This chapter will review the significance of herpes simplex as a condition in comparison with other conditions with which it has various similarities, and as a public health problem. It will also examine the way in which herpes simplex as a health problem illustrates the biopsychosocial matrix, its potential to affect a person's sense of self (identity) through its socially stigmatised meaning, its place in recent developments in virology and its reflection of new understandings in psychoneuroimmunology.