- If someone has oral herpes, that does not mean he also has genital herpes. He can transmit the virus through his mouth and saliva, but not through his genitals. He can give a partner oral herpes by kissing. He can also give his partner genital herpes by giving oral sex. But he cannot give someone genital herpes by intercourse. Conversely, I have genital herpes so I can give someone genital herpes by intercourse, or oral herpes by receiving oral sex. However, I cannot give someone herpes by kissing him, because I don’t have oral herpes.
When trying to treat and prevent herpes, it’s better to take into consideration the location of the sores, not the type of strain. Knowing the type of herpes you have may be relevant in some cases, but for the most part it is just extraneous information. The main point that seems to slip through the cracks of people’s understanding about herpes, but which is an important concept to remember, is that any sexual activity makes oral and genital herpes completely interchangeable.