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In terms of a person’s health, genital herpes is usually nothing to worry about.
“There’s this disconnect between the frequency of the disease and the impact it has on people’s lives, and how we diagnose it,” she said.LEONE: So if you look at some population-based data in the United States and look at unmarried adults, meaning folks between the ages of 45 and 50, for women, we know the prevalence rate for genital herpes due to HSV-2 is between 50 and 70 percent. Herpes patients can take antiviral drugs to shorten their outbreaks — and to become less infectious — but no existing pill can make it go away altogether. So given that a huge swath of the population has genital herpes and that four-fifths of them don’t even know it, is testing the way to go?So we’re looking at close to the majority or the majority of folks in that age group who are single having genital herpes. FLATOW: Let me go over that number again because you’re saying that – it’s hard to believe – you’re saying that for women between the age of 40 and 50… If more people know they carry it, might they be more careful and become less likely to infect others? Anna Wald argues that yes, more testing would help.The virus can lie dormant in your system for years without coming to the surface.The initial outbreak is often the worst, occurring a few days to a couple of weeks after being infected.