The rate of genital herpes infections has decreased in the last ten years, according to new study by CDC. Researchers said this drop is due to changes in sexual behavior .
The study compared the rates of infection between 1988-1994 and 1999-2004 and found that the rate of genital herpes was down from 21 percent to 17 percent.
'The most exciting finding is that we looked at the proportion of Americans infected with the herpes simplex virus and found a decrease over the past decade,' said lead researcher Dr. Fujie Xu, from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Even infection with type 1 herpes virus, which causes moth sores was down. This was due to improvement in living and hygiene, the researchers said. 'Our findings are consistent with previous reports that genital herpes caused by HSV-1 may be increasing in the United States, as in other developed countries,' Xu said. However genital herpes caused by type-1 herpes virus increased maybe due to prevalence of oral sex.
'The surest way to stop the spread of any sexually transmitted disease is abstinence,' Xu added. 'Consistent and correct condom use can reduce, but not eliminate, the risk of transmission.' The study appears in the latest 30 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.