Health 101: Nearly Half of African American Women Have HERPES!

Yesterday, one of my facebook friends dropped an article in my inbox that was a commentary piece on the statistical findings of the Center for Disease Control (CDC) about herpes.When I went to the CDC website to look at the statistics for myself, I couldn't believe what I was reading, and honestly I am alarmed at the facts.

We all know that choosing to be sexually active puts us at risk for contracting several diseases (at least I hope those who are sexually active are aware of that),but it seems that in recent years, some of these diseases have run wildly in certain demographics over others, specifically the African American community.  Sex may be fun to engage in and interesting to talk about, but the hard core HEALTH FACTS must be faced and discussed just as quickly as penis size or favorite sex position.

With that said, here are the facts of this Health 101 lesson as reported by the CDC:

FACT: Herpes Simplex Virus 2 (HSV-2) has a prevalence within the black community that is more than three times higher than in the white community at rate of (39.2 percent) in comparison to (12.3 percent)

FACT: The most affected group is Black women with a prevalence of 48 percent

To break it down, that means that nearly 5 out of 10 black women are infected with the Herpes Simplex 2 Virus..THAT IS AN ALARMING NUMBER!

Another FACT: individuals infected with herpes have a higher risk of contracting HIV, which would explain why the numbers of newly infected cases of HIV within the black female population are nearly the same as the HSV-2 Cases.

Herpes is an incurable, lifelong disease that can be spread through skin to skin contact even if an infected person has no visible sores or other symptoms, however, there are medicines to treat symptoms of the virus and to prevent outbreaks.

These facts show that this disease is still a huge issue in America and isn't one that should be taken lightly.  Over 80 percent of those with HSV-2 are unaware that they are infected because symptoms are mild or mistaken for another condition.

THE LESSON FOR TODAY: arm yourselves with knowledge! The facts are painted, now it's up to you to do what you need to do to protect your body and your health if you are sexually active. Choose to use protection throughout the entire duration of the sexual experience (even in oral sex), get tested regularly, and know the symptoms of the Herpes virus.

Click on this link to educate yourself about the symptoms of Herpes http://www.cdc.gov/std/herpes/stdfact-herpes.htm


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