Approximately 500 million people around the world are infected with the genital herpes virus known as herpes simplex virus 2

Around two-thirds of adults aged 50 and older have Herpes simplex type 1 (HSV-1). World Health Organization

Fifty percent of American kindergarten-age children have HSV-1. The University of Michigan's Health Service

Only around 30 percent of those with HSV-1 will show signs of the infection, namely cold soresAmerican Academy of General Dentistry

While a majority of HSV-1 cases involve oral herpes or cold sores, around 40 percent of cases involve genital sores.

In patients on suppressive treatment for herpes simplex 2 infection, 80 % viral shedding episodes occur without obvious symptoms. The Lancet, Online Publication, 5 January 2012

Short bursts of subclinical genital herpes simplex virus reactivation lasting less than 12 hours are frequent, even during antiviral therapy. The Lancet, Online Publication, 5 January 2012

Herpes type 2 (HSV 2) seroconversion rate is significantly higher among females. Sexually Transmitted Diseases December 2012; 39 (12)

Estimated seroincidence rates herpes simplex virus (HSV) infection: 9.1 per 100 person-years for HSV type 1 and 6.2 for HSV type 2. Female sex is associated with significantly higher HSV-2 seroconversion rates.  Sexually Transmitted Diseases April 2012; 39 (4)

While 70 % of the population is infected with herpes simplex virus (HSV) type 1, frequent outbreaks of cold sore occur only in a minority. A gene called C21orf91 on chromosome 21 may be responsible for cold sore susceptibility. Journal of Infectious Diseases (2011) 204 (11): 1654

An estimated 16 % of adults and adolescents worldwide are infected with herpes simplex type 2. WHO Bulletin 2008;86:805

About 80% of adults have antibodies to type 1 herpes simplex virus (HSV-1).

One in six individuals aged between 14 and 49 years are infected with genital herpes. Women are infected at almost twice the rate of men. US Study. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Herpes gladiatorum is an infection caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV) type 1. The disease occurs in people who engage in sports like wrestling and rugby, which involve close skin-to-skin contact.


Women are more commonly infected with genital herpes than men.  It is estimated that one out of every four women in the United States has herpes. National Institute of allergy and Infectious diseases

Strains of genital herpes in Africa are far more virulent than those in the United States.  The Journal of Infectious Diseases, online, April 15, 2011

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