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Usher & Herpes: What You Don’t Know

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Shocking. Scary. Nerve Wrecking.

The internet has been shook over a story that Usher allegedly passed on herpes to a woman and had to pay damages to her for failure to disclose his condition. Though we don’t have all of the details in this case, there are several things that you should know about herpes before you troll the internet with your ignorance.  It’s asinine to attack  those already infected, and wildly insensitive.  Though herpes is a well known STD, many are unsure about what it is exactly, how it may be contracted and why it should not be stigmatized.  We’ve compiled some details to help you educate yourself.  Hopefully, these facts will help you push the conversation forward in a positive way.

  1. THERE ARE DIFFERENT TYPES OF HERPES
    Herpes is very common among adults and can be caused by herpes simplex type 1 and 2 (HSV-1, HSV-2). HSV-1 causes cold sores on the mouth or face and can be transmitted to one’s genitals by oral/genital sex. HSV-2 is genital herpes and is usually caused by HSV-1 herpes.
  2. 1 IN 3 PEOPLE HAVE HERPES
    1 in 3 people have the virus that causes herpes. Oral herpes is much more common, affecting around 80 percent of people, while 40 percent of genital herpes is caused by HSV-1 herpes.
  3. 80 PERCENT OF INFECTED PEOPLE DON’T KNOW IT
    Not everyone who is infected is aware that they have herpes. The symptoms might be very mild or not present at all.
  4. THERE IS A TREATMENT
    There is no cure for herpes, but there is effective treatment. Daily medications are available to help prevent recurrences and transmission of the virus.
  5. CONDOMS WON’T SAVE YOU
    A lot of people think that using protection during sex is going to prevent you from getting herpes. While you should always use protection, it’s important to note condoms won’t prevent the transfer of the disease. It certainly reduces the chances, but does not eliminate them.
  6. HERPES IS OFTEN MISTAKEN FOR OTHER THINGS
    Herpes sores are very mild and can often be mistaken for insect bites, abrasions, yeast infection or jock itch.

  7. HERPES DOES NOT AFFECT FERTILITY
    The herpes virus does not cause infertility in men or women. Women with herpes can have normal pregnancies and births, although it is important to note that herpes can be passed to your baby. While rare, there is a possibility, and you should always consult with a physician if you or your partner have herpes and are expecting a child.
  8. HERPES DOES NOT GET PASSED THROUGH BLOOD
    The herpes virus is not present in blood. A common myth is that people with herpes cannot donate blood, but in fact, they can. Herpes can only be passed through direct skin-to-skin contact.
  9. HERPES IS NOT ALWAYS INFECTIOUS
    A person who is infected with herpes might not actually be able to pass it to someone else. If there were no symptoms of herpes, that usually means the virus was shed from the skin and you are not infectious.
  10. OUTBREAKS OCCUR MULTIPLE TIMES A YEAR
    A person with HSV-2 can have four to five outbreaks per year, but a person with HSV-1 is subject to less than one outbreak per year.
 
Portions of this article were first seen at BET.

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Alex Haynes is Editor-At-Large/NYC Editor at Urban Newsroom, Executive Editor at UNR's Black News Alerts and the host of Unmuted Nation on BossFM. Alex joined Urban Newsroom in 2010 and contributes regular op-ed and editorial pieces while advising the columnist and contributing staff.

Entertainment

Dolly Parton Declares Her Support For Black Lives Matter

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Dolly Parton

Country music icon Dolly Parton declares support for the Black Lives Matter movement. 

What We Know:

  • Dolly Parton was always vocal about her support for the LGBTQ community but was rarely vocal about politics. But now she has declared her support for the Black Lives Matter movement in a new Billboard cover story, saying that she’s “unequivocal” in supporting protests for racial justice despite never attending one. 
  • “I understand people having to make themselves known and felt and seen,” Parton said. “And of course Black lives matter. Do we think our little white asses are the only ones that matter? No!” 
  • Black Lives Matter protests have erupted all over the world, especially in the United States, fighting against systemic racism and police brutality after the deaths of many African Americans at the hands of police. The protests also have led to the removal of Confederate statues in states like Virginia and Tennessee. 
  • Other Country music artists like Lady A, previously Lady Antebellum, and The Chicks, previously the Dixie Chicks, have shown their support for the movement by changing their band name to remove imagery related to a pre-Civil War-era South. 
  • In 2018, Parton removed “Dixie” from Pigeon Forge dinner showroom Dolly Parton’s Stampede because she was told that it was an offensive term and she didn’t want to offend anyone, so she changed it to The Stampede. 
  • “There’s no such thing as innocent ignorance, and so many of us are guilty of that,” Parton told Billboard. “…as soon as you know that [something] is a problem, you should fix it. Don’t be a dumbass. That’s where my heart is. I would never dream of hurting anybody on purpose.” 

