So I have a cold sore on the side on my mouth …

…..and I touched it and then accidentally touched my genital .. does this mean I gave myself genital herpes?


Good question!

There are two different types of Herpes, Herpes Simplex Virus I & II.  Type I presents itself as cold sores on the the mouth so it is not considered an STI unless it’s transmitted through unprotected oral sex (mouth to genital contact).

Type II is usually called “Genital Herpes” because it presents itself as open sores on the genitals, and is transmitted through unprotected sexual skin to skin contact.

It is important to know that while they are different, if someone has a cold sore on their mouth and has direct skin to skin contact with the genitals, there is a high risk of transmission. Condoms and dental dams can help reduce this risk.

If someone touches a sore and immediately touches a mucus membrane (like the genitals) there is a slight risk of transmission.  The risk in this situation is low. In general, there needs to be mucus membrane to mucus membrane contact for the risk to be high.

If you want to make an appointment with us at Teen Clinic, give us a call at 303-442-5160