There are several factually incorrect ideas about herpes constantly making rounds. The most outrageous include people with herpes cannot have sex, or children and that only sexually promiscuous people are infected with the virus.
According to CDC, 47.8% of the U.S population has HSV-1 (oral herpes) while 11.9% have HSV-2 (genital herpes). This means that 1 in 6 people living in the United States have herpes.
The negative associations with the infection have led to a far-reaching stigma which only hinders treatment and prevention.
This post discusses the consequences of stereotyping people with herpes, treating them differently, and encouraging silence regarding the subject. It also highlights how to move forward.
Impact of Herpes’ Stigma
Physical and mental stress is a common trigger for a herpes outbreak as well as for a recurrence. The stigma harms the victim because it could actually increase stress levels and reactivate the herpes virus, leading to higher frequency of outbreaks.
An individual’s mental health can also be affected when they feel blamed for acquiring a sexually transmitted infection. Unproductive effects like negative emotional responses, feelings of inferiority, and anxiety may be expected.
Ease of Disclosure
There is also an impact of encouraging stigma on the society. As fewer people openly talk about the issue and attend educational programs on prevention and treatment, the rate of transmission could increase.
This is because infected people find it more difficult to disclose their infection to their sexual partners, possibly transmitting the infection to others.
It’s Time For Change
The consequences of herpes stigma are both severe and easily avoided. If everyone acknowledged the prevalence of HSV-1 and HSV-2—which is almost up to two-thirds of the global population—the stigma could easily be eradicated.
It becomes a lot easier to accept a disease in yourself and others when you understand that many people you know and love have probably acquired it too.
It’s important to remember that herpes is a common, non-life-threatening STI and you are definitely not alone. You can decrease the risk of infection by up to 30% by taking preventative measures.
The Underground Cure offers effective natural supplements aimed to provide a lasting alternative treatment for genital herpes and oral herpes.
Reach out to us today to learn more.