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STD Dating Australia

Herpes simplex virus (HSV) is the virus responsible for genital herpes and cold sores. There are two types, HSV-1 and HSV-2. While both HSV-1 and HSV-2 can cause genital herpes, HSV-2 is the primary cause. Infection with HSV-2 is common; approximately 1 in 8 Australians aged 25 years and over have the virus (1 in 6 women and 1 in 12 men) and it is considered one of the most common STIs. 

Genital herpes is spread through skin to skin contact with an infected person and can be asymptomatic. Once infected, the virus remains in the body for life and recurrent infections or outbreaks may occur from time to time. This period of outbreak is viral shedding, when the virus is active and people are considered contagious. There is no treatment that can cure genital herpes, but antiviral medication can shorten and even suppress outbreaks.

The number of notifications per annum of genital herpes is not known because it is not a notifiable infection. However, to estimate prevalence, an Australia-wide population based study was conducted using data collected between 1999 and 2000. The study found that prevalence was highest in the 35-44 year age range and women had a significantly higher prevalence than men (16% compared with 8% respectively). It has been suggested that the prevalence of HSV-2 has been associated with increasing duration of sexual activity, increasing number of lifetime sexual partners and increasing number of past infections with other STIs. It is also thought that transmission of HSV-2 occurs more readily from male to female than female to male, hence the greater prevalence of HSV-2 among women. 

STI NOTIFICATION RATE BY STATE AND TERRITORY - 2011(a)(b)


NSW
Vic.
Qld
SA
WA
Tas.
NT
ACT
Aust.

Chlamydia
280.5
341.3
407.1
309.3
496.9
347.5
1 161.2
344.9
357.3
Gonorrhoea
39.4
33.4
64.7
26.6
77.5
3.7
863.0
35.0
53.6
Syphilis
5.7
5.8
6.3
3.0
5.6
0.6
13.9
2.5
5.5
HIV(c)
4.9
5.1
5.4
2.5
4.4
2.0
2.6
3.3
4.7

(a) Per 100,000 population.
(b) Includes notification rates for all ages and ‘unknown’.
(c) Data are for 2010.

Source: National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System; the Kirby Institute, HIV, viral hepatitis and sexually transmissible infections in Australia, Annual Surveillance Report 2011; ABS Australian Demographic Statistics, September 2011 (cat. no. 3101.0)