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Does Herpes change your value?

Rich Mancuso  |  Feb 19 2020

Does Herpes change your value?

Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without.

Confucius

The value of a person, place, or thing can often be summed up as asking what is its relative worth, or importance? Whether it is of monetary value or emotional value, we often ask these questions unconsciously or sometimes judge outright, in a most prejudice fashion.

It should go without saying that when a person is first diagnosed with herpes, their emotions can fluctuate greatly depending on their family situation, personal relationships, socioeconomic status, or even one's understanding of the herpes virus. This also has a significant impact on the damaging emotions we place upon ourselves. It is sometimes true that we are our own worst enemy.

You can be damn sure that people who have been diagnosed are very much aware of their condition. They have pondered the who, what, where, and why millions of times. We all live under the same sky, but the most significant object of insecurity that hangs over one's head is the dreaded cloud of disclosure and the possibility of rejection. 

When we look at the population of people with herpes, {1} it seems kinda silly that so much worry and thought is crammed into the subject. Almost everyone has it, but regardless of how some would say it's foolish to waste all this energy since nearly everyone has herpes, many are very adamant that it's not silly at all. As a matter of fact, it may even draw up some pent up anger and resentment towards any lackadaisical attitude towards it. It's not so crazy to admit that this so-called relationship with herpes can easily be summed up by saying the words "it's complicated." 

When a person puts all this energy into herpes, it can be challenging to see other essential factors that can affect us directly. While we worry about rejection and may, in fact, meet that someone special, we may still be overrun with the worry and stress of passing on the virus to this new partner. 

In a perfect world or best-case scenario, we have disclosed to someone we like and were accepted. We spoke about our test results, but often many can easily forget one of the most important things, and this has much to do with us more than them. 

What about their test results? 

  •  Were they ever tested? 
  •  In the last year? The previous six months?
  •  If they were tested, what test was it?
  •  Did they say, "yeah, I was tested, but I'm clean." 
  •  Did they show you their test? Or just talk about it? 
  •  Did you physically see the test results? 

Because I have to tell you, if you didn't physically see a person's results, the test never happened.

We tend to be so focused on finding someone so intensely that we can forget a fundamental fact. Our own personal value. Just because you have herpes, this does not lower your value as a person, a potential date, or as a human...ever. You should never lose sight of this, and if your new prospective partner is not willing to get tested or show you their test results, what would make you think that they value YOUR health.

Remember, you are just as important and have value, regardless of having herpes or one of thousands of other bacteria and viruses. Having the herpes virus does not change that. 

References:

{1} https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0140765#sec007

Genital herpes infection is common in the United States. CDC estimates that, annually, 776,000 people in the United States get new genital herpes infections. {1}
Nationwide, 11.9 % of persons aged 14 to 49 years have HSV-2 infection (12.1% when adjusted for age).{2}
However, the prevalence of genital herpes infection is  higher than that because an increasing number of genital herpes infections are caused by HSV-1. {3}
Oral HSV-1 infection is typically acquired in childhood; because the prevalence of oral HSV-1 infection has declined in recent decades, people may have become more susceptible to contracting a genital herpes infection from HSV-1. {4}

  1. Satterwhite CL, Torrone E, Meites E, et al. Sexually transmitted infections among US women and men: prevalence and incidence estimates, 2008. Sex Transm Dis, 2013. 40(30):187-93
  2. McQuillan G, Kruszon-Moran D, Flagg EW, Paulose-Ram R. Prevalence of herpes simplex virus type 1 and type 2 in persons aged 14–49: United States, 2015–2016. NCHS Data Brief, no 304. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2018
  3. Xu F, Sternberg MR, Kottiri BJ, et al. Trends in herpes simplex virus type 1 and type 2 seroprevalence in the United States. JAMA, 2006. 296(8): 964–73.
  4. Bradley H, Markowitz L, Gibson T, et al. Seroprevalence of herpes simplex virus types 1 and 2—United States, 1999–2010. J Infect Dis, 2014. 209(3):325-33.

https://www.cdc.gov/std/herpes/stdfact-herpes-detailed.html

Herpes simplex virus (HSV) infection is one of the most common viral sexually transmitted diseases worldwide. The first time infection of the mother may lead to severe illness in pregnancy and may be associated with virus transmission from mother to fetus/newborn. Since the incidence of this sexually transmitted infection continues to rise and because the greatest incidence of herpes simplex virus infections occur in women of reproductive age, the risk of maternal transmission of the virus to the fetus or neonate has become a major health concern. On these purposes the Authors of this review looked for the medical literature and pertinent publications to define the status of art regarding the epidemiology, the diagnosis, the therapy and the prevention of HSV in pregnant women and neonate. Special emphasis is placed upon the importance of genital herpes simplex virus infection in pregnancy and on the its prevention to avoid neonatal HSV infections.

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/230584598_Herpes_simplex_virus_infection_in_pregnancy_and_in_neonate_status_of_art_of_epidemiology_diagnosis_therapy_and_prevention

How many people have herpes? Even though numbers can fluctuate from year to year; depending on many factors, these numbers are still pretty staggering. The prevalence of HSV type one is almost more than 80% of the worlds population. Almost everyone has herpes. 

https://www.webmd.com/genital-herpes/news/20081001/half-a-billion-have-genital-herpes

Genital herpes infection is common in the United States. CDC estimates that, annually, 776,000 people in the United States get new genital herpes infections

That's over 2000 a day in the United States alone. https://www.cdc.gov/std/herpes/stdfact-herpes-detailed.htm#ref1

Satterwhite CL, Torrone E, Meites E, et al. Sexually transmitted infections among US women and men: prevalence and incidence estimates, 2008. Sex Transm Dis, 2013. 40(30):187-93


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