The cause of genital herpes can be from HSV1 (oral herpes or “cold sores”) or HSV2 (genital herpes). Both versions of the herpes virus can end up on the genitalia, although HSV1 prefers to be in the tougher and cooler mucous membrane of the face (lip region) and HSV2 prefers the moist, warm climate of the genitals. So, HSV1 can end up on the genitals (if a person with a cold sore gives oral sex, for example) and HSV2 can end up on the lips, although the second possibility is less likely than the first. Most people acquire HSV-2 through genital-to-genital contact, but around 10 percent of genital herpes cases are the result of HSV-1, which is passed to an uninfected partner orally by a partner with oral herpes caused by HSV-1.

Incoming search terms for the article: