I’m sure by now you have all heard that half of all Black Women have herpes. A lot of people do not believe the report, and they probably shouldn’t. But I often wonder just how many people do have herpes. I have heard that one in six people have some form of the disease. Myself I have known a few girls with the disease. I often wonder though if anyone really cares one way or the other about herpes anymore.
Herpes was a big deal before AIDS hit the scene as it was the worst thing imaginable and you could never get rid of the disease. HIV changed all of that, but now that people with AIDS seem to be able to live out their days with the latest treatments herpes is no longer that big of a deal. People with herpes are at a greater risk of catching HIV. I would hate to catch the disease, but it seems as though women with herpes are among the coolest, friendly, easy to get along with, laid back women I have ever met.
An interesting study shows that at least in New York City, herpes is a big problem. Twenty six percent of adults, 36% of women, 32% of homosexuals, and of course 49% of Blacks in the Big Apple have herpes. Wait a minute, if the rates in New York City for African-Americans is 49%, that does not necessarily follow that the numbers are as high across America. The problem with herpes is that 80% of the cases are never diagnosed, so a lot of people are carrying and transmitting the disease without ever knowing it. You can meet someone who does not show any signs at all and come down with herpes yourself long after the fact.
America is also denial about herpes in the way in which we are entertained by sex on the screen. Porn stars have a 66% infection rate, more than Blacks, and at least five times that of the general population. So those videos that make sex seem so easy, so glamorous, so gratification and intimate, are shot with actors and actresses whose infections are hidden and maintained well so that the general public would never know. One would have to be rather naive to think that you can do what they do without ever catching some sexually transmitted disease.
I fear that herpes is turning into a rite of passage. Clearly it does not appear to be enough to change anyone’s state of mind concerning risky behavior. At the same time if infection rates are not increasing it is possible that anyone who is going to contract the disease has already done so. In any event it is worth taking preventive measures to keep from coming down with it; no sense in getting sick if you do not have to …