HSV-1 is the one that usually causes cold sores around your mouth and lips.
HSV-2 is the one usually responsible for genital herpes.
This is between you and your girlfriend, fiance, wife, boyfriend, husband, life partner or whatever. The only reason we care about who gave it to us and when is because we shame people for how they got it – by having sex or engaging in sexual activities.
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If you’ve been physically intimate, freaking out was probably your first reaction (Do I now have herpes? Then come the other questions: Is herpes a deal breaker? But first, let’s get straight on what herpes is and what it isn’t.
Are you stupid to continue a relationship with someone who has herpes? There are two viruses that people talk about when they talk about herpes: Herpes Simplex Virus 1 and Herpes Simplex Virus 2, or HSV-1 and HSV-2.
Not just compared to everyone you know, but compared to your own life up to this point.
What’s unique about this situation is that one of you knows and is talking about it openly. The shaming of the “unclean” and the fear loom far larger than the actual health risks to the population. That two people might hook up–be it a third date or a long committed relationship–and one or both of them has herpes and doesn’t know it is hardly far fetched.
Both HSV-1 and HSV-2 can cause infections anywhere on your body, and both HSV-1 and HSV-2 are more common than you think. The prevalent statistics you encounter in drug commercials, sex ed, and PSAs are inconsistent and often confusing.
That’s because herpes infections are much more complicated than we paint them in our SNL sketches and stand-up routines. It’s from Project Accept.org: Around 75% of Americans carry HSV 1 or HSV 2 somewhere on their body.Staying in a relationship where you are negative and they are positive seems like playing with fire.But there’s something to be said for someone who knows they have herpes and knows how to manage it versus someone who has herpes and doesn’t know and has never been tested. Garrison, a clinical sexologist, told Primer: “When a person living with herpes knows everything about herpes and can comfort themselves and educate their partners, when they can know their prodrome and understand what that means, when they are aware of what can trigger their outbreaks, then sex with them can be (and often is! That being said, you'll never reduce your risk of contracting herpes from a partner down to zero. There are three ways to reduce the risk of transmission.Bottom-line: Is a long term relationship with someone with herpes a life sentence for protected sex?Or is contracting herpes from your partner going to be an inevitability—not a matter of if, but when? I'm not going to sit here and guarantee that you'll never get herpes, either from your long term girlfriend or from a random hookup.When prodrome is present, it means the virus is active and the chances of transmission are high. But on the grand scale of things, herpes might be less of a challenge than celiac’s disease or severe nut allergies or even a monthly menstrual cycle.