98 episodes

The Life With Herpes Podcast is created to educate, entertain and connect the underserved and, often ostracized, community of people living with herpes. Each week, Life With Herpes the show focuses on personal stories, managing day to day life with herpes, a weekly Ask Alexandra section, and weekly interviews with medical or industry professionals. We will cover things ranging from the stigma, how to cope and the hard core facts about herpes. The show will help people with the virus understand it and learn how to survive their outbreaks.

Life With Herpes Alexandra Harbushka

    • Sexuality
    • 4.5, 65 Ratings

The Life With Herpes Podcast is created to educate, entertain and connect the underserved and, often ostracized, community of people living with herpes. Each week, Life With Herpes the show focuses on personal stories, managing day to day life with herpes, a weekly Ask Alexandra section, and weekly interviews with medical or industry professionals. We will cover things ranging from the stigma, how to cope and the hard core facts about herpes. The show will help people with the virus understand it and learn how to survive their outbreaks.

    How to Date with Confidence and a Herpes Diagnosis with Dr. Aziz Gazipura

    How to Date with Confidence and a Herpes Diagnosis with Dr. Aziz Gazipura

    In this episode Alexandra Harbushka interviews Dr. Aziz Gazipura the world’s leading confidence expert. He teaches people how to learn confidence so they can eliminate self-doubt, hesitation and social anxiety and master conversations, accelerate in their careers, and create deeply fulfilling relationships.  On this episode Dr. Aziz gives dating tips when it comes to dating with confidence even with a herpes diagnosis. 
    For direct link to the TellYour Partner Toolkit click HERE 
    To Connect with Alexandra - https://www.instagram.com/alexandraharbushka/
    Read More on Life With Herpes HERE 
    For Detailed Show Notes click HERE 
    Subscribe to the Life With Herpes Newsletter  click HERE

    • 52 min
    What’s It like Being Married to Someone Who Has Herpes: Interview with Bill Gaylord

    What’s It like Being Married to Someone Who Has Herpes: Interview with Bill Gaylord

    In this episode Bill Gaylord, my husband opens up about what it was like for me to disclose, date and now be married to someone who had herpes. He shares his initial thoughts on herpes and how it plays a role in our marriage. 
     
    For direct link to The Life With Herpe Retreat https://www.lifewithherpes.com/retreat and for the Tell Your Partner Toolkit click HERE  
     
    To Connect with Alexandra - https://www.instagram.com/alexandraharbushka/
     
    Read More on Life With Herpes HERE 
     
    For Detailed Show Notes click HERE 
     
    Subscribe to the Life With Herpes Newsletter  click HERE

    • 22 min
    Herpes Diagnosis & Empowerment: An Interview With Jenna Roberts a Life With Herpes Member

    Herpes Diagnosis & Empowerment: An Interview With Jenna Roberts a Life With Herpes Member

    Welcome to the LIfe With Herpes show. Today I sat down with one of our Life With Herpes Secret Society members, Jenna Roberts.  This was a huge deal for both of us and probably a bigger deal for Jenna. This is the first time I’ve had one of our community members on the show (yay) and this was Jenna’s way of stepping into her power and owning her herpes diagnosis! 
    Jenna talks about her herpes diagnosis and how she was emotionally devastated when she got the news from her doctor. She says she was mortified and filled with shame and embarrassment. In her mind there was no way she was ever going to get over this shameful secret and there was no way she’d ever be able to tell anyone that she has herpes. Jenna talks about how she tried to ignore that she had herpes by covering up her emotions which created a destructive lifestyle and the misery just continued to build. 
    Hear about her journey to acceptance and empowerment and more! 
    To Connect with Alexandra - https://www.instagram.com/alexandraharbushka/
    Read More on Life With Herpes HERE 
    For Detailed Show Notes click HERE 
    Subscribe to the Life With Herpes Newsletter  click HERE
    Oh and don’t forget to subscribe to the Life With Herpes Show

    • 39 min
    Oral Sex & Herpes

    Oral Sex & Herpes

    One of the common questions I get from the community has to do with oral sex. Oral sex is kind of left out of the equasion when we’re talking about sex, sex education or sexual health. Typically what comes to mind when we talk about sex is just the plane old hederosexual vaginal sex. And then when we talk about safe sex or even in sex ed classes, oral sex is kinda just left out. It’s like it’s not really considered sex.  
     
