Posts Tagged ‘STD’

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iApprove: The Internet./DoNotWant: Herpes Simplex.

July 18, 2009

This might seem like a “duh” one. Everyone knows that the Internet is awesome and that anyone with half a brain in their head will use it if given the opportunity. Heck, without the Internet I wouldn’t be able to write blog entries (or procrastinate them half as effectively).

But I think it’s about time that I give the Internet dues for a little more than the basics.

See, I learned a few “medical” basics from my mother.  Don’t eat raw meat, stay away from rust, don’t kiss anyone while you have a cold sore; the usual.  Most of it is pretty basic, and most of it is pretty sound.

But a lot of it was shrouded in good, old-fashioned, down-home country hogwash.

Raw meat?  Perfectly safe (if prepared properly).  Rust?  Not a magical “spawning point” for tetanus.  Cold sores?

Hoo… cold sores.

Otherwise known as oral herpes (and there’s a reason for that, folks), cold sores are a lip-based invasion of the herpes simplex virus.  And, like Mom said, they’re especially contagious when you have a blister.  What Mom didn’t say is that they’re also contagious when you don’t have a blister.

Nor did she tell me that the repeated cold sores I suffer are manifestations of the same viral infection. Or that a bit of adventurous lovemaking could give my hypothetical partner a nasty case of lower blisters – or, as they call them in the medical industry, genital herpes.

Yup.  Thanks to some overzealous relative who thought it was an absolute must to kiss the cute little kid, I have a proper STI.  Cool, huh?  In other words, I have to take care – even when I don’t have a huge, painful blister on my lip – not to transmit the bugger to any sexual partners.

I don’t think I can adequately describe how mad I am right now.   I feel on some level that I was being taken advantage of.  I was three years old – barely old enough to understand what a cold sore was, never mind that I could catch it from a seeming innocuous kiss or that the infection would last me the rest of my life.  The darling relative to whom I owe the infection obviously had no clue either, or she wouldn’t have gone around kissing little kids.

I know I certainly don’t feel like kissing anyone right now.

Am I overreacting?  Probably.  It’s not a big deal to prevent infection (in the genital area, anyway) – basic protection should cover it.  And an oral infection, while annoying, is hardly a lifebreaker.  But I’m mad.  One of my family members, whom I trusted implicitly, gave me a virus that I will never be rid of and will impact me for the rest of my life.  Darn right I’m peeved.

(Edit: Mom says that I may eventually get over it.  She’s probably right.  But I’m still irked.)