The Stigma Of Herpes- From Big Pharm to “Adam Ruins Everything”
I was recently interviewed by The Vice magazine in an article entitled “Did Big Pharma Create The Herpes Stigma For Profit?” While this is not the first time I have heard this theory, it left me wondering how much of an influence our media has on our perspectives and how it can shape our reality.
What do we have total control over, the media OR our response to the media?
Your right…it’s our response to the media.
This has stood at the core of my message of empowering and educating people with herpes to live and love, regardless of their having herpes. I encourage them to stand in their power and not succumb to being a victim to this skin infection.
Truly, herpes simplex is a skin infection that for most is physically an annoyance, and yet the social stigma can have damaging effects on one’s self esteem if one doesn’t have the tools or education to deal with it.
We can respond to the stigma by making it personal and internalizing negative feelings of shame and feeling dirty, OR we can choose to dismiss the stigma and remember who we really are, independent of our diagnosis.
As a woman and doctor who lives with herpes, I choose to NOT let it define me.
While big pharma may have started this stigma of herpes, it ends there for me. This little skin rash does not have power over you unless you allow it to.
You are still the same person you have always been. The only difference is that you now carry a virus inside of you that causes herpes, in addition to many other bacteria, fungi and viruses that live inside of you. If you had chicken pox as a child, then we already know that you carry a herpes virus, but you never worried about that, did you?
At a recent herpes discussion group I was introduced to “Adam Ruins Everything- You Probably Have Herpes and That’s Okay”. While I had never seen it before, I was pleasantly surprised at how positive their message was about the stigma of herpes.
The main character in the sit com, Adam, was informed about the the prevalence of the herpes virus and how unjustified the stigma is.
Whether it’s a joke about herpes in the media or an inappropriate comment made at your next social gathering, know that you are not your herpes. You just happen to be a man or woman who lives with it.
Change your thoughts and change your life. Start by sharing your story and healing your soul through our Pink Tent forum.
You can learn how to manage this infection and learn how to live and love again. You are worth it!
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