A BET story entitled, ‘Everything This Usher Story is Not Telling You About Herpes’ cut through a hailstorm of criticism targeting popular American R&B singer Usher Raymond, concerning a case brought before the courts by a woman he’d been intimate with. She accused the singer of not informing her of his genital herpes diagnosis. As the case progressed, her suspicions were confirmed: Raymond had in fact been diagnosed prior to their encounter.
While reading the story, several things came to mind. For one, the woman in question said they had used protection in their first encounter, yet the second time they’d slept together, she’d thrown caution to the wind.
While the “Confessions” singer should have done just that prior to their interactions, I couldn’t help but wonder why this woman hadn’t considered her own safety a priority when sleeping with someone she’d just met. Before I had time to digest the news, another woman came forward with similar claims; that she too had slept with Raymond, and though she was unsure of whether or not she’d been left with an STD, she was exploring the options of filing a case against him as well.
Needless to say, it hasn’t been a good month for Usher. With the precedent set by the courts in the first case, I can’t help but wonder if this will now open the floodgates for all the women he’s ever slept with to make similar accusations. Questions exist in my mind also concerning how these women, or anyone for that matter, can prove without a doubt that they themselves were STD-free ahead of any sexual encounter. Testing you say? As far as organizations like the WHO are concerned, a high percentage of people with genital herpes don’t even show any symptoms of having it in the first place which, depending on the type of testing you go for, is necessary for a diagnosis to be made. The numbers are high, soaring to the point that one in every six people in the United States aged 14 to 49 has genital herpes caused by the HSV-2 infection (the herpes simplex virus often responsible for genital herpes). Considering the small population in Ste Lucie, I wonder too how our numbers compare!
In any event, perhaps this week we can stop adding to the already existing stigma and discrimination surrounding these conditions, which prevent people from getting tested in the first place, and work on becoming more aware of the facts.
In the meantime, as promised, here are 12 things more relevant (or disturbing) than Usher’s diagnosis!
1. Beach Football.
2. And further, the gold medal winners at the Commonwealth Youth Games (congratulations!).
5. The Venezuelan election.
6. Rigged Universal pageants.
7. We may never know the extent of lives lost in the Grenfell Tower disaster.
8. Fantasia’s St Lucia trip.
9. R. Kelly’s cult of women? (Disturbing.)
10. CPL with the Saint Lucia Stars!
11. Frenchies and Mercury Beach.
12. President Trump’s tweets! #GodOverGovernment