Cold Sores Do Not Change You

In Georgia, there is lackluster sex education that can actually harm people once they are sexually active. Unsurprisingly, schools that teach abstinence tend to alienate students who have already started having sex, or considered doing so. Convincing students to stray away from sexual activity, instead of preparing them, leaves young people to figure it out on their own—which leads to another set of issues.    

Sex ed often vaguely covers the most extreme images of cold sores in the mix of exaggerated genital diseases to scare everyone into abstinence. Characterized as blisters located around the mouth, cold sores are also known as strand of herpes—type 1—capitalizing on the fear of herpes, it can be used to shame simply because it’s linked to sex. Not only does it seem unappealing from the images, but it can also imply that the person with the sore is somehow promiscuous. 

Ironically, not everyone gets cold sores from sex-related acts, some get them from using the same cup as someone who had a cold sore or was unknowingly developing one—there’s that for pre-judging. A large number of people who contracted the virus from another person may not have even had sex before. There is no shame in contracting a sexually transmitted infection especially considering most people contract one in their lifetime. 

Over 50 percent of the population experiences cold sores. This form of herpes does not directly cause any other physically decremental conditions and is not even harmful to your health, it is like a regular growth that brings only social harm but not physical. 

Cold sores aren’t the be-all and end-all. People fear speaking out due to a condition that is temporary and will eventually go away because of the immense shame. The depletion of self-confidence is temporary, you are still the same person and still worthy of appreciation and love. Keeping your stress down and treating it with creams will get you back to normal.