World Herpes Epidemic

There are more than 500 million people infected with the herpes virus each year, and up to 20 million more get infected each year. The Herpes virus is spread through sexual contact, causing infections that can last a lifetime. Many people don’t even realize that they are actually infected, and can unknowingly pass it along to someone else.

Nearly 16% of people ages 15 to 19 years old are infected world wide, according to the study in the Bulletin of the World Health Organization. Africa is where the herpes virus is most prevalent, with up to 70% of women carrying the virus. The symptoms alone are not the only thing for women to worry about with Herpes, infected women can transmit the virus to their children during birth, which can cause serious birth defects. These children are also more likely to get HIV.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say infection is common in the United States, with at least 45 million Americans over the age of 12 infected.