PW 294: The HSV blues

The HSV blues–herpes myths busted and HSV stigma eliminated

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Introduction

Under 18? Stop listening now and visit http://www.scarleteen.com

1:00 Host chat

  • The GaggleAmp experiment
  • Great having dinner with Kurt, our book reviewer!

2:40 Topic: The HSV blues

MakeUpandSin, 23, wrote in to ask for advice when she discovered she had herpes after she and her boyfriend brought a new girl into their relationship. Feeling unsexy, she blames herself and insists possible exposure is all her fault. Host Joreth asks why is it stigmatized more than a cold; the blame and guilt are disproportionate to the actual disease and mode of transmission.

  • Herpes is likely not due to promiscuity, has nothing to do with sexual past. Keep in mind that most children get it from their parents touching them, so get away from the blame game. Take positive steps: educate yourself on the medical details on the strain, placement, medications; arm yourself with information rather than guilt; gather questions and talk to your doctor.
  • When bringing up the issue with partners, Puck suggests going in confident and informed without a sense of shame or guilt; many people don’t even realize they have it because it’s a non-event. Joreth compares to some who get a cold and it’s nothing while others get totally wiped out. And keep in mind it’s also possible to be HSV positive and have partners who aren’t and keep that status; current tests aren’t effective and some who are known positives can sometimes test negative depending on the test.
  • HSV1 versus HSV2 and why the distinction doesn’t matter; location-based diagnosis; skanky STI films and the dangers of doing medical research online
  • Final advice – remember this is just a harmless virus and not a punishment for bad behavior; it’s just part of being alive, like getting a cold every year.

21:30 Feedback

  • Sean asked about episode 291 Yes Means Yes and why some people don’t use safewords. The short answer is (a) they are just arrogant pricks or (b) they prefer clear and specific communication (my right foot is asleep) to a black and white safeword.
  • 26:08 Pablo writes in to share the beauty of three.

28:45 Thanks

Thanks to Nathaniel, Emily, Blake and three-digit hero Iske for contributions this week that will go toward MomentumCon travel!

Wrap-up

Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email polyweekly@gmail.com and attach an audio comment or call the listener comment line at 206-202-POLY. Friend us on Twitter or Facebook or leave a comment here. Check out PolyWeekly podcasts at polyweekly.libsyn.com. Share this with a friend or write an iTunes review! Want Poly Weekly for your very own? Get the Best of Poly Weekly collection from PodDisc.com Our intro and outro music is courtesy of Pacemaker Jane, “Good Suspicions.”

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