Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Black Women with Herpes, and More!

I think it is safe to say that herpes is the funniest venereal disease. A sexually-transmitted infection that is mortifying but not mortiferous seems tailor-made for the age of Failblog. On the other hand, many are unaware that herpes rarely can be fatal. A mother can transmit herpes to her infant at birth. The consequences of this neonatal herpes infection can include meningitis, pneumonia, and death. A herpes infection can also facilitate HIV transmission. Medication can manage genital herpes, but no cure exists because the virus hides in the nervous system.

Such an indelible marker risks spreading forbidden knowledge about human behavior and population differences. One mantra of the collection of clich├ęd falsehoods collectively named “political correctness” is that sexually transmitted diseases do not discriminate. However, if The Man injected most black women with a drug that caused itchy genital sores, would it not be fair to accuse The Man of discrimination? Well, the US Centers for Disease Control reported last year that the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) results showed that herpes is so racist that almost half of black women and girls aged 14 to 49 have it. To be exact, 48% (with a 95% confidence interval from 44.1% to 52.0%) of these women are seropositive for herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV 2) genital herpes. In contrast, only 15.9% of non-Hispanic white women have it.

Hate Graph. (Turn Away!)

Now, as funny and relatively benign as this incredibly common condition usually is, I would not want to engage in a discussion that seems to mock anyone’s actual serious suffering. I feel compassion for those with this disease and truly hope for a cure and a vaccine. Nevertheless, the reaction to the NHANES results is instructive about the meaning of the word stereotype and left-wing resistance to science.

Take the reaction of The Root, which was started by Henry Louis Gates, Jr., the black Harvard professor who infamously accused a police officer of racial profiling because the officer wanted to ask him some questions after Gates broke into his own residence. Writing for The Root, Sheree Crute quoted Dr. David Malebranche of Emory “whose research focuses on STDs in African Americans” as saying, “This means that they have been exposed to the herpes virus, but it does not mean that these women have actually developed the disease or have active herpes. In fact, they may never develop active herpes.” What brilliant medical advice! Yes, ma’am, you have been exposed to herpes, but you do not have the disease. The virus is inside your body. You can infect others. Fortunately, you only have the disease at the various times that painful blisters appear on your privy parts. Feel free to live life as if nothing happened. Actually, Dr. Malebranche, two previous small studies determined that 56% of genital herpes transmissions, in one, or 69% in the other, occur without active symptoms. A person who contracts the herpes virus without yet having symptoms sheds the virus and has a 20% chance of being contagious at any given time. More than 4 out of 5 cases of genital herpes caused by herpes simplex virus 2 are undiagnosed possibly due to a lack of symptoms, according to the CDC study.

Dr. David J. Malebranche

Black Herpes Expert

Dr. Malebranche’s dubious logic feeds a black community that is hungry for denial. Danielle Canada, writing for “HipHopWired,” repeated his quotation and added that “people were shocked and outraged” by what the CDC report “seemed to say.” This forced the CDC to write to “HipHopWired” directly, saying, “We at CDC want to make it clear that CDC has not changed its position…” and “We also want to make it clear that Dr. David Malebranche … is not a CDC physician or representative…” Another delusion was offered by a British black woman named Susan Onyejiuwa, who noted that “the report actually says that 16 percent of the total American population have herpes, and of these 16 percent, 48 percent of people fall under the African-American female category.” The “false report” that 48% of black women have herpes worries Onyejiuwa because it conveys a sense that “it would be best to keep away” from black women, she says. If she were correct that 48% of the 16% of Americans with herpes are black women, then the percentage of the black women in the study who have HSV2 genital herpes would be much higher—63%. Based on her delusion, Onyejiuwa started an online petition against the CDC study. Think of all the lives that we could have saved if we had only thought to petition against epidemiologists when the AIDS epidemic began in the 1980s.

