Hey @tea! It’s definitely the time of year for Cold Sores. When your body is run down, they always want to come out.
The answer is yes and no. Cold Sores are caused by the Herpes Simplex virus and there are two main types in which 1 (the most common) is on the mouth, which we know as a cold sore. Type 2; Genital Herpes is mostly within the genital area, but… They can both be found in both locations….
So… Yes and no. If someone has a cold sore it’s likely to be HSV1, and it is possible that they can transmit to the genital area. The good news is HSV1 does’t like to ‘live’ in the genital region too mcuh, so there is little chance of further outbreaks. The same is said for HSV2, in that it could be transferred, but much less likely to be seen on the mouth.
Condoms and avoiding sex with the scab can help prevent transmission
Cold sores and herpes are quite common, just not talked about enough. They are easily managed with cream for cold sores, or anti virals for ongoing Herpes outbreaks.
You’re right @tea, there is so much stigma, but it is important to ‘get on with things’ as the reality is, over 1 out of 8 people have been in contact/diagnosed with HSV in Australia, and some just have cold sore or lesions more than others, and some never.
This is the best factsheet for herpes and cold sores I think;
Just an FYI; My friend got Genital Herpes from her boyfriend in high school when he had a cold sore (oral sex), and she’s never had an outbreak since (over 20 years), and it’s never been an issue with new partners.