How does the incidence of herpes simplex virus (HSV) vary by sex?

Updated: Feb 27, 2019
  • Author: J Michael Klatte, MD; Chief Editor: Russell W Steele, MD  more...
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Infection rates with HSV-1 tend to be similar in both genders during early childhood. However, through adolescence, the prevalence of antibodies to HSV-1 is slightly higher among females than among males. Rates of HSV-2 infection are higher in women than in men. [45] Nationwide surveys of HSV-2 seroprevalence over the last 2 decades have demonstrated cumulative lifetime incidences of 25% in white women and 80% in black women. This compares with rates of 20% in white men and 60% in black men.

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