Risk factors of genital herpes

By  , Expert Content
Jan 18, 2013

Genital herpes is common type of sexually transmitted disease and everyone who is sexually active (including vaginal, oral, or anal contact) is at risk of genital herpes. But certain factors increase your risk of genital herpes. Read to know the risk factors for genital herpes.

Behaviors/Lifestyle factors: Some lifestyle factors which increase the risk of genital herpes include:

  • not using condoms (that is having unprotected sex)
  • being sexually active from young age
  • being sexually active for many years
  • multiple sexual partners (each additional sexual partner increases your risk of being exposed to the virus that causes genital herpes).
  • having sex with a person who is infected with genital herpes
  • homosexual sex (men)./

Sex: Genital herpes infection is more common in women as compared to men (about 1 of every 4 women is infected whereas nearly 1 of every 8 men is infected). The sexual transmission of the virus from men to women is easier and higher than from women to men.

Age: According to experts new infections occur commonly in adolescents and young adults. This indicates that the risk of genital herpes is higher in young adults. Recent trend shows that herpes simplex type 1 virus, which usually causes cold sores, is more frequently causing genital herpes (more commonly in young adults ---20-40 years old).

Health Factors: The risk of genital herpes is higher in people who have;

  • HIV and other disease which affect the immune system
  • another sexually transmitted disease
  • history of other sexually transmitted disease.

Newborns: Infants delivered vaginally to an infected mother are at risk of HSV infection.

People with more number of risk factors have a greater your likelihood of becoming infected with genital herpes. If you have risk factors for genital herpes consult your doctor to know what you can do to reduce your risk.



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