A national survey of the US population conducted between 1988 and 1994 found that more than one in five people over 12 are infected with herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV 2), the virus typically responsible for genital herpes. A clinician can diagnose herpes by looking at a sore, or taking a sample and having it tested in a lab. There is no treatment that can cure herpes but there are medications that can shorten and prevent the outbreaks.
Herpes is transmitted through skin-to-skin contact (even when you cannot see a sore) and the person with herpes may not have any symptoms.
There is some good news about herpes simplex virus type 2. Increased condom use may be reducing the number of new herpes 2 infections. A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association reported (August 23, 2006) that overall, the number of Americans aged 14 to 49 who tested positive for herpes 2 infection fell by a relative rate of 19% between 1988 and 2004 – most significantly in teens – from a prevalence of 21% in the late 1980s to 17% 10 years later. Rates of herpes simplex virus type 1 are also dropping – from 62% in the 1980s to 58% in the 1990s.
Herpes simplex virus type 2 causes most genital herpes and is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections. Herpes simplex virus type 1 which is typically spread during childhood via nonsexual contact is a principle cause of genital herpes in some developed countries.
For more information, check this site: Herpes For more information, check this site: Herpes - CDC