There are 60 million adults in the United States alone who have herpes, and we have a million new cases a year. But if a woman acquires genital herpes from either herpes 1 or 2 during pregnancy, the risk of having a severe outcome for the baby is high. High-school and college wrestlers sometimes develop herpes blisters on their shoulders and back from close contact with one another and from virus-contaminated mats, a condition called herpes gladiatorum. Research suggests that at least 60 percent of new cases of herpes simplex are acquired when the person transmitting the infection has no noticeable blisters or sores. Rates of herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) infection were much higher in teens with HIV or with a high risk of HIV than in the general population,. Incidence of HSV-2 (the new infection rate) was 7.35 cases per 100 person-years.
Despite these high seroprevalence rates, most HSV-2-infected American adults do not report ever having had genital herpes, and it is this lack of recognition of one s own infection which contributes to the surreptitious spread of this virus. News & Events News & Events News Releases. By the time people are in their 60s, up to 85 have been infected. HSV-2 is 3 times higher among HIV-infected adults compared to the general population. There is also a very high prevalence and incidence of HSV-2 infection among adolescents, compared to the general population. However, both oral infection with HSV-2 and particularly genital infection with HSV-1 are increasingly recognized, likely as a result of oral-genital sexual practices. The highest prevalences of coinfection with HSV-2 among HIV-1-infected individuals have been seen in heterosexual women and men in sub-Saharan Africa and in men who have sex with men in the Americas. Sex Transm Dis 2004; 31:753-60. Strick LB, Wald A. Diagnostics for herpes simplex virus: is PCR the new gold standard?
Herpes simplex virus type-2 (HSV2) infection increases HIV transmission. People with HIV infection showed consistently higher HSV-2 prevalence than HIV-negative persons in studies from Australia 121, Central African Republic 9, Zimbabwe 11, Haiti 30, USA (Seattle) 5, and Germany 77, 79. Infections are almost always in the genital area; oral HSV-2 is relatively uncommon. 19 Research suggests that by six weeks, more than 60 percent of patients with new HSV-2 infections will have developed antibodies and by 12 weeks more than 70 percent will have seroconverted. See CDC guidelines for information about treatment in pregnancy and for individuals with coexisting HIV infection.
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The virus may account for transmissions in up to 60 percent of new HIV cases in high HSV-2 prevalent populations, according to the WHO.