Can I Have Two Simplex Virus Outbreaks at the Same Time?

multiple herpes simplex virus outbreaks at the same time

Having one herpes outbreak can seem bad enough. But, can you have more? Is it possible to have multiple herpes simplex virus outbreaks at the same time?

The Short Answer

In general, we know that HSV-1 is known as oral herpes. While HSV-2 is known as genital herpes. However, these distinctions may cause some confusion. Since both HSV-1 and HSV-2 can infect either or both the mouth and genitals, depending on which infected part is in contact with which region of the body. The labels of are usually meant as indicators of their location, and not exactly which virus is at work.

Consequently, because HSV-1 and HSV-2 can infect both the mouth and the genital area, you can also be infected by the same viruses at multiple sites.

The Long Answer

According to John Hopkins Medicine, if you have oral or genital herpes, you can’t infect another part of your body after the initial infection happens. For example, if you have HSV-2 genital herpes, you will not get it again on another part of your body. In general, your body will make antibodies to protect other parts of your body from HSV-2.

But, there are cases in which an individual has the same viral infection on multiple sites. This happens at the time of the first infection. This is when you are the most susceptible. So, you can conceivably give your partner HSV-1 by engaging in oral sex and HSV-2 by engaging in genital sex if you are infected with both.

Final Thoughts

It is possible to have multiple herpes simplex virus outbreaks at the same time, so make sure you know your partner and are in a mutually monogamous relationship. The CDC recommends against giving herpes tests to the general population. But, you can request one from your doctor if you are truly concerned.