New Information About Cold Sores and Herpes

Recent studies have shown an interesting development in herpes infection. HSV-2, which typically causes genital sores, is being seen more frequently around the mouth. HSV-1, which typically causes facial cold sores, is being found more frequently in the genital area.

Research has found that oral to genital and genital to oral infection can occur as a result of sexual relations. However, HSV-2 outbreak around the mouth does not necessarily imply that the infection was the result of having had oral sex with an infected person.

Moreover, studies have shown that individuals already infected with HSV-1 are slightly less likely to become infected with HSV-2.

Someone who develops HSV-2 infection around the mouth or HSV-1 infection around the genitalia is less likely to have recurrences.

HSV-1 genital ulcers are not as likely to become resistant to acyclovir treatment, compared to HSV-2 genital infections.

Interestingly, in developed countries, especially among higher socioeconomic groups, the percentage of people who have had cold sore infections appears to be dropping. In crowded, undeveloped areas of the world, studies have found nearly every adult is or has been infected with the herpes virus.

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