How Common is Genital Herpes?

How Common is Genital Herpes? “Genital herpes infection is common in the United States. Nationwide, 16.2%, or about one out of six, people 14 to 49 years of age have genital HSV-2 infection. Genital herpes is more common in women (approx. one out of five women 14 to 49 years of age) than in men (about one out of nine men 14 to 49 years of age)”CDC, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention“In 2008 a record number of people (28,957) were diagnosed with genital herpes in GUM clinics in the UK. Just over 60 percent of these diagnoses were among women.”AVERT, Int. HIV and AIDS charity“A woman with herpes who is pregnant can pass the infection to her baby. A baby born with herpes might die or have serious brain, skin, or eye problems.”NIAID, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

The mere mention of herpes may bring a lot of negative thoughts in your mind. Indeed herpes is not a disease you would want even your enemy to contract, but the fact is that it is quite common. And not just the oral herpes; even genital herpes is now a common health problem globally. So, if you always wondered whether you can have this disease too, you should know that there are chances that genital herpes will strike you too. At least this is what scientific research says.A recent global survey has revealed that genital herpes virus affects people all over the world. The stats show that almost one billion people over the age of twelve are infected with the herpes simplex virus or HSV-2. This means that about twenty percent of the global adult and adolescent population suffers from this disease! Perhaps you now understand how common it is.

What is more shocking is the fact that since 1970’s the prevalence of genital herpes has increased by almost 30%. And this spurt has been fuelled by the increasing incidence of herpes in teens.

In fact, studies indicate that:

12-19 year olds are five times more likely to get infected with HSV-2 than they were 20 years ago.

Young adults between 20-29 years of age are twice more likely to contract genital herpes than they were 20 years ago.

This is quite disturbing news, when you think that medical science has progressed by leaps and bound and the incidence of genital herpes should be decreasing and not showing an upward curve. But when you look at the reasons behind this paradoxical increase in herpes patients, perhaps you will understand why HSV-2 induced herpes has become such a common ailment.Genital herpes spreads through sexual contact with and infected person, even anally or orally. Even any other type of skin-to-skin contact may be enough to transmit this disease. Over the last two or three decades societies have become more liberal and people indulging in relationships with lower degrees of seriousness.

So, multiple sexual partners are clearly the order of the day, even among teenagers particularly in Europe and USA. And since the incidence of casual sexual encounters has increased so has the spread of genital herpes. This is because HSV-2 can be transmitted even without the infected persons knowing that they are suffering from herpes, simply because sores have not appeared yet.

There is further cause for alarm for women, because this infection is more common in women than in men. Almost one in four women have genital herpes as opposed to this ratio being one in five for men. The reason behind this may be the fact that the virus is transmitted better from men to women than vice versa.

So quite clearly, genital herpes is a common and potent threat to you. The best way to deal with this common problem is to exercise prudence and restraint in your sexual relations and also get medical checkups done occasionally, particularly if you have multiple sexual partners. Genital herpes may be common but it is nothing to be scared about, because it is not incurable.Find out about genital herpes treatments!