The Office Cast

The Office STDs

Scottsdale, AZ (PRWEB) August 5, 2010

According to TVGuide.com, the upcoming season of The Office will be the last for Steve Carell’s character, “Michael Scott.” In their recent blurb titled “A New Enemy for The Office’s Michael Scott,” they explain some of the upcoming details that were announced by the writers of the show. TVGuide.com

The stigma that Hollywood associates with Herpes is nothing new. From the shocked expression on Chloe Sevigny’s character when she learned she had been infected with genital herpes at the end of “The Last Days of Disco,” to these upcoming stories on The Office, the emotional impact of a herpes diagnosis is both a very real thing and a topic to shy away from. As it is, society calls oral herpes “cold sores” or “fever blisters,” rather than describe it as what it is. Clearly the entertainment industry treats herpes, a permanent viral infection, as something that should be handled with a fade to black or by playing it for laughs.

While the writers of The Office believe herpes is a laughing matter, the stigma associated with herpes can devastate people who aren’t expecting the diagnosis or aren’t equipped with accurate medical information and helpful social resources. Studies show that most people with herpes in the United States are unaware of their condition. In study after study, as many as 95% of people with genital herpes had no idea they were infected. There are a lot of reasons for this, but the primary reason is that most people believe routine STD screening includes screening for the herpes virus. That’s not the case. Within study groups in the United States, 20-25% of people were infected with HSV-2, the virus usually associated with genital herpes; 80-85% of people were infected with HSV-1, the virus usually associated with oral herpes. Virtually all of the people diagnosed with HSV-2 were unaware of their condition before the study.

Because people are often startled by an unexpected herpes diagnosis, niche websites can help people with the social stigma of a herpes or HPV diagnosis. The American Social Health Association (ASHA) maintains a website with medical information and counseling resources at ashastd.org ASHA. MPwH.net, a social website where you can Meet People with Herpes, maintains a website where you can sign up for a membership for free at mpwh.net MPwH.

MPwH.net is offering Lifetime upgrades through August 11, 2010, although members can also sign up for any upgrade duration they wish. Lifetime upgrades at MPwH allow members to pay once and never pay again for access to upgraded services such as the ability to contact other members and participate in the Message Board community, which recently passed the 3 million post threshold. Because herpes is a lifetime condition, many people benefit from a lifetime upgrade, because it gives them full access to the social community at MPwH without time pressure. To learn about lifetime upgrades at MPwH, follow the link to MPwH and sign up for your free account.

Everyone needs to know that the stigma associated with a herpes diagnosis, while distressing, can be addressed by surrounding yourself with constructive information and a solid community environment. Everyone also needs to determine their status; herpes is an equal-opportunity condition, so everyone should ask their doctor or healthcare professional about getting tested. Everyone with a herpes diagnosis needs to identify reliable social and support resources. It’s easier to handle The Office laughing at a herpes outbreak while laughing with friends at MPwH.

Hopefully, the writers and producers of The Office will take this opportunity to inform and educate, rather than just taking cheap shots and hoping for laughs and ratings at the expense of people living with herpes.

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