Dr. Peter A. Leone is an associate professor at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine and Public Health. He also directs the H.I.V./sexually transmitted disease prevention program for the state of North Carolina and serves on the National Coalition of STD Directors, a group of public health officials who promote awareness of sexually transmitted diseases.

Watch the full video “Doctor answers questions about herpes” when Dr. Leone came to our in-person herpes support group in Raleigh, NC.

Q: People are more worried about getting H.I.V./AIDS than genital herpes. Should we be paying more attention to herpes?

A: H.I.V./AIDS is viewed as a lethal disease, and herpes isn’t, so many have ignored it. The reason why we should focus on herpes now is that the relationship between herpes and H.I.V. is significant. Although people don’t die from herpes, there is a synergy between these two infections. If a person has genital herpes due to the herpes type 2 virus, their risk of acquiring H.I.V. is much higher than if they didn’t have herpes. And a person who has both H.I.V. and herpes 2 is more likely to transmit both infections. More >