These people are all partly right in that it is not true that 48% of black women have herpes. This is because the CDC study only examined the prevalence of genital herpes caused by herpes simplex virus 2. Genital herpes is also caused by herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV1), the cold-sore virus. Thus, the true percentage of black women with genital herpes, an incurable sexually transmitted infection, is considerably more than half. Doctors tend to associate HSV1 only with cold sores of the mouth, but as oral sex has become more common, so has genital herpes caused by HSV1. Between 1992 and 2006, the percentage of new incidences of genital herpes in straight women attributable to HSV1 rose from 31% to 45%. There is sparse and contradictory evidence regarding the proportions of HSV1 and HSV2 in black people. A study from Seattle found that white people with herpes were almost four times more likely than “nonwhite” people to have herpes caused by HSV1, and black people in a 1998 study were less likely than white people to report having had oral sex. However, nonwhite people in Seattle are more likely to be Asian than black, and data on herpes infection rates among Asian Americans are nowhere to be found. Also, a 1992 study of unmarried adults in high-risk San Francisco neighborhoods found that both HSV1 and HSV2 were more common in black people than white people, especially HSV1 with 76% of black women being HSV1 positive compared to 43% of white women.

Black denialism of unflattering science is, of course, not limited to the herpes epidemic. Among African Americans, conspiracy theories about HIV and AIDS have become mainstream with deadly consequences. In spite of the recent shocking revelations about US involvement in the deliberate infection of 1,300 Guatemalan prisoners and mental patients with syphilis and gonorrhea and the failure of the Tuskegee syphilis study to offer African Americans penicillin when it was identified as the standard of care, black denialism of science is ignorant and belaboring such scandals probably kills far more than those actual transgressions by encouraging conspiracy beliefs about HIV prophylaxis and treatment. A 2005 survey determined that 48% of black people think HIV is a man-made virus, 53% think a cure exists that is being kept from the poor, 16% think the US government created AIDS to control black people, 7% consider HIV treatments to be poison, and 4% of black men believe that doctors intentionally infect condoms with HIV. Having AIDS-related conspiracy beliefs makes black men significantly less likely to consistently use condoms.

Ironically, when black activists or liberals decide to reject science that makes them feel uncomfortable, they often accuse it of being “pseudoscience,” regardless of the poverty of scientific evidence in support of their own dogma. One is reminded of the quarrel that arose when then-Harvard president, Larry Summers, tried to explain some possible reasons why Harvard math and science professors are less likely to be women. One reason, he offered, was that men have a higher standard deviation that results in more men among the very high and very low ability levels. National Organization for Women President Kim Grady characterized this notion as suggesting that “women are inferior.” MIT biology professor Nancy Hopkins expressed a similar misunderstanding that he meant that women have a genetic predisposition against math and engineering. I cannot quite remember whether I first learned about standard deviation in high school or middle school, but for these women to reveal their math ignorance in their attempts to defend the mathematics skills of women betrays just the sort of thoughtlessness and lack of self-awareness that seems particular to political correctness.


Nanonymous said...

It seems that every STD has much higher prevalence in blacks than in other races (I remember being shocked by gonorrhea stats in Minnesota where young black men had 26X the rate of young white men). This tells something about black sexual norms, I think.

That said, there is no doubt in my mind that genetic background plays a role in HSV infections/symptoms. I've been suffering from cold sores all my life, and so do my mother and my kids. My father and my wife, on the other hand, never had any cold sores - despite decades of inevitable close contact with the virus. Something like 70-80% of humans worldwide are HSV seropositive and only 5-10% ever display develop lesions, so clearly some factors, almost certainly genetic, affect either integration into genome or lytic cycle.

Matt said...

Wow, you are not only an idiot, but also an insensitive bigot. Congratulations!

If you knew anything about history of scientific research in the United States, you would understand the reason for doubt in these statistics within the African-American community. Remember, it wasn't so long ago that science had "proven" that those with African ancestry did not have equal mental capacity of their Caucasians counterparts.

...but, maybe you believe that too. Point proven.

If, in fact, it is true that HSV is most common in African-American women, than other Americans, it would be more to do with socio-economic reasons-- not "black sexual norms," retards.

nooffensebut said...

