STDs Hit One Quarter of Young American Women

That statistic comes from my story in the Ventura County Reporter of a couple of weeks ago. Anyone sexually active and unattached should read the story, I dare say. Even if you think you know everything you need to know about STDs, I can pretty much guarantee you don't, having discussed it with a number of people, young and old, who thought they knew but absolutely did not.

Here's the quote that hit me the hardest, from a smart woman emotionally devastated by a disease that according to doctors is common, not dangerous, and not all that difficult to handle…physically.

The herpes social stigma really makes me mad because it is the only
serious harm it does to most people who contract it. It
is not fair to make us lepers. I hate the stereotype ‘herpes whore.’ I
got it while being faithful to a man I loved, a guy who should have
gotten a special Oscar for Performance in a Personal Life. If you have
sex with anyone — and at some point nearly everyone does — you risk
contracting the herpes simplex virus. We are not bad people. We are

The devastation took about ten years of love and life from this woman, named "Jamie" in the story.

And here's a fascinating work of art via an artist named Gosia Janik called Growing Rose Out of My Herpes, which I interpret as her way of saying what Jamie is saying above…that she will not be shamed by this all-too-common disease.


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