Herpes is a broad term that is used to describe the two incurable viruses that cause sores on the mouth or genital area. Oral herpes is caused by the herpes simplex virus – 1 (HSV-1) and genital herpes is caused by herpes simplex virus – 2 (HSV-2). Although HSV – 1 generally affects the area of the move and HSV – 2 generally affects the area around the genitals, either disease could be transmitted to the other area of the body. The disease is spread through intimate skin to skin contact during a time when the afflicted person is shedding the disease. Although they are often symptomatic at this time, this is not always the case. Avoiding intimate contact while you are displaying symptoms can help to curb the spread of the disease but since it can also be spread when a person is not displaying symptomatic, many people unknowingly pass on the disease.