From November 16 to 23, International Herpes Week will be held in many countries of the world. The action is organized on the initiative of the International Herpes Alliance and is held to unite patients and doctors, to carry out informational work about the group of herpes infections, which can develop in any person regardless of sex, nationality, social and financial status.
For the first time this event was held from November 18 to 25, 2000 under the slogan: "Herpes is not a reason for discrimination". Almost 90% of people on Earth are infected with herpes simplex virus (HSV), and the first time a person comes into contact with this virus is in early preschool age, in the family.
The special danger of herpesvirus infections is that they quite often occur in a hidden form, with no clinical manifestations, which gradually exhausts and depletes the immune system, and leads to a number of associated diseases and complications. Viruses in the process of evolution "learned" to be virtually invisible to the immune system, as a result of which actively spread in the body and infect more and more cells. The infection rate of the population with herpes infection is very high. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) herpesvirus infection ranks second among human viral diseases (the 1st place - influenza). Both children and adults, regardless of gender, are susceptible to the disease. Epidemiological studies conducted over the past 10 years have shown that by the age of 15, 80% of children are infected, and by the age of 30, 90% of the population have antibodies to herpes viruses of one type or another. Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HPV 1) infects about 4 billion people under the age of 50, or about 70% of the world's population. Virus carriage is widespread: one in five people on the planet is a carrier of herpes simplex virus (HPV-2), which is the causative agent of genital herpes, and about 80% of people do not even know about it.
The history of herpes as an infectious disease dates back to the 5th century BC. For the first time this word is found in Herodotus, where he thus denotes fever. And the name "herpes", which in translation from Greek means "sneaking, creeping skin disease" and a description of the disease itself first appears in Hippocrates. The labial type of the virus is also mentioned in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. About genital herpes is indicated in the annals of the 17th century, it appeared as an epidemic in women with easy behavior in France. Since ancient times it was known about such a disease as herpes zoster, the history of which was described by Hippocrates, but the fact that this disease has an infectious genesis was first stated by neuropathologists Landor and Erb at the end of the 20th century.
Herpes is a viral disease with a characteristic rash of grouped vesicles on the skin and mucous membranes. Herpes can be contracted sexually, airborne, transplacental (from mother to child) and even by contact (handshake, household items, kissing).
So far, modern medicine has no methods to completely eliminate viruses from the body. However, some antiviral drugs can suppress virus reproduction, reduce the frequency and duration of disease relapses, and form an adequate immune response to get rid of the disease. In 1977, American pharmacologist Gertrude Ellayon and her colleagues discovered the world's first effective drug against herpesvirus infection - acyclovir. Acyclovir is active not only against HPV-1 and HPV-2, Varicella zoster and Epstein-Barr virus are also sensitive to it. Subsequently, acyclovir has been used to develop a number of drugs that are even more effective against certain types of herpes. In addition to antiviral chemopreparations, interferon preparations and their inducers, which have an indirect antiviral effect, have recently been widely used to treat herpes infections.
You can protect yourself, or at least reduce the risk of contracting the herpes virus by following a number of accepted rules:
- Wash hands after the street and contact with herpes patients.
- Use personal hygiene products, including utensils, it is especially important during the period when the house is a carrier in the acute stage of the virus.
- Relate responsibly to the change of sexual partners, and remember about personal protective equipment.
Be vigilant, at the first opportunity to be examined for the presence of herpes infection, follow the above rules of behavior and be healthy!
How Herpes Week is being conducted around the world:
The first National Herpes Day was held in France, organized by the French Herpes Association. The meeting was held in the French Senate, where deputies and journalists discussed the problem of the spread of genital herpes in France.
The Taiwanese press ran a series of articles about this unpleasant disease during the International Herpes Week.
In Sweden the action was supported by the pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline. On the money of the company on Swedish television ran a block of public service announcements about herpes, and in all public places in Stockholm were distributed postcards dedicated to the disease.
The American Public Health Association (ASHA) prepared and distributed a mass of informative notes for printing, and also presented an on-line chat room for herpes patients.
In England, more than 900 GlaxoSmithKline employees were involved in street distribution of condoms, anti-herpes cards and key chains.
Valieva M.S. – c.m.s., associate professor of the department of dermatovenerology of SEI “Avicenna Tajik State Medical University”