Herpes: A Cultural Baggage

Herpes is a viral infection spread by the virus Herpes Simplex Virus. There are two types of herpes namely HSV-1 & HSV-2 on the basis of which body part the virus has attacked on. HSV-1 is commonly known as Oral Herpes and HSV-2 is commonly known as Genital Herpes. Though this medical condition is categorized into STDs, it can spread through simple skin contact too. This categorization of Herpes into STDs had stamped it as a stigma. But people need to understand the fact that it is just a manageable skin condition with lots of cultural baggage.


Living with Herpes could be stressful but it is not life threatening. This is a common disease suffered by 1 in every 7 people. Though it is painful but there are certain medications available to subside the effect of virus. The good thing about this is the virus remains dormant most of the time and emerges sometimes, especially during menstrual cycle (in women), fever or stress. Cellulr stress is one major factor in waking up these cells from dormancy.

Main problem for the people living with herpes is their relationship status. Couple who are suffering from frequent herpes recurrence should go for suppressive anti-viral therapy. An individual should not be secretive about this problem with their partners at all. Sooner the ‘disclosure talks’ take place, the better it will be. Talking to your sexual partner about your medical condition is not only being honest but also a way to negotiate about how your sexual life is going to be.

Researchers believe that connecting the molecular level cellulr stress to the Herpes Simplex Virus re-activation can lead to a new antiviral therapy that could find a possible solution for herpes. Stay happy and take care of your body because herpes is just stigmatized by the society. There is nothing to feel shame about.