This very realistic and hilariously short video, Blessing in Disguise, highlights how stigmatized herpes (particularly HSV-II, or genital herpes) is in our culture. A close friend of mine loves to tell the story about his good friend from Europe who was once asked if she had herpes by an American man. Her response: “Are you seriously asking me this, everyone has herpes. Even my Grandmother has herpes! Why are you Americans so uptight?” (In her French accent).
Often times, for people with herpes, the worst part about this STD is telling your potential new partner about it. There is fear about what they might think of you – are you a playboy, or a slut, unsafe, dirty, crazy? Will they still want to be with you the same way they wanted you before? As the short video so clearly shows, the stigma and fear of contraction will discourage some people from great experiences and relationships while others will stay in relationships that are not right for them.
For all my friends out there with herpes, as Betty Dodson says, “We felt sorry for anyone who never had herpes because it meant they weren’t having much sex.” Read more about just how common genital herpes is in Nikita’s post as well as on our herpes page.