herpes.
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At 21, I was diagnosed with an STD. Though I have happily found someone who accepts me and doesn't judge me for my past, society still says it's OK to make jokes about diseases that are killing people. You wouldn't make a joke about cancer, so why is it OK to joke about syphilis?


Contributor: Cas A Nova

Thank you for sharing something so personal. I don't (believe) I have an STD, but I still test regularly when I have new lovers in my bed and I definitely believe in an open sexual dialogue.

I am so happy for you for finding people who accept you and don't shun you because of this. I wish that for everyone.

This article is very informative too, I had no idea a cold sore on the mouth could become herpes on your genitals. I will have to keep that in mind in the future.

thank you again for writing this informative and personal article.

Contributor: PeaceToTheMiddleEast

Thank you for the very informative article. I am glad that people accept you for you and not some std. These things are a real eye opener and no one should be contracting jokes about it. Just shows you how ignorant some people are.

Contributor: Zombirella

I am sorry that happened to you. I'm glad that I read your article, my fiance and I have been very lucky! He had a cold sore on his and we had NO idea that he could give it to me down there. We saw conflicting things online and just....risked it. From now on, never again! Thank you for sharing your knowledge. I got a cold sore every now and then as a kid, but should I get one again, I'll stay away from his genitals!

Contributor: Ansley

I think people joke about it because the humor makes light of a very difficult subject. For anyone who has been diagnosed with an STD it's pretty common place to feel ashamed or made to feel as if one should be ashamed, but in reality most people react quite positively when faced with a partner who has HPV or herpes. So long as the person with the STD can explain in a calm and rational way the precautions needed to avoid infecting their partner...I think it's all in the delivery.

I think it's fearing the unknown and hearing the exaggerated stories that make people quick to joke about it but I also feel that most people would drink a big cup of shut the fuck up if they were ever told by someone they love that they are in fact infected with a viral STD. When it hits closer to home and the reality sinks in that this person may have an STD but it doesn't even remotely say anything about their behavior, the person doing the joking suddenly finds it isn't quite so funny anymore.

Contributor: Trysexual

Thanks for sharing and being honest. I can totally relate to your story.

Contributor: Femme Mystique

Thanks everyone for your thoughtful comments!

Contributor: MrsHouseWife

Thanks for the great article. My husband and I are both susceptible to cold sores and we are always every careful with other selves and each other and hold off on that kind of contact until is is completely clear. As some that that has suffered from cold sores since childhood, I was aware about the chance so infecting someone else and I am sad to see how many people aren't. Thank you for sharing and I admire your strength.

Contributor: ImaGodiva

I also contracted this, 7 or 8 years after my husband and I were married. I had no idea you could get it this way, and don't remember anyone having a cold sore, but I do get them in my mouth sometimes so I assume that's how I got it. There needs to be more information out there so people understand it is a risk. Thank you for your article!

Contributor: symbol

It's always struck me as somewhat odd that cold sores on the mouth are seen as no big deal and yet cold sores on the genitals are seen as a dirty abhorrent thing. They're both a form of the herpes virus and yet, if the outbreak occurs on your face, it's just a normal thing and no one cares.

Also, for those commenting that they will no longer perform oral sex on their partners while they have visible sores... As far as I know, it's still possible to transmit the virus even if you are asymptomatic (have no visible sores or symptoms). To be sure, transmission is more likely when sores are present, but is not impossible even when they are absent. Just something to be aware of.

Contributor: Lisset Finnien

Up to 80% of the population has oral herpes. Many get it in childhood. One way is by being kissed by an older relative who has a cold sore. Another is contracting it from that “kissed” child. Most people will never know that they have it due to they will simply never have an outbreak. Then there’s the asymptomatic people, mostly man, who pass it on never realizing that they have it. They have no symptoms and no outbreaks. They can pass it on for 50 years of having unprotected sex. How many women will contract it from this one man? Or woman in rarer cases? And condoms are NOT 100% effective!!! Please keep in mind that if you by chance ask your physician to check you for “ everything,” that herpes may not be on the “everything list.” They check for gonarrea, clamydia, ( not spelt right?) syphallis and aids. For some g—d stupid reason, herpes isn’t on this list. So ask and make sure it’s included in your testing! You can have it for 30 years and never know it because you have never had an outbreak. It simply sits in its little cozy nerve, top of the spine for oral and base of spine for genital and anal. Many things can after so many years cause you to have your first outbreak. Surgery, stress, illness, even sun bathing can cause outbreaks. It spreads in its own unique little way. You can have a partner for years and not spread it to them. Or you could spread it your first Intimate time. I can go on and on. It’s a subject that one really needs to do their own detailed research on. Thank you FemmeMystique for the informative article. More people need to come forward and talk about this taboo subject.