HSV-1, also known as oral herpes, can cause cold sores and fever blisters around the mouth and on the face. HSV-2 is generally responsible for genital herpes outbreaks. Children will often contract HSV-1 from early contact with an infected adult. They then carry the virus with them for the rest of their life. Everything I have read says be careful because HSV 1 can give you genital herpes through oral sex; but given the fact that the vast majority of people already have HSV 1 (of the face) and have built up an immunity is this really such a great concern in a monogamous stable relationship?. One major difference between the two viruses is their site of preference: oral versus genital. HSV-1 and -2 are transmitted by contact with an infected area of the skin during reactivations of the virus. Herpes simplex viruses can affect areas of skin exposed to contact with an infected person.
Viral culture and DNA tests can be done if you are experiencing symptoms. A person who only has HSV-1 may receive a false positive for HSV-2.