The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention performed a study that shows disturbing results about the herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2). They found that up to one out of six Americans between the ages of 14 and 49 tested positive for HSV-2 and were unaware that they were infected with the herpes virus.
The age group 14 - 19 years had the lowest rate of infection of those that tested positive for HSV-2, at 1.4 percent. For the age group 40 - 49 years, the rate of infection was 26.1 percent.
Dr. Georges Benjamin advocates that doctors teach patients how to avoid becoming infected with the herpes virus. People need to understand what it means for them to test positive for HSV-2. And they need to be aware that they are at higher risk of HIV. He believes that doctors should be testing more of their patients for HSV-2.
"Daily medication can reduce sexual transmission of the virus by about 50%, according to Scott Bryan, a spokesman with the CDC's National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention. People who use condoms consistently have a 30% decreased risk of acquiring HSV-2 compared with people who have unprotected sex, he said."