Health & wellness

Be Well

Study: More teens face risk of genital herpes

A growing number of teens may lack protection against a virus that could cause genital herpes, new findings by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest.

The virus, known as herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), commonly causes cold sores. As many as 60 percent of genital herpes infections are also caused by HSV-1, often contracted through oral sex, the researchers said.


Looking at blood samples of Americans ages 14-49, the researchers estimated the prevalence of antibodies to HSV-1 and HSV-2 (a similar type of virus) from 2005 to 2010, and compared it with the prevalance of these antibodies from 1999 to 2004.

The presence of HSV-1 antibodies among 14- to 19-year-olds dropped nearly 23 percent from the earlier
period to the later one, and more than 9 percent among 20- t0 29-year-olds. There was no significant change in the prevalence of HSV-2 antibodies in any age group during either

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The findings suggest that fewer teens have developed antibodies to the HSV-1 because they haven’t been exposed to it in their early childhood. As a result they may be more susceptible to genital infections by their first sexual encounter, the researchers wrote.

BOTTOM LINE: A growing number of teens may lack protection against a virus that could cause genital herpes.

CAUTIONS: The study does not look at whether those without antibodies to HSV-1 actually went on to acquire an infection.


WHERE TO FIND IT: The Journal of Infectious Diseases, Oct. 17

Use of donor eggs rises, along with rates of successful births

Over the last decade, more US women have used donor eggs to undergo in vitro fertilization, with successful results, a new study found.

Researchers at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta looked at data from most US fertility centers between 2000 and 2010. The number of IVF procedures using a donor egg rose from nearly 11,000 to 18,000 during that decade, and the percentage of procedures that involved a frozen donor egg or embryo doubled. In 2010, 24 percent of the procedures led to babies born at full term, compared with 18 percent in 2000.

The average age of donors, 28, and of recipients, 41, didn’t change during the decade, and the recipient’s age was not a factor in whether the procedure led to a term birth. However, women with certain types of diagnosed infertility, such as those involving uterine or tubal factors, were less likely to give birth to a baby at term.

BOTTOM LINE: Over the last decade, more women have used donor eggs to undergo in vitro fertilization, with successful results.

WHERE TO FIND IT: The study did not compare the success rate of the procedure for women who used donor eggs to those who used their own eggs.

WHERE TO FIND IT: Journal of the American Medical Association, online Oct. 17

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