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A compliment buried in a herpes insult?

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I absolutely love the new show The Mindy Project and guess what happened tonight. Yup, you guessed it, a herpes joke. She's talking to a group of teenage girls and up comes the whole, you know what lasts forever question. Herpes lasts forever. She talks about it being gross and disgusting, then goes on to tell them to google image it. Then she says that it's one of the better ones. So what would the general population take away from that exchange? My bet is they'll remember the gross and disgusting comments and not the "it's one of the better ones" comment. That was a real opportunity for a, what I think is a pretty hip, show to have a positive message and I'm really kind of bummed they didn't take the chance to educate. Is "it's one if the better ones" a positive spot in the midst of all that negativity? Or is it just another thing that contributes to stigma? I'm not sure which way to take that...

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I think if I were someone who was H negative, the comment "it's one of the better ones" would have completely gone over my head. I would've heard that it's "gross" and "disgusting" and would've probably thought: wow that's gross, glad I don't have that. I think if it had been a joke about HIV/AIDS and they were making jokes about how negative it was, there would be HIV/AIDS groups and organizations backlashing the show and I could very well see there being a big deal being made about the show's insensitivity. Now granted, herpes and HIV are obviously completely different things. But why does that make it OK to make fun of herpes and reassure the negative stigma? To reassure the negative stigma that people with STDs are "gross" and "dirty"? It's frustrating to say the least.

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ugh! I love the Mindy Project, so this breaks my heart a little :(


I really wish there was a way to write the people behind these shows and movies that make fun of herpes and tell them that they're only contributing to the stigma...


Harlow, I think you're totally right about what would happen if jokes about HIV/AIDS were being made. Unfortunately, if herpes organizations jumped on these issues, they'd become a laughing stock. It's ridiculous really.

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I used to watch this show too and I was really irritated by that! I'm considering somehow maybe informing the network that this is really quite offensive. Writing seems like a pain and might not get any notice. Maybe posting something on their facebook page? It's really surprising how often corporations will respond to complaints posted on a facebook page, sometimes it gets a lot of notice.

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  • 1 month later...

I'm amazed how many times there are jokes made about H. Don't they realize how many people have it? I was watching a Dane Cook stand up and he mentioned the statistics, which I have to say was kinda funny. One of the only times I've been able to laugh about it. Because really, when you read that 1 in 4 or 1 in 5 people have it and TV shows continually make jabs at people with H, it makes me want to scream!

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  • 2 months later...

It is also important to realize that with those statistics some of the actors on the show, writers, etc probably have H. Heck! The Mindy chick might have it. They are really the ones who suffer in silence because they probably feel that speaking out would disclose their situation.

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I watched that!! This is one of my favorite shows so I was hurt too...Same thing with Pitch Perfect, I loved the movie until the herpes joke came out. It's just really sad that they have to poke fun at something that has such a negative stigma attached to it that sooo many people suffer from.


You'd think that with it being in the media as such as "joke" so often people would either 1) learn to get tested for it or 2)think of it as not a big deal at all. But it seems like those are unlikely to ever happen...

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