HSV and HIV in the Black Community

At the national CDC STD Conference a few years ago, a great deal of time was spent discussing the topic of HSV and HIV in the Black community. Sadly, HSV and HIV are more common among blacks in the US. While the incidence of HIV for the most part is low in the US, we’d like to keep it that way by increasing the awareness of these higher risk factors.

1) HSV2 increases the risk of acquiring HIV.

The risk is greater if you are symptomatic, however there is still increased risk for those who have asymptomatic hsv.

Note: HIV is more common in some locations than others. It is recommended that you familiarize yourself with how common it is in your region so you can have a better idea of your overall risk.

2) 25% of those with HIV don’t realize they have it.

3) HSV2 is more common in the black community.

At the time of the conference, approximately 24% of black men and 46% of black women have hsv2.  And, true to the nature of herpes, you don’t have to be promiscuous to get it. Of black women who have had only 2-4 lifetime partners; 49% have HSV2.

4) Engage in a discussion on STD’s prior to having sex

5) Test yourself; Test your partner.

Blacks who have HSV should also be tested for HIV and vice versa.

6) Avoid sex during obs.

This will help not only to reduce HSV transmission but also HIV transmission.

It is highly recommended that you discuss STDs with a potential sex partner as well as avoiding sex during an ob. It has become even more crucial, given the alarming statistics, that precautions are taken to help keep you HIV-free.

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