Well, Matt, you certainly seem to have an interest in the subject of intelligence, judging by the three references in your little post. I would urge readers to focus on Matt’s use of the word “if.” After I duly humiliated black leaders who question the proven fact that most black women have genital herpes, an incurable disease that facilitates HIV infection, Matt also wants to express some doubts about this fact. Such denialism clearly contributes to unsafe sexual practices that ultimately lead to more disease transmission and deaths. Thanks for your contribution to the problem, Matt.

Anonymous said...

it wasn't so long ago that science had "proven" that those with African ancestry did not have equal mental capacity of their Caucasians counterparts.

Are you referring to the many studies that consistently show blacks as scoring one standard deviation below whites on standardized tests? Repressing that fact does not constitute disproof.

Tyrone said...

As the first post stated, the CDC reports showed wildly greater rates of infection of all STDs for blacks. It has never been any different. One must ask, why would anyone, black or White, ever again have sex with a black person? It's just too risky; practically the flip of a coin.

Anonymous said...

I am a 42 year old Black woman who has never had an STD. I am disgusted but not shocked to learn about the ridiculously high rate of herpes among Black American women, when 51% of us have multiple out-of-wedlock children by multiple sorry males(they aren't even men), most of whom are black.Black American women have the lowest standards of all women when it comes to men.Most of us will settle for anything.What a shame!!!!

JayMan said...

Very interesting read, and forgive me for commenting to an old entry, but one thought that no one seems to consider when discussing disease rates between different races is that the higher rates among Blacks or other groups are not only due to riskier sexual behavior, but to the much higher disease load in that group. With a 50% infection rate, even if the typical Black man behaved sexually the same as the typical White man (in terms of number of partners, etc), the chances that you will connect with an infected women is almost certain. As opposed to the average White man who has a good chance of never having sex with an infected woman, even assuming identical behavior. Such a situation makes it almost impossible to contain the disease.

Anonymous said...

Quote: "it wasn't so long ago that science had "proven" that those with African ancestry did not have equal mental capacity of their Caucasians counterparts"


The length of gestation varies from species to species:

Analysis of gestation length in an obstetric population of indigenous African women revealed a mean pregnancy duration of 274.8 days, which is similar to values recorded in women of African descent elsewhere, but about 1 week less than what generally has been reported in women of European ancestry and Japanese women:

....on average babies born before nine months are less intelligent:

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately science is only as reliable as the mental capacity of the people involved in analysing the data and the methods they choose to extract it. Contrary to your patronising statement re the 'Black denialism of unflattering science',I would be more inclined to believe that Black people are not sheep and are not prepared to follow science blindly - all the more so when media sensationalism is involved, and incorrect reporting methods are employed.

Anonymous said...

RE: Reference to the 'delusional comments' - Having just stumble across this libellous article I have reported it to Blogspot - DO NOT make the mistake that you are at liberty to use my name or spew contempt aimed at me over the internet.

mandy said...

If you really think about this logically, and not emotionally, you will realize that herpes touches all walks of life, economic levels, classes, and races. It does not matter if you are rich, poor, famous, or not. If you have sexual contact or kiss a person that has herpes, you can get herpes of some kind. It is estimated that one-third of all Americans have some form of the herpes virus. Oral or genital, HSV1 or HSV2 infect all of us. Actually, it is probably more like one-half because there are many people who never see a doctor or go to a clinic for treatment for this virus.

nooffensebut said...

Of course! Sexually transmitted infections do not discriminate. It doesn't matter what walk of life from which one comes. This is why I like to shoot smack with my friends using unclean needles.

Anonymous said...

I think a lot of these statistics are inaccurate. Where is the actual proof??? And Why is the person who claims these accusations always a " white " person? White people make up a majority of the US population and therefore I would assume whites contract stds more..That's the REAL truth!! And based on "STATISTICS " black women are considered the least attractive.. lol. Where's the proof?? If it can't be PROVEN it's not true.. Unless you've seen the actual PAPERS with these accusations I'm NOT buying it. Good folks

Anonymous said...

