Kid Gets Herpes From Condom He Found In Hotel Room

Last month we wrote about the 4-year-old boy in Atlanta who mistook a used condom in a hotel room for a balloon and put it in his mouth. An STD test confirmed the family’s suspicions that the boy contracted herpes from the condom.

CBS Atlanta spoke to the boy’s grandma, who talked about how tough it was to explain to the boy why she could no longer kiss him:

“When the cold sores were active, he wanted to give me a kiss, especially in the hospital. I said, ‘no sweetie — you know — not in the mouth, you can’t kiss mommy.’ He said, ‘mommy you don’t love me anymore?’ And so, it was very, very — very hurtful.”

The test came back negative for HIV.

4-Year-Old Contracts Herpes, Negative For HIV After Used Condom Incident [CBS Atlanta]
(Thanks, Michael!)

Previously: That Free Balloon In Your Hotel Room May Be A Used Condom


Edit Your Comment

  1. Lollerface says:

    Consumerist commenters hate parents. Go.

    • rdclark says:

      Hotels. We hate hotels.

      • Lollerface says:

        When this story was first mentioned everyone was ripping on the parents for not “teaching their kid better” and essentially saying the kid deserved it.

        • craptastico says:

          i’m glad i didn’t read that then. that’s so unbelievable ignorant that it makes me wonder if these commenters were ever kids, or if they came out of their mothers full grown and cynical

        • ArcanaJ says:

          I remember that. Because, at four, a kid should know what a used condom looks like. *rolls eyes*

        • gc3160thtuk says you got your humor in my sarcasm and you say you got your sarcasm in my humor says:

          I’m more along the lines that the damn hotel should not be so disgusting and the maids should actually do their job. Also the asshole that left the condom their or the chick he banged should have their asses kicked for not throwing their ish away after using it, especially since one of them most likely knew they were infected with skank and herpes. Like the maid would have wanted to clean that ish up if they were to actually do their job and clean the damn room up. Although I don’t think that is the sort of hotel I would want to stay in, and am curious if their were any other signs that would have led one to come to the realization that they were staying in a pay by the hour, hooker fest motel.

    • blag says:

      I’m pretty sure Consumerists just hate real people.

      I’m having an issue with Weight Watchers at the moment, and I have contemplated submitting my issue, but I expect Consumerists despise fat people even more than they despise other ‘victims’ of corporate ills.

      • jesirose says:

        Submit it! It’s not about what the commenters say about you. It’s about getting awareness for your problem, right?

        I don’t use weight watchers, but I’m loosing weight myself. It’s a hard process and I wish you the best of luck! Us fatties gotta stick together :)

      • Lollerface says:

        I hear ya, there is alot of hate towards fat people on here. As a larger fellow myself, it gets old.

        • mandy_Reeves says:

          well when it comes to weight watchers…I am their strongest supporter…for heavy folks too. I have lost 100 pounds through weight watchers in 19 months. I have 80 to go, and hope to be a meeting leader some day.

          • dolemite says:

            My wife goes to Weight Watchers. I’m still highly critical of it. I ask “what exactly is it you do there?”

            From what I understand, you weigh in, in secret. They give you little tips about losing weight. This costs money.

            We have an accurate scale at home, a “gym-quality” gym downstairs, and I’ve forgotten more about nutrition and fitness than most trainers you’d find at your typical gym. Why exactly am I paying for Weight Watchers?

            • jesirose says:

              Some people need motivation. Whatever form of motivation works for you, might not work for others. If your wife is having success, it works. Let her be.

            • MaxH42 thinks RecordStoreToughGuy got a raw deal says:

              I don’t go to meetings, I just pay for the online tools. Besides making it very easy to keep track of my food intake, their points system makes it easy to plan and exchange one food for another, say “Well, after dinner I have enough points left to have a glass of scotch or a brownie.” The exchange/equivalence is especially helpful since it’s not based purely on calories; fat and fiber content adjust it up or down slightly.

              Sure, I could make my own food journal at home, but the iPhone app and online tools make it easier to keep track, so if I was doing it on my own looking everything up and adding it up every day, I might not have kept on it as long.

            • Absinthe says:

              Some people need the accountability to stay on track. Some people like the support of the group talks after weigh-in. Some people find the points system easier to follow than counting calories. Whatever the reason, weight-watchers works for many people. You lose weight in a slow, responsible and sustainable manor. As someone who is overweight and quit smoking after 15 year (part of the reason why I am now overweight), I can tell you that it is harder to lose weight & keep it off than to quit smoking.

      • mandy_Reeves says:

        what is your issue with weight watchers if I may ask? If it has to do with billing, yes, they clearly state they will charge you 2 weeks before your month runs out. They try like 3 times I think.

      • minneapolisite says:

        I don’t think consumerist commenters hate fat people…I think they hate fat people who don’t try to take care of themselves and expect the world to accommodate them (redesign amusement park rides, for example). If you’re working on losing your weight, I would hope that the commenters would cheer you on rather than belittle you.

        • edosan says:

          No, Consumerist commenters hate fat people. Just like they hate everyone in any sort of debt.

        • wonderkitty now has two dogs says:

          They also hate everyone who doesn’t keep an extra $100 in their checking accounts then overdraws by .43 and it cost them $150. Because everyone is either perfect or dumb on here.

        • quijote says:

          How do you know when someone expecting the world to accommodate their weight is overweight because they don’t try to take care of themselves?

          • ablestmage says:

            By looking at them for a few seconds and making a snap diagnosis.

            That’s how most of the Target stories get published, from people who can’t take the ten seconds to actually see if the label matches the item on the shelf, or fail to notice that a practice has been commonplace in general retail for 15+ years already.

      • LadySiren is murdering her kids with HFCS and processed cheese says:

        The categories of hate for Consumerist commenters are generally as follows: fat people; parents; kids; kids on airplanes; anyone who doesn’t grow or make their own free-range, fat-free, sodium-free, HFCS-free food at home; Phil;, poor people; rich people; anyone who banks at BofA; and anyone who has Comcast. Simply find your niche from the above list and you’re set.

        • chaesar says:

          don’t forget people with revolving credit card debt

        • Peter Nincompoop says:

          You neglected to mention people who should have known better to fly on [insert name] airlines and end up having an issue(s) with said airlines, never mind the fact that not everyone can afford to patronize one particular airliner due to outrageous fares.

