Genital herpes is an STI caused by the herpes simplex viruses type 1 (HSV-1) and type 2 (HSV-2).
HSV-1 and HSV-2 cause the same symptoms, are both contagious, and are treated with the same medicine.
HSV-1 cannot turn into HSV-2 (the type of genital herpes spread by sexual contact), but you can get a cold sore on your mouth from HSV-2 if you give oral sex to someone with HSV-2.
Cold sores caused by HSV-1 or HSV-2 are contagious.
You can spread it to other people or other parts of your body if you touch an open sore and then touch another part of your body.
That means if you have a cold sore and give oral sex to someone, that person will get the herpes virus on his or her genitals. If you touch your cold sore, wash your hands right away to avoid spreading the infection to other parts of your body or other people.
Genital herpes is also much more common in African-American women.
One in two African-American women between the ages of 14 and 49 is infected with HSV-2 that causes genital herpes.
No, a cold sore on your mouth usually means you have herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1).
You can get HSV-1 by kissing someone or sharing utensils, towels, razors, or lipstick with someone who has HSV-1.
There is no cure for either genital herpes or genital warts.
But, different medicines can help manage the symptoms of herpes and treat the complications of HPV infections that can cause genital warts.
Most women with genital herpes do not know they have it.