    Ok so here’s the deal, you can get herpes from having oral sex! 
     
    This might be an oh sh!the moment for you or it’s a moment that explains it all. Regardless we need to talk about oral sex and how herpes is just as contagious with oral sex as it is with regualr old sex. 
     
    Before you panic I’m going to cut to the point and say that yes, you can still give and recieve oral sex with your herpes diagnosis but here’s the deal you’re still putting your partner at risk. Let me explain.
     
    Just a quick herpes 101, so herpes is contagious by skin to skin transmission. That means that if someone has herpes on their mouth, either HSV 1 or HSV 2, and they use their  mouth to come into contact with someone who does not have herpes then they have just potentially transmitted the virus. The same goes for genital herpes, if someone has genital herpes, either HSV 1 or HSV 2, and their g******s come into contact with someone who does not have the virus then they have potentially put their partner at risk. 
     
    Here’s how herpes is NOT transmitted. If someone has oral herpes and does not use their mouth to come into contact with someone. So basically you can have vaginal or anal sex you are not putting your partner at risk. Or the flip if you have genital herpes you can use you rmouth all you want and you are not putting your partner at risk. 
     
    Just because you have the herpes virus in your body it doesn’t mean that your entire body is contagious. It’s just the area where you get outbreaks. Also, this is very important to bring up that just because you have HSV 1 it does not mean that it’s oral herpes and just because you have HSV 2 it does not mean you have genital herpes. I go into details here about it. 
     
    So back to oral sex and herpes. Let’s be clear and break it down. If you have oral herpes and perform oral sex then you are putting  your partner at risk of getting genital herpes. On the flip side if you have oral hereps you can recive oral sex and not worry that you will transmit it to your partner. 
     
    Here are ways to have oral sex even though you have herpes. 
     
    First and foremost you need to tell your partner. Cold sores are herpes and can be transmitted to your partner and you can give them genialt herpes. After you’ve talked about this with your partner then the both of you can decide what you want to do moving forward.  To protect your partner and yourself for that matter you guys can decide to use dental dams or condoms to reduce the transmission risk   
    Once you have talked to your partner and you both have a game plan then enjoy. In my personal relationship with my husband we both give and recive oral sex and do not use condoms or dental dams. It’s because we’re both aware of the risks and we’re both ok with the outcomes. If I’m feeling like maybe something is up then we don’t do it, it’s as simple as that. 
     
    Here's the deal and why I want to talk about this. It’s not to scare you and make you feel like you can never give or recieve oral sex again. Please don’t put yourself in that position. It’s not fair to you or your partner. What I want you to know is that oral sex is sex and you can give or recieve STI’s  wich includeds herpes just as easily as you can having sex. Infact, in my opinion you’re more at risk with oral sex becase we’re not taught about this in sexed and when we don’t have a condom we typi

    • 5 min
    3 Things You Need To Know About Herpes

    3 Things You Need To Know About Herpes

    Herpes has been around since humans have walked this earth. The fact is we have to learn to  live with this virus. What’s odd about this is as a culture we’ve decided that this virus is dirty and one of the worst things we could catch. With that being said, as a society we really don’t even know that much about herpes and it’s probably because we choose not to. I mean, we’ve made this herpes thing out to be worse than the boogie monster under your bed. 
     
    With that being said whether you have herpes or not there’s someone close to you that you love who does so here’s 3 things you need to know. 
     
