I have a cold sore. Do I have herpes?
Technically yes, cold sores are a form of herpes since they’re caused by the herpes virus. But there’s no need to freak, since it’s a different virus than what causes the STI kind of herpes. Cold sores are caused by the type 1 virus, and the STI kind is caused by type 2—BIG difference. Surprisingly, about 80 percent of Americans have been exposed to virus 1, so you’re def not alone.
Even though both viruses fall under the “herpes” category, they’re actually very different. Both cold sores and the STI kind of herpes can pop up anywhere on the body, but cold sores are most likely to occur on the face. Also, cold sores can be caught from any skin-to-skin contact like kissing or using the same silverware as someone with the virus. The STI kind is usually contracted at a more mature age, when you're sexually active.