How does herpes affect psychological health?

herpes virusas, herpesas, pūslelinė -

How does herpes affect psychological health?

Herpes , medically known as herpes simplex virus (HSV) infection, is one of the most common viral infections in the world. Herpes causes a wide range of symptoms that can range from mild to severe and is characterized by a recurring nature. There are two main types of HSV: HSV-1 and HSV-2.

HSV-1 , usually associated with oral symptoms, is the main cause of cold sores (herpes labialis). The infection often appears as herpes on the lips, mouth or face. HSV-1 can also cause herpes keratitis, a serious eye infection that can damage vision.

HSV-2 is most commonly associated with genital herpes. This infection is usually transmitted through sexual intercourse and manifests itself as herpes in the genital area. HSV-2 infection is also an important cause of perinatal infection and can cause severe complications in newborns .

How is herpes transmitted?

Herpes is divided into two main types: HSV-1 and HSV-2, which are transmitted in different ways and cause different symptoms.

HSV-1 is usually associated with oral symptoms and is usually transmitted through close physical contact, such as kissing or sharing objects such as lip balm or drinking cups. HSV-1 can also be transmitted through oral sex, causing genital herpes.

HSV-2 is most commonly associated with genital herpes and is usually transmitted through sexual contact, including vaginal, anal, and oral sex. The virus is transmitted through skin-to-skin contact with an infected person, even if symptoms are not obvious.

Both types of HSV can transmit infection even in the absence of active symptoms. This means that a person without visible foci of herpes can still be a carrier of the virus and pass it on to others. This phenomenon is called "asymptomatic transmission".

Perinatal transmission is another way HSV can be transmitted - from mother to baby during childbirth. This is especially risky if a woman first became infected with HSV during pregnancy. In this case, the baby can get a very severe form of herpes, which can involve the skin , eyes, brain and other organs.

It should be noted that HSV cannot be transmitted through everyday social contact such as hugs, handshakes or shared facilities such as toilets, showers or swimming pools. Also, HSV cannot remain viable for long periods of time, so contamination of surfaces or objects is not a major risk of transmission.

To reduce the risk of herpes transmission, it is important to:

  • Avoid direct physical contact with people who have active herpes symptoms.
  • Use protective measures, such as condoms, during sex, although it should be understood that they do not provide complete protection against HSV.
  • Women with genital herpes should talk to their doctor about a safe birth plan.

Understanding the ways herpes is transmitted and taking appropriate precautions are important to reduce the risk of spreading the infection and protect yourself and others.

Symptoms of cystitis

Herpes has specific symptoms that can vary depending on the type of virus and the part of the body that is infected. There are two types of herpes simplex virus: HSV-1, which usually causes oral herpes, and HSV-2, which usually causes genital herpes. These two types of virus can cause similar symptoms, but in different parts of the body.

Symptoms of HSV-1:

  • Oral herpes: Most commonly appears as herpes or sores on the lips, oral mucosa, or facial area. In the early stages, you may experience itching, burning or pain before the blisters appear.
  • Herpetic keratitis: This is an eye infection caused by HSV-1 that can cause eye pain, redness, photophobia (sensitivity to light), and vision problems.
  • Pharyngitis: Rarely, HSV-1 can cause inflammation of the throat with symptoms similar to a sore throat.

Symptoms of HSV-2:

  • Genital herpes: Appears as cold sores or sores on the genitals, rectum, or surrounding areas. Symptoms may also include pain, burning, and itching in the genital area, as well as difficulty or pain when urinating.
  • Systemic symptoms: Fever, muscle aches and general weakness may occur, especially during the first infection.

Common symptoms of herpes:

  • Blistering: The most common symptom of herpes is small, fluid-filled blisters that can burst and turn into sores. When ulcers heal, they usually do not leave scars.
  • Recurrent outbreaks: The herpes virus remains latent in the body and can reactivate, causing repeated outbreaks of symptoms. Recurrence frequency and severity may vary.

Unusual symptoms:

Although rare, HSV can cause more serious complications such as encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) or disseminated herpes infection, especially in people with immunodeficiency conditions.

What prevention methods can protect against the appearance of herpes?