        • Tedsallis says:

          You forgot Best Buy. I’m pretty sure they are somehow responsible for the kid getting herpes.

        • mmeetoilenoir lurktastique says:

          You forgot Black people, too. I never, EVER go into a topic concerning racism or bigotry, because I’ll see some awful things. The editorial staff doesn’t give a shit, either.

        • Fidget says:

          Don’t forget women-who-aren’t-being-actively-sexy, or at least up to the standards of internet tough guy virgin. I understand *some* parent snark, because everyone’s had a dinner ruined by a screaming kid whose parents couldn’t be bothered to make an effort; but how do any of the other groups affect these people? It’s like some thin people (and self-hating fat people with skinny avatars) are just morally outraged that other people can exist, be happy, and not feel the need to diet. So, you know, shame all around I guess.
          Extra points for the people who say “I don’t hate fat people, I’m just concerned for the health of an anonymous person whose hypothetical body outrages me.”

      • dragonfire81 says:

        somewhat related: I think it would be cool if consumerist could implement a private messaging feature, that way people who want help but don’t want to post publicly could send messages to certain knowledgeable members and get help that way.

      • bdgbill says:

        Sigh…. People writing posts about their annoyance with fat people taking up half of the airline seat they paid for does not equal hate. People disagreeing with fantasies that every fat person has a legitimate medical excuse for being fat does not equal hate.

        If you are going to claim to be a victim because you eat too much food, you should expect to be called on your bullsh*t….in any forum.

        • Kibit says:

          Funny that you mentioned
          “People disagreeing with fantasies that every fat person has a legitimate medical excuse for being fat does not equal hate.” AND “If you are going to claim to be a victim because you eat too much food, you should expect to be called on your bullsh*t….in any forum.”

          I’m fed up with people who believe that EVERY fat/overweight person eats to much food. It just is not the case. I am also fed up with people who comment on articles and posts and they know NOTHING about the subject. Unless you are at least an Endocrinologist or Pharmacist or you have dealt with a medical issue or medicine that can cause you to gain weight. Then you shouldn’t be commenting on it.

          Are there fat people who are overweight because they eat too much food. Yes, there are. There are also many, many fat people who have thyroid problems, hormone problems, prescription medication problems or the perfect storm of a medical problem and prescription medication problems. A women who is not pregnant, has healthy eating habits and is active does not gain 50-60 pounds in eight months unless there is a medical issue.

          Would you like to know what is almost as bad as dealing with a medical issue that can cause you to gain a lot of weight in a short period of time? People who feel that they can treat you like shit because you are now fat. The same people who do not believe that a medical issue can cause these problems and make rude and disparaging comments. These people have no clue that this can happen because it has never happened to them or anyone they know.

          • willystyle says:

            I’ve been overweight nearly my entire life, and I can say with relative certainty that America did NOT become one of the most overweight nations because we all have medical problems. I eat what I shouldn’t, and I eat too much, just like most people who are overweight.

            Are there those among us who have legitimate medical reasons for being overweight? Absolutely. Are they the majority? Not even close. It’s a matter of calories in – calories out. Just because you’re overly vocal about the tiny group of people with medically-related weight gain doesn’t mean there’s actually a high number of those people in the U.S.

            If you are one of those people with a medical issue and you’ve been treated unfairly because of it, then you have the right to be angry at those people who treated you badly, but you shouldn’t stand up and pretend that the majority of fat people have anything more than overeating and underexercising to blame.

          • _UsUrPeR_ says:

            “I’m fed up with people who believe that EVERY fat/overweight person eats to much food. It just is not the case”

            Au contraire, it is the case.

            As an illustration, I would like you to do an image search for “1960 american crowd” in google image search. I defy you to find the overweight person in that photo. That person has a glandular problem.

    • Scoobatz says:

      You’re half right. Consumerist commenters hate parents and kids.

      • sixsevenco says:

        Bingo. I don’t comment here often. When I do, I’m usually defending kids or parents. That or posting a lame reference/quote to a movie or tv show that I feel is somehow related to the post.

    • Fight Back Against David Horowitz! says:

      I hate everyone and everything…except kittehs. I come to Consumerist for the kittehs.

    • Danjalier says:

      I’ll tell you one thing Consumerist commentators love: thread derailing! Article about overdraft fees? Comments like: Banks suck in general, I hide my money under my mattress –> bedbugs eat money –> wouldn’t have bedbugs if you took better care of your hygiene –> you don’t take care of your higene because you are fat. –> You spelled hygiene wrong idiot. –> Wh s ths n Cnsmrst?

    • Chaosium says:

      fair troll is fair

    • graytotoro says:

      I make my own parents at home. Incestuous? Perhaps. But it cuts down on the defects.

  2. SJPadbury says:

    I appreciate that one of the related posts that are showing on the sidebar for this article is: UPDATE: I NO LONGER NEED TO DRIVE 1,500 MILES TO CLOSE MY DEAD MOTHER’S BANK ACCOUNT.
    Because BoA and STD’s all get lumped together in my head….

  3. OmniZero says:

    Good to know the hotel there knows how to clean up properly… I hope the place closes.

  4. jesirose says:

    Most kids get herpes in their mouth as kids, from kissing relatives. About 80% of the US population has herpes I or II, either oral or genital, and most people don’t even know it because they don’t have symptoms.

    It sucks that this kid has symptoms, but they go away as you get older usually, and become less severe. It’s not the end of the world. The article says the kid contracted “oral herpes”. That just means it’s in his mouth. You can get I or II in your mouth or other areas. You can even develop herpes on your finger. Is she trying to indicate he has Herpes I, which is more common in the mouth? In which case, it’s less likely it actually came from the condom! While the people who used the condom could have Herpes I genitally and have transmitted it, it’s unlikely.

    How do they know he didn’t have herpes orally before?? Did they test all his relatives and find out how many of them also have herpes? He could likely have had it before, and the stress triggered a cold sore.

    If the family wants to make him feel better, they should all get blood tests done (which should be done 12 weeks after possible exposure, and this kid has only been exposed 8 weeks ago, so if they catch it from him it won’t be in a blood test yet), and find out just how many of them already have Herpes I or II. Then he can feel more normal again. But he’s 4, so he won’t really get the concept probably. It’s SOO common, and it’s really not that big a deal.

