Life with Herpes Type 1 and Herpes Type 2
So there are two types of herpes. Well actually there are way more but in this setting we really only care about two types. Herpes type 1 and herpes type 2.
So what are the differences and why is it important that we talk about it?
Let’s dig in.
Herpes or Herpes Simplex Virus is a virus that is broken down into two types. Type 1 is the most common type with 2 out of 3 people globally having it and type 2 is also pretty common with 1 out of 6 people having it.
So what is oral herpes?
Oral herpes can be either/or both HSV 1 or HSV 2. The reason why it’s called oral herpes is because of its location, not necessarily it’s type. However HSV1 is most commonly in the oral region. Oral herpes can also be referred to as fever blisters and cold sores.
What is genital herpes?
Genital herpes can be either or both HSV1 or HSV2. The location being in the genitals is why it’s called genital herpes. Most commonly the HSV2 virus has preferred the genital region however now there are many people being diagnosed with genital HSV1.
How are HSV 1 and HSV2 spread?
Herpes is mostly skin-to-skin transmission, however when people have active outbreaks, fluids like saliva, vaginal fluids and other body fluids can become a vehicle in which it transmits. Also, herpes doesn’t live on objects but if someone has an active outbreak and shares an object then it can be transmitted that way. So for example, if someone has an active oral outbreak and shares a fork then herpes can sometimes be transmitted that way.
At the end of the day the two viruses really don’t look any different or do anything different. They both cause painful fluid filled sores that last for about a week. They both can go in the oral region and the genital region. A person can be infected with both HSV1 and HSV2 in both areas or the same area. However, it’s not as common for people to have both because the viruses are very similar and your antibodies typically pick up on that. I actually have both so it just goes to show that it happens.
What does it mean to live with herpes?
It means that you have either or both of the HSV viruses. They are contagious when outbreaks are present but also when they are not present and this is called viral shedding. It’s important that you disclose this to potential sexual partners because herpes is transmitted via skin-to-skin. So if you have oral herpes you can transmit it via kissing or performing oral sex. And if you have genial herpes it can be transmitted via vaginal, oral or anal sex.
The big concern is that herpes plays a huge role or impacts your life. Honestly, it really doesn’t do much and it’s the stigma that really plays the biggest role. The stigma of catching herpes is what paralyses us and leaves us feeling empty and hopeless. I don’t want you to feel that way and I think that i’s really important that we talk about herpes and what it really is so that we can break the stigma. This is why I created this community, blog, vlog and all the social media content. If you have herpes, especially if you were just diagnosed with herpes I recommend finding a place where you can find support. That’s why I created the Secret Society. It’s an online community where we have an online group, weekly live calls and much more. It’s a monthly membership with people from all over the world.