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COVID and Herpes stigma


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Hey everyone,

I haven’t posted on here in quite a while but for those of you who are new to their diagnosis I would highly recommend posting, reading and reaching out to other people on here. It massively helped me.

I’m posting today because I’ve been thinking a lot about how the current COVID crisis might affect people’s willingness to be open to herpes. There is a lot of fear right now around this “virus” and while I obviously can’t date or look for casual situations currently, I’m worried that when things do get better people will have an even more heightened fear about herpes. 
 

Does anyone have any thoughts on this? 

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On one of the news shows I was watching one night one of the hosts was talking about how young people aren’t afraid of COVID and still partying in crowds...he said “maybe we should just tell them it’s an STD...let’s tell them it’s herpes...then they’ll all hide in their houses.”

yeaaaa. Very funny 🙄

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I would think it would do just the opposite since it certainly puts herpes in perspective when compared to Covid. Herpes doesn’t result in hospitalization and has minimal impact on overall health (it certainly won’t kill you). And it’s much less likely to transmit herpes than Covid (skin to skin friction vs simply breathing). Just think of tacking onto the end of your disclosures "... but hey, it sure as hell ain't Covid!" 😉 

  • Haha 1
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@mr_hopp I love the one liner at the end! I will be trying that out when this is all over! 

I guess for me the trepidation lies in my belief that herpes is still so stigmatize. I have mostly accepted what you said above as fact, “herpes is a simple skin condition and far less significant than something like COVID” (I only put mostly because I still have my good day’s and bad).  But forced to make an immediate choice of battling COVID or risking getting herpes my guess is many many people would take the COVID. 

I am of course guessing and generalizing which I shouldn’t do. I also know from my work with you that how I feel about my herpes and how I present it plays a huge part in the comfort level of the person I am disclosing to.

There is always work to be done on this path post diagnosis. I know i still have some work to do in my own destigmatization of this virus 

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9 hours ago, annalove said:

@mr_hopp I love the one liner at the end! I will be trying that out when this is all over! 

I guess for me the trepidation lies in my belief that herpes is still so stigmatize. I have mostly accepted what you said above as fact, “herpes is a simple skin condition and far less significant than something like COVID” (I only put mostly because I still have my good day’s and bad).  But forced to make an immediate choice of battling COVID or risking getting herpes my guess is many many people would take the COVID. 

I am of course guessing and generalizing which I shouldn’t do. I also know from my work with you that how I feel about my herpes and how I present it plays a huge part in the comfort level of the person I am disclosing to.

There is always work to be done on this path post diagnosis. I know i still have some work to do in my own destigmatization of this virus 

I agree with you. I believe some people would choose contracting Covid over herpes because of ignorance. The media contributes to the high stigmatization of HSV. I was speaking to a friend who is unaware of my diagnosis. She said  she would commit suicide if she contracted herpes. However , if it was covid she would strengthen her immune system.  

I am not sure if the world is considering other forms of virus muchless to highlight that they can be easily be contracted like Covid. The media has not shed any light on other forms of virus in a positive light and I doubt they ever will. It's only us with herpes hoping that the recent Covid situation will lessen stigmatization.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Herpes is no fun but you won't die from it - gasping for your last breath - as you might with COVID-19.

As far as the stigma goes, education is our best weapon to eliminate it.  And I think I'm going to try to call people out (gulp) when they make ignorant cracks about herpes.  Of course, I'll do it in a polite, courteous educational manner, but we cannot just let these comments slide - if we do, we are perpetuating the stigma.

 

Okay off my soapbox now. Glad I found this group. It has made the last 6 months so much more bearable. Thanks.

 

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