Herpes labialis is common throughout the world. A large survey of young adults on six continents reported that 33% of males and 28% of females had herpes labialis on two or more occasions during the year before the study. The lifetime prevalence in the United States of America is estimated at 20–45% of the adult population. Lifetime prevalence in France was reported by one study as 32% in males and 42% in females. In Germany, the prevalence was reported at 32% in people aged between 35 and 44 years, and 20% in those aged 65–74. In Jordan, another study reported a lifetime prevalence of 26%. 
How are cold sores and genital herpes perceived so differently when HSV-1 and HSV-2 are barely different at all? In fact, the viruses are so similar that they are quite capable of jumping from one site to the other during oral sex . It was believed for a long time that HSV-1 preferentially infects the mouth area and HSV-2 preferentially infects the genitals. That's true, but it's only a part of the picture. Several studies have found that, in recent years, at least half of all first outbreaks of genital herpes were actually caused by HSV-1 not HSV-2. In other words, the "cold sore virus" is responsible for an ever increasing number of genital herpes infections.