Sep 192015
 

Recently we got a new follower on twitter called “Herpes News,” so naturally we checked them out. We’re always glad to support other people and organizations in the campaign to spread accurate herpes news and fight the stigma associated with it.

But this “Herpes News” wasn’t that at all! The posts on that account are nothing but a continuous stream of bad jokes about herpes interspersed with links to a website that sells a scam “ herpes cure” product. The jokes are all hurtful, mean, ignorant and perpetuate the stigma that herpes is bad, and the people with herpes are promiscuous “skanks.”

So we blocked them.

There is no place in our world for ignorant jokes that hurt and make people feel like their worth is diminished because they have a simple, common virus. That someone would call themselves “Herpes News” in order to sell a dubious product under false pretenses to people seeking relief and hope is disgusting to us.

Most disheartening is that they have over 1000 followers, and undoubtedly are duping some people into going to their website and ordering the product. Which means they’re probably making a lot of money by using deceptive practices and selling false hope of a cure.

The fight against such practices is ongoing for decades now. We can only hope that the people who spread real “herpes news,” accurate information, and rally against ignorant, uninformed humor and stigma will prevail in the long run. It’s a hard road, but we’re still here after all these years with our small voices raised in support for those who need it. Just say no to the bad guys!

Jul 292015
 

Excellent article on Herpes from Washington State University, long time hub of herpesvirus research and testing.  An international conference was held in Boise, Idaho last week with over 500 herpes experts in attendance, and we’re anxiously awaiting the news & summaries!

Meanwhile, check out this article about Anthony Nicola, WSU virologist, and his panel at the conference:

Washington State University News

Aug 132014
 

There’s so much anger, hate, and division in the world. It seems to be growing every day. Sometimes it’s difficult to stay positive, to stay focused, to believe in a happy future – and if you’re been diagnosed with herpes, it can sometimes seem like the final straw in a life filled with problems.

But it’s not. It really isn’t. The herpes viruses are insanely common. BILLIONS of people have HSV1 cold sores. BILLIONS. And tens of millions have HSV2. Most people don’t talk about it. And, unfortunately, herpes – genital herpes – is the brunt of many jokes and misinformed and ignorant statements on TV, in books, magazines, and on social media.

So yes, with all the hate out there, it seems sometimes like it’s one of the worst things you can experience. To have an infection that will never leave your body, and to be the butt of jokes, the object of derision, is painful indeed.

This is why it’s important to do whatever you can to shore up your self-esteem. A happy mind creates good chemistry in your body that can also help reduce outbreaks, so it’s beneficial physically as well as emotionally.

To go from despair to happy in one jump is unlikely. So just do small things, a little at a time, and keep moving forward the best you can.  Give yourself small gifts of appreciation every day. Come up with a positive mantra, watch a funny movie or TV show, read a good book, put on your favorite music, dance, sing, talk a walk, run, swim… anything that gets you moving, gets you thinking about something other than herpes, other than anger, other than sadness. The effect may be temporary, but the more you do something good, the more good you will feel for longer periods of time.

And get support! There are many people who’ve been through what you are going through and made it. Many people for whom herpes is a small, inconsequential part of their lives now. Find those people, connect with them, ask for their help.

You are not alone – far from it! Just reach out, and help will come.

If you are in immediate need of someone to talk to, please call 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Or via TTY at 800-799-4889.

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Jul 202014
 

We’ve posted about this before, but it bears repeating because people get so upset over the word “Herpes,” yet herpes has been around far longer than we have.  New research shows that herpesviruses have been infecting humanoids since before we were even human. HSV1 for over 6 millions years, and HSV2 for about 1.6 million years.  It’s not that it’s something to scoff at, but it does remind us just how common herpesviruses are and how for most of us, at some point, it’s an unavoidable fact of life.

In a study published in “Molecular Biology and Evolution,” researchers Joel O. Wertheim, Martin D. Smith, Davey M. Smith, Konrad Scheffler1, and Sergei L. Kosakovsky Pond investigated HSV1 and HSV2 evolution and divergence. Interesting reading!

http://mbe.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2014/06/04/molbev.msu185.abstract?sid=574e8994-3e90-4d23-a35b-709e9d73ad48

 

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Jun 152014
 

Almost 20 years ago, Genital Herpes happened to us.  In the 90s, “The Big H” was the subject of massive stigma created by the media in the 80s.  It was even called “The New Scarlet Letter” in Time Magazine.  People could barely talk about it with their doctors, much less friends and family.  The isolation people felt, becoming social outcasts over a simple, very common virus was a real and devastating situation. People went into hiding from relationships and from public acknowledgement of HSV.  Afraid of stigma and ostracism, they went anonymously onto the internet for solace, community, and support.

