Well, yes and no. Yes, it's a numbers game and the more people you’re exposed to, the greater chance you have at contracting it. However, with over 80% of the population having herpes it makes it so common that even being monogamous, you can wind up with herpes.
What we need to get away from is associating promiscuity with getting herpes and beginning to look at the fact that the majority of the population has it. I’ll get trolls on the internet tell me that I’m disgusting because I have herpes, and the funny thing that happens is that I know that the people telling me that I shouldn’t have been so promiscuous, etc., every 2 out of 3 have HSV1 and 1 out of 6 have HSV2. Typically people who are in a monogamous relationship don’t get tested and don’t know how common herpes really is.
Here’s what you need to know:
- The herpes stigma is what is driving the thoughts behind promiscuity. Yes, the original thought about contracting herpes was that you got it from sleeping around. That is what the major drug companies told us to sell the antiviral prescription. In reality, you get herpes from having skin-to-skin contact with 1 person. That right there doesn't have anything to do with promiscuity or sleeping around. So if this is something that is holding you down or holding you back please take some time to do more research on herpes and continue to educate yourself on what it is and what it is not.
- Now that you have herpes, how are you going to detach from the stigma of promiscuity? A lot of times when we get herpes we had these preconceived ideas about people who had herpes. And now that you have herpes you are feeling depressed or anxious over these thoughts because you now are the person that has herpes. I personally dealt with this too. What is helpful is to begin to process all the negative thoughts or preconceived things you had about people with herpes. Start to unravel them and detach yourself from them. Little by little this will begin the healing process.
If you are new to this community or are dealing with these stigmatizing thoughts I really encourage you to join our Secret Society. It’s the original online community for people living with herpes. We have 2 live calls a week and things like this are something we discuss weekly. You can join the community here: