Genital Herpes Statistics

A national research study showed that genital herpes has affected at least 45 million people ages 12 and older in the United States. Statistics also show that genital herpes is more common in women than in men. Each year, an estimated 500,000 to 1,000,000 new infections will occur. These statistics show that almost one in five adults and adolescents have had an infection.

Genital Herpes Statistics: An Overview

Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by either the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) or type 2 (HSV-2). HSV-2 is the more common cause, estimated to be responsible for up to 80 percent of genital herpes cases.
 
Results of a nationally representative study show that genital herpes infection is common in the United States. Nationwide, at least 45 million people ages 12 and older have had a genital herpes infection. This represents almost one in five adolescents and adults.
 
Some other statistics on genital herpes include the following:
 
  • Between the late 1970s and the early 1990s, the number of Americans with genital herpes increased by 30 percent.
     
  • Genital herpes infection with HSV-2 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 transmissions being more likely than female-to-male transmission.
     
  • It is estimated that each year 500,000 to 1,000,000 new infections occur.
     
  • Herpes research studies show that most people with genital herpes do not realize they are infected; they either have never had any symptoms or have not recognized their symptoms as herpes.
 
Table 1. Genital Herpes -- Initial visits to physicians' offices, National Disease and Therapeutic Index: United States, 1966–2005
 
Year
Genital Herpes
Year
Genital Herpes
1966
19,000
 
1986
136,000
1967
15,000
 
1987
102,000
1968
16,000
 
1988
163,000
1969
15,000
 
1989
148,000
1970
17,000
 
1990
172,000
1971
49,000
 
1991
235,000
1972
26,000
 
1992
139,000
1973
51,000
 
1993
172,000
1974
75,000
 
1994
142,000
1975
36,000
 
1995
160,000
1976
57,000
 
1996
208,000
1977
116,000
 
1997
176,000
1978
76,000
 
1998
188,000
1979
83,000
 
1999
224,000
1980
57,000
 
2000
179,000
1981
133,000
 
2001
157,000
1982
134,000
 
2002
216,000
1983
106,000
 
2003
203,000
1984
157,000
 
2004
269,000
1985
124,000
 
2005
266,000
 
SOURCE: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
 

Genital Herpes -- Information on Genital Herpes

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