    • minneapolisite says:

      Good point. You posted at the same time as me. I have never had oral herpes, possibly because no one ever kissed me on the mouth as a child. My parents both had cold sores, so maybe that’s why the concept of mouth-kissing a child is so foreign to me.

      • jesirose says:

        You’ve never had oral herpes, or you’ve never had symptoms? Can’t say you don’t have it based on lack of symptoms. If you’ve ever kissed anyone, you might have it. Until you have a negative blood test you can’t be sure :-P

        (Not picking on you, just pointing out how many people think “symptom-free” = “herpes-free”.)

        • minneapolisite says:

          Nope, I’ve been conclusively tested. (I maxed out my healthcare deductible in 2009 and got tested for everything under the sun that year, ha!)

          • jesirose says:

            As long as you asked them to test for it! Most people don’t know that if you go in for “Full STD Screening” it still doesn’t include herpes. That’s one reason it’s still spreading so much. That and condoms don’t protect against it. (Kind of ironic given the article, eh?)

            Ah, health insurance…

            • minneapolisite says:

              I’ve done the same research as you. I appreciate you posting it here–hopefully some people will read it and understand more about the virus. I feel the need to respond, in case any one who knows me reads this thread, yes I am thoroughly clean of herpes from head to toe. LOL.

              • jesirose says:

                YAAAAY :-P

                (Like I said I really wasn’t trying to attack you, hope you got that! :) )

                • minneapolisite says:

                  Nope, I appreciate the info! I just felt the need to clear my name in case any ex boyfriends ever try to blame me for their cold sores, haha. :)

              • hansolo247 says:

                Odds are you still have it, just any test didn’t throw a high enough number to trip a positive.

                Still, we’re splitting hairs, really. Some get it and show symptoms, some don’t. Some get it and have a reproduce-able blood test that shows it, some don’t.

      • Clyde Barrow says:

        IMO minneaspoliste, because both your parents have had cold sores, which is the herpes virus, there is a very good chance that you have it also. Herpes is extremely contagious. So the chances of you living in an environment for all those years growing up with your parents and not getting is remote. Just because you don’t have symptoms does not preclude you from not having it. Severity of symptoms is different with everyone. You can get it just about anywhere and even on fingers without breaking of the skin.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      I think you are off your rocker, personally. He touched an unknown used condom, and then gets visible signs of herpes. Why are you seeing zebras when it’s clearly horses?

      • jesirose says:

        Because it’s pretty rare for symptoms to develop as quickly as his did, and the virus dies quickly when exposed to the air, like most viruses.

        I didn’t say he didn’t get it from the condom. I said there are a ton of ways he could have gotten it, and offered some others. I also explained in the post why it seems unlikely it was the condom. Unlikely != impossible, please note.

        I also pointed out that it’s not the end of the world. How does that make me off my rocker? Because I actually know about a disease instead of just freaking out? Yeah…

        Like I said. 80%. Some sources say 90%. BFD.

      • outoftheblew says:

        Because there are different kinds of herpes, one of which does not usually involve sexual activity and generally causes cold sores. So saying a kid has cold sores and Herpes could likely have zero correlation to touching a used condom.

        • jesirose says:

          Kind of right…

          Cold Sores are the same as the genital blisters. There are two viruses, but you can get either in either location (or more random places like nose, eye, finger even).

          You can transmit either from one area to another. It’s not as common as oral-oral though for example, which is why I say it’s more likely a kid would get oral herpes from all the mouth kissing the family does, than from an old used condom he put in his mouth.

      • mszabo says:

        It’s hardly ‘zebras’ when most everybody already has this disease. If only say 2% of the population had herpes then it would far fetched. But catching a disease that most everyone already has doesn’t seem like much news. I thought viruses didn’t survive long at room temperature so jesirose’s theory seems relevant.

      • jesirose says:

        PS: Do you believe that kids who develop autism soon after getting a vaccine are getting it FROM that preservative?

        People see relationships where they want to.

        How many kids out there got their first cold sore, and DIDN’T put a condom in their mouth? Kids get oral herpes. Sad.

      • Conformist138 says:

        Correlation != Causation

        STRESS can trigger a herpes outbreak. If this kid was subjected to the stress of his hysterical family, that could actually trigger a cold sore. And, a condom just couldn’t keep the virus alive. Plus, it’s not in fluids. So… Yeah, I see Zebras because they’re striped and grazing next to giraffes.

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      I agree that it’s definitely a crappy, horribly disgusting situation and being exposed to a used condom is 100% unacceptable…

      but in the end there’s really no reason to suspect that the kid will have long term life altering consequences because of it. Growing up with cold sore/fever blister/canker sore/oral herpes/etc. isn’t going to make someone a social outcast. I grew up in the northeast before there was any treatment and virtually every kid had to deal with them at some point or another when growing up.

      They definitely suck to deal with valacyclovir, Valtrex, Abreva, etc. can make them a complete non-issue.

      • jesirose says:

        Exactly! From what I’ve read, even the small amount of people with symptoms don’t need to take medicine to deal with it. Just a little spot treatment when you have a cold sore.

        I hope the mom & family will do some research and realize it’s not as bad as they think. Yeah, the hotel situation is shit. But the kid will be fine.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        You may not have meant to do this, but people confuse canker sores with cold sores all the time but canker sores are not associated with the same condition that causes cold sores. Doctors don’t know what causes canker sores but you can’t transmit them to other people.

        WebMD app for the win!

        • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

          I wasn’t confusing them… They both have very similar symptoms and a kid with either is going to go through pretty much the same thing.

          • pecan 3.14159265 says:

            Not really. Canker sores happen most often inside the mouth. You may be in pain but your schoolmates might not notice. Cold sores are usually on or outside the mouth, making it much more obvious.

            • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

              Arghh… I hate semantic disputes on the internet.

              Ones bacteria, the other is a virus, ones contagious and the other isn’t. They’re both issues relating to the mouth, can be extremely painful, and can manifest themselves in different ways. My wife gets canker sores and if she’s extremely unlucky, it’ll turn into a small, very nasty ulcer that will spread to the outside of the lip (not just a red & white bump on the inside).

