Treatment for herpes may include antiviral medications such as acyclovir or valacyclovir. While there is currently no cure for the virus, there are treatments that can reduce the symptoms and infectiousness of the disease. Taking antiviral medications can help you reduce the risk of transmitting genital herpes to your sexual partners. Advances in herpes cure research over the past five years are largely due to a series of improvements in gene-editing tools.
It will still be a long time before these experiments lead to the first human trials of gene therapy to cure herpes. Jerome estimates that there are at least three years to go. HSV causes herpes and can affect the mouth or genitals. Many new herpes infections occur by couples who transmit the virus asymptomatically, so condoms are strongly recommended.
If a person contracts any form of herpes virus infection, they will have it for life, whether they have symptoms or not. Although several clinical trials have tested vaccines against genital herpes, there is currently no vaccine available to prevent infection. If you have blisters in your genital area, your doctor may request a test to determine if you have genital herpes. A large study showed that if one partner has herpes and the other is not infected, treating the infected partner with suppressive therapy can prevent the transmission of symptomatic herpes in more than 90% of cases.
The team achieved its first promising results years ago with a single type of meganuclease that proved effective in cutting the DNA of the herpes virus, but the results were short-lived. Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV) is mainly transmitted by oral contact and causes an oral herpes infection, sometimes causing painful sores in or around the mouth (“cold sores”). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 40 to 50 million adults in the United States have genital herpes. Experts suggest that even if antiviral drugs destroy the active parts of the infection, only a small amount of the virus is needed to hide in nerve cells and remain inactive so that the herpes virus continues to persist in the body.
Pregnant women with symptoms of genital herpes should see a doctor, as there is a risk of neonatal herpes. Medications have come a long way in helping to suppress herpes and it is possible that it can be cured in the future. Many people don't realize they have genital herpes until a blood test reveals that they have antibodies to the virus. While some people with genital herpes will never have any symptoms, other people may have symptoms within a few weeks of becoming infected.