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Fact or Fiction: Herpes
by Staff
When you think 'herpes,' you probably conjure up visions of cold sores or (gulp) genital blisters. And, yes, oral and genital herpes are the most common types. Test your knowledge of herpes with this quiz.

There's a cure for herpes.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: Some types can be cured, but others can't.

There are 10 types of herpes virus.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: There are eight types.

Most herpes viruses are passed through fluids.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: Most types are airborne.

Because you can get herpes through saliva, don't share utensils with someone who has herpes.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: The virus will die after a few seconds on a utensil, so you don't need to worry about that.

The most common types of herpes are herpes simplex virus 1 (which generally infects the genitals) and HSV-2 (which targets the mouth).

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: It's the other way around: HSV-1 is oral herpes and HSV-2 is genital herpes.

Most people acquire HSV-1 during their teenage years.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: The early- to mid-twenties is the most common time to get herpes.

You could very well have herpes and not know it.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: A small number of herpes carriers are unaware, but most have had an outbreak.

Sixty percent of American adults have the oral herpes virus.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: It's more like 90 percent.

Fifty percent of American adults have genital herpes.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: Try 10 percent.

Only about 10 percent of people infected with oral herpes actually get cold sores.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: Cold sores will show up on about half of infected people.

Women with genital herpes can avoid passing HSV-2 on to their newborns by delivering via C-section if they have an outbreak.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: The baby will still probably be infected, even with a C-section.

If you have oral herpes, the infection lies in a cluster of nerve cells behind your nose.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: The nerve-cell cluster is inside your cheek.

There are ointments that can help with cold-sore pain, but none of them has been shown to make the sores go away faster.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: Abreva has been proven to work.

Research has shown an association between herpes simplex viruses and Alzheimer's disease.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: The link is between HSV and Parkinson's disease.

Oral-to-genital contact is more likely to give you oral herpes on the genitals than genital herpes on the mouth.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: It's the other way around.

Chicken pox is caused by a herpes virus.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: The chicken pox virus is similar to herpes, but it's not categorized as such.

Human herpes virus 4 is also known as the Tay-Sachs virus.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: It's the Epstein-Barr virus.

If you're pregnant and acquire the cytomegalovirus (human herpes virus 5), you'll probably pass it on to your baby.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: You might pass it on, but it's about a 40 percent chance.

Just about every child in America will be infected with human herpes virus 6 by the time they turn 5.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: Almost all 2-year-olds have it.

Human herpes virus 8, or Kaposi's sarcoma, is linked to kidney disease.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: It's related to HIV infection.