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Herpes StatisticsHerpes Statistics

One out of five of the total adolescent and adult population is infected with genital herpes.

Infection is more common in women (approximately one out of four women) than in men (almost one out of five).

Male-to-female transmission is more efficient than female-to-male transmission.

One in five Americans have genital herpes (yet at least 80 percent of those with herpes are unaware they have it).

About 80 percent of American adults have oral herpes (cold sores).

An estimated 25 percent of American adults have genital herpes.

Genital herpes affects approximately one in six Australian adults

Approximately two-thirds of people who acquire STDs in the United States are younger than 25.1,3

About one in five people in the United States over age 12 (approximately 45 million individuals) are infected with HSV-2, the virus that causes genital herpes.2

According to the A.H.M.F. (Australian Herpes Management Forum) genital herpes is under-diagnosed — of people with genital herpes simplex virus infection only 1 in 5 are diagnosed and, up to 80% of cases of genital herpes are not recognized as such by clinicians.

At least one in four Americans will contract an STD at some point in their lives.

Up to 1 million new HSV-2 infections may be transmitted each year in the United States.1

Costs associated with genital herpes totaled approximately $237 million in 1994.3

Genital herpes infection also is more common among African Americans (45.9%) than among White Caucasian (17.6%).

Since the late 1970s, the number of Americans with genital herpes infection has increased 30%.

The largest increase of genital herpes is among young White teenagers.

Genital herpes infection is now five times more common in 12- to 19-year-old White adolescents.

Genital herpes is twice as common among young adults ages 20 to 29 than it was 20 years ago.


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References:

  1. American Social Health Association. Sexually Transmitted Diseases in America: How Many Cases and at What Cost? Menlo Park, CA: Kaiser Family Foundation, 1998.
  2. Fleming DT, et al. Herpes Simplex Virus type 2 in the United States, 1976 to 1994. NEJM 1997;337:1105-11.
  3. Institute of Medicine. Committee on Prevention and Control of Sexually Transmitted Diseases. The Hidden Epidemic: Confronting Sexually Transmitted Diseases. Eng TR and Butler WT, eds. Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 1997.

OTHER RESOURCES:

National Center for Health Statistics (US)

Provides US public health statistics including diseases, pregnancies, births, aging, and mortality. Public use data files are available for download

National Statistics Online (UK)

Data on economy, population and society at national and local level. Summaries and detailed data releases are published free of charge

Statistics Canada: the national statistical agency providing (Canada)

Statistics Canada (www.statcan.ca) provides economic, social and census data / Statistique Canada (www.statcan.ca) fournit des données sur l'économie

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