The Difference Between Herpes Simplex 2 & Herpes Simplex 1
Have you ever wondered what the real difference is between herpes simplex 2 (HSV-2) and herpes simplex 1 (HSV-1)?
I have spent the past four years as the educational coordinator for the Colorado H Club answering questions like this every day. Genetically speaking, the two viruses are about 85% the same and the symptoms they produce are exactly the same too. The main herpes symptoms are blisters, itching, pain, tingling, redness, fever, and numbness, but 85% of people who have the virus don’t even know it! There are other symptoms associated with the virus, but none of them cause any other diseases or illnesses. This is one of the reasons many doctors don’t deem it necessary to include herpes as part of a standard STD panel.
Herpes Simplex 1 and Herpes Simplex 2 are the two types of herpes simplex viruses. Some of the other members of this virus family, Herpes Viridae, cause Mono, Shingles, Chicken pox, Roseola and a few others.
Did you know that HSV-1 is the virus that causes cold sores? Yes. That’s right! Cold sores are caused by the herpes virus. Unfortunately, Herpes Simplex 2 has received the most amount of stigma over the years because it is the number one cause of genital herpes.
Let’s look at some of the main differences between the two viruses:
Genetics: 85% the same
Herpes Viridae Family: Both Herpes Simplex Viruses
Environment: HSV-1 prefers the environment of the oral/facial area of the body, HSV-2 prefers the genital area
Cold Sores: HSV-1 is the strain of the virus that causes cold sores
Frequency of Outbreak– HSV-1 outbreaks genitally tend to be less frequent
Intensity: HSV-1 outbreaks genitally tend to be more mild
Transmission: HSV-1 can be found genitally and orally, but HSV-2 is not found orally (only 1% incidence rate)
Triggers: both HSV-1 and HSV-2 are triggered by the same things i.e.. heat, UV, friction… Let us know if you found this information helpful.
If you have more questions about how to live and date with herpes and how to discover love again, check out our in-depth resources here. www.PinkTent.com
Oral Sex and Herpes: I came to terms with it . . .I was diagnosed one year ago at the age of 19. It was a complete shock. I had only been sexually active with one person in a monogomous relationship. My boyfried was unaware that having had past cold sores on his mouth could lead to me contracting herpes. He hadn’t had a cold sore in years and we believe I got it through oral sex. It was very difficult to understand but with the support of my boyfriend and through educating myself about it, I came to terms with it. Trust me, for months afterwards it was always on my mind and I noticed people’s comments about STDs a lot more. People do not understand that its neither funny nor cool to joke about herpes or any other STD. It can happen to anyone; we are all at risk. I firmly believe now that sex is NEVER safe- it is a risk and it is one that should be assessed maturely before committing yourself to it.Now one year later, I recently became sexually active with another guy. I was terrified about telling him. I believed he would run away and never speak to me again. I could barely get the words out but as soon as I began speaking all my tension went away as I realized he was not scared, nor was he looking at me any differently. He told me he likes me for me and that I should not worry about it. He told me he was very glad I told him about it. I couldn’t have asked for a better response. We have had sex together and so far he has no symptoms. We also went to the doctor separately to have some other STD tests taken. It is everyone’s responsibility to discuss these issues. Having herpes or hpv or syphilis does not change who you are. It can be managed and no matter what, do not think that future relationships will be destroyed. If someone cares about you a lot, they will do what they can to be with you. I have had 2 outbreaks after my initial outbreak since then. I believe I am experiencing my second currently. Its not as severe as the first one. I have valtrex but I am trying to treat this on my own to understand how long a recurring outbreak is and how severe. I am also going to be taking lysine supplementes this week to see if that speeds up the process. I hope my story helps. I’ve come a long way since my initial diagnosis and I know that you will too. I wish you luck and self-love and encourage you to take control over your sex life- no matter how “safe” you believe you are. Good luck and remember, you are neither the first nor the last to be diagnosed with herpes. You will feel better, I promise. 🙂