              It doesn’t really matter the exact cause but the experience of having an ugly, painful sore on one’s lip is universally unpleasant regardless of cause.

              • pastthemission says:

                Yea the difference between bacteria and a virus isn’t semantics. They are two totally different things. Canker sores and cold sores are two totally different things. They have different causes, different symptoms, and differing levels of visibility to other people. Just because you want to be able to lump things together doesn’t mean people wanting to be clear about what they’re talking about is just an argument about semantics.

        • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

          I get canker sores, usually when I bite the side of my mouth while enthusiastically eating. They are a pain in the mouth.

        • suez says:

          I usually get cancre sores from eating walnuts.

          I’ve also had “cold sores” but they seem to come after stress, sun exposure, or accidentally hurting my lip where’s I’ve had one in the past–those things can usually trigger a recurrance.

        • Fidget says:

          Yes! Finally left my high school dentist after he kept prescribing expensive cold sore (ie: topical only), swearing up and down they’d work for cancre sores. Then the awkward process of telling the boyfriend not to say, “Oh yeah, Fidge gets cold sores” when that comes up with people. Not that anyone should be embarrassed of having herpes, but it changes a normal statement to TMI very quickly.

    • trey says:

      read the facts before you make something sound worse than it is.

      • jesirose says:

        How am I making it sound worse than it is? I’m saying it’s NOT a big deal?

        Do you mean the statistics? From your source:

        “About 50 percent to 80 percent of the adult population in the United States has oral herpes.”

        “Approximately 80% of persons having a first episode caused by HSV-2 will have at least one recurrence, while only 50% of persons with HSV-1 will experience a recurrence. ” – Sounds like the mom may think it’s HSV-1, so let’s assume he’s only got a 50% chance. That’s still actually WORSE than I said it was.

        “Some people may experience several outbreaks during a year, while others have only 1 or 2 outbreaks during their lifetime.” – 1 or 2, not that bad.

        “Genital herpes is the most prevalent viral sexually transmitted disease. ” – Yep.

        So, explain your comment please?

        • trashpicker says:

          I’m guessing you are one of the 50-80% of Americans…

          • theirishscion says:

            There are many many of us out there. What relevance does jesirose’s HSV status have to this thread?

            Or are you trying to say something pejorative about jesirose? Because I have to say, it sounds a lot like you are, and if you are you should be fucking ashamed of yourself.

            • jesirose says:

              Thanks :)

              Yeah considering it’s at LEAST half, and more likely closer to 80% since so few show symptoms (only 10-20%), the people who should feel abnormal are those WITHOUT herpes. Whether or not I have any form of it in any place, is irrelevant to the store or any of my points.

              However – If someone is sitting there all smug cause they couldn’t possibly have herpes and they’re a little angel, I actually feel sorry that no one has ever wanted to kiss them. Who’s the gross one, the person who gets herpes from kissing their relative, or their spouse, or the person who is so gross no one will get close enough to give them (as my BF so oddly puts it) “the happies”.

              PS: Condoms don’t protect against herpes, especially M-F transmission. So if you really don’t want to get it, insist on tests before ANY contact! /public service announcement.

              • howie_in_az says:

                I still think it’s better to be the one WITHOUT the sexually transmitted disease, but that’s just me.

      • Clyde Barrow says:

        Thank you Trey.

    • Clyde Barrow says:

      You’re talking out the side of your ass. Where do you get this thinking from? It always amuses me when someone like yourself breaks apart the most solid evidence and facts to presuppose something that is nearly impossible to prove. Even if the kid did have it before the incident, it didn’t pop up until after the incident so it doesn’t disprove that the condom could have aggravated the condition.

      First of all, oral herpes is the same as genital, it only depends upon where you get it and how.

      Second, making a presumptous statement that “the kid could have had it before” is completely irrelevant at this point. Because the condom was test pos for herpes, there is connection between the kid getting oral herpes and the condom.

      This isn’t rocket science.

      • jesirose says:

        “First of all, oral herpes is the same as genital, it only depends upon where you get it and how. ” – How many times have I said that already? I pointed out that there is HSV1 and 2, and you can get either in either location. Can you read? Seriously, can you? Like, comprehension wise? Is it hard for you?

        “Even if the kid did have it before the incident, it didn’t pop up until after the incident so it doesn’t disprove that the condom could have aggravated the condition. ” – Again, I SAID THAT.

        Please show where the article says the CONDOM tested positive?

        • jesirose says:

          Oh, except the “how” part. It doesn’t matter HOW you get it. Oral herpes is oral if it’s in your mouth. Regardless of which virus it is, or where you contracted it from. So…now who’s “talking out their ass”?

      • hansolo247 says:

        HSV1 and HSV2 are distinct viruses. they are NOT the same.

        One can get HSV1 down there, or HSV2 up there, but generally that only presents symptoms ONCE, and they will then stay above the belt (1) or below the belt (2).

        Actually, standard practice is to now only test for HSV (1 *OR* 2). Meaning if positive, it means you have 1, 2, or 1+2. They will only test specifically for HSV2 if requested, and even then, it most likely won’t be covered by insurance.

        Of course, that’s standard practice. Explaining it to people is a whole different concept, though. If you get a positive on a standard HSV test, you do not necessarily have the “bad” one (even though they both really are the same except in terms of stuff that doesn’t matter). I got a positive for the standard test, and got retested for 2 and was negative. Needless to say, the nurses were ill informed, so when I was getting the results from the standard test and the nurse said I had BOTH, I freaked. A talk with the Doc explained the difference.

        If the kid really get 2, that’s a big deal (though not really, as it will likely never recur up there). If he has 1, odds are he probably had it already.

    • mxjohnson says:

      Finally, some sanity in this thread: “Most kids get herpes in their mouth as kids, from kissing relatives. About 80% of the US population has herpes I or II, either oral or genital, and most people don’t even know it because they don’t have symptoms.” Thank you.

      It’s an awful story, sure, and if he did catch herpes from the condom it’s even worse. But there’s a good chance he already had herpes.

    • nunaliorte says:

      “There are no documented cases of a person getting genital herpes from an inanimate object such as a toilet seat, bathtub, or towel. Herpes is a very fragile virus and does not live long on surfaces.”

