036: #askalexandra Why Do I Have Genital Herpes On Parts of My Body, But Not My Genitals?

Ask, Answer & Get The Facts About Herpes

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Life With Herpes Podcast

Welcome to episode 36 of Life With Herpes, thank you for spending time with me today.  I'm glad we are here together, and I'm extra glad to bring you another #AskAlexandra episode! If you are a regular listener you know these shows are my absolute favorites because you send me your questions, and I love hearing from you.


If you have any questions of your own send them to me on LifeWithHerpes.com. When you’re on the web site scroll down to the bottom where you'll see the #AskAlexandra section and click. Fill out the Google form with your question and tune in to hear me answer it!

Speaking of answers, let’s find out the answer to Josh from Richmond, Virginia’s question. Josh wants to know why his genital herpes aren’t on his genitals, but are on other parts of his body. You’ll hear the answer on episode 36 of Life With Herpes!



More About Life With Herpes

This is an awesome question Josh, thank you for asking. Most of us have the assumption that genital herpes only show up on our genitals, and oral herpes only appear on our mouths.

Tweetable:  “The virus doesn’t have to be visible to transmit it or contract it.” -  

Alexandra Harbushka


But what most people don't know is that they are interchangeable, meaning either HSV-1 or HSV-2 can be on other parts of our body.

The virus simply likes moist, wet areas but if you give the virus any opportunity to go anywhere it will go there. If you have an open cut on your elbow and the virus comes in contact with that cut then you may contract herpes on your elbow. Any chance the virus has to spread and breed it will go for! The virus is not going to say no to a new location.

This was one of the biggest ah-ha moments for me when I was learning about herpes: the virus isn't just on a man's penis or a woman's vaginal, it can be in that region. It can be on our inner thighs or other parts of the body. In fact,  I know a number of people who have told me they have genital herpes on their belly button, or their thighs or on their butt cheek.


It blew my mind when I understood condoms alone don't prevent the spread of herpes, although you should still use condoms. Just remember if you only use a condom you are not 100% protecting your partner.


Also remember you can't just go by what you see on another person’s body, the virus can be passed on even when there is no outbreak and no physical signs of herpes.


Again thank you for this question Josh! A lot of people need to know this so I'm glad you asked and I was able to answer on episode 36 of Life With Herpes.


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