Herpes in the Middle East

Expressions of affection, even from mother to child, are often the way herpes is spread from person to person.

From private organizations to the World Health Organization (WHO), the experts agree: regardless of region, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are a pressing reality that stress individuals, families and communities, and call upon public health officials to advance education, treatment and prevention of viruses and STDs.

What’s more, in the Middle East, where social mores are more conservative, rates of some STDs including one of the most common, herpes simplex, are not necessarily significantly lower than global averages. Raising awareness is an essential topic for environmentalists dedicated to improving health and wellbeing of residents in the region, because while there is no known cure, treatments are available, including natural remedies to minimize the discomfort of herpes. However, before treatment can be effectively administered, diagnosis needs to occur. Getting people to test for herpes using an at home STD test or at their local clinic, is the primary challenge being faced.

According to the WHO, South-Asia and Sub-Sahara Africa have the highest rates of herpes infections (approximately 29% and 45% respectively), while in the MENA region, 8.6% of males and 9.6% of females test positive. These rates are roughly similar to what is seen in Western and Eastern Europe and North America, whereas places like Japan and Australia show significantly fewer cases of herpes infections.

Prevalence in Israel

The remainder of this article focuses on incidences in Israel, and follows up on our report of treating outbreaks naturally. For global and regional rates in women and men, we refer you to the WHO report.

Rates of herpes in Israel vary across region according to religious affiliation, gender, country of birth and age, among other demographics. According to one source, the seroprevalence (in the blood vs. an active outbreak) of HSV-1 in Israel is 59.8% and, “increases with age in both genders but the adolescent seroprevalence has been declining as in most industrialized nations.”

“An estimated 9.2% of Israeli adults are infected with HSV-2. Infection of either HSV-1 or HSV-2 is higher in females; HSV-2 seroprevalence reaches 20.5% in females in their 40s. These values are similar to levels in HSV infection in Europe.”

That means that on average, one in five women living in Israel are infected with genital herpes. These rates are approximately three times higher in immigrants from the former Soviet Union, than among Israeli-born Jewish and Arab women.

That is because, “antibodies for HSV-1 or HSV-2 are also more likely to be found individuals born outside of Israel, and individuals residing in Jerusalem and Southern Israel; people of Jewish origin living in Israel are less likely to possess antibodies against herpes.”

It has also reported that three out of four individuals are asymptomatic: they test positive for the virus, but show no signs of infection, and can pass on the virus to sexual partners if they don’t use proper protection, such as a condom.

Read more sexual health news:

Treating Herpes Naturally

GM Foods Shrinking Sexual Health in a Womb Near You

Love Begins with L: New Condom Company

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