NYC Genital Herpes Rates High

Armen Hareyan's picture

More than fourth of New Yorkers gave genital herpes, which are much higher than the national average rates.

A report from NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene examined data of 1999 New Yorkers. The starting age was 20 years. The data was collected in 2004, and 1784 participants passed herpes simplex virus 2 tests. The report shows that about 29% of NYC adults have genital herpes, which is a very high rate compared to 19% national average rate.


Genital herpes is more common among 39% of women, about 19% of men also suffer from infection. Only 14% of white people cary the virus, compared to 49% of the black people. Only 18% of men having sex with women carry the virus, compared to 32% of men having sex with men.

Herpes simplex virus 2 is a virus causing genital herpes. It is being transmitted sexually and have common symptoms of ulcers or sores, sometimes pain, but some infected patients may have no symptoms at all. The virus can lead to brain damage, it can affect brain of newborns, and it doubles the risk for HIV.

In 2007 NYC Health Department had 65000 cases of sexually transmitted diseases, with HIV infection rates rising among men having sex with men. This report urges the need of more effort to cut sexually transmitted disease rates, provide better sex education and information about how dangerous these diseases are. NYC Health Department mentions that the best way to protect from the diseases is condom use. Condoms are available free of charge in NYC STD clinics.