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A 26-year-old female asked:

Is hsv 1 & hsv 2 the same? the doc said that either 1 can occur in the oral & genital area. does that mean both hsv 1 & hsv 2 r both considered stds?

2 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Allen Seely
General Practice 32 years experience
Interchangeable: Herpes simplex viruses =hsv 1 & 2 are interchangeable when it comes to causing genital herpes. So it is the location of symptomotogy that dictates whether herpes is a std not the HSV virus#.
Dr. Ankush Bansal
Internal Medicine 18 years experience
No, yes: Hsv-1 and hsv-2 are not the same - exactly. They are different viral types of herpes simplex. Hsv-1 usually causes cold sores around the mouth. Hsv-2 usually causes genital ulcers. However, either can be in either place. Therefore, they are both stds.
Dr. Martin Raff
Dr. Martin Raff commented
Infectious Disease 57 years experience
It is the mode of transmission which determines whether or not the infection is considered an STD, and as Dr. Bansai points out, the two strains may produce lesions in either the oral cavity or the genitalia.
Jan 16, 2014

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