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"Can HSV 1 occur orally and genitally?"

ZocdocAnswersCan HSV 1 occur orally and genitally?


I have had cold sores for as long as I can remember, and would assume it is due to HSV 1. Two weeks ago, I developed sores on my vagina and went to the doctor. She tested me for herpes and the results showed that I had a genital outbreak of HSV 1. My question is whether or not it is possible to have HSV 1 orally and genitally. What would have caused the virus to spread from cold sores on my mouth to genital herpes?


I recommend that you make an appointment with your primary care physician. The short answer to your question is yes, you can develop an HSV infection both orally and genitally from the same HSV virus. It is true that HSV-2 is the predominant virus that causes genital herpes. In fact, 90% of all genital herpes infections are caused by HSV-2. However, that means that 10% of them are caused by HSV-1. In your case, you had an HSV-1 that caused an oral infection which is very common, and then you developed a vaginal infection from the same virus which, while not that common, is still very possible. All it really takes is physical contact between the mouth and the genitalia. We cannot tell the difference between the two types of viruses when it comes to the sores they cause. The sores look identical. Again, I think you should schedule an appointment with your primary care physician or OBGYN to further discuss this problem. There are preventative medications such as acyclovir and Valtrex which are helpful for some people with frequent herpes outbreaks. These medications can be helpful in reducing the frequency of outbreaks and also reducing the duration of them. In addition, the two of you can discuss safe sex practices such as using condoms to prevent from contracting further sexually transmitted infections.

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