There are two strains of the Herpes Simplex virus. HSV 1 and HSV 2. Herpes Simplex 1 or as it is commonly called, HSV 1, is typically causes cold sores. It is also referred to as oral herpes or sometimes as fever blisters.
The HSV 2 strain most oftentimes causes genital herpes as the symptoms are mostly manifested around the genital areas (or within the boxer short region) in men or in women.
That used to be predominantly the case, however in some cases Herpes Simplex 1 can be the cause behind genital herpes (this happens mostly when the infected person indulges in oral sex with his or her partner).
Though Herpes Simplex 1 and HSV 2 typically affect different parts of the body, The American Social Health Association is of the opinion that the DNA’s of both these strains are very similar – so much so, it takes a very trained eye to determine the difference under a microscope.
In fact, there is greater than a 50% similarity between the two. There are other similarities as well. Such as both Herpes Simplex 1 and 2 affect the mucosal surfaces in the body, and in 1 out of 3 cases, the disease comes without any symptoms at all. The only major difference between the two is the parts of the body where the symptoms are seen.