Letter in response to Coachella article

Annika Eberle, Staff Writer

Dear Editor,

Before I delve into this letter, I would like to make one thing clear: I agree with some of the sentiments presented in “How I got Herpes at Cochella and then at Springfest.” Considering an STI something to be achieved is highly irresponsible and this outbreak is a demonstration of America’s sexual education system’s inadequacy.

With that said, I dislike how the article refers to individuals with STIs as filthy. This attitude scares people out of getting tested; they don’t want this stigma attached to them and that contributes to outbreaks like these.

We must also acknowledge that people using HerpAlert are scared. It is likely they have not had proper sexual education and might not know where to look for help and shaming them will only discourage them from seeking the medical care needed to manage their symptoms.

I believe people should avoid risky behavior and practice self-care, but many people with herpes already do this. Not everyone carrying the virus parties hard and has unprotected sex, so associating these two phenomena contributes to the aforementioned stigma. Lastly, if any other disease had spread at Cochella, would you be as irritated?