Q: What’s the difference between love and herpes? A: Herpes lasts forever.
I often see people on the Herpes Life Forums who are hurt or frustrated when they hear someone telling a Herpes joke.
EVERYTHING has been the butt of a joke at some time or other… every conceivable race, emotion, situation, disease, etc known to man is fair game. Blondes. Fat people. Pollacks. The President. Kids. You name it, there’s a joke (or several hundred) for it. So why is it all of a sudden it’s not OK to joke about Herpes once we are diagnosed? I’ll bet you either have told or laughed at a Herpes joke at some point in the past. Yeah – some are uglier than others… but same goes for everything else that’s joked about. IT’S NOT PERSONAL! You only noticed it because you have Herpes – and there will be jokes out there that you don’t think twice about that bother someone else. So what is the difference between a Herpes joke and the following ?(Graphic alert! I picked these specifically because of the nature of the joke and this blog)
- That guy is so fat he has his own area code.
- What happens when a blonde gets Alzheimers disease? Her IQ goes up!
- What’s the difference between a Catholic wife and a Jewish wife? A Catholic wife has real orgasms and fake jewelry!
- How do you know when you have a true redneck girl?
When she can chew tobacco and give you a blow job at the same time, and knows which one to spit and which one to swallow.
Now, I’m pretty sure you giggled at at least one of those…. yet for an overweight person, a blonde person, a Catholic or Jewish person, or a self professed redneck girl, any of those *could* be hurtful. Yet most of the time if you go to a comedy show, you will see the fat guy laughing at the fat joke, the blondes at the blonde jokes and so on. So try this on. Next time you hear a Herpes joke, DON’T TAKE IT PERSONALLY!!! Realize that it’s just a joke!!! Nothing more.
So – what can you do to get the last laugh? Well, rather than taking it personally, use it as a time to educate the person who told the joke. You don’t have to out yourself. You can calmly tell them that you have a good friend who is struggling with it and that it’s really painful for the people that are dealing with it … that one in four of their friends likely has Herpes. You can tell them that if they have a Cold Sore and they like oral sex, that they could pass it on and they are no different than someone with Genital Herpes … and that 80% of the population has Oral Herpes by the time they are 50. That the vast majority of new cases are from a carrier who didn’t know they had H or that were asymptomatic and didn’t know they could pass it without an outbreak. You can let them know that there’s a really good chance that THEY have herpes because odds are they were never tested because regular STD testing doesn’t include Herpes.
Odds are, your joke-teller will be pretty taken aback and hopefully they will get tested and get more educated! You see, when you do that, YOU can become empowered around Herpes. By calmly educating someone, you can get the last laugh, and you have the joke to thank for giving you the perfect excuse to speak out. Every situation can be seen as an excuse to curl up and give up, or as a catalyst to make a change in yourself or others. I for one choose to work for positive change where I can. I laugh at Herpes jokes, because I know the truth about H. I am at peace with my condition. And I won’t let a joke get between me and my self worth and happiness 😉 Peace