Sexually active youths in India are at a high risk of being infected with herpes, a medical expert said on Saturday.
Herpes or herpes simplex virus (HSV) is a sexually transmitted disease that can affect any sexually active person. Oral herpes causes cold sores around the mouth or face. Genital herpes affects the genitals or anal area.
Multiple sexual partners, oral sex without hygiene care, unprotected sexual activities and having another sexually transmitted infection are factors that may lead to herpes.
Having the largest youth population, India is at a higher risk of being infected with herpes simplex virus (HSV) as youths are open to sexual experiments, said Dr J Sridhar who is currently researching on the vaccine for herpes.
Dr Sridhar, in his research, found around 7- 14 % adolescents in India suffer from HSV.
People infected with herpes have a four-time greater risk of getting HIV (human immunodeficiency virus ) and HPV (Human papillomavirus) , Dr Sridhar said. “In India, herpes also spread due to higher number of cases of sexual violence, abuse and rape take place.”
“Researches are going on in the US regarding the vaccines for HSV and HIV. Dr Vijay Samanth is working HIV vaccine. If successful, it will be a milestone. Similarly for HSV, we have found out a therapeutic vaccine which may control HSV,” Sridhar said.