      “Semen does not carry the herpes simplex virus.”

      “It is not the exchanging on bodily fluids that spreads the disease (such as with HIV) but instead it is the exposed contact with a sore or lesion.”

      Jesirose, I think you’re on to something. It seems most likely this is a strange and unfortunate coincidence, but from what I’ve read, it seems highly unlikely if not impossible that the kid contracted herpes from a condom.

    • Conformist138 says:

      THANK YOU!!!
      Herpes is NOT transmitted through fluid. In fact, vaginal fluid can PREVENT the spread of all strains of the herpes virus (thus, a man is 5x more likely to transmit it to his partner than a woman). Herpes is spread through shed skin on and around the sore, usually beginning just before a sore develops (thus, you don’t know if you are contagious). But, in time, it goes away. Seriously, I know plenty of people with genital herpes who have not had symptoms in several years and never infected their partners.

      The idea that a used condom sitting out for any length of time could give someone herpes is so silly that it actually perpetuates the stigma of those who have it. And, if it is type I (common cold sores) you have hit the nail on the head with 60%-80% of the population being carriers of the virus.

      Seriously, this is so stupid. I mean, the grandma wont let the boy kiss them? WHY? Because the cooties that nearly all people have are so terrible? This kid is gonna grow up feeling like an outsider just because his family is having a shit fit over nothing.

      And yeah, DUH he was negative for HIV. That also doesn’t live outside the body for long. When are people gonna start doing REAL research on sexually transmitted diseases before they open their mouths? Or, better yet, start teaching the truth in schools instead of overblown scare tactics.

    • Pinkbox says:

      The difference here is that the condom itself tested positive for herpes. Either way, it’s pretty disgusting that a used condom was left in the room, and it could have easily carried for something besides “just herpes”.

      • nunaliorte says:

        No, only the kid tested positive, not the condom. I don’t see any mention of the condom being tested (in the linked article on

        • Pinkbox says:

          You may be right. I just remember the original article stating (I think?) that they planned on having the condom tested also.

  5. minneapolisite says:

    I didn’t know parents kissed children on the mouth. Really not trying to hate on the parents, but that is foreign to me.

    • jesirose says:

      I agree, my family never did that and all the sudden I see so many families do that. I think it’s really gross honestly, I save that for romantic kissing. But it’s apparently REALLY common.

    • MustWarnOthers says:

      Our family has been open mouth tongue kissing each other – no lips involved, since we were little. No Herpes in our family though.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      I don’t know about this case, but I know kids don’t always understand what is appropriate or socially acceptable, and they’re also not exactly acrobats when it comes to fine motor skills. I can see how it could accidentally happen.

      I also see how the mother may just feel flat out uncomfortable with the situation and needs to get her kid to back off.

      • nbs2 says:

        Social understanding is definitely an issue. Growing up, we didn’t mouth kiss, and neither my wife or I is a a fan of it (with the kids). But, my daughter has a hard time understanding the difference, and will often try to mouth kiss – it’s what she sees my wife and I do when one of us arrives or leaves and what she sees in media portrayals.

        It is what it is.

    • Hirayuki says:

      My son is four; we’ve all (parents and grandparents) been puckering up and kissing lip-to-lip ever since he could muster a pucker. Before that, he just kind of put his flat lips on our lips, which was weird.

      It’s not like we’re open-mouthed about it. No tongue involved, either.

    • LightningUsagi says:

      I think it’s a natural thing with some families, and unnatural with others. My father’s side of the family was always very affectionate, with lip-on-lip kisses from parents, grandparents, and some aunts. However, I don’t think I’ve ever even kissed my mother’s relatives on the cheeks. Maybe my grandmother, but no one else.

    • RayanneGraff says:

      I know families that mouth-kiss and it grosses me out completely. I think it’s inappropriate & blurs boundaries. Mouth kissing should be between couples, not family members, especially NOT kids. Ew, ew, ew.

      I once dated a guy that had a 4 year old son, and every time he would come back from a visit to his mom’s family, he would be trying to kiss us on the lips for several days. *We* didn’t teach him that, so he was learning it from them. We knew that the grandfather had molested the boy’s mother when she was young, and we had a sneaking suspicion that the grandfather was starting in in the little boy too. Thanks god the old pervert finally died. So, so creepy.

    • danmac says:

      This is why I never kiss my family members…on the mouth.

    • AustinTXProgrammer says:

      I never mouth kissed as a child, my wife thinks I’m a horrible person as I don’t mouth kiss my kids (and she does. Do we send enough mixed signals?)

    • Conformist138 says:

      In my family, dad doesn’t but mom does. It’s totally normal. Not like we make-out with mommy, just a quick *muah*

      It’s never been something I consider wierd, gross, or even a tiny bit sexual (it’s exactly the same when she kisses me as when she kisses my brother, no gender divisions there). On my mom’s side of the family, it’s totally normal (grandma is the same way). Dad’s side never did, so he doesn’t. Neither ever accused the other of being wrong for their preferences and I never really thought much of it.

    • Gulliver says:

      Yep, in Alabama, they follow it up with long, deep soulful French kissing followed by breast feeding for 12 year olds.

  6. PTB315 says:

    Really didn’t need to start my day with this story. Why is this even on here? Its an awful story, but neither post names the hotel, just noting that it’s in Atlanta.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      I’m pretty sure you could just find a story on an Atlanta news site.

      • PTB315 says:

        I’m completely aware of that, all I’m trying to say is this isn’t really a consumer issue, other than to point out that sometimes hotel cleaning staffs don’t do their job perfectly. I’m not trying to downplay what happened, but this is a disgusting story that I don’t take any positive things away from, particularly in my actions as a consumer. I don’t want to hear STD horror stories when I check this site nearly every morning.

        I genuinely try to not be the guy that just comments to bitch at a site he’s using over one single instance where they post something that’s not completely on topic. However, I’d prefer to just not have to have the thought of STDs put in my consciousness, grossing me out (herpes being one of the worst offenders). I’m usually not squeamish, but the STD slide show we were forced to watch in high school still bothers me to this day. Ignorance is, in my opinion, occasionally bliss. Or, to borrow a meme, “what has been seen, cannot be unseen”.