Dolly Parton has won over 30 Grammy and CMA awards and is known for her hits “Jolene,” “9 to 5,” I Will Always Love You,” and “Islands in the Stream” featuring Kenny Rogers.

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Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA Re-imagines Ice Cream Jingle Opposing “Turkey In the Straw”

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Graphic from Good Humor’s latest preview of the new jingle. (Good Humor/Youtube)
Graphic from Good Humor’s latest preview of the new jingle. (Good Humor/Youtube)

It could be entirely possible the once cherished ice cream truck tune could adopt a new sound in the future. A collaboration from Good Humor and Wu-Tang Clan’s founder RZA, has recently teamed up to create a new ice cream truck theme for a “new era, ” after learning the classic jingle holds racist roots.

What We Know:

  • One might immediately recognize the iconic melody from the song, “Turkey in the Straw”, when an ice-cream truck comes rolling down a street on a nice summer day. The tune was popular at minstrel shows around 200 years ago, which often depicted white actors participating in Blackface or other racial stereotyping acts. Good Humor only just now learned of the unfortunate history.
  • Much of the public weren’t aware that this childhood jingle for many, actually held a discomforting tone and meaning. Theodore R. Johnson wrote a piece for NPR in 2014 explaining exactly how racist lyrics were added to the tune from minstrel shows in the 1800s and onward. It originally came to the United States as a tune British and Irish folk played on the fiddle.

“There is simply no divorcing the song from the dozens of decades it was almost exclusively used for coming up with new ways to ridicule, and profit from, black people,” stated Johnson.

  • Senior director Russel Lilly of the parent company of Good Humor, Unilever, made a note that they haven’t used or owned ice cream trucks for a while now but wished to be a part of the change nonetheless.
  • Although they haven’t operated trucks since the ’70s, Good Humor is known for being the inventor of the ice cream trucks in a time where the company first thought about bringing their products to customers. “We wanted to be part of the solution and offer ice cream truck drivers a jingle that can bring joy to every community,” Lilly said in a statement.
  • RZA took a trip down memory lane in a statement by saying, “I remember the days when I would hear that iconic ice cream truck jingle outside, and I would drop what I was doing to chase it down for a treat”.
  • Check out the new jingle below:

In a behind the scenes making of the new jingle, Good Humor shared its initiative to make it the new industry standard for music boxes in trucks.

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Big Hit Entertainment Going Public, Announces BTS Virtual Concert

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South Korean media company, Big Hit Entertainment, recently announced their plan to go public this year and provided several updates about their music groups, including plans for a virtual BTS concert this fall.

What We Know:

  • Big Hit Entertainment, the label that manages boy-band BTS, held a corporate briefing on Thursday. The company revealed that they saw revenues of 294 billion won ($244.8 million) and operating profits of 49.7 billion won ($41.4 million) over the last six months. Even though the pandemic canceled or altered many of their artists’ events, online concert and merchandise sales allowed for a 27% increase in profits. Big Hit is working on an initial public offering (IPO) with a listing planned for this year. Some analysts predict the IPO could value Big Hit at 4 trillion won ($3.4 billion).
  • In addition to the financial wins, Big Hit announced several exciting projects for their artists. BTS will be holding a virtual concert in October titled Map of the Soul ON:E. The company also announced upcoming albums from BTS, Tomorrow X Together (TXT), and NU’EST. Additional releases include a Korean language-learning course, the upcoming BTS film Break The Silence: The Movie, and a new book titled The Most Beautiful Moment in Life: The Notes 2, which is another literary installment in the “BTS Universe”.
  • Big Hit’s cash cow is BTS, the seven-member K-pop group. BTS quickly rose to global prominence, becoming the first group since The Beatles to have three Billboard No. 1 albums in a year. The group has broken YouTube records with their music videos and their concerts sell out within seconds. In addition to BTS, Big Hit manages TXT and owns the labels which manage Seventeen and GFriend. The Big Hit groups dominated South Korea’s album charts this year, making up 40% of all album sales. The new BTS album Map of the Soul: 7 sold over 4.26 million copies.

BTS had planned a world tour for this summer, but most of the concerts were canceled. Instead, the group held a virtual concert in June which sold 756,000 tickets, equivalent to about 15 stadium concerts.

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