Prevention of herpes zoster is an important issue in the public health sector, given the prevalence of herpes simplex virus (HSV) and the recurrent nature of the infections it causes. While there is no guaranteed way to completely prevent HSV infection , there are some steps people can take to reduce their risk of infection and protect themselves and others.

Limiting physical contact
HSV is usually transmitted by direct contact with an infected person. This means that avoiding kissing someone with active cold sores or avoiding having sex with someone who has active symptoms of genital herpes can significantly reduce the risk of infection.
Use of protective equipment during sexual intercourse
Although condoms cannot provide absolute protection against HSV, they do reduce the chance of transmission of the virus. It is important to use condoms or other protection during all types of sex, including vaginal, anal, and oral sex.
Personal hygiene
Sharing common items such as lip balms, drink containers or razors can increase the risk of infection. Personal items should only be used individually.
Health care during pregnancy
Pregnant women with genital herpes should talk to their doctor about ways to reduce the risk of passing it on to their baby. This may include antiviral treatment before labor begins and possibly a caesarean section if there are active symptoms of genital herpes.
Stress management
Although stress does not directly cause herpes, it can weaken the immune system and make the virus more likely to reactivate. Good stress management practices, such as regular physical activity, adequate sleep, and relaxation techniques, can help reduce the frequency of recurrent herpes outbreaks.
Healthy diet and lifestyle
A balanced diet that contributes to a strong immune system can help fight HSV infection. This includes adequate intake of vitamins and minerals, especially zinc, vitamins A, C and E.
Avoiding certain medications
Several medications, such as corticosteroids or certain immunosuppressants, can weaken the immune system and increase the risk of HSV activity. Long-term use of these drugs should be avoided if possible.
Education and outreach
It is important to spread the correct information about HSV, including its transmission, symptoms and prevention. Public education can help reduce stigma and improve the quality of life of those infected.

Although these preventive measures do not guarantee complete protection against cold sores, they are effective in reducing the chance of infection and maintaining good health. It is especially important for people with herpes to be informed and responsible in order to reduce the risk of transmitting the virus to others.

Psychological impact

Herpes not only causes physical discomfort, but can also have a significant impact on people's psychological state and emotional well-being. This viral infection, due to its recurrent and contagious nature, can cause a variety of psychological difficulties, including stigma, self-esteem problems and emotional stress.

  • Stigma and social exclusion: One of the biggest psychological challenges caused by herpes is social stigma. People with herpes often experience negative judgment or misperception from others , especially when it comes to genital herpes. This can lead to a feeling of having to hide your condition, which can lead to social isolation and loneliness.
  • Self-esteem issues: Acne symptoms, especially those seen on the face or genitals, can have a negative impact on a person's self-esteem and self-confidence. People may feel less attractive and worry about their appearance, which can negatively affect their relationships with others and how they feel when socializing.
  • Depression and anxiety: The constant fear of reoccurring symptoms and the stress associated with the infection can contribute to depression and anxiety. People may constantly worry about other people's reactions or fear starting a new relationship.
  • Sexual health and relationships: Genital herpes can cause difficulties in sexual health and relationships. People may feel a fear of passing the virus on to their partner, which can lead to anxiety or avoidance of intimacy. In addition, it is necessary to openly and responsibly communicate with partners about your condition and protective measures.
  • Worrying about outbreaks: Repeated herpes outbreaks can cause constant anxiety and stress , worrying about when and how the next outbreak will occur. This constant feeling of anxiety can negatively affect a person's quality of life.
  • Importance of psychological help: In order to manage the psychological stress caused by herpes, it is very important to get the right psychological help. This may include psychotherapy, support groups, or counseling with health professionals. These interventions can help you learn stress management skills, build self-esteem, and better manage your illness.
  • Awareness and education: Being well informed about herpes and its effects can help reduce the stigma and ignorance associated with it. Educating the public about herpes transmission, symptoms, and treatment options can help reduce fear and negative perceptions.

The psychological effects of cystitis can have a long-term impact on a person , so it is important to recognize and address these challenges. Emotional support and proper education are essential factors in helping people cope with this disease and maintain a high quality of life.

information sources

  1. American Academy of Dermatology
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  3. World Health Organization (WHO)

# herpes

Leave a comment