Are you one of the 20% of American living without some form of Herpes?
Herpes is so common but we treat it as a selective mark on only a few promiscuous and reckless individuals. Herpes-1, commonly known as the cold sore virus is quickly surpassing Herpes-2 for all new genital herpes infections. A sixth of Americans have Herpes-2. A fifth of those infected have noticeable outbreaks, another fifth never see ANY symptoms but can still pass the disease. The other 3 in 5 see such minor symptoms that they mistake it for something else like a cut from shaving too closely or irritation from rough sex. Meaning, to have a conversation about when to disclose we have to have a conversation about the sheer amount of people who do not know that they are infected in order to disclose.
Top 5 Reasons to Disclose
It was such an honor to tell my story on Annie's podcast. Since then, I've been met with an outpouring of support and connected with disillusioned therapists and budding sex educators from all over the country. Each conversation was powerful and I got to hold space for my colleagues much like I hold space for clients. I listened to tearful stories of being overworked in community agencies. I encouraged people not to trust our enemies and to find better supports as they take the leap of faith into private practice. If you're a therapist or educator reading this, then I"m going to distill the top 5 points I've been giving out for the past two weeks into something digestible.
1. Don't Throw in the towel