Results of nationally representative study show that genital herpes infection is common in the United States. Nationwide, 45 million people ages 12 and older, or one out of five of the total adolescent and adult population, are infected with genital herpes (herpes simplex virus-2 or HSV-2).
HSV-2 infection is more common in women (approximately one out of four women) than in men (almost one out of five). This may be due to male-to-female transmission being more efficient than female-to-male transmission. HSV-2 infection also is more common in blacks (45.9%) than in whites (17.6%). Race and ethnicity in the United States correlate with other, more fundamental determinants of health such as poverty, access to good quality health care, behavior for seeking health care, illicit drug use, and living in communities with a high prevalence of STDs.
Since the late 1970s, the number of Americans with genital herpes infection has increased 30%. The largest increase is currently occurring in young white teens. HSV-2 infection is now five times more common in 12- to 19-year-old whites, and it is twice as common in young adults ages 20 to 29 than it was 20 years ago.
For more in-depth information about genital herpes, please visit the Genital Herpes Center.
Source: Centers for Disease Control, (http://www.cdc.gov)