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If I have cold sores, does that protect me from genital herpes?

Jill A. Grimes, MD
Family Medicine
Once you have one type of herpes, you will not get that same type of herpes in a different spot on your body. You may, however, get a different type. The common example is that if you have cold sores, which are most often herpes simplex virus (HSV) type 1, you are still susceptible to getting genital herpes from HSV type 2. Your doctor can confirm which type of herpes simplex virus you have with a blood test.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.