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Pointless to ask about Love Islanders’ herpes

Most people don’t know that they have genital herpes. [1]

So, asking Love Island contestants about their herpes status is pointless. Herpes is common – for most it is a minor, undiagnosed skin condition.

You can see the full page of information here.

As I was creating the media release, I found myself thinking: are the doctors advising Love Island producers so ignorant about herpes that they don’t know that most people with it are unaware of it? (We know that for people with a bad primary infection, or frequent recurrences, that this is a surprise – but it is a fact that: most don’t have anything noticeable.) If we accept that the doctors do know, then perhaps the questions they ask contestants are to protect the producers and not really to find out who has/has not got herpes:

25. Do you currently have a cold sore or genital ulcer?

26. Have you ever had cold sores or genital ulcers or been diagnosed with genital herpes?

27. Have you ever taken medication for cold sores or genital ulcers?

By asking these questions, they are performing ‘due diligence.’ The questions will pick up one person in three who has the virus, and who has been diagnosed. But it won’t pick up the two out of three with the virus who get symptoms, but these are too mild to have been diagnosed. So it will not prevent transmission from the people who don’t realise the ‘little thing’ they have on their skin is herpes.