Sunday, October 15, 2006

Getting All Serious For a Second

So the Valtrex commercial just came on. You know the one. "Take once daily Valtrex to reduce the risk of spreading Herpes to others" (or something like that). Generally, that commercial scares the hell out of me. One out of five people?? Yikes. I'm very prone to cold sores of the mouth, which I find to be quite enough, thanks very much. When I hear those kinds of statistics on genital herpes, it just gives me the heebie-jeebies. *shudder*

Anyway, one of the statistics they give in the ad says "Up to 70% of people who had genital herpes got it from their partner when they had no signs or symptoms of an outbreak". Upon first hearing that I thought "Jesus! 70%!!" but then I read the quote again and thought "Actually, why is that number not 100%?"

Think about it. If 70% of people got herpes from their partner when they weren't showing any symptoms, that means 30% of people got herpes from partners who WERE showing symptoms. To put that into perspective, that means 30% of people who have herpes got it because they had sex with someone whose naughty bits looked like this* at the time.

Yowch.

Can they not have? Thanks.

*Link SO NOT safe for work.

13 comments:

Cerella said...

For the love of God and everything else Holy! Looking at those pictures was like pouring acid into my eyes!!!
Ah, the burn!!!

Anonymous said...

[quote] If 70% of people got herpes from their partner when they weren't showing any symptoms, that means 30% of people got herpes from partners who WERE showing symptoms.[/quote]

Actually that's not at all how this statistic would work. The commercial actually says 70% of people contracted the disease, while 30% remained disease free. In both cases their partner (who carries the disease) was not showing signs.

If you're going to throw out facts and statistics please be sure you are interpreting them correctly.

Marnie said...

Thank you, Doctor Anonymous. However, that's actually NOT what the commercial says.

The direct quote is "One study found that up to 70% of people WHO HAD GENITAL HERPES got it from their partner when they had no signs or symptoms of an outbreak." That says nothing about 30% remaining unaffected.

(http://www.valtrex.com/living/faq_aboutherpes.html#spread)

Second, I hardly think the general population comes to this blog for the facts on genital herpes, so let's not make a fun blog post into something more serious than it is, k?

Anonymous said...

'I'm very prone to cold sores of the mouth, which I find to be quite enough, thanks very much'

i think u have herpes babe... grossssss

Marnie said...

I know, right? I knew our little tryst was a bad idea.

Anonymous said...

http://www.sudhian.com/index.php?/forums/viewthread/78224/
Hi Marnie. What I found more concerning were their initial renditions of such commercials which basically stated 'use our product so you can get it on tonight'. I think that tweaked a number of people so they eventually changed them.

Re the 30% of people who get infected with partners who are showing symptoms, you have to keep in mind that the pictures you've posted are *severe* cases. My assumption is that most people will have symptoms that are *barely* noticeable, especially in the beginning and end stages of the "outbreak" period.

Call this humorous and ironic, but I was linked here from Google Images looking for more pictures of infection so I know more about what to avoid.

You also bring an interesting issue about the possibility of herpes being mistake for sores. They say 1/4 are infected with herpes STD so I wouldn't necessarily take it as an indication that one is necessarily "free," wreckless/careless or promiscuous.

This has been informative and I appreciate you posting about it. Thanks!

TO return the favor, you'd have to admit that this: http://www.abcpedia.com/virus/virus-genital-herpes.jpeg or this http://www.acponline.org/graphics/bioterro/herpes_simplex.jpg
...would be pretty easy to miss.

This is also herpes as well:
http://www.acponline.org/graphics/bioterro/canthrax/h_simplex_lip.jpg

Images from:
http://www.acponline.org/bioterro/anthrax/herpes.htm

Oryx said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Oryx said...

Cold sores are herpes. Get tested. Anyone who says "it's just a cold sore" is either uneducated or in denial.

Anonymous said...

Coming from someone who got it from a bf when a condom broke and was not told about it..

Symptoms are not always sores. While it is the most obvious symptom, I can give this to my fiance if I have had a deep and I mean deep itch in my calves. Herpes lives on the nervous system so for me the first sign is my calves get this itch deep in my legs. I've been told some people with cold sores also tend to get "itchy" on the spot on their mouth where an outbreak is going to occur.. there are symptoms prior to the sores showing up.

People also make herpes out to be far worse than it is. Every single partner of mine after the bad bf has known, and not a single one of them walked away from me. It is after all not like you die from herpes, it just makes you have to be more responsible.

Stay safe, and always make sure he puts the condom on right. Pinch the tip!

Anonymous said...

hello!!

Anonymous said...

also about the stat that says 1/5 people have herpes, that includes people who have cold sores. HSV1 (herpes simplex virus type 1) mostly affects the face/throat (hence cold sores) and HSV2 mostly affects the genitals. although you can get HSV2 in the mouth/on the face, chances of passing on HSV2 from genitals to mouth is only about 10-15%. Vice versa for HSV1 to genitals. Plus those pictures are very severe cases. some breakouts only consist of one sore and it can be anywhere in the genital area. also the testing for HSV is inclusive, therefore it is pointless getting tested for herpes if you get cold sores. there is a test you can take to distinguish between HSV1 and HSV2 but it is very expensive. the only way to know for sure if you have it,without the expensive test, is to actually test the sores themselves, and many people don't present with any reaction when they get herpes, or they don't understand what it is. just for some extra info to those concerned.

Anonymous said...

also using a condom is always good, but you can get it anyway because it doesn't always present just on the penis or in the vagina (especially not for women, usually it presents on the perineum and not inside the vagina or from the cervix). just be careful.

Anonymous said...

" Anonymous said...
also about the stat that says 1/5 people have herpes, that includes people who have cold sores. "

NO...it doesnt. The stats are really much closer to 1 in 4 and a good 50million + people in the US have hsv2. Over 80% don't know or realize that they have it. HSV1 or colodsores infects a good 80%+ of the population. about 50 percent of American people have HSV1 by the time they are 20, and almost everyone has it by the end of their life span, though many never experience any sort of outbreaks.

get your facts right