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Exactly How Common Is Herpes?

by | Aug 31, 2021 | Sex

It’s the sexually transmissible infection (STI) with arguably the largest stigma attached to it, often considered a relationship burden or a sexual death sentence. Yep, we’re talking about herpes simplex virus, or HSV as it’s also known. HSV-1 and HSV-2 are the two types of herpes. HSV-1 usually affects the lips and mouth, showing up in the form of cold sores, whereas HSV-2 usually affects the genital and anal areas in the form of small blisters.

With a high transmission rate (via close body-to-body contact) and no known cure, it doesn’t take a genius to realise why stigma clouds the herpes virus and its carriers. Truth is, that shouldn’t be the case. Herpes symptoms are totally manageable for a carrier and their sexual partner. So, isn’t it time we removed the stigma surrounding HSV? Especially when you consider that anyone who engages in sex is at risk of becoming a herpes carrier. In fact, we’ve done the research and can confirm herpes is more common than your probably think.

So, whether you’re a carrier of the herpes virus, someone in a relationship with a herpes virus carrier, or someone who just doesn’t fully understand the herpes virus, we’re laying down the facts on exactly how common herpes is. Spoiler alert; herpes ain’t nothing to be ashamed of.

  1. An estimated 3.7 billion people under the age of 50 have HSV-1, globally. That’s 67%.
  2. An estimated 491 million people aged 15-49 have HSV-2, globally. That’s 13%.
  3. Despite the transmission of herpes being more prevalent in women, in 2016 there were 178 million men living with the infection worldwide.
  4. In Australia, it’s estimated that a staggering 75% of adults carry the HSV-1 virus. Yep, that’s three out of four people.
  5. In Australia, it’s estimated that 10-percent of adults carry the HSV-2 virus.
  6. All these facts are estimates due to many people living unknowingly with an asymptomatic version of the virus. That’s right, they live without visible symptoms or a confirmed medical diagnosis.

There you have it. Herpes is super common. If you’re not a carrier of the herpes virus, chances are you know someone who is. Isn’t it time we lightened their burden and brought herpes out of the stigma’s shadow? Let us help you with your HSV-1 & HSV-2 treatment now.

*Stats pulled from: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/herpes-simplex-virus


This blog is designed to be informative and educational. It is not intended to provide specific medical advice or replace advice from your medical practitioner.

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