Worldwide rates of either HSV-1 and/or HSV-2 are between 60-95% in adults.
HSV1 is more common than HSV2 with rates of both increasing as people age.
HSV-1 rates are between 70% to 80% in populations of low socio-economic status and 40% to 60% in populations of improved socio-economic status.
Prevalence of HSV-2 is those between the ages of 15 and 50 is approximately 535 million as of 2003 or 16% of the population with greater rates among women and in those in the developing world.
Rates of infection are determined by the presence of antibodies against either viral species.
An estimated 536 million people worldwide were infected with HSV-2 in 2003, with the highest rates in sub-Saharan Africa and the lowest rates in western Europe.
In the US, 57.7% of the population is infected with HSV-1 and 16.2% are infected with HSV-2. Among those HSV-2 seropositive, only 18.9% were aware that they were infected.
During 2005–2008, the prevalence of HSV-2 was 39.2% in blacks and 20.9% in women.