Different types of herpes have been with humanity ever since the early days. Herpes is actually one of the oldest STDs and there were already some attempts on its treatment over many years. The first attempt came from ancient Greece times around 450 BC. It was Hippocrates who first wrote about the symptoms of herpes in the human body.
Actually, the term herpes was originated from ancient Greece that is derived from the word herpein. This means to creep and crawl, a reference to the ways of how herpes migrate over an infected area.
During the times of Roman Empire, Emperor Tiberius was very concerned about the cold sore outbreaks that during public celebrations and ceremonies he prohibited kissing one another. Although this might be deemed as a drastic, what a Roman physician known as Celcus had in mind was much more concerning. His method to treat herpes was to cauterize an open sore using a red hot poker. There is no proof documented whether this method of treating herpes was successful. On the other hand, we are glad that this method is no longer applied today.
In the 1800s, physicians finally started to understand herpes and formulate their own safe treatments. In 1893, Emile Vidal, a French physician proved for the first time that herpes is a virus that can be transmitted from person to person. In 1896, Paul Unna, a German physician formulated a system to differentiate herpes virus from syphilis using a microscope. His system was a break through at that time as under microscopic analysis, herpes and syphilis were confused with each other resulting to misdiagnosis.
In 1900s, a German ophthalmologist developed his own test to diagnose herpes in a patient. Herpes virus was first transmitted from an infected individual to the eyes of a rabbit. It was then transmitted back to a human, which confirmed its diagnosis. This method was called the Grater test that was used up to the 1940s to diagnose herpes.
In 1925, an American virologist proved that herpes travels through the body by central nervous system and not through the blood stream as thought previously.
The biggest breakthrough in herpes treatment started in 1978 when Acyclovir, an antiviral medication, was formulated and tested on herpes sufferers. In 1981, it became available in drug stores. On the other hand, there is no cure for herpes yet aside from changing to a healthy diet, lifestyle, and taking health supplements. These methods are proven to prevent future outbreaks.