- More than seventy per cent of cases of genital herpes infections in sub-Saharan Africa are found on women.
More than 500 million people are infected worldwide with virus that causes genital herpes and more than 20 million people become newly infected each year, according to a study published today in international public health journal, of World Health Organisation.
Herpes simplex virus type 2 is commonly spread through sexual contact and leads to lifelong infection. While painful genital ulcerations are the classical symptom, most people have mild symptoms and don’t know that they are infected. These persons can thus unknowingly infect others, warned WHO.
“Serious consequences include an increased risk of acquiring, and likely transmitting, HIV, and transmission from infected mothers to their babies during birth, which can cause brain damage and death,” says Dr George Schmid, Department of HIV/AIDS at WHO.
This first-ever estimate of global burden, by WHO study, found that roughly 16 per cent of world's population in 15-49 year-old age group were infected, with considerable geographic variation, and with sub-Saharan Africa most affected.
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