By sheer virtue of you clicking on this article, we’d estimate that your age lies somewhere below the 50-years-old threshold, and if that is indeed true, then there is a 66.6% chance you have herpes.
The World Health Organisation gave its first estimate of global prevalence of the disease on Wednesday, and landed on a figure of about 3.7 billion of us (or two-thirds of the world’s population under 50) probably having the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1).
That’s the one that mostly causes mouth sores, fyi, but is also known to be responsible for a crotch eruption or two. It’s HSV-2 that’s responsible for genital herpes, which WHO reckon’s about 417 million people in the 15-49 age group are rocking.
A WHO medical officer – also unofficially known as a ‘WHO doctor’, or a ‘doctor (for) WHO’ – by the name of Sami Gottlieb says: “We really need to accelerate the development of vaccines against herpes simplex virus, and if a vaccine designed to prevent HSV-2 infection also prevented HSV-1, it would have far reaching benefits.”
And remember, mates, there are now more people on this sweet earth with herpes than there are of either genders, so 1) wrap it, and 2) if you have it, relax, you are just part of the herp club and that is okay.
Image: Parks and Recreation.