060: #AskAlexandra Can you be infected genital HSV 1 after genital HSV 2 infection?

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Ask, Answer and Get the Facts About Herpes

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Welcome to today’s episode of Life With Herpes as we answer questions from our community. This is one of my favorites to record because I get to hear from you and hear your questions. Today’s question comes from our anonymous friend in Santa Clara, California. Here is her question, “Can you be subsequently infected with genital HSV 1 after genital HSV 2 infection?” This is a great question and the short answer is...yes. However, this is not as common to have both HSV 1 and HSV 2 but let me break it down for you.  


You can get both HSV 1 and HSV 2 in either region, meaning the virus does not really care where it goes as long as you give it a location to go. Typically HSV 1 is oral herpes and HSV 2 is known as genital herpes however because of our extracurricular activities such as oral sex the virus can get passed to either region. Now if you already have a version of HSV then typically your body is capable of fighting off the other infection because the viruses are so similar. However, if your immune system is down or the herpes stars align or you are just lucky like me then you can become infected with both HSV 1 and HSV 2. In other words, you can have really any combination of herpes such as both HSV 1 & 2 in your genital region or both HSV 1 & 2 on your mouth or really any combination you can come up with.


Thank you, my friend, from Santa Clara for asking this great question.



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