067: #AskAlexandra Do I need to tell people I have oral herpes?

Ask, Answer And Get The Facts About Herpes


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Life With Herpes

Welcome today’s episode of Life With Herpes. I am always excited to be here with you, thank you for joining me. Before I get going on today’s #AskAlexandra I talk about how below burr it is here in San Diego...it was 38 degrees this morning! Don’t laugh at me if you are from the east coast or someplace where there really is a winter. I tell a fun story about finding my Christmas yoga pants so you will have to tune in to hear it. And as promised yes that is a selfie of my outfit down below.

Anyway, back to herpes. Lol. The question for #AskAlexandra came from our uber secret online Slack group. Our anonymous friend is newly diagnosed with oral herpes and is concerned that there now needs to be a disclosure.  She says, “do I need to disclose to anyone I might share a kiss to even on the cheek?” I am so glad you asked this question in our group. So the quick answer is yes, you should disclose that you have herpes if you plan to have exchange any sort of body fluids aka make out, have sex, oral sex, or anal sex. However, I don’t want you to be freaking out. I go into more details on this in the episode and share a personal story of me telling my ex-boyfriend when I found out I got oral herpes.

But really what I mean is, if you are planning on making out with someone or have oral sex then yes, you need to let them know.  What is frustrating is oral herpes does not have the same stigma as genital herpes but at the end of the day it is herpes. Oral herpes can be passed from person to person by kissing on the mouth and through oral sex. I go deep into this (no pun intended) in a couple of episodes. If oral herpes is transmitted through oral sex to your partner's genitals then it is considered genital herpes.

One of the concerns that I know you mentioned was can you pass herpes without having a visible outbreak and the answer is yes. In episode 006 I get to the nitty-gritty on viral shedding and explain how it is possible to infect someone. You were also concerned about kissing your family members and accidentally spreading it. Yes, it is possible for you to pass it but I don't want you to become hardened or scared to touch people. If you have an outbreak, then no don't kiss someone on the mouth, cheek or anywhere because it is the most contagious at that point. But kissing your grandparents on the cheek from time to time should be just fine. So please don’t worry. And you never know, the person you are kissing might very well have herpes already. You really never know.

Now back to disclosing that you have oral herpes and using protection when you engage in oral sex (and any type of sex) is very much advised. In another episode, episode 028 I go into details on safe sex. At the end of the day, the truth is always the best and disclosing it will prevent a blow up later on. If you let someone know you have oral herpes and then you kiss them and they get it you can know that you let them know and you were not hiding it.

Thanks for asking this question, I know I was worried about it too when I was first diagnosed. I was so concerned that someone would pick up a drink after I drank out of it and then they would get herpes. Yes, it is possible to pass it but please live your life, enjoy and all you can do is disclose and at the end of the day you will be just fine.


Keep in touch with Alexandra Harbushka






Join the community

If you are ready to join a community of people who are living with herpes also then you will want to join our slack group. It is FREE and it is a great way to find the support and comfort that you are looking for. Head on over to www.lifewithherpes.com and join our community. You will receive a slack invitation as soon as you sign up. See you in there.

Ways you can support the Life With Herpes show

And if you enjoyed listening to this episode as much as we enjoyed making it for you, please give the Life With Herpes show a review. It is a way to pay it forward to fellow friends who are living with herpes. You can Subscribe, Rate and Review the show through your iTunes app or on the desktop. Seriously, it helps out a lot more than it is a hassle for you. You see, iTunes has an algorithm that organically promotes the show, so the more ratings and reviews the Life With Herpes Show receives then the higher it gets ranked. This is your way of paying it forward and helping someone find the show who really needs it. Oh, and you can totally use a fake name, so don’t worry about a friend finding you in the iTunes review. Talking about herpes needs to be spread as far and wide as possible. You are totally a part of this movement so THANK YOU!  Subscribe, Rate and Review

More Episode Resources

And as promised...here are my Christmas yoga pants and a picture of me behind the scenes 🎄


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