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WHO Says You May Have Herpes

Update Date: Nov 01, 2015 01:37 PM EST

The shocking statistics reveal that 2/3rd of the world's population under the age of 50 years is suffering from infectious herpes that leads to cold sores around your mouth, said World Health Organization, in its first estimate of the disease at the global level. According to WHO study, more than 3.7 billion suffer from the herpes simplex virus type 1, which is usually caught as a child. These people are in addition to 417 million people between the age of 15 and 49 who are suffering from HSV-2, or the genital herpes. HSV-1 is associated with mouth ulcers and not genital infection but it is also gradually becoming a leading cause of genital infection, says Reuters.

The reason attributed to reduced HSV-1 infection in richly countries is due to increased awareness about hygiene which causes less children to contract this disease while growing up. However, the HSV-2 virus is becoming more popular due to young people catching it as a result of oral sex when they become more active sexually. HSV-2 is very risky as it can also expose the person to the risk of not only catching but also spreading the HIV, the virus responsible for AIDS. Although, is a connection between HSV-1 and HIV has not yet been established, it does open several possibilities to contract serious diseases such as encephalitis, as reported by NBC News.

Sami Gottlieb, medical officer at WHO said, "We really need to accelerate the development of vaccines against herpes simplex virus, and if a vaccine designed to prevent HSV-2 infection also prevented HSV-1, it would have far reaching benefits". Another medical officer at WHO, Nathalie Broutet, said that the U.S. National Institutes of Health and big pharma companies such as GlaxoSmithKline were working on trial medicines to identify if it was better to have preventive or therapeutic vaccine, reported Telegraph.

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