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Is herpes more common in males or females?

Both males and females can be affected by herpes, but studies have shown that genital herpes caused by herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) is more common in females than in males. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 16.2% of females between the ages of 14 and 49 have genital herpes caused by HSV-2, compared to 8.8% of males in the same age group.

However, it’s important to note that herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), which can cause cold sores and fever blisters around the mouth and on the face, is more common in males than in females. Approximately 51.2% of males between the ages of 14 and 49 have oral herpes caused by HSV-1, compared to 43.9% of females in the same age group.

Regardless of gender, herpes is a common sexually transmitted infection that can be managed with antiviral medications and other treatments. Anyone sexually active can be at risk for herpes and should take steps to prevent transmission to sexual partners, including using barrier methods such as condoms during sexual activity.