“Herpes” became the term synonymous with HSV in the genitals, while “Cold Sores” was the term for the same viruses on the face.  This division exacerbated the stigma.  The idea that having the virus “down there” was somehow dirty and wrong but that others who have the same thing on the mouth are perfectly normal and fine can be extremely difficult to deal with.

The very real and very dramatic shame felt by people diagnosed with a genital herpes infection caused some to give up on social interaction, love, and some even to commit suicide.  Being told your love life is forever “damaged,” and that you were a bad person because you inadvertently got a virus, was a trauma that many could not handle. Getting herpes in the 90s sucked!

What has changed in the Herpes World since 1994?

There are more studies showing how common herpes infections are.  There are more medications to help prevent outbreaks.  There are new testing methods to give people answers and reassurance.  There is progress towards a vaccine.  There are more people than ever who have oral, genital, or both.  HSV-2 is no longer the only herpes considered “genital herpes” it once was as transmission rates of HSV-1 to the genitals have risen to 30% and even 50% of genital herpes diagnoses.  There are communities of people banding together to fight the stigma and shame associated with STIs.

Individual emotional progress and evolution to peace and acceptance.  Herpes symptoms ease up over time.  The outbreaks become fewer and less annoying.  You find people in life who understand, who don’t care about your “HSV status,” who love you no matter what little virus you may have.  You realize that the MAJORITY of people in the world have one or both herpes simplexes, and you feel less alone as a result.  You find that you don’t care as much, because it’s not who you are – it’s almost like having a cold or the flu.  Those viruses don’t define people, and herpes doesn’t define you, either.

The Stigma Stays the Same

And yet, so much has stayed the same.  The social stigma remains the same.  Stigma caused by a lack of knowledge about what HSV is and what it isn’t.  Ignorance of the way HSV is transmitted.  The fact that Genital Herpes is on the sexual organs.  Ignorance of the fact that anyone can get herpes, that it has nothing to do with sexual morality or lack thereof, and that herpes is non-discriminatory about who it affects.  Ignorance that “cold sores,” “fever blisters,” and “herpes” are the same viruses: herpes simplex virus 1 & 2.  Hundreds of of millions of people have it, and yet the shame remains.

And the stigma seems even worse in 2014 because the internet, while providing more information and resources for support, also gives the ignorant and the haters a bigger, louder, more visible platform for their meanness and stupidity.  The shame seems deeper, the hate seems more pervasive and omnipresent.  In these days of bullying awareness and the anti-bully movement, people with herpes are still bullied daily by the media, by random strangers, and people they work and socialize with.  It’s not easy to live in today’s world with herpes when most people around you think it’s one of the worst things ever.

So while we have much progress to be thankful for over the past 20 years, there is still much work to be done to bring the Herpes mindset out of the dark ages.

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Jun 112014
 

Interesting research just published about the history and origins of Human Herpes Simplex Viruses 1 and 2. Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine examined the genetic evolution of the HSV-1 and HSV-2 viruses. They determined that HSV-1 has been around much longer of the two, infecting humanoids as long as 6 million years ago, and HSV-2 apparently crossed from primates about 1.6 million years ago.

The full article and findings can be read in the June 10, 2014 issue of Molecular Biology and Evolution.

Read the full article here: http://mbe.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2014/06/04/molbev.msu185.short?rss=1

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Mar 012014
 

Promising news about a new medication that may help reduce viral shedding and outbreaks! In an article published in the edition of the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers reported that Pritelivir, an inhibitor of the viral helicase–primase complex, exhibits antiviral activity in vitro and in animal models of herpes simplex virus (HSV) infection.

The study involved 156 people with genital HSV-2 infection. The study concluded that “Pritelivir reduced the rates of genital HSV shedding and days with lesions in a dose-dependent manner in otherwise healthy men and women with genital herpes.”

