Herpes & Astronauts

Herpes & Astronauts blog

 Ok so let’s get right to it. When we are diagnosed with herpes we feel and also pretty much believe that everything about our lives is over. We’re hard on ourselves and punish ourselves for getting herpes. I mean all that we did was have sex just like the 97% of American adults. The difference is that we got herpes.

So when the trauma of the diagnosis sets in we think that we’ll never fall in love or worse, the person we love will never love us. We think that we’ll never be parents. Or we think that we can’t get that dream job that we’ve been working so hard for. Let me tell you this is total BS!

 All that we have is herpes. It’s a virus that causes annoying and sometimes painful blisters. That’s it. Having the virus does not mean that we won’t get into the college of our dreams or get our dream job offer. 

So here’s why I want to prove this. Even astronauts have herpes. Yep astronauts.

Do you know how prestigious it is to be an astronaut? I mean not everyone can just wake up and decide they want to be an astronaut. It takes years and a ton of hard work. It requires an engineering degree so all of you who think that having herpes will prevent you from a badass degree like engineering think again. You need three years of professional experience, you need 1000 hours of flight training and the list goes on and on.

Ok so if you’re like what does this have to do with herpes...I’m not an astronaut and neither are you. Just hold on a sec.

A recent article came out talking about astronauts and herpes. Yep...even highly educated and highly respected men and women like astronauts have herpes.

If they have it and can navigate a rocket to the moon then you my dear can do anything you want too.

Let me tell you more about the astronauts in space with herpes. It’s pretty fascinating if you ask me. So  this whole thing started out as testing immune systems of astronauts while in space.

Samples of blood, urine and saliva were collected from astronauts before, during and after space travel. These trips were short and long term space missions.  

Also, I think these numbers will make you feel a little better… there’s a ton of astronauts with herpes. There’s a total of 112 astronauts to date now out of the 112 there are 61 with the herpes virus. That means that 54% of the astronauts have herpes. And yes, this is a combination of both genial and oral herpes.

Ok so back to what I was saying earlier about how common the herpes virus is and how we shouldn’t let it hold us back. The majority of astronauts have herpes!  

According to Satish Mehta at Johnson Space Center ,they found that the Herpes viruses is reactivated in more than half of the astronauts due to the space travel. "These frequencies -- as well as the quantity -- of viral shedding are markedly higher than in samples from before or after flight, or from matched healthy controls."

Just to clarify the reactivation of the viruses doesn't necessarily mean that the symptoms return. So just because the virus was reactivated it didn’t mean that the astronauts had herpes outbreaks. Actually only 6 had active outbreaks and they were minor.

So basically the magnitude, frequency and duration of viral shedding all increase with length of spaceflight," Mehta said. In other words the longer the mission the more the astronauts had viral shedding.

Alright, so here’s the deal. The majority of the population have herpes. Yes, when we’re diagnosed it sucks. It’s really embarrassing and the news can be destructive to our relationships as well as our ego. What I want you to take from today is don’t give up on your dreams just because you have herpes. Remember more that 50% of astronauts have herpes and they have a pretty prestigious job.

Shoot for your stars and the moon and don’t let herpes hold you back from your dreams.

I’m going to leave you with one of my favorite quotes.


“ A dream is a wish your heart makes.” - Walt Disney

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