Why I Don’t Call Herpes a “Gift”

We need to make space for nuance as the conversation about STIs becomes more than the occasional personal essay on a lady blog.

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I Am Not “Suffering” From Herpes

I’m exhausted today. Someone I’m seeing came over late last night to, in his words, “fuck the shit out of me,” and by the time he left it was just shy of 1:30am. I took a shower and then lazed around in bed, smelling him in my hair and remembering how he kissed my neck, how […]

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Why Having A Boyfriend Doesn’t Cure Herpes

We’ve all read that essay: the woman who gets herpes because she caves to temptation just once and has a regrettable one-night-stand, but goes on to find happiness because she meets that one man who loves her just as she is, STI and all. You can find it in glossy women’s magazines and anonymous chat […]

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Dear VICE, Stop Using This Photo of a Smashed Banana on Your STI Articles

Look, VICE. We need to have a quick chat. You’ve been on the STI beat this year, and I respect that. One of your journalists wrote a great piece about me over the summer and she was super lovely and considerate. It was a positive experience. But then the article used a repulsive image of […]

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Today’s Headlines on the WHO Herpes Report: RANKED

This was a big day for herpes coverage. The World Health Organization released a study saying that 2 in 3 people in the entire world have HSV-1, and the Internet collectively freaked out. It was both glorious and terrible. Herpes trended on Facebook. I had a lot of feelings about it. So without further ado, […]

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The Herpes+ Writer Directory

Here’s a list of herpes+ writers you need to be reading, AND, if you’re a journalist or an editor, contacting about writing for your publications.

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TIME Magazine Ruined Herpes Journalism. Here’s How To Fix It.

In 1982, TIME Magazine published a very special cover story: “The New Scarlet Letter.” In five dense pages full of salacious personal anecdotes and some incredibly horrifying doctoral testimonies, TIME set the standard for herpes journalism. I read the entire piece with my friend (and this site’s editor) Gabe Rosenberg so that you don’t have […]

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Why We Need Clicky, Accessible Herpes Writing Too

Another piece for Women’s Health, another amusing stock photo choice. The real title for this piece should be “How to Not Be a Fucking Asshole,” but this was the headline they pitched me. It was harder to write than the other articles I’ve worked on for Women’s Health—having herpes isn’t like being an out queer person […]

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5 rules for better herpes journalism: or, I wrote about dating for Women’s Health!

I learned quickly after getting diagnosed with genital herpes that no one writes about having an STI. There are no memoirs about herpes. There are no academic studies about the literature of herpetic authors. There is a gigantic gaping hole on the Internet where herpes blogging should be, other than the herpes support community on Tumblr (which, […]

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