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Infection of The Day: The World Health Organization is Pretty Sure You Have Herpes

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Infection of The Day: The World Health Organizations is Pretty Sure You Have Herpes
Via WHO
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You probably, maybe, definitely have herpes. And there's nothing you can do about it.

According to a report from the World Health Organization, about 67 percent of the world's population, or 3.7 billion people under the age of 50, have herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1).

That's the mouth kind of herpes. You know, the one that gives you a cold sore.

Not so fast though! HSV-1 can also spread to the genitals.

"The new estimates highlight, however, that HSV-1 is also an important cause of genital herpes. Some 140 million people aged 15-49 years are infected with genital HSV-1 infection, primarily in the Americas, Europe and Western Pacific. Fewer people in high-income countries are becoming infected with HSV-1 as children, likely due to better hygiene and living conditions, and are instead at risk of contracting it genitally through oral sex after they become sexually active."

In January, estimates showed that 417 million people aged 15-49 years have HSV-2, which causes genital herpes.

So adding those numbers together...over half a billion people have some form of herpes.

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