12 things more rel­e­vant than Usher di­ag­no­sis

The Star (St. Lucia) - - THE LIGHT SIDE -

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. Why? 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!). 3. Ogilvy. 4. Jimmy H. 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

R&B sen­sa­tion Usher made head­lines for all the wrong rea­sons this month.

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