How Common is Herpes

Typical Blisters of HSV-1

HSV is an STD and is caused by the herpes simplex virus. There are two types of Herpes, namely, HSV-1 and HSV-2. HSV 1 usually results in sores and blisters near the mouth, the nose, the face and is also known as oral herpes or cold sores. HSV 2, however, affects the genital areas and is known as genital herpes. However, both the virus types can result in either oral or genital infections. Simple cold sores affect more than 70% of the population in the UK. These cold sores also have the potential of leading to genital herpes. A simple kiss can spread the infection to a healthy person. On a worldwide basis, more than 500 million people are infected with genital herpes, with 20 million people being added every year.

Increased Infection in the US

Results from national studies show that genital herpes is very common in the United States. It has been noted that more than 45 million above the age of twelve, in the US, are infected with Genital Herpes or HSV 2. This means that one out of five of the population in the country is infected by Genital Herpes. Genital Herpes is also more common among women than among men. It occurs in one out of four women on an average, compared to one of five men. The cause for this is that transmission of the virus from a man to a woman is more effective than from a female to a man. The number of people with the infection has also gradually increased, from the 1970s by about 30%. The prevalence of the infection is also increasing most dramatically in white teenagers. The prevalence of genital herpes among those aged 12 years to 18 years has increased by about five times compared to twenty years ago.

Herpes in the UK/Canada/Australia

Herpes is among the most common STDs in the UK as well. There are more than 180,000 people who had tested positive for the condition in the year 2010. Genital Herpes is very common among those between the ages of 20 and 24. The actual physical symptoms occurring during recurring infection are very trivial. However, the infection causes psychological damage on the person due to the stigma attached to it.

Lab confirmed reports in Canada show that one in seven among the age group of 14 years to 59 years could be infected with HSV 2 virus, but most of them are not aware of their condition. The infection is more common in women than men and the prevalence rose in cases of those who were older. As for Australia, it has been estimated that nearly 75% of the adults in the country have the HSV 1 infection, with 12% going through HSV 2 infection.

All this goes to prove that Herpes is very common and many of those living with Herpes lead perfectly normal lives. The outbreaks of sores can be treated with medication and making some lifestyle changes can also reduce the frequency. You need to practice hygienic habits, use barriers like condoms and avoid sexual contact when in the midst of an outbreak. The first outbreak is usually a little serious but the recurring infection is milder and controllable with medicines and by avoiding stress.