We have an awesome guest on this podcast today! We have talked about this topic before, with Coutney Brame where he took us through his herpes journey and gave us a lot of guidance around all the things. Alexandra reached out to me recently and asked if she could share some more light around this topic.
Alexandra’s life was sent into upheaval when she received a call from her doctor diagnosing her with herpes. She was left scared shitless and with a new mission; to share her story with people just like her, and to let them know that their feelings were normal, natural, and that they were not victims. With that mission in mind she founded Life With Herpes, an online community consisting of a podcast, website, YouTube channel, wellness products to support the skin condition and and online community that provides support, all dedicated to shattering the stigma of living life with herpes.
You hear all the time if you’re careful, you’re not going to get an STI, but sometimes that’s just not the case. Herpes spreads from skin to skin contact, and that is what we do as humans. It’s just part of living, it really doesn’t have anything to do with being careful. It’s common that people don’t even know they have herpes, so the only way to completely avoid it is to make sure you and your partner test before having any sexual contact.
What are the different types of herpes?
There are two types.
Type 1 or HSV1 is most commonly known as oral herpes, cold sores, fever blisters. 2 out of 3 people have this virus, and it most commonly like the oral region, but that doesn’t mean it stays oral, it can move to the genitals.
Type 2 or HSV2 is most commonly known as genital herpes. 1 out of 6 people have HSV2 and it most commonly likes the genital region, but it can move to the oral region.
They don’t test for it on the regular panel, so you have to ask for it. They don’t have it on the regular panel because so many people have it, and it’s not life threatening. So the aftermath of learning you have herpes ban be far more severe than someone who’s asymptomatic. 90% of people who have HSV2 will never be diagnosed. The majority of people are asymptomatic which means you have the antibodies, you can spread it because of asymptomatic shedding, but you’ve never had an outbreak. There can also be people who have so few and far between breakouts, or breakouts that don’t look or seem like blisters, or blisters that aren’t on the vagina or penis.
Life With Herpes
"I was floundering, I was struggling. There’s no reason to be that, and there’s no reason to feel alone. All the feelings that we feel are very valid. And there’s a way out of it, there’s a way to live with it, and there’s a way through that herpes journey. It was very important to provide information that wasn’t sterile. Making a community that embraced this over ostracizing it. It’s confidential, secret, and to become a friendship. There’s been people who have dated in the community, and there are people from all over the world. We all have our unique story, but the topic is the same thing. Let’s detach ourselves from that stigma and continue living your beautiful life. " - Alexandra
Be compassionate, be understanding, and don’t judge somebody. You don’t know what they’re dealing with.
Connect with Alexandra!
Website: Life With Herpes
Instagram & Toktok: @alexandraharbushka
Youtube: Alexandra Harbushka
Connect with Rachel!
Facebook: Rachel Maine