The herpes simplex virus (HSV) is the cause of both genital and oral herpes. It’s categorized into two types: Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 (HSV-1) and Herpes Simplex Type 2 (HSV-2). While HSV-1 is primarily spread through oral contact, HSV-2 is sexually transmitted.
The Difference Between HSV-1 and HSV-2
Although both HSV-1 and HSV-2 are forms of the herpes virus, there are some key differences between both; from how it's contracted to what part of the body it affects.
HSV-1 is the most common of herpes simplex virus globally with an estimated 3.7 billion people under the age of 50 believed to be infected by it worldwide . HSV-1 is transmitted through oral contact and is the cause of oral herpes; perhaps better known as the common cold sore.
Some common signs of a HSV-1 infection include:
- Tingling and itching around the lips
- Blisters along the border of the lips
According to the World Health Organization, it’s estimated that 491 million people aged 15-49 have the HSV-2 infection worldwide . HSV-2 is transmitted through sexual contact and is the cause of genital herpes.
Some common signs of a HSV-2 infection include:
- Pain or itching in the genital area
- Small bumps or blisters
See also: Can Herpes go Away on its Own?
One of the best ways of lowering your risk of contracting a sexually transmitted infection is by regularly screening your sexual health. This can be done with your local doctor or from the comfort of your own home with an at-home lab test.
LetsGetChecked’s at-home Herpes Test can detect herpes simplex antibodies for either HSV-1 or HSV-2. Online results will be available within 5 days and our dedicated medical team will be there to offer a helping hand should you have any questions.
See also: How do you Check Herpes From Home?