Cold sores/fever blisters are in fact, herpes. However, there are two types of herpes, herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) and herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV-2). HSV-1 causes cold sores around the mouth but can potentially spread to the genitals through oral contact. HSV-2 causes genital herpes and like HSV-1, can spread to the mouth through oral contact. HSV-1 and HSV-2 are very similar, their main difference is where they are typically found.
By the age of 50, on average, 85% of people in the United States are carriers of either the HSV-1 or the HSV-2 virus.
25% of women over the age of 18, and 20% of men in the United States are carriers of the HSV-2 (Genital Herpes) Virus. Together that makes over 50 million people living with the virus. Most do not know that they are carriers. In some, the virus can be completely asymptomatic.
If you have contracted HSV-1, you are far from alone.