        • jesirose says:

          Ignorance is what causes such high rates of transmission. Not bliss.

          • PTB315 says:

            No, I’m pretty sure that the fact that for a man, not using a condom is far more pleasurable during intercourse leads to more transmissions than lack of knowledge. In fact, I sincerely doubt that the majority of people who contract STDs in the US were lacking in knowledge. Regardless, I went to a school system that had a district that was somewhere towards the higher end of middle class, and they taught the lessons of STD risk just fine without the slideshow. It was just overkill and disgusting.

    • ParingKnife ("That's a kniwfe.") says:

      Ah Consumerist, working hard to protect the, uh- consumer?

  7. FangDoc says:

    A couple commenters on the original linked article were claiming that the boy couldn’t have gotten herpes from the condom because the sores appeared too quickly. However, most people don’t develop the primary form of herpes simplex, called herpetic gingivostomatitis, when they first get infected; instead, they only develop the latent form, the more common cold sores, later on. In young children, however, it’s much more common, and it sounds like what this little boy has. Link:

    Unfortunate as it is that this little boy was infected, 90% of the population carries either HSV-1 or HSV-2 in their mouths; most of us just don’t develop symptoms unless our immune systems are depressed. So don’t feel superior if you think you don’t have herpes; the odds are against you. And most of us contract it in childhood during the putting-everything-in-your-mouth phase, NOT through sexual contact (talking about the oral form here, although it can spread, um, elsewhere.)

    The more you know… about herpes…

  8. outoftheblew says:

    Most kids have Herpes I (cold sores). When I got an STD test in my 30’s, I tested positive for it, but the only cold sores I’d ever had were when I was a kid (not sexually active, no hotel condoms in my mouth). I’m curious if they have any evidence that the kid didn’t have the Herpes before all this.

  9. Groanan says:

    The hotel cleaning staff and the parents really dropped the ball on this one, and now the little guy is going to have to live the rest of his life with herpes because he was curious.

    It could be a lot worse though, he could have electrocuted himself, or gouged out an eye.

    Someone needs to knit a scarlet letter for him to wear at the playground before he spreads it around.

    • Sneeje says:

      Exactly how did the parents drop the ball? I am assuming you’ve never had kids (perhaps you do), but things like this only take a second–it doesn’t matter how vigilant you are. The implication is that there is some level of vigilance that can prevent 100% of accidents, and it isn’t a level that most people would consider over-protective. It’s just not possible.

      A lack of accidents is a combination of vigilance and luck–so unless you know the specifics of the situation I don’t see how you can claim the parents dropped the ball.

      Case-in-point, my 18 month old wanders freely in my kitchen, which is highly prepared for this (plug covers, cabinet locks, etc. However, recently one of my older kids pulled a plug cover to use the plug and did not replace the cover (even though he knows better). I noticed immediately when my 18 month old was starting to play with the plug, but even though I was 10 feet away, he touched it before I could stop him. Nothing happened, but there you go.

      • Groanan says:

        The ball was dropped when the child was allowed to play unsupervised in an unknown area that the parent had not previously inspected.

        The parent had a duty to give the boy a safe living environment.
        The duty did not disappear when they entered the hotel room (and yes the hotel also has a duty to give its guests a reasonably safe environment, these duties overlap to some degree).

        • Sneeje says:

          Hmmmm… I still disagree, but perhaps we’re just interpreting the words differently. Of course I agree with those responsibilities, what I guess I’m objecting too is your (implied) adherence to an unrealistic standard. You seem to believe that there is an amount of supervision and unknown area inspection that would prevent ALL accidents. I believe that is naive.

          And, you do not know that the parents left him unsupervised–there could have been a parent nearby. Believing that a parent can watch a child every second of every waking moment and prevent them from harm is unrealistic. You also don’t know that the parents did not inspect the room. If the condom was clear and in a trash can with a clear plastic bag, it would have been very hard to see. Do you empty and replace the trash bags in every hotel room you enter before you use it?

          If the child got stuck by a pin in the foot, would you blame the parents? Even getting down on your hands and knees and inspecting the entire floor might not reveal the pin.

          No parent feels blameless when their child is harmed, regardless of their vigilance–but it is also completely unreasonable for the rest of us to blame them without knowing the absolute specifics of the situation. Unless you can prove that harm to children is 100% preventable without keeping them in a padded closet for their entire lives, you might want to cut them some slack.

          • Groanan says:

            Yes, I am taking the stand that parents should keep their kids 100% safe from having dirty condoms in their mouths 100% of the time.

            And if they fail to do so, they dropped the ball. Shame on them.

            • Sneeje says:

              Please honor the rest of the world with your genius when you lay out your guaranteed approach for keeping kids from putting things you don’t want them to in their mouths regardless of the circumstances. Or wait, perhaps you have just patented a fool-proof dirty-condom detector?

              Once you do that, we will await your cure for cancer and design for a sustainable fusion reactor.

            • Scoobatz says:

              This poor kid now has herpes because some asshole decided to throw his used condom someplace where housekeeping couldn’t easily find it to remove it. Somehow, that doesn’t bother you. All you have to add is some ignorant comment about blaming the parents. Unless you survived childhood free of injury, illness, or insult, I would suggest you reprimand your own parents for dropping the ball, as well.

              It’s quite obvious by your post that you have no children of your own. However, if you do have kids someday, feel free to enlighten us on how you raised them to be 100% safe, 100% of the time. I’ll be first in line to buy your book. Until then, I suggest you post on articles where you can actually contribute something valuable based on first hand experience or knowledge. Otherwise, you just sound like an idiot who doesn’t know how the real world works.

              • Groanan says:

                It does bother me that the hotel left the hazard, I said both the parents and the hotel dropped the ball.
                There is nothing wrong with them both being 100% responsible, their duties overlap – they both failed.

                • Rain says:

                  Well, if the condom was in the Grandmother’s home I would presume she was the one who was neglectful enough to leave a condom where a child could get it or failed to adequately clean their home after hosting… guests. However, this was a hotel room and the Grandmother entered it with the reasonable assumption that it had been properly cleaned and prepared.

