In a recent poll about relationships, genital herpes was ranked the second highest social stigma—HIV came in first—ahead of gonorrhea, mental illness, obesity, substance abuse, and cancer. Of the 2000 people surveyed, 503 were adults with genital herpes. That actually makes sense because, according to the CDC, one in five adults have had a genital herpes outbreak. And the stats are even higher for women (approximately one in four). In fact, two of five Jezebels has the herp. So why all the shame? Given that herpes is so common, that it can be contracted while wearing a condom, and that outbreaks are for the most part, few and far between (and for some of us, never recur), we're admittedly offended that people are, well, offended by our infection that is comparatively so fucking benign.
We took note of those rude comments some of y'all made in that Jessica Alba/Derek Jeter herpes post from last week. The whole point of that post, for us, was to be like, "Stars! They're just like us!" Sure, our Valtrex prescription isn't something we'd hang up on the fridge with pride, but we're not gonna be made to feel bad about it anymore either.
Genital Herpes: Stigma Still Strong [CBS]
Earlier: Did Derek Jeter Gave Poor Jessica Alba Herpes?