Herpes has been around for centuries. In fact, old texts discovered by the ancient Greeks describing herpes as being present as early as the 5th century. The emperor, Tiberius, placed a ban on kissing during the Roman Empire believing it to be the cause of herpes. Shakespeare also described herpes in one of his literary works. The Greeks referred to herpes as sores that would creep on to the skin. This 'creeping' was first named Herpes in 1906. See The History of Herpes.
20 million people are infected each year with HSV (Herpes Simplex Virus) and that number is constantly growing. 80% of these people don't even know they are carriers. In the United States, alone, there are approximately 500,000 new cases each year.
3.7 billion people under the age of 50 carry HSV-1 (cold sores).
Approximately 417 million people between the ages of 15-49 carry HSV-2 (genital herpes).
According to the World Health Organization Uganda has the highest rate of incidence (74%), while Europe has the lowest at roughly 15%.
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