009: #askalexandra Are Men or Women At Greater Risk of Contracting Herpes?

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Ask, Answer & Get The Facts



Welcome to episode 9 of Life With Herpes, I’m excited to share this episode with you! This is another of my favorites, the #askalexandra show where you write in with a question and I answer it. Our question for today’s episode comes from Rachel in New Orleans, Louisiana. She wants to know who is more likely to get herpes: men or women? It’s a great question, thank you Rachel! Check out episode 9 of Life with Herpes to hear the answer, and to find out how you can send in your questions, too.


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When I got Rachel’s question for today’s show I did a little research to come up with the answer. And according to CNN, women are more likely to get herpes. It seems females are more susceptible to contracting the virus than men are. 25% of women and 20% of men have herpes, which is 1 out of 5 women and 1 out of 6 men.


So why is that?


First, consider that men and women have different genitals, this is pretty obvious! So looking and thinking of men and women from an anatomical perspective will help. Consider this scenario: if a man has an outbreak on his penis and he uses a latex condom with a woman chances are she will not be exposed to herpes.


But if a man has an outbreak on his scrotum and he uses a condom his outbreak area is still exposed and the woman can contract it even if he's using a condom.


Women, in general, are much more exposed during sex and can come into contact with anything, including the herpes virus, much easier than men can.

Tweetable:  “Women are more susceptible to contracting the herpes virus.” - Alexandra Harbushka

Another point worth noting is something I’ve read in different articles about women and their pubic hair. When women get Brazilian waxes or they shave their public hair off they lose an extra layer of protection. Pubic hair acts as a buffer so when that is gone women are even more exposed and at risk of contracting something through skin to skin contact.


I’m sharing all of this because knowing facts and information can help you avoid passing it on, whether you are male or female. Thanks for asking Rachel, great question and a great opportunity to share more knowledge and protect ourselves.


To get more facts like this, and support join our super secret Facebook group. No one will ever know you are in the group, I've made sure you are safe and protected. Go the Life With Herpes website and you’ll find details on how to join us. Also on the Life With Herpes website is a link to sending in your own questions for episodes like this one. Head over to LifeWithHerpes.com and scroll down to the bottom where you'll see the #AskAlexandra section and click on that link. Fill out the Google form with your question(s).


And remember to let me know if you want to be completely anonymous, I only use your first name and city on these shows but you can be totally anonymous if you’d like! Thanks for joining me on another episode of Life With Herpes.

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