Can you spread or get Herpes from touch? Cathy Vartuli from and Reid Mihalko from share.

Reid: Yeah.

Cathy: So Reid…

Reid: Yeah.

Cathy: Can you get herpes II from cuddling?

Reid: I’m Reid Mihalko from

Cathy: I’m Cathy Vartuli from

Reid: The answer is technically yes.  Don’t get scared kids, or adults, or anybody who’s watching.  There’s a lot to talk about.  But first, if you have herpes II or herpes I, HSV I for HSV II, genitally speaking, you’re having an outbreak or maybe not having an outbreak, I’ll make this make sense in a minute, and it’s either on your genitals or on your face, because now you can have herpes I or herpes II in either location.  Herpes I tends to stick around your face, orally.  Herpes II tends to stick around your genitals.  But, maybe herpes is morphing a little bit or we have better testing so now we really know.  It doesn’t really matter.  Don’t think about HSV I versus II.  That’s really not the point for us, for medical doctors and technicians, maybe that’s the point.  For this video, certainly, you, if you have herpes can give herpes to somebody.

Cathy: Whether you’re having an outbreak or not.

Reid: Because it’s skin to skin contact.  So if we’re cuddling…mmm cuddling.

Cathy: Wow, you cuddle strange.

Reid: So yummy, cuddling.  Now, I could give her herpes, but herpes to her forehead.  Cuddling.  That’s not where herpes goes.  It’s more of near her mouth.  Cuddling so good.  I could transmit, I could expose her to herpes if I’m shedding. Which is a technical term for when the herpes virus is active and can be transmitted.  You can be shedding with or without an outbreak.  This we know now because we have better testing.  It used to be that we thought you’re only contagious when you’re having an outbreak.  That’s not true.  Some people have herpes and they’ve never had an outbreak and they’ve never been tested, so they just don’t know.

Cathy: A lot of people don’t know and a lot of people actually have herpes.

Reid: Herpes isn’t as big of a deal as culture wants to shame people about.

Cathy: It wasn’t even a disease until the 1950s.

Reid: Really?  I didn’t know that.  See?  Cathy knows something I didn’t know.

Cathy: Media likes to find ways to make us feel ashamed of our bodies and need to treat things.

Reid: The cold sore that Aunt Gertrude had at Thanksgiving, that’s herpes, folks.  So, don’t be cuddling with Aunt Gertrude.  That being said, if I have herpes around my genitalia or around my anus, which you can.  If we’re cuddling naked, genitals to genitals, or genitals to face, you know, down there, you can be exposing each other.  I just want to do it, cuddling.  You can expose each other or be exposed to.

Exposure doesn’t mean you get it, okay.  Again, you could make out with somebody who has herpes, find out later, and be like, “oh my God, am I going to get herpes?” And you might not get it.  Making out with somebody who has the cold sore or giving oral sex to somebody who’s having an outbreak, now we know you’re being exposed because they’re definitely shedding and you’ve increased your odds of possibly contracting the herpes.  That’s all when you really get geeky and break it down.

Herpes is a skin to skin contact thing.  You can get it from people when they’re not having an outbreak.  If they’re fully clothed and Cathy is wearing a ski mask then we’re fine because there is not skin to skin contact.  Which is why barriers, dental dams, condoms, and things like that help prevent exposure to skin to skin.  Also things like underwear, you know, like jeans and clothes.

Cathy: I think when you destigmatize herpes, it’s not as scary as a lot of people think.  I think, isn’t like a third of people have herpes I and 16% of the population has herpes II.

Reid: Yeah.

Cathy: It’s a high number.

Reid: It’s a lot and the numbers changed a little bit because, again, we’re getting better testing to understand herpes, HSV I and HSV II.  So those numbers are changing a little bit.  What we know now is more people have it because they’ve never been tested so they just don’t know and they’re asymptomatic and herpes, for the most part, is never life threatening.

It’s super dangerous if you’re having an outbreak, genitally, and you’re giving birth.  Unless you’re pregnant and having an outbreak and about to give birth, which then they’re just going to give you a C-section.

Again, I know a lot about herpes because I have HSV I, right?  And I’m a geek.  But, for the most part it’s not a life threatening disease.  You are not endangering, you’re not putting people’s lives at risk, but it’s very culturally loaded.

Cathy: You make your own choices.  I have 2 partners that have HSV I and I’ve been with them, active, for a while and I’ve never tested positive for it.  But I tell my other partners, if I play with anyone else, I do share that I have partners that have HSV I.

Reid: Cool.  Got it.  We hope that helps.  That was a lot of information.  But, cuddling.

Cathy: Don’t let it stop you from connecting with people.

Reid: Disclose that you have herpes I or II or that you’re afraid of getting it and start the conversation because, again, if somebody has it, you can still cuddle with them, just don’t be like drooling all over their face as demonstrated so eloquently in this video.  Leave your comments below. Subscribe to our channel.  Thank you so much for watching.  Cuddle on.


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