If you have oral herpes, can they be transmitted to the genitals? Are they different right?
Yes, two separate viruses, though similar.
But keep safe and don’t go doing stuff if you have an oral outbreak.
No, they aren’t different and yes, oral herpes can be transmitted to the genitals.
There are two different herpes viruses, hsv-1 and hsv-2 but they cause the same symptoms, and both can infect and be transferred to the mouth and the genitals.
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The only difference is that hsv-1 has a slight preference for being on the mouth and hsv-2 prefers the genitals.
This does not manifest itself in how quickly they infect the other site, though – they are both happy to infect either site.
Hsv-1 causes about 95% of oral herpes infections hsv-2 5%
However, hsv-1 is also responsible for 50%+ of genital herpes, probably because oral sex is so popular!
Hsv-2 accounts for about 50% of new genital herpes infections, even less depending on where you live.
The only difference is the average number of recurrences they cause and how infectious they are.
For example, hsv-1 is infectious for about 18% of the time in your mouth, but if it causes genital herpes, it is infectious about 3-4% of the time.
Hsv-2 is more contagious when it is on your genitals than hsv-1 – on average it causes about 4 outbreaks a year while hsv-1 on average only causes about 1 outbreak every other year.
If you are the one with oral herpes, you probably won’t transmit it to your genitals, as your immune system will provide protection for you against this, but you should be aware you can spread it to someone else’s genitals if you give them oral sex.
If you don’t have oral herpes, if someone gives you oral sex they can give you genital herpes if they have oral herpes – it can even happen when they don’t have a cold sore visible. In fact, 70% of infections are transmitted when no symptoms are present. I caught genital herpes through my boyfriend giving me oral sex. Although I knew he got cold sores, he did not have one at the time.
Contrary to a previous answer, oral herpes is not a milder infection; it is just the same – in fact, some people who have herpes both orally and genitally find that their oral herpes is more severe.
In fact, of the possible combinations of infection you can have with herpes – hsv-1 on the mouth, hsv-2 on the genitals, hsv-1 on the genitals, hsv-2 on the lips – hsv-1 on the lips, which is the typical form of oral herpes, is actually the most infectious and can easily infect the genitals of someone who does not have the protection of already having in their mouth. It is infectious slightly more of the time than genital herpes hsv-2 and 5x as much of the time as genital hsv-1.
For herpes simplex virus, there is a type 1 and type 2
oral herpes – it’s type 1. milder infection but appearance wise, could be debilitating. (cold sores over lips)
Genital herpes – type 2, BUT there are cases whereby it could still be under type 1. however herpes type 2 is very rare.
Yes, oral herpes can be transmitted to the genitals, either ways.