Results of a national study show that 45 million people are infected with genital herpes. One out of five of the total adolescent and adult population is infected. Genital herpes is more common in women (approximately one out of four women) than in men (almost one out of five). HSV-2 infection is also more common in blacks (45.9%) than in whites (17.6%).
Since the late 1970s, the number of Americans with genital herpes has increased 30%. Prevalence is increasing most dramatically among young white teens. Genital herpes among 12- to 19-year-old whites is now five times higher than it was 20 years ago. Young adults ages 20 to 29 are now twice as likely to have genital herpes.