    ⅔ people have HSV  1 and  ⅙  people have HSV 2
    So with that being said the majority of the population has herpes. The funny thing is that when you get herpes you become the majority not the majority. We’re made to believe that because we have herpes we’re the only person in the world who has herpes and no bode ever will understand or want to be with us. But the truth is that 84% of the population has herpes. 
    You can transmit it without an outbreak (yikes)
    This is very important to know. The old saying was that you could only transmit herpes if you had an outbreak. Well has science has evolved and we’ve learned more about viral shedding, we now know that it’s possible to transmit herpes without an outbreak. In fact, about 70 percent of transmissions occur during asymptomatic periods, says James Whiteside, an obstetrician/gynecologist at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.
    Yes, when you have an outbreak you’re the  most contagious and when you don’t have an outbreak you’re the least contgouse. But there’s this thing called viral shedding and when that occurs you’re contagious. Here’s the catch, the person doesn’t know when viral shedding occurs. There’s no signs or symptoms of an outbreak. So this is why it’s very important that you disclose to your partner about your herpes diagnosis. I go way more into detail on viral shedding here. 
    You can have a sex life
    We all think that our sex life is now over because we have herpes. That is so far from the truth. Just because you have herpes does not mean that you’re less desirable or need to become celebate for the rest of your life. All that having herpes means is that you have to have a conversation with your partner about having herpes. Both you and your partner need to come to an agreement and decide what best methods you want to use to prevent transmission. That’s it. I talk a ton about sex and herpes here, here, and here.  
    At the end of the day, I want to make sure that we know how common herpes is and how we’re so not alone because we have herpes. Also, that having herpes does not need to change your life or make you feel like you need to take a back seat to your dreams. All that herpes means is that you get an outbreak here and there and when that happens it’s a reminder for you to take a little better care of yourself. 
    I’d love to hear what you think so feel free to reach out. 
     

    • 3 min
    Can You Have Unprotected Sex with Herpes?

    Can You Have Unprotected Sex with Herpes?

    The quick answer is no! You can absolulty have unprotected sex even if you have herpes. Before we dive deep and go into explanation on this let’s talk about how this is a huge myth and is one of the drivers for the stigma.
    When we are diagnosed and told that we have herpes we automatically think that we’re going to be forced to use condoms for the rest of our lives, even when we’re married. Yuck! And this is not true. Yes, condoms are great! They do a great job at preventing pregnancy and they do an okay job at preventing the transmission of herpes. Condoms definitely have their pros and thank goodness we have them. But let’s face it, there comes a time in a relationship when you don’t want to “have to” use one. I get it. 
    Here’s the deal with condoms. Like I mentioned before they are great at preventing pregnancy in fact they’re 98% effective when used correctly. And when it comes to preventing herpes transmission they are 30-50% effective when used correctly. So this great news but it also explains why if you always used a condom why you still got herpes. Condoms don’t cover all of the body parts. I mean you’re pretty exposed still and herpes doesn’t just show up in the areas that are covered by the condom. Herpes can be on a mans s*****m, at the base where the condom doesn’t cover or in any area around the genital region. Same thing for women, herpes is not just in the vaginal canal or around the opening. It can be anyplace in her genital region. 
    The best method out there for reducing the risk of transmission is actually when the person who’s infected takes the antiviral. Yep, the antiviral cuts down on transmission by 48%. This is far more effective than a condom because the antiviral keeps the herpes virus dormant in your system. 
    So, what this boils down to and what this means in reducing the risk of transmission is you need to have a conversation with your partner about having herpes. They need to know and they need to make their own decision about when the condom comes off. Really this conversation needs to be had with our without herpes  but we’re specifically talking about herpes. You and your partner need to talk about what precautions you’re going to take to reduce the transmission and what you both feel comfortable with. 
    Go out there have fun and talk to your partner!!!
    Life With Herpes Details:
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    Oh yea, remember to subscribe to the Life With Herpes newsletter and get The 5 things  I wished she knew before I was diagnosed with herpes sent directly to your inbox + weekly updates. 
     
    Xoxo,
    Alexandra



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    • 4 min

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5
65 Ratings

65 Ratings

spookyhunny ,

Question & review

Love this podcast so far. My question is where I can send in personal questions? Someone lmk !

Alexandrus13 ,

Awesome and very helpful podcast

Make sure you listen to this if you have herpes, have somebody in your life that has herpes, or are just sexually active and want to educate yourself. It has some slight incorrect facts in the beginning, but small, less important, and they are mostly corrected later in the podcast.

Tdc. ,

Great Cast!

Fantastic for those of us affected. Thanks for giving us a voice Alexandra!

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