Everyone Has Herpes Viruses
Herpes viruses are much more widespread than most people realize. Everyone has at
least one of the nine types of viruses in the human herpes family. Pets have their own
kinds of herpes, so I'll just stick to the human herpes viruses for now.
Overview of the Nine Types of Herpes Viruses Found in Humans
1. Herpes simplex virus Type 1 (HSV-1)
Fever blisters and cold sores of the face, mouth, and lips are the most common
symptoms of HSV-1 outbreaks. Also known as Human Herpes Virus-1 (HHV-1).
Surprisingly, most infections with this virus occur by two years of age via breaks in the
skin barrier around the mouth or elsewhere on the body. While HSV-1 is thought of as
the cold sore virus and HSV-2 (see below) is thought of as the genital herpes virus,
distinctions between them often fail. It is well documented in the medical literature,
although not yet widely publicized, that the virus released from a cold sore can easily
transfer via oral-genital contact to establish a genital herpes infection in another
Besides causing cold sores and possibly spreading to the genital region, HSV-1 has
also been linked with the development of serious neurological diseases such as
Alzheimer's disease, Bell's palsy and trigeminal neuralgia. Recent research also shows
that co-infection by HSV-1 and HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) can enhance the
activity of both viruses in patients who have AIDS and non-genital herpes lesions.
HSV-1 infects at least 50% of people worldwide.
2. Herpes simplex virus Type 2 (HSV-2)
Also called Human Herpes Virus-2 (HHV-2). This type is the usual cause of genital
herpes, which is classified as a sexually transmitted disease. HSV-2 reached epidemic
status in the 1980s and 1990s, mostly because of its increased incidence among
teenagers. In the world of virus classification, HSV-2 and HSV-1 are nearly
indistinguishable except for their different clinical symptoms. However, even these
differences are inconsistent