Herpes is a common sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 13.2% of Americans between the ages of 14 and 49 have genital herpes caused by herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2). Additionally, an estimated 47.8% of Americans in the same age group have oral herpes caused by herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), which can cause cold sores and fever blisters around the mouth and on the face.
It’s important to note that many people with herpes may not know they have the infection, as they may not experience symptoms or mistake symptoms for another condition. Regular testing for sexually transmitted infections, including herpes, is essential for anyone sexually active to help prevent transmission to sexual partners and manage the disease if necessary.