This is important news for people in relationships because a reduction in viral shedding and fewer outbreaks means a reduction in the risk of transmission of herpes to an uninfected partner.

Read the study findings and report at the New England Journal of Medicine:

http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1301150

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Feb 152014
 

People sometimes experience genital herpes recurrences in the anal area, either on the sphincter or “between the cheeks.” Outbreaks in that area can feel worse from the rubbing that occurs from every day activities like simply walking.  Sitting can be uncomfortable or even painful… not to mention the irritation that happens from wiping after going to the toilet. The irritation from these activities, as well as the friction from having sex, or wearing tight, constricting clothes, can even bring about an outbreak. Very annoying!

In the search for ways to manage outbreaks and alleviate pain, we’ve seen and tried many products. During a particularly distressing anal outbreak, one of our friends went on the hunt for something to soothe and prevent the irritation from her butt-cheeks rubbing together.

She found a natural product called Tea Tree Therapy Antiseptic Ointment with Eucalyptus Australiana and Lavender Oil. Made by Tea Tree Therapy of Ventura, California, with natural ingredients sourced from Australia. She found that it not only soothed her outbreak, but she now uses it in between outbreaks to keep the area from chafing. You can also use it on minor cuts, abrasions, rashes, sunburn, and insect bites. And it smells wonderful, too!

Tea Tree Therapy Antiseptic Ointment ingredients: Macadamia Nut Oil, Canola Oil, Olive Oil, Cetostearyl Alcohol (Vegetable Based), Tea Tree Oil (Melaleuca alternifolia), Eucalyptus Australiana Oil, Beeswax, Tocopherol Acetate, Lavender Oil, Rose Geranium Oil, Vitamin C.

You can find Tea Tree Therapy Antiseptic Ointment and other products at various health food stores, natural markets, and online via their website www.teatreetherapy.com or via our Link to Amazon.  We’re not affiliated with them, we just love their products!

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Feb 152014
 

Many people ask, if I have HSV1 cold sores, what are my odds of getting herpes type 1 genitally from a partner? Or if I already have oral or genital HSV1, am I protected against getting HSV2 genitally?

Here’s an interesting article that discusses the chances of being reinfected if you already have one kind of herpes.  Originally written by Stephen Sacks, MD, a highly respected herpes researcher, with revisions my the MediResource clinical team, and posted on the chealth.canoe.ca website.

 

Article:

If you have herpes, are you immune to a second infection from someone else? A study done in 1980 in Atlanta, Georgia, showed that genital herpes can recur with more than one strain of the virus. People with one strain of herpes can get another. … (Read More at Original Source)

http://chealth.canoe.ca/channel_section_details.asp?text_id=1370&channel_id=16&relation_id=27918

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Oct 052012
 

We have a lot of opinions about how Herpes is portrayed in the media, the stigma and bullying that people with Herpes undergo, and how purveyors of products conduct themselves. Here’s where we’ll get real and pull no punches.

Stop the Herpes Bullying & Hate-mongering!

Bullying is getting a lot of media attention lately.  But at the same time, there are hundreds if not thousands of instances of name-calling, fear-mongering, and hate speech about people with Herpes every day.  And using Herpes as a slur.  Check twitter and you can’t even count the mean, hateful, ignorant remarks.

Given the statistics, many if not most of the people promoting Herpes Hate have it themselves.

Herpes – HSV 1 and HSV 2 – is just a virus.  It’s extremely common – as many as 75% of the population of the WORLD has Oral Herpes.  Call it “Cold Sores,’ “Fever Blisters,” or whatever you like, it’s still HERPES.  And nothing to be ashamed of.  And as many as 25% of adults have Genital Herpes. That’s 1 out of 4 people.  Some studies show 1 in 6 but that’s still a huge number!

Why the stigma about Genital Herpes?

Why the stigma about the *word* Herpes?  Just because something is connected to our sex organs?  If Oral Herpes is not a bad awful thing, then why is Genital?  The virus doesn’t care which mucous membranes it hangs out on, so why should we?

It’s time for the stigma, the hate, the bullying to stop.  Herpes is just a temporary rash caused by a virus.  It’s an annoyance, a tiny snag in the fabric of life.  It is what we make of it, so let’s start making it No Big Deal.  Be kind, be compassionate, be fair.  Stop judging people because they have a common virus!

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