Herpes: More Gay Men are infected with the Virus

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A study found that HSV-2 prevalence among men who have sex with men was 20.3%. (1)

For every year increase in age, the odds of being infected with HSV-2 increased by 5.0%.

— Dr. Okafor

ROCHESTER, NY, UNITED STATES, November 29, 2015 /EINPresswire.com/

A study suggested that gay men are an “at risk,” and “vulnerable” population when it comes to genital herpes infections. (1) As Dr. Brito and colleagues wrote in another study, “Gay men, other men who have sex with men and transgender women (GMT) … are at high risk of acquiring sexually transmitted infections (STIs) … the majority (91%) had a recent history of concurrent sex partners. Only 43% reported using condoms in every sexual encounter. More than half were identified as gay, bisexual or transgender, while almost one-quarter reported being heterosexual. (2) Dr. Brito is from the Division of Infectious Diseases at the University of Illinois.

Click to learn more about herpes symptoms.

Yet another study showed that genital herpes (HSV-2) infection rates in the gay male population are higher than in the general population. It also showed that there is a large racial disparity in those infection rates. As Dr. Okafor and colleagues wrote, “In the US, non-Hispanic blacks have the highest life-time seroprevalence (41.8%) of HSV-2 with prevalence nearly four times that of non-Hispanic whites (11.3%).” (3)

The study found that “overall seroprevalence of HSV-2 was 19%, and black MSM were more likely to have HSV-2 infection than white MSM.” Importantly, the researchers found that “for every year increase in age, the odds of being infected with HSV-2 increased by 5.0%.” (3) The study did not explain the reason for these differences. computer-virus-475665_640

The CDC notes that gay men should “Be Safer: Getting tested regularly and getting vaccinated are both important, but there are other things you can do to reduce your risk for STDs. Get to know someone before having sex with them and talk honestly about STDs and getting tested – before you have sex. Use a condom correctly and use one every time you have sex. Think twice about mixing alcohol and/or recreational drugs with sex. They can reduce your ability to make good decisions and can lead to risky behavior-like having sex without a condom. Limit your number of partners. You can lower your risk for STDs if you only have sex with one person who only has sex with you.” (5)

Are there drugs or vaccines that prevent a herpes infection?

There are no approved drugs or vaccines that prevent a genital herpes infection.

The bottom line?

Herpeys is most common in gay men and other men who have sex with men or transgender women. Additionally as a person gets older the higher there odds of being infected with HSV increase substantially and there are no drugs or vaccines that can prevent herpes infections.


(1) Brown, E. “Consequences of genital herpes simplex virus infection among vulnerable populations” – Researchgate.net

(2) Brito MO1, Hodge D1, Donastorg Y2, Khosla S3, Lerebours L4, Pope Z3. “Risk behaviours and prevalence of sexually transmitted infections and HIV in a group of Dominican gay men, other men who have sex with men and transgender women.” BMJ Open. 2015 Apr 29;5(4):e007747.

(3) Okafor N1, Rosenberg ES1, Luisi N1, Sanchez T1, Del Rio C2, Sullivan PS1, Kelley CF3. “Disparities in herpes simplex virus type 2 infection between black and white men who have sex with men in Atlanta, GA.” Int J STD AIDS. 2015 Sep;26(10):740-5.

(4) Polansky, H. Itzkovitz, E. Gene-Eden-VIR Is Antiviral: Results of a Post Marketing Clinical Study. Published in September 2013. http://www.scirp.org/journal/PaperInformation.aspx?PaperID=36101#.VJmbCsAk

(5) CDC.gov – CDC Fact Sheet: What Gay, Bisexual and Other Men Who Have Sex with Men Need to Know About Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Greg Bennett
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