In this year's big hit The Help, Bryce Dallas Howard's racist character, Hilly Holbrook, is "punished" with an increasingly huge cold sore.
"We take issue with the concept that herpes is a marker for evil," says Dr. Reese. "This common infection strikes all comers, no matter the direction of their moral compass. Often triggered by sun exposure and emotional or physical stress, outbreaks can be painful and decidedly un-glamorous." And given that almost 58 percent of Americans have some strain of the herpes simplex virus, villifying sufferers cruelly marginalizes a huge segment of the population.