Study: One-Fourth Of NYC Residents Have Herpes
Rates Of Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, And Infectious Syphilis Are Also Higher Than The National Average
NEW YORK (CBS) ― Now might be the time for New Yorkers to take advantage of the free condom campaign the city promotes. A new study by the city’s Health Department found more than a quarter of adult residents are infected with the herpes virus.
According to the study, 26 percent of city residents have the virus that causes genital herpes, an incurable sexually-transmitted infection that can cause painful genital sores and can double a person’s risk for HIV.
Nationally, 19 percent of the population has the infection, according to the department.
More specifically, the study showed that the rate is higher among women than men – 36 percent compared to 19 percent – and was higher among blacks than whites – 49 percent versus 14 percent, respectfully.
It also found the rate was higher among gay men than heterosexual men – 32 percent compared to 18 percent.
“Genital herpes alone will not cause serious problems for most people,” said Dr. Julia Schillinger, Director of Surveillance for the Health Department’s Bureau of STD Prevention and Control and lead author of the study. “But some people will have painful genital sores and the infection fosters the spread of HIV. We advise New Yorkers to protect themselves and others. Using condoms consistently will help you avoid getting or spreading genital herpes.”
The data come from the city’s Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, which used door-to-door interviews and in-person medical exams to assess the health of New Yorkers on a variety of measures, from diabetes to depression, according to the department.
The study was the city’s first measurement of those infected with the virus. Herpes is not the only STD above the national rate in New York City. Rates of Chlamydia, gonorrhea, and infectious syphilis were also higher than the national rate.
Free NYC condoms are available at locations throughout the city. Call 311 or visit http://www.nyc.gov/condoms for more information.
Put on a full-body condom before reading this.