Peckham has had genital herpes for six years now and got it from an ex-girlfriend who didn’t know she had it.
He hasn’t been in a relationship with any girls since his diagnosis, though he’s been rejected by a few girls who asked to be friends after hearing about his condition.
A genital herpes outbreak during the third trimester of pregnancy and during delivery may be deadly for the baby if he or she contracts it from the mother (neonatal herpes, it’s called), but it’s incredibly rare (one per 3,000 to 20,000 live births) and preventable with medication and a C-section, according to an article published in .
Genital herpes is contracted during sexual contact, usually spread through fluids on the genitals or mouth.
Herpes is the “largest epidemic no one wants to talk about,” Eric Sabo wrote in the New York Times.
Both Project Accept and HSV Singles Dating blame an antiviral drug marketing campaign during the late 1970s to mid-1980s for herpes’ stigma.
Instead, what keeps this 27-year-old from approaching the cute girl across the room is a set of hypotheticals that most people don’t deal with.“My mind runs ahead to ‘the disclosure talk’ and then all the way down to, ‘What if we have sex and what if I give it to her?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about one out of six people in the United States aged 14 to 49 have genital herpes caused by the HSV-2 infection (the herpes simplex virus often responsible for genital herpes).You can even get it if the other person doesn’t have symptoms, since the virus sheds about 10 percent of the time for asymptomatic HSV-2 infections, according to a 2011 study published in the Herpes has a unique stigma among sexually transmitted diseases.HIV/AIDS is stigmatized, but few laugh at people who have it because it’s a serious illness.The overall genital herpes statistic is probably higher, the CDC stated, since many people are also contracting genital herpes through oral sex caused by HSV-1 (the kind of herpes usually responsible for cold sores).Taking that into account, genital herpes statistics are usually quoted at closer to 25 percent for women and 10 percent for men, but most of these people don’t even know they have it.Jennifer Lemons, a 42-year-old writer and comedian from Richmond, Virginia, isn’t offended when she hears herpes jokes, but says she used to be more sensitive before she got the facts.She’s come to peace with her genital herpes, which she was diagnosed with three years ago, after feeling shame about it.But it’s difficult to pin down exactly when and why our negative associations started.Regardless of where the stigma came from, film and TV no doubt keep it alive.The virus never goes away, and some take antiviral medicines to relieve or suppress outbreaks.The only times that having genital herpes can be dangerous are when having sex with someone who has HIV (since it can increase your chances of getting HIV) and during pregnancy.