Danielle Canada

CDC Clarifies Their “1/2 Of All Black Women Have Herpes” Report


When the CDC sent out a report that seemed to say that nearly ½ of all Black women were infected with genital herpes people were shocked and outraged by the damning data.

Now however the CDC is clarifying their information.

48% of the Black women they tested were positive for exposure to herpes but not the disease itself in a study of just 5,000 women.

The Root reports that the CDC’s data came from the National Health and Nutrition Survey or (NHANES) of 5,000 randomly selected women.

Dr. John Douglas, the director of the division of STD Prevention at the National Center for HIV, STD and TB Prevention at the CDC also says that more Black people were tested in the study than any other group to make it more “representative.”


He tells The Root,

“African Americans are also oversampled to make the study more representative.”

He also adds that the numbers from the testing have remained relatively consistent for years.

“The herpes numbers for black women have remained relatively the same over several years at 46 percent to 51 percent. In the 1988-94 NHANES sample, the prevalence of herpes among black women was 51.3 percent, in the 2004 survey the number was 46.1 percent. That places the current rate–48 percent–right in the middle. NHANES is less than perfect, but without a doubt the best that we have.”

Dr. David Malebranche an assistant professor at Emory whose research focuses on STDs in African Americans further clarified the CDC’s data to The Root saying,

“These women were only tested for antibodies to the HSV-2 virus. This means that they have been exposed to the herpes virus, but it does not mean that these women have actually developed the disease or have active herpes. In fact, they may never develop active herpes.”

So according to the CDC 48% of Black women have been exposed to the Herpes virus but may not have the disease although they tested only 5,000 women in a study overly populated with African Americans.


Comment Comments: 19 Tags Tags: cdc, genital herpes

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  • Kierah

    So basically the CDC wasted money time and effort on a study that they knew would have invalid results due the sample?!

  • Somali Ninga

    SMH!!!! Racist CDC!!!

  • Kenny

    I wonder if the study was conducted on white women, would they have been more careful with their statistics.

  • JAM Renaissance

    Sampling 5,000 people isn’t that unusual. That’s the whole point of “sampling” and not a census (“asking everyone”).

    Now… this sampling thing only works when you’re sampling group (the people you ask) properly reflect the population (everyone). If they are straight-up saying they are OVERSAMPLING Black women… things definitely come into question.

  • Jamaquina.Cubana

    I wonder why they haven’t exposed their study on caucasoids or other ethnic groups…probably b/c those numbers, especially in the non-melanated group, would be exceedingly and embarrassingly high!

  • Jamaquina.Cubana


  • Just_Sayn

    Why are people shocked to hear this “lie” I mean “misstudy” on
    black women “supposedly” being the leading carrier of a disease. They
    say that about black women in every state.Don’t believe me look up the statistics in your city/state. They made it up just like they made the “A.I.DS” virus up and unleashed it in “AFRICA”.Catch my drift,black people?

  • Hotfox220

    THis is a HUGE LIE I have a relative that Used to work for CDC but was laid off ! And CDC put Negative propaganda literature trash out like this to discourage Blacks! Remember when all those Valtrex commercials were out w/ happy smiling White people. Well during that time there was a very huge epidemic of Whites/ Caucasians w/ herpes. the CDC refused to release public data on it, but sublimely release alot of commercials promoting the medication to get rid of it!!!!

  • HCC

    Did you know there are researchers out there who have the technology for a potential Herpes cure?

    Please check out the Herpes Cure Coalition (HCC) website. Our mission is to aid researchers with funding and support who are the closest to a Herpes Cure. We achieve this mission by forming a Coalition of individuals and websites across the globe.

    Please see our page and find out about current work to cure herpes.


  • memchee

    it’s all around irresponsible the way they reported their findings!!!

  • yea

    the truth comes out! I guess black women aren’t so paranoid or “in denial” after all huh

  • yea

    well, the truth comes out finally! I guess black women aren’t so paranoid or “in denial” after all huh?

  • Herpes is a disease that affects millions of Americans every day. In fact one in five people have genital herpes and eight in ten have oral herpes or those cold sores you get on your lips every few months. http://www.MeSTD.com

  • yea

    when they only warn one race of women about it, as if black women are the only ones at risk, that’s when it’s racist you buffoon!!

  • halo

    Thats the best explanation they can come up with to “clarify” the report? That didnt do anything but sugarcoat the truth…Let me break this down to yall. If blood antibody test show that you have been exposed to the virus (meaning a 1.00 antibody level or higher) then you have the virus, whether it was active or not at the time of the testing. “Exposure” is how you gauge whether a person has Herpes or not. If you have been exposed, then the test is confirmed as a positive. If you have not been exposed (antibody level below 1.00), then the blood test will be confirmed as negative. According to this report 48 percent of black women HAVE been exposed to genital herpes…meaning they DO have it…regardless of whether the disease is latent or not at the time of testing, the antibody level that represents exposure will still be present during testing if they do indeed have Herpes

  • Drew

    You people are stupid. If you went to college, you would understand that a sample can represent the population if you at least have a sample number of 15 for large population statistics (n=15)…the CDC sampling of 5,000 is huge and only validates their research even more. I’m not being racist either because I’M BLACK. And shid…I can believe it. White females nastier though. There’s probably “60%” infectious white females out there. Lol.

  • THIS IS GREAT !!! ___THey do The Same Thing in AFRICA_”Its A Lie!!!”
    Witch Helps the Diseases Spread Even More ..AIDS,HERPES & SO ON
    Black Gay Men 60% Hiv/Aids=Check your local Hospital
    Black Women=48% Herpes=Check your Locale STD Clinic
    The Truth HURTS!!

  • bheron

    Oversampling a given group actually makes the reading more accurate. It’s like flipping a coin. Flip it a few times and you will get a somewhat random result that doesn’t approach 50/50. Flip it a million times and I guarantee the result will turn out somewhere around 50% tails and 50% heads.

    • bheron

      That being said, I also doubt the accuracy of the CDCs result.