Herpes on the rise in Australia

May 19, 2006

One in eight Australian adults has been infected with the virus causing genital herpes, with the rate one in five for women aged 35-44, a study said.

The first Australian study of herpes simplex virus infection -- published in the British journal "Sexually Transmitted Infections" -- also found 76 percent of Australian adults were exposed to the other main variant, HSV-1, which causes cold sores on the mouth and lips, The Australian reported Friday.

Genital infections, or HSV-2, were more than twice as common among women as men -- 16 percent to 8 percent, the study found.

The study was funded by drug giant GlaxoSmithKline, which is developing a vaccine for HSV-2.

Lead author Tony Cunningham, deputy chairman of the Australian Herpes Management Forum, said the findings were significant as HSV-2 trebled the chance of contracting HIV.

Cunningham said it was suspected but still unproven that a greater incidence of oral sex among adolescents was increasing the HSV-1 infection rate. Contrary to popular belief, this variant could infect the genital area, he said.

He also warned against oral sex for women in late pregnancy, as HSV-1 could be passed to the baby, with serious or fatal consequences in 25 percent of neonatal infections.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Some people may be pre-wired to be bilingual

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Britain urges Russia to shut down webcam spying site

2 hours ago

A Russian website offering thousands of live feeds peering into bedrooms and offices around the world by accessing poorly secured webcams should be taken down immediately, British officials said on Thursday.

Geologists discover ancient buried canyon in South Tibet

3 hours ago

A team of researchers from Caltech and the China Earthquake Administration has discovered an ancient, deep canyon buried along the Yarlung Tsangpo River in south Tibet, north of the eastern end of the Himalayas. ...

Recommended for you

Some people may be pre-wired to be bilingual

3 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Some people's brains seem pre-wired to acquire a second language, new research suggests. But anyone who tries to move beyond their mother tongue will likely gain a brain boost, the small study ...

New research supporting stroke rehabilitation

5 hours ago

Using world-leading research methods, the team of Dr David Wright and Prof Paul Holmes, working with Dr Jacqueline Williams from the Victoria University in Melbourne, studied activity in an area of the brain ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.