Depending where you live, the odds are from about one or two percent to ninety-nine percent that you do.
Herpes is quite an old disease. The Ancient Greeks were aware of herpes; Hippocrates wrote on the disease, etymologically it derives from the verb ερπυσμό
, "to creep," as in "creep around the torso." The disease is also mentioned by Shakespeare in Romeo and Juliet
, Queen Mab speaks,
"O'er ladies lips, who straight on kisses dream, which of the angry Mab with blisters plagues, because their breaths with sweetmeats tainted are.”
But herpes is not all historical romance. Herpes is forever. There are two simple forms of the disease, HSV-1 and HSV-2. The former is associated with the cold sores you will sometimes see on people's lips; the latter with similar water-blisters that occur where you are less likely to see them. Although much feared and regretted, these forms of herpes, along with herpes gladiatorum which is widespread in rugby players, are really not often more than embarrassing or inconvenient.
Herpes has much more sinister forms, Bell's palsy, neonatal herpes, and infection of the eye and nervous system. Results include paralysis, blindness and death.
It is only a recent phenomena that venereal disease ("Veneris
is the Latin genitive form of the name Venus") has become the media packaged product S.T.D.
, and become the subject of systematic, institutionalized demonization.
The origin, format and function is similar to other campaigns that became possible at the turn-of-the-century with the invention of the science of propaganda; this method is now the norm for constructing social views on health-issues
of every kind, from eugenics, drug-ab
use, teen-pregnancy, T.B., AIDS,
and obesity to selling Nutrasweet.
No doubt, gonorrhea, syphilis, hepatitis, warts, molluscum, mononucleosis, crabs, and herpes were never cause for celebration. But while social engineering through propaganda may have benevolent goals, the result for those who are the scapegoats for being a few pounds overweight
or a few I.Q.
points short of 100, or who may occasionally be chafed by herpes is devastating. The private testimony of those who are forced to play the demonized Jews of neo-fascist health-propaganda reveals a terrible anguish at living the labels stuck on them. For all the self-hate and animosity of others that wearing this sort of label brings, one might question if the aim of making the world a better place is met at all? --but also if the state-creation of a thousand sorts of unhealthy misfits isn't really meant to divide society, making nearly every-one an enemy of one another?
HSV-1 & 2
Do you have a simple, uncomplicated form of herpes?
Are you tired of being treated like a "leper?"
Are you tired of being labeled a public-health-risk? stereotyped as a danger to society?
something that you can do about it!
Do what thousands of other men and women just like you are doing--
Take up arms against an unjust system; one that arbitrarily names insiders and outsiders, one that creates enemies within, one that is playing cooties with your life and happiness--
Smash the system that has forced you, its own, into your position of resistance.
characterizing a terror tactic; institutionalization
Know your enemy. Understand the tactics the system is using to demonize you; making others suspicious and fearful of you and one another, and forcing you to conceal your real self, lest your supposed hideousness be revealed.
The system needs to define you. Strange sounding scientific-jargon and number codes are quite dehumanizing. A60.0
-herpes are slave names. Don't use them. Herpes is still έρπησ in modern Greek, it will do; we don't want to be known by a name with, in itself, antagonistic connotations.
not black and white
The most wicked things are those which are wicked themselves and wicked in their consequences. This is how herpes has been unfairly presented.
Nobody wants to get herpes. But the reality is that a lot of people have it; from those who say "what? those are just cold-sores that I get when I'm worn down," to the average reclusive carriers
who pay to register on herpes-dating-sites or buy quack anti-viral drugs online, to those with severely complicated forms, who are seriously ill or die.
Nothing is ever black and white. Life just isn't simple and uncomplicated like the propagandist wants to present it; does she really love you? am I selling myself short in this relationship? am I worthy? what are the risks? the uncertainty? could someone get hurt? what if things don't work out in the end?
While the moral and legal consensus is that there is no need to inform one-night-stand-type partners of anything about one's private life, some relationships will hopefully have more potential and in these more loving relationships one would discuss the facts of their life and circumstance with more honesty.
A lot of people with herpes struggle with the question, should I tell my partner?
The law is somewhat clear and consistent on this. There have been few civil cases where a plaintiff has been awarded anysort of damages by a person with venereal disease who knowingly passed it. The exceptions are a few AIDS criminal cases which have been publicized for political reasons, but are at any rate of a totally different nature from the judicial concerns of the average Joe with an S.T.D.
You are not under any obligation to tell your partner about your medical history (assuming that you are qualified to), the courts' verdicts have by-in-large been, buyer beware.
Public health officials
will advise you to inform your partners. But the online BBSs,
are unanimous in informing readers that no one is obliged to disclose their private personal information to anyone else.
Children are often the targets of propaganda. Do not teach the game of "cooties" to children.
"The adoption of the term into English can be traced from the American occupation of the Philippines, in 1898-1945, and before that to British soldiers' presence in Malaysia. In most Austronesian languages (e.g. Malaysian and many Philippine languages such as Tagalog) the term for head lice, lice or fleas of any kind, is kuto."
Cooties is not one of the proto-Germanic Kindergarten games; it goes back to the period of the British Office of Information and the Creel Commission. CIA
intervention may be suspected. It was from this time that the stereotyping, labeling and scapegoating took on a much more pernicious form, real world people began to feel the effects of mass-terror-propaganda, and it is those with herpes and the people who love them that have to suffer the most.
A little more should be said of words yet. S.T.D.
are words manufactured by the professional public-relations industry for consumption my mass society, like B-52 bombers and Lexus LF-As.
1982, acronym formed from acquired immune deficiency syndrome.
1986, acronym from "human immunodeficiency virus," name for either of the two viruses that cause AIDS."
"Until the 1990s, STDs were commonly known as venereal diseases...."
It was always the grass-roots tradition in word formation for venereal diseases to make a comic association, please see J. D. Rolleston's The Folk-lore of Venereal Disease
(1942), where he discusses some of the etymological origins of slang terms for V.D..
'Covent Garden Ague', 'The Crinkums', 'Ladies' Fever' and 'the marbles', besides the better-known 'clap' and 'pox'.
"clap - venereal disease - from Old French 'clapoir' meaning 'venereal bubo'. Often preceded by "a dose of the".
What folk-magic there was around venereal disease is still contained in the icon of the risky temptation, a woman who is most sexy, is dangerous and off-limits; the most delicious fruit --that will kill you in one bite.
To love her is sinful, and for our sins we must die.