Female doctor showing a female patient a chart.

What’s the Difference Between HSV1 and HSV2?

A Primer on the Difference Between HSV1 and HSV2

If you have been recently diagnosed with herpes, then you are probably trying to learn more about the virus and the different types. You may have heard mention of the terms HSV1 and HSV2–which stands for Herpes Simplex Virus 1 and Herpes Simplex Virus 2, respectively. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the difference between these two viruses and how they affect those who are infected.

What is HSV1?

HSV1 is a type of herpes virus that mainly causes oral herpes or cold sores. Oral herpes is also referred to as “fever blister” or “canker sore”. It can be transmitted through direct contact with an infected person or by sharing utensils, towels, lip balm, lip gloss, or other personal items with someone who has the virus. In extreme cases, it can also be transmitted through kissing an infected person. The symptoms of oral herpes include redness, itching, swelling around the lips or mouth area, blisters on or near your lips or mouth area that last up to a week before breaking open and scabbing over. According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), nearly 50 percent of Americans in their 20s have contracted HSV1.

What is HSV2?

HSV2 is another type of herpes virus that mainly causes genital herpes. Genital herpes can be transmitted through sexual contact with someone who has the virus, as well as through sharing sex toys without properly cleaning them first. The symptoms of genital herpes include redness, itching around the genitals, pain when urinating due to inflammation of the urinary tract caused by infection with this virus, small blisters that break open and scab over in about a week's time near the genitals or anus area. According to statistics from CDC, approximately one out of every six people aged 14-49 years have contracted genital herpes in America today.

Getting Tested for Herpes is Vital

It’s important to note that while these two viruses are similar in some ways—both can cause painful outbreaks of blistering sores—they are very different in other ways, such as how they spread and what areas of your body they affect most severely. Knowing which virus you have will help you develop an effective treatment plan so that you can manage your symptoms effectively and reduce any risk of transmission to others if necessary. If you think you may have been exposed to either form of Herpes Simplex Virus it is important to get tested as soon as possible so that you can begin managing it as soon as possible too!

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