Cold sores, fever blisters, herpes. No matter what you call it, chances are you or someone you know has herpes of one form or another.
It is so common that the CDC claims by the age of 20, half the people you meet are a carrier in the US. The World Health Organization also says 3.7 billion people have it worldwide.
While common, it is queasy, unreasonably stigmatized and misunderstood by many. From stand-up comedy to urban dictionary, herpes has become a punchline that is thrown around so much it isn’t funny (though we’re genuinely impressed sometimes).
The herpes stigma has mounted for a while and is quite counterproductive. All the way back in 1982, you have TIME carelessly running a shock piece on herpes. Meanwhile, drug companies ran ads saying the virus is treatable.
Concerns about the stigma and rejection are the obvious reasons why people don’t share their herpes status with partners. Though this stigma could actually boost virus transmission by way of keeping partners from being fully informed and taking the right precautions.
In a similar vein, the CDC doesn’t even recommend HSV-2 testing regularly. This is because, among other things, “the diagnosis may have adverse psychological effects for some people.”
But what is the difference between HSV-1 and HSV-2?
Can you get genital herpes from HSV-1? To help get your 1s and 2s straight, the folks over at hims put together an infographic covering the bases.
If you are sick of cold sores, check out their prescription treatment that acts in 24 hours on those little dormant devils.
Hims sets out to inform men and enable conversations that are currently closeted. Thanks to Hims, men now have easier, more affordable access to the prescriptions, products and medical advice they need.