Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted infection (STI). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 out of 5 American teenagers and adults is infected with genital herpes. Women are more commonly infected than men. In the United States, 1 out of 4 women has herpes.
Although at least 45 million people in the United States have genital herpes infection, there has been a substantial decrease in cases from 21 percent to 17 percent, according to a 1999 to 2004 CDC survey. Much of the decrease was in the 14 to 19 year age group, and continued through the young adult group.