So the CDC statistic said half of african american women what they should have said was half the AAW they tested. They stated they tested only 5,000 women and those 5,000 were highly populated with AAW. Of course they stand by this. How is this representative of All AAW? How many were actually tested? Sorry, I am not drinking that tea!

Anonymous said...

Please stop making ignorant comments. Black men are just as good as any other men. Just because you have had bad experiences it does not represent everyone. Stop it please. That is so ignorant. I was raised by a wonderful black man. I am a sister of wonderful black men. I am a wife of a wonderful black man and the mother of a wonderful black prince who will one day be a wonderful black man so STOP IT!

nooffensebut said...

"dubious logic feeds a black community that is hungry for denial"

Unknown said...

It is so crazy what people want to believe to make themselves feel better about ones race. So lets play the numbers game. As of 2010 there were 275,500 new interracial marriages of that number 11.9% were black and white so if 50% of AAW have herpes that would have to say that 50% of AAM have herpes yet there has not been any exponential number of white women getting herpes.. this is just not statically possible. Yet if you want to use it to feel better about you and your mother that is fine. The sheep will follow orders.

nooffensebut said...

"so if 50% of AAW have herpes that would have to say that 50% of AAM have herpes"

Try again.

RealScienceOk said...

This is "unsilenced science"?
How did I end up here? This must be a parody site. The condescending language and the usage of racial terms interchangeably without even considering the use of so many folk taxonomy in your articles unfortunately, renders me unable and unwilling to take much of what you say seriously. I'm not sure how literate you think you are but my advice would be to leave the science to the scientific community and stick to posting facebook updates about your interest in race or something. Let your friends help you through your journey.

Better yet; how about a lesson in scientific competency? I hope you understand race is a vaguely defined biological, social and political concept, and skin color is only part of what race is--and is not.

Scientists consider biological essentialism obsolete, and generally discourage racial explanations for collective differentiation in both physical and behavioral traits. Even though there is a broad scientific agreement that essentialist and typological conceptualizations of race are untenable, it seems that "unsilenced scientists" around the world continue to conceptualize race in widely differing ways, some of which have essentialist implications.

Please quit tarnishing the good name of science with the obviously butt-hurt by people with pigment delusions you seem to need to share. I have three words which I believe will solve many of your problems: Prosthetic Penis enlargment. Or; small penis acceptance.

Remember that credentials + schooling = real science. A vague list of shitty (imo) books to go along with a shitty taste in music are not credentials. A career in "medicine" doesn't make you a social scientist or geneticist.
For anyone reading who is literate enough to research such a simple construct such as race (nooffensebut has clearly outrun his data) it should be stated that different populations don't have different genes—everyone has the same set. Genes often come in variations called alleles that usually arise through mutation and are responsible for such hereditary differences as eye and hair color, the ability to digest milk as an adult, and greater resistance to malaria. It is thus possible to slice genetic human diversity into all sorts of groupings: brown-eyed versus blue-eyed versus green-eyed races, or the milk-digesting race versus the milk-indigesters. Identical twins aside, each person is genetically unique, so the reductio ad absurdum is that every individual belongs to a "race" of one. (Nicholas Wade 2014)
Race is a social construct. Ethnicities do exist, no doubt. But grouping hundreds of millions of humans into categories such as yellow, red, black, white and brown is illogical. Nooffensebut I recommend reading A Troublesome Inheritance considering The Bell Curve (one of noffensebut's favorite books) was written in 1994 and is outdated.

thisraceof1 said...

Can we get a round of applause for RealScienceOk?

Also 'nooffensebut', as you're looking for that Prosthetic Penis Enlargement or working on your small penis acceptance, may I suggest you drop in on a statistics class or two? Perhaps you will learn the value of due diligence and appropriate research.

In that spirit, I will also suggest you not take my word for what follows but conduct your own analysis of the statistical methodologies and assumptions embedded in these results.

As we all know, statistics is simply fun counting. It is a measure of a measure. The numbers themselves can tell you nothing whatsoever about the collection and analysis process nor the underlying assumptions of the analysis.