                  The original article said the Grandmother came rushing out of the washroom. Perhaps she wanted a little privacy while she did her business? Maybe she was in the shower? There are a lot of reasonable explanations why she was not spending every moment watching him like a hawk. Four years old is plenty old enough to leave playing while you’re in the washroom.

                  Also, most four year olds have seen many balloons and no condoms, so it was hardly an unreasonable assumption on the part of the kid to think they’d found a toy. When a kid sees a toy sometimes they’re going to forget it isn’t theirs and just start playing with it. It’s what kids do.

                • Sneeje says:

                  Sigh. Ok, you win, the parents failed. Sadly, by your standards, nearly 100% of all parents do.

                  It really is sad that you don’t seem willing to accept that reality and your rigid worldview are two different things.

      • El_Fez says:

        Exactly how did the parents drop the ball?

        Perhaps in not teaching him not to put strange things in his mouth?

        • Sneeje says:

          How many 4 year olds have you parented? Teaching a child to not put strange things in their mouth and having them follow that rule 100% of the time are two different things. And BTW, from the kid’s perspective, it was a balloon, not a strange thing.

          Post back when you have children that at the age of 4, followed everything you’d taught them to date perfectly, to the letter, and 100% of the time.

    • smo0 says:

      I love to blame parents, but on this one… no.

      Kids put shit in their mouths all of the time (quite literally sometimes)… they are little hoovers for the carpet too….

      this is solely on the cleaning crew and the hotel….

      • Groanan says:

        Yes, the responsibilities of being a parent are left at the threshold of the hotel room door.
        The same goes for airplanes, trains, buses, boats, and truckstop bathrooms – anything with a door that you don’t own.

        • Sneeje says:

          Do you literally just read what you think everyone else is saying or do you pay attention to the actual words. No one is saying the parents don’t have responsibilities–you’re responsible for your own safety, but I’m guessing that you’ve been injured at various times in your life. Sometimes due to negligence, other times due to the fact that you’re human and not perfect. One gives us the opportunity to slam you for your foolishness and the other gives us the chance to empathize. I’m sorry you are incapable of the latter.

          • Groanan says:

            Actually the poster I responded to DID say effectively say that.
            The premise is that if the condom was at the person’s home, the parent would be responsible, but because the parent was at a hotel, they are no longer responsible.

            That you lose the responsibility to provide your child a safe environment when you are not in your own personal home.

  10. DariusC says:

    “He said, ‘mommy you don’t love me anymore?’ And so, it was very, very — very hurtful.””

    I bet. Still wanna blow money on a stupid war, America? Why not throw it into medical research and start controlling the medical industry so they can’t fuk people with prices on medical care and perscriptions.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      Wow, you can’t even rant on topic.

    • c!tizen says:

      “Why not throw it into medical research and start controlling the medical industry so they can’t fuk people with prices on medical care and perscriptions.”

      I know right, and the price of movie tickets is absurd. I mean they gouge you on the snacks and drinks, I shouldn’t be paying $15.00 for the movie too.


  11. CookiePuss says:

    I remember one of my male peurto rican friends used to kiss his father on the lips when they greeted. Kid was like 20 and the father 35 or so. I guess its just how you’re raised, like the Italians kissing each cheek 267 times then shoving a cannoli in your mouth. Customs. :p

  12. SweetJustice says:

    I think the hotel is solidly at fault here. A used condom is a hard thing to miss when cleaining.

    • craptastico says:

      definitely. the only way this could happen was if they didn’t change the sheets, plain and simple

    • Blitzgal says:

      Exactly. It suggests they didn’t even change the sheets between guests.

    • benh999 says:

      I disagree. It could’ve been flung behind furniture or something else. It is hard to expect hotels to clean/inspect every crevice of each room after a guest checks out. Certainly no one on Consumerist would be willing to pay the extra cost required by hotels to charge in order to cover the cost of cleaning rooms meticulously enough to eliminate every foreign object.

    • Chaosium says:

      “I think the hotel is solidly at fault here. A used condom is a hard thing to miss when cleaining.

      It’s at fault for being gross, and should be cited. It didn’t give the kid the herps.

  13. angelmvm says:

    Amazing that no one is pissed at the prior herpes infected resident of the hotel room. Is it really that difficult to throw your condom in the trash? What kind of a-hole expects housekeeping to dig them out of the sheets? Karma’s a bitch assbag.

    That said, It doesn’t absolve the hotel for shoddy housekeeping.

    Oh and the “don’t you love me anymore?” comment? Melodramatic much?

  14. chaesar says:

    jesus this just ruined my day

    • jesirose says:

      Why? Why would you let something as silly as a kid getting a disease that most of the population has too, ruin your day?

      • chaesar says:

        I dont know, maybe I would rather a little kid not stick a used condom full of some guy’s sperm in his mouth and contract a disease from it. Are you the arbiter of emotion? I should have realized.

  15. lymer says:

    This is just a really sad story.

  16. minjche says:

    Where’s JMILLER?

    I’d like to see what he has to say about this, considering how much yelling and screaming he did in the last article about how “impossible” it was for this kid to contract a disease from the condom.

  17. phrekyos says:

    This is sad. I’ve had cold sores since I was really little, and was made fun of unmercifully at school for it. Having a bunch of rotten brats in middle school yell at you, telling you you’ve been giving oral sex to strangers and whatnot… it’s not fun. At all.

    Fortunately we have stuff like Abreva these days. It really cuts down on the time the sores are there. Most of the time they don’t even develop fully if I get it on soon enough.

    • jesirose says:

      You know what’s sad to me? Kids in middle school making comments about oral sex! I don’t remember anyone talking about that in middle school, and I’m not even that old.

      Middle school is the worst. I think it’s way harder than high school for most kids.

      • HogwartsProfessor says:

        I agree; we had cold sores as kids and I don’t remember anyone saying anything like that. It was just understood that you didn’t kiss people when you had them because they were contagious, and we all thought you got them when you were getting sick.

      • phrekyos says:

        I’m now 24, and I went to government (public) school, so keep that in mind.

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      I’ve also dealt with cold sore since a very young age. I’d recommend not even bothering with Abreva — Get an Rx for valacyclovir and just let it sit in the medicine cabinet until you think you’ve got one coming on. I haven’t had a cold sore in over 10 years thanks to modern science :-)

      When I was a kid, cold sores were very common, especially in the winter. Kids were cruel but getting one was really no more socially stigmatizing than a pimple.

