Q: I just started seeing this guy a few weeks ago, and last time I saw him he had what seemed very much like what I can only assume is a cold sore on his lip. And once you learn that they are technically oral herpes, a ton of stigma usually rears its head as well (because the word “herpes”).
It’s weird that he didn’t tell me he had it, maybe it’s because he doesn’t think it’s a big deal? However, this virus is so prevalent that nearly everyone has the herpes simplex virus by the end of their lives.
While it’s most contagious when there are actually cold sores present, it can be transmitted between blisterings, or even if the person doesn’t know they have it.
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Luckily, it’s mostly dormant, only showing itself every once and a while.
There are two types of HSV infections: HSV-2 is most likely to be found around your special parts, causing genital herpes blisters; and HSV-1 is most likely found around your mouth, and is most often called cold sores or fever blisters. (More on that in a minute.) HSV-1 is transmitted through contact with the skin or saliva of someone who has it.
So it’s good to know what life is like with it, because chances are you already have it — and if you don’t yet, you’re likely to get it.
Spoiler alert: It’s really not a big deal for most people.
Herpes is the symptoms caused by the herpes simplex virus, or HSV.