A 47-year-old female asked:
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If I have type 1 herpes, can I contract type 2? I have started to date someone with genital herpes. I get cold sores myself on my mouth. Can I have both types of herpes?

1 doctor answer
Dr. Joy Jackson
18 years experience in Family Medicine
In : In the past it was thought that hsv (herpes simplex virus) type 1 was strictly isolated to the oral mucosa (mouth/lips) and that type 2 was localized to the genitals and anus. It is now known that a person can carry both types in either location. If you only get herpes lesions on your mouth and not on your genitals then you need to know that if you have unprotected oral, vaginal, or anal sex with your partner then you are at a high risk of contracting genital herpes, and the type really won't make any difference (although type 2 is found more predominantly in the genitals). It is important to use condoms to avoid spread of the virus. I know this can be confusing. Please feel free to comment with any further questions. Take care.
Answered on Oct 3, 2016

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