Herpes Prevalence is on the Decline

Since we ushered the new millennium, researchers have noted the decrease in the prevalence of both oral HSV-1, and genital herpes HSV-2 simplex virus. However, about half of Americans in their prime years are still affected. Oral herpes is known to cause sores in the mouth as well as on the face. Sometimes it may cause ulcers in the genital area. The genital herpes is known to cause sores around the genitals, buttocks, and anus. At times, it may result in mouth sores. The two type of herpes can only be transmitted by having physical contact with a person who has the infection. It is essential to highlight that some infected individuals do not show any signs of infection.

Most often oral herpes is acquired by children or in adolescents through contact with saliva. The only time that it can cause genital sores is through oral sex. On the other hand, genital herpes is spread through virginal, oral or even anal sex with an individual who is infected. Sometimes, herpes may fail to show any symptoms despite its existence. It may eventually be reactivated causing an outbreak. It is good to note that there is no treatment for herpes. Infected people use some antiviral medicine to help reduce its intensity. The medication also minimizes the duration of a possible outbreak of both genital and oral herpes.

The National Center for Health Statistics revealed that about 48 out of 100 Americans aged between 14 to 49 years have oral herpes. The number have gone down compared to the 59 percent in the year 2000. Women have recorded a 50 percent infection while men have registered a 45 percent. The same organization revealed that herpes is prevalent as people grow older. About 60 percent of individual lying under the 40 to 49 age bracket are infected with oral herpes. The rate of genital herpes transmission is relatively low.

Only 12 percent are infected as compared to the 18 percent infection registered in 2000. It has a 16 percent prevalence in women as compared to the 8 percent in men. Geraldine McQuillan of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention says that studied are yet to reveal why the HSV-2 prevalence in women is twice that of men. Dr. McQuillan believes that the rates are on the decline as a result of people embracing the use of condoms and informing their partners about the diagnosis.

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