When Will a Herpes Cure Be Available?

The recent development of a vaccine for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) is a cause for celebration for many people. Learn more about when a cure for herpes may be available.

When Will a Herpes Cure Be Available?

The recent development of a vaccine for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) is a cause for celebration for many people. According to Dr. Sita Awasthi, associate research professor in the division of infectious diseases at the Perelman School of Medicine, more than one in 10 Americans aged 49 and younger are infected with genital herpes. To further investigate the characteristics of patients diagnosed with recurrent symptomatic genital herpetic disease, a candidate study for the RVX-001-PSS vaccine is being conducted at the University Hospital of Southampton and at the Chelsea and Westminster hospitals in London (England).Although there is no cure for herpes, the severity of the virus can vary over the course of an infected person's life.

Experts suggest that even if antiviral drugs can destroy active parts of the infection, only a small amount of the virus is needed to remain inactive and hide in nerve cells, allowing it to persist in the body. Neonatal herpes occurs when a pregnant person transmits the infection to their fetus before, during, or immediately after delivery. People who have recently been diagnosed with herpes should also be tested for HIV infection and other STIs. In a previous study, Jerome and Aubert reported that a drug could eliminate more than 90% of latent herpesvirus in nerve clusters near the faces of mice injected with adeno-associated viruses (AAVs) carrying enzymes. Patients who are infected with both herpes and HIV may also have a higher concentration of HIV virus in their body due to the interaction between the two viruses.

When a person experiences a prodrome and suspects that a recurrence will occur, they can take antiherpetic medications to reduce symptoms and shorten the duration of an outbreak. Taking antiviral medications can also help reduce the risk of transmitting genital herpes to sexual partners. Herpes medications may not be as effective in patients who are very immunosuppressed and have been taking them for an extended period of time. However, researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center have recently reported encouraging news from laboratory studies aimed at curing herpes simplex virus infections, despite disruptions caused by COVID-19. People with genital herpes caused by HSV I are believed to be increasing as they can transmit the virus even when they have no lesions or symptoms. In addition, preclinical studies on therapy in guinea pigs are being conducted as they naturally have recurrent outbreaks of latent herpes infections. This therapy does not seem to involve enzymes that cut genes used in Hutch herpes studies, which have been found to work as expected.

Once someone contracts any form of herpes virus infection, they will have it for life, regardless of whether they experience symptoms or not. Genital herpes cannot be transmitted to another part of the body after the initial infection.