Miseducation: 12 Things You Need To Know About Herpes

Just a few pesky medical facts for all the people enjoying and perpetuating this trolling of Usher and the "herpes" story:

via David Malebranch

1. One in six Americans aged 18-49 have been exposed to herpes type 2 virus, the more common one causing genital herpes

2. Someone can be exposed or "infected" with herpes and NEVER have a breakout

3. Someone can be exposed and never have a breakout and STILL transmit it to other people - it is spread skin to skin

4. Condoms will NOT protect you from herpes - remember, it's spread skin to skin, and condoms don't cover everything

5. Prevalence of herpes exposure varies by state and city location - where you live and your sexual networks can influence your level of risk of exposure

6. Herpes statistics to describe these "rates" are usually derived from blood testing of antibodies that is NOT a recommended STI screening test and many medical providers DO NOT order these tests when you do STI testing

7. These herpes blood antibody tests merely tell you if you've ever been exposed in your life, they DO NOT accurately indicate when you were exposed, if you are having a current breakout, or your level of infectiousness to others

8. Once you've been exposed and your antibody testing is positive, you will test positive forever - it doesn't turn to negative if you get treated for a breakout

9. Herpes type 2 statistics report that exposure is twice as common among women compared to men, and three times as common among blacks than whites - but don't use the gender-specific and racialized reporting to drive how you sort through romantic partners - selecting according to gender or race will not ensure that you are never exposed

10. It is REALLY hard to prove that someone "gave" you genital herpes, particularly if you've had multiple sexual partners.These lawsuits against celebrities are basically fishing expeditions for cash payouts predicated on the public's general lack of knowledge about the infection

11. Most Americans do not disclose their herpes type 2 antibody status to their sexual partners. This is because many have never had the test, don't know, don't care, or just simply don't realize they can be infectious even when they don't have an active breakout.

12. You can never be sexually active in your life and get exposed to herpes from a kiss from a relative (yes, even a sweet old grandmother)

So keep on posting, sharing, and "liking" these stories that are trolling Usher if you want. But before you do, go to a medical office and ask for herpes antibody testing for both types 1 and 2 - you may be surprised (or not) about how much you actually may have in common with the R&B singer. Then see how willing you are to have that conversation with every person you are about to have sexual relations with - and post THAT news on social media.

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