"One of the short-comings of statistics is that they do not bear on their face the label of their quality." -W.I. King.

Given this attribute of statistical studies, proper analysis of methodology, design, and review should be completed before spreading libelous statements such as the topic of this discourse.

I did a real quick one to tide you over until you complete that Statistics 101.

thisraceof1 said...

Simply reading the CDC's description of their methodologies gives anyone partially trained in statistics cause for pause.

S1. 'Surveillance data are based on cases of STDs reported to state and local health departments.' (continues to explain why they left out private source data, really?).

R1. And which groups use these facilities the most? Well I will go out on a limb here and suggest the socioeconomically disadvantaged. Since we LOVE labels here, primarily Blacks and Hispanics and other minorities.

S1a. 'Because minority populations may use public clinics more than whites, differences in rates between minorities and whites may be increased by this reporting bias.13 However, prevalence data from population-based surveys, such as NHANES and the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, confirm the existence of marked STD disparities in some minority populations.14,15

R1a. Oh, they saw this one coming? So the assumption is these two biases, if the second exists (see next point), have the effect of canceling each other out? Perfectly? Reasonably? At all? Who knows? It was not addressed.

Also, you're using your own process to confirm your own process? Really? I guess concurrent validity is out the window.

S2. 'In many state and local STD jurisdictions, the reporting from publicly supported institutions (e.g., STD clinics) has been more complete than from other sources (e.g., private practitioners). Thus, trends may not be representative of all segments of the population.'

R2. So we exclude ALL private data because SOME of it may be less than optimal? By that logic ALL of the clinic data should be excluded as well because many individual reports lacked key data elements. This type of 'exclusion' would lead to more than 'trends not being representative'.

S3. 'The NHANES 1999-2002 survey oversampled non-Hispanic Blacks and Mexican-Americans... '

R3. Assuming the same 'oversampling' methodology was used for the NHANES under discussion (which it was this is just the handiest direct quote from the CDC), we have now over sampled the over represented (that aforementioned STD disparity assumption does not cut it).

Really? Then on top of that (at least in this NHANES) we have over sampled them such that they represent almost 5% more in this sample than their actual representation in the population (17.2 v 12.6)?

Finally, as a little reality check, an independent assessment of the CDC's overuse of oversampling by their Board of Scientific Counselors:
'... Oversampling to produce reliable data on specific topics
for specific groups does not come without some detrimental effect on the representative quality of the findings for the NHANES national sample as a whole...DHANES has not undertaken an overall assessment of the oversampling process
and the impact of oversampling on the survey’s statistical effectiveness...The survey is overdue for a retrospective evaluation of oversampling and an
assessment of whether the current oversampling scheme meets current needs for data in terms of appropriate subpopulations, geographic patterns, and current and emerging health issues...'

I mean. I could go on all night. Down to the statistical studies used to support not only this study (of particular interest are the ones from U of Washington with the support of GlaxoSmithKline, makers of Valtrex. Nope. No conflict of interest here...) but the HSV-2 antibody test data themselves and the unanswered question of why such a high rate of false positives and overall lower confidence on the continent of Africa. Interethnic differences? Where? Oh, only when it is useful.
I'll leave you with this, as I tire.
Don't believe everything you read, hear, see.
My grandpa always told me 'There's lies, damn lies, and statistics.'
Do your own data interpretation in advance of making an a** out of yourself on your blog.
Reading is fundamental and proper analysis is priceless.

RealScienceOk said...

Can we please have a standing ovation for thisraceof1?

Thank you.

Ryan W. said...

There's a lot to control for here. African Americans experience a whole variety of negative health-related tendencies

Worse asthma.

Increased susceptibility to colds among upwardly mobile African Americans.

Lower rates of circumcision impacts transmission of certain ulcerative viruses.

There's higher exposure to environmental lead.

I wouldn't be surprised if there's a higher incidence of suboptimal "vitamin" (pre-hormone) D.

Police take accusations of sexual assault against African Americans by whites less seriously.

I'm not going to comment on AA sexual practices, except to say that the situation is far more complex than presented here.