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Can you have both genital HSV-1 and HSV-2?

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Yep, it's totally possible to have both HSV-1 and HSV-2 on your genitals. It may sound surprising since we often associate HSV-1 with oral herpes and HSV-2 with genital herpes. But the reality is that either type can show up in either location through oral-genital contact (although oral HSV-2 is much more rare; only 1-2% of all oral herpes cases are HSV-2). Our bodies don't really care about those traditional boundaries!

Just remember that where the infection shows up is usually determined by the initial exposure location. But over time, subsequent transmission can lead to both types appearing in either area, although over time your body is also building up natural immunity, so it'll be harder to get new infections of one if you've already been building up antibodies for the other.

If you suspect you might have both HSV-1 and HSV-2 on your genitals, it's a good idea to reach out to a healthcare professional to get the area swabbed and get an accurate diagnosis.

No matter which type or types you have, it's important to know that you can still live a fulfilling life. With medication, lifestyle adjustments, and open communication with your partners, you can manage and reduce the impact of the virus.

Stay positive, stay informed, and remember that you're not alone in this journey!

Note: This is for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute medical advice or diagnosis.
I'm not a medical professional, so please take this as friendly peer support. 

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  • mr_hopp changed the title to Can you have both genital HSV-1 and HSV-2?

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