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Long-Term Stress May Trigger Herpes Outbreaks

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Why weren't men included in the study? "Because we believed that men and women might differ in how they experienced or reported negative moods and stressors, and could show different relations between stressors and recurrence, we limited our study to women," writes Cohen.

According to her, "Women with herpes can be reassured that short-term stressful life experiences and dysphoric mood states do not put them at risk for increased outbreaks of recurrent genital herpes." She recommends that women with genital herpes who face persistent stress be referred to counseling in conjunction with receiving medication designed to suppress lesions.

According to the CDC, in the U.S., 45 million people aged 12 and older, or one out of five of the total adolescent and adult population, is infected with genital herpes. It is more common in women (25%) than in men (20%).

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