Some Medical Professionals Are Sending Mixed Messages About Herpes

By Emily Lowinger October 29, 2019

 

This post by Belize Spivey, a life coach who caters to people living with STIs, prompted people to DM WaxOh contributor and creator of the non-profit and podcast, Something Positive for Positive People with similar experiences with medical professionals.

 

Brame, who describes his own experienced being diagnosed with herpes as being given “a pamphlet, a prescription for Valacyclovir” and being sent home, commented:

 

“Knowing what I know now about the beliefs and behaviors people experience in response to stigma after a positive diagnosis, patients can be better equipped to navigate stigma if the health professionals delivering the diagnosis were on board with consistent, honest, information and resources. At the very least, it should be public knowledge that people who receive a herpes diagnosis are often misinformed by the seemingly most reputable and informed people about the virus. I’d rather this credible source just say ‘I don’t know’ than just tell people what they wanna hear.”

 

There doesn’t even seem to be agreement about whether or not to include a test for herpes as part of a general STI screening. Why?

 

“The reason that blood tests are not routinely done is because the test is just a shitty one. There are high false positives & negatives,” said Dr. Evelin Dacker, a sex-positive physician (who has appeared on Something Positive for Positive People).

 

We need improvements when it comes to medical professionals addressing the sexual health needs of their patients. That means better, more reliable tests, more comprehensive support when a diagnosis is given, and a sex-positive, consent-oriented coaching when it comes to mental health and engaging with sexual partners.

 

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