To infect people, HSV-1 and HSV-2 must get into the body through broken skin or a mucous membrane, such as inside the mouth or in the genital area.
In addition to the fluid from fever blisters, each virus can be carried in bodily fluids like saliva, semen, and fluid in the female genital tract.
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There is also a very high prevalence and incidence of HSV-2 infection among adolescents, compared to the general population.
Other factors People with weakened immune systems, such as people with HIV/AIDS, or those who take immunosuppressant drugs to treat an autoimmune disease or because of organ transplant, are at increased risk for severe cases of herpes.
Now, scientists know that either type can be found in either the oral or genital area, as well as at other sites.
In fact, researchers estimate that HSV-1 is responsible for up to half of all new cases of genital herpes.
Oral herpes (cold sores)Everyone is at risk for oral herpes from HSV-1.
In fact, studies suggest that by adolescence, 62% of Americans are infected with HSV-1.Finally, there is a blood test that may help make a diagnosis, especially if your doctor suspects herpes but you do not have an active infection.There is no cure for herpes, so the goals of treatment are to reduce the number of outbreaks and to lessen symptoms when you do have an outbreak.Often your doctor is able to make the diagnosis of herpes from examining you.If your doctor is not 100% certain, however, your doctor may take a sample from the blisters to test for the virus.Although there is no cure for genital herpes, an infected person can take steps to prevent spreading the disease, and can continue to have a normal sex life.