New Orleans Ranks As Genital Herpes Capital of US, Study Finds

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New Orleans is the U.S. city with the highest prevalence of genital herpes, with more than one in five people — or 20.4% tested — having the virus, according to a study.

A team from — which provides fast, private, and affordable STD tests— announced Friday that the data was based on over 130,000 tests in 2021 and New Orleans was found to have the highest prevalence of genital herpes.

“New Orleans could be on the precipice of having a public health crisis due to the high spread of genital herpes in the city,” said Dr. David Jayne, the Medical Director of “We cannot stress enough that sexually active people use protection to avoid contracting an STD.”

The Krewe of Cleopatra parade takes place on February 18, 2022, in New Orleans, Louisiana. 2021 Mardi Gras parades were canceled in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19. (Photo by Erika Goldring/Getty Images)

The study states that New Orleans has seen a significant increase of genital herpes cases during the pandemic — also known as a prevalence rate — which the release states “drastically increased 57% over the last three years, from just 13.1% in 2019.”

New Orleans’ 20.4% is far above the national average of 15.7%, according to researchers. Rounding out the top five metropolitan areas with the highest rates of genital herpes are Salt Lake City at 19.2%, Cincinnati at 19.1%, Charlotte at 19%, and Orlando at 19%.

While there is no cure for the disease, there are many efforts to curtail the spread of it, the release states. Researchers urge adults who are sexually active to get tested to ensure they have not been infected or to know what steps to take next if they have been.

“Unprotected sex is dangerous and people need to know if they have been exposed to prevent more severe health problems,” Jayne said.

Follow Meg Turner on Twitter @Megnturner_ and Instagram @Megnturner

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Written by Megan Turner

Megan graduated from the University of Central Florida and writes and tweets about anything related to sports. She replies to comments she shouldn't reply to online and thinks the CFP Rankings are absolutely rigged. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.


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  1. New Orleans is #1 …. OK, that’s understandable for a city that touts itself as “a 365./24/7 Party”.
    But Salt Lake City as #2 ….. Say it ain’t so Donny & Marie !!!!!!!!!!
    Can’t imagine two Metro areas with such different stereotype images ?????

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