  18. phrekyos says:

    This is sad. I’ve had cold sores since I was really little, and was made fun of unmercifully at school for it. Having a bunch of rotten brats in middle school yell at you, telling you you’ve been giving oral sex to strangers and whatnot… it’s not fun. At all.

    Fortunately we have stuff like Abreva these days. It really cuts down on the time the sores are there. Most of the time they don’t even develop fully if I get it on soon enough.

  19. qbubbles says:

    I make my own herpes at home? Too soon?

  20. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    Can herpies live in a used condom for 24 hours?

  21. RayanneGraff says:

    This definitely sucks, but herpes is really not that big a deal. He could have gotten something MUCH worse. 90% of people have herpes in some form. I’ve never had symptoms but I just *assume* I have it since my mom gets cols sores & my dad has shingles. Basically, if you’ve had chicken pox, YOU HAVE HERPES!

    People need to quit freaking out about the ‘Big H’ so much. It’s just scabs on the skin fer chrissakes, it can’t give you cancer or KILL you like many other STDs can.

    Oh, and mouth-kissing your relatives is incredibly fucking wierd :|

  22. kt says:

    From what they are saying the child has the type of Herpes commonly known as “cold sores”. Anyone can get this and it’s common in kids. There is no proof it had anything to do with the condom.

  23. danmac says:

    He said, ‘mommy you don’t love me anymore?’ And so, it was very, very — very hurtful.”

    I may be very cynical, but this sounds like ramping-up-for-lawsuit talk to me.

  24. mugwump says:

    I make my own herpes at home :)

  25. smo0 says:

    I feel sorry for the kid… but to one of the original commentors from the original article about this a few weeks ago…. (I haven’t seen him posting lately)


  26. almightytora says:

    They showed this story on “The Doctors” too. They were wondering if it was Type 1 (oral) or Type 2 (“down there”) herpes.

  27. scratchie says:

    I hope they sue the living shit out of that hotel, and any Consumerist commenters who think they had it coming because they didn’t check every corner of the room for used condoms before letting their kid’s feet touch the floor can go fuck themselves sideways.

    • AI says:

      What about the commenters that looked into the science of the herpes virus and found out that herpes cannot survive for more than a few minutes outside the body. Meaning it’s very unlikely the boy was infected by the condom.

      Because it is virtually impossible the herpes came from the condom, the lawsuit against the hotel just became a lot less profitable.

      The child likely contacted herpes from kissing a relative with herpes, as 80% of the population is infected with it. Would you like to personally kick the shit of the child’s family yourself, or would you like to outsource it?

    • Sian says:

      The parents are looking to cash in.

      The kid could not have gotten herpes from the condom.

  28. rooben says:

    If you have herpes, and are commenting on this thread – yeah, its probably not a big deal, you’ve dealt with it for whatever period of time you’ve been infected.

    For those of us who have NOT been exposed to herpes, and have had blood tests to prove it, this IS a big deal, and a scary thing. Insulting those who have not had the luxury of getting herpes doesn’t prove anything (jesirose).
    And 50-80% is a big range. That makes one wonder if 50% is accurate.

    • jesirose says:

      Oh for Christ sakes, it wasn’t a real insult. Don’t get your panties in a wad. You might get herpes if you’re not wearing them.

    • Chaosium says:

      “For those of us who have NOT been exposed to herpes, and have had blood tests to prove it, this IS a big deal, and a scary thing. Insulting those who have not had the luxury of getting herpes doesn’t prove anything (jesirose). “

      It’s not the world’s fault you’re incredibly ignorant of medical science and human biology.

  29. evilpete says:

    I hope this goes to a jury trial, the hotel will get crucified

  30. HighontheHill says:

    Totally not blaming the OP here, hotel is fully at fault for shoddy housecleaning, but knowing what goes on in hotel rooms (having done plenty of it myself over the years) I WOULD NEVER let my children play in one. We travel a fair amount with young children and the hotel room is for sleeping/bathing and ALL other activities are done outside the room. Period. Hotel rooms, at even the nicest places, are fundamentally disgusting and likely coated in spooge and other bodily detritus.

  31. invisibelle says:

    Oh jesus, this is the first I’ve read of this. It’s like every bad chain email warning’s worst nightmare come true.

  32. Danjalier says:

    I’ll tell you one thing Consumerist commentators love: thread derailing! Article about overdraft fees? Comments like: Banks suck in general, I hide my money under my mattress –> bedbugs eat money –> wouldn’t have bedbugs if you took better care of your hygiene –> you don’t take care of your higene because you are fat. –> You spelled hygiene wrong idiot. –> Wh s ths n Cnsmrst?

  33. JonStewartMill says:

    “Well, after dinner I have enough points left to have a glass of scotch or a brownie.”

    Wow, tough call.

  34. watch me boogie says:

    It is highly, highly unlikely that the boy got herpes from that condom. He probably already had it from kissing a relative who had it, or if his mother had it he would be born with it.

    I call money-grubbing lawsuit-happy shenanigans on this one.

  35. Nick says:

    1. Your partner should be the only person you kiss on the lips.
    2. Never stick your tongue in the balloon when trying to blow it up.
    3. Don’t stay in dirty hotels.
    4. When taking your child to Six Flags over Georgia, don’t stay 10 miles away when there are better and less expensive options next to the park.
    4. Don’t take your story to the media if you don’t want to be picked apart, especially if a child is involved.

  36. Mythandros says:

    Poor kid.

    I don’t think this is the fault of anyone except the disgusting person that left their used garbage lying around for the kid to find.

    Parents can’t supervise their kids 100% of the time, even though they should at least TRY.

    Such a horrible thing for a child to have to endure, and equally bad for his family.

    My thoughts and well wishes are with the entire family.

  37. gc3160thtuk says you got your humor in my sarcasm and you say you got your sarcasm in my humor says:

    and I was like no mommy doesn’t love you anymore because you are yucky and contaminated. And mommy is going to have to give you away cause she doesn’t want you to give mommy any yucky germs baby. Just kidding. LOL. Seriously though I have these dialogs in my head where I respond to various situations with the most screwed up answers possible. Probably mental or something LOL.