• Herpes, Stigma and Ella Dawson Posted by Admin

    herpes and stigma

    An individual always is emotionally bewildered after diagnosed of having sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). And consider himself being a whore or slut. Worsely, many of us feel people living with herpes virus have to be stigmatized. Ella Dawson, who is famous internet for genital herpes, is the representative person of being stigmatized with herpes in public.

    Genital herpes is a form of genital infection caused by the herpes simplex virus. Herpes is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) which can be contacted by through vaginal, anal, or oral sex with an infected person. Genital herpes, in most cases, is asymptomatic; as most people with genital herpes may have no symptoms. Sometimes, people with herpes might show mild symptoms that may not be identified as a sign of infection. The symptom of herpes includes painful lesions on the mouth or genitals.

    Today, genital herpes infections have raised strong emotional issues among people, which made victims a subject of stigmatization. According to a survey about relationship carried out in 2007, genital herpes is the second STD (after HIV) that is associated with high levels of social stigma. Herpes-related stigma comes in two forms: self stigma and enacted stigma. Self-stigma refers to individuals’ negative perception such as: feeling of shame, depression, embarrassment, self-blame, guilt about themselves, it has often been the reactions of many people with herpes infection in their first few weeks or months after diagnosis. Enacted stigma, on the other hand, includes discrimination, rejection, avoidance, disrespect of the infected people by others. The intense emotional stress created by the infection has frustrated people to disclose their statuses openly. When Ella Dawson twitted “I’m a slut, and I have herpes. I still am a person who deserves respect,” as part of her campaign to remove the “cultural stigma” surrounding sexually transmitted diseases; she receives accolades from many people, especially Hillary Clinton, who described her as being “brave and insightful”. So why should herpes infection generate such emotional disorder? Why should stigma be associated with the herpes virus? Stigma is an obstruction to the prevention and treatment of all forms of STDs, including genital herpes. In fact, it could lead to increase of the incidence of infection as victims refuse to notify partners of the exposure. Therefore, it is necessary to stop giving the victims bad names, as most of them are not bad as you may think. What is important is joining hands together in dealing with this scourge!

    For those people living with the virus, and thinking death is only options left, Do keep calm. Herpes do not kill you, but depression kills faster! You should be aware that about 67% of the world population has herpes virus and still living happy and healthy lives. Also, people with genital herpes or oral herpes go on to date, get married, stay married, and of course, have a plethora of sex! Knowing your herpes status and disclosing is as Ella does, is beginning of being confident of yourself and also taking it off your mind.

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