In discussing safer sex with people who grew up during the 80s, folks who are now adults, prevention efforts have long focused on avoiding pregnancy and HIV. HIV and AIDS were, after all, the Plague of a generation. To this day the infection is responsible for millions of deaths around the globe.
But if you talk to someone who grew up in the 90s or aughts, HIV and AIDS are often perceived as scary but manageable long-term illnesses. Sometimes it gets compared to diabetes. What they really freak out about is an infection that existed long before HIV and will probably outlast it as well: herpes.
How do you get it?
How do you prevent it from spreading?
What does it feel like?
How do you know if you have it?
How do you tell someone you’re dating or planning to have sex with that you have herpes?
And, for all the stigma and freaking out, very few people know the real deal on this incurable, but controllable, infection that affects an estimated 1 in 6 Americans.
These and many more queries are answered in this week’s podcast.