Generally speaking, speaking about sexually transmitted infections (STIs) is sort of a mood-killer. However, the word"herpes" specifically invokes a unique kind of fear and paranoia. Even though genital herpes is quite common (it is the 5th most common STI in Singapore). Is there a remedy for herpes?
No, there isn't and that is why it's highly stigmatized.
And have you ever gotten any closer to discovering one?
Here is what we found after chatting with specialists.
People with oral herpes typically get the virus as children by kissing relatives or friends.
By contrast, genital herpes is brought on by the herpes simplex virus Type two (HSV-2), that is normally transmitted via anal, vaginal, or oral intercourse. HSV-2 has symptoms such as an outbreak of blisters on the genitals or anus, but many folks can also be curable. Genital herpes can also be caused by HSV-1 during oral sex.
Why are there no cure for herpes?
These days, there's absolutely no cure for either HSV-1 or even HSV-2, though people with both types of herpes may take antifungal medications such as Valtrex to control their symptoms and reduce their chance of transmitting the virus to their spouses.
For the last 80 decades, however, scientists are exploring potential herpes outbreaks. (Note: Although"cure" and"vaccine" can be used interchangeably, they are not similar. In the event of herpes, then a remedy would fully eliminate the herpes virus in the human body, though a vaccine would treat or prevent it.)
So far, scientists have attempted to create two kinds of herpes meds: a preventive one, which protects you from getting infected in the first place; and also a curative one, which might help manage symptoms in people who have the disease and reduce the danger of outbreaks better compared to current antifungal drugs available on the industry. Yet they've had little luck.
The herpes virus can be extremely complicated
Based on Dr. Anna Wald, the mind of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Section at the School of Medicine in the University of Washington, herpes is only one of many sexually transmitted viruses that scientists don't fully understand.
"We do not have a cure for a whole good deal of items," she says, mentioning HIV and hepatitis as other cases.
Most viruses attack our cells and attempt to multiply as soon as they enter our bodies. In responseour immune system releases dead cells and antibodies to neutralize the virus and make it less dangerous. Often, our immune systems may clean viruses from our bodies, meaning we are no longer infected.
But herpes is much more complex than that, '' says Wald. Herpes"has figured out how to reside in the host despite the immune reaction," she clarifies.
Unlike other viruses, herpes hides from the central nervous system, and our immune system can't easily access this area of our bodies, Wald states. To make things even more complex, the virus can lie dormant within our central nervous systems for a protracted time period (this explains why people with herpes can go several months with no flare-ups after an initial outbreak, or have no symptoms at all).
The simple fact that our immune systems do not find out how to protect us from herpes causes it extremely difficult for scientists to produce a preventive vaccine. "It is rather tricky to create a vaccine unless you know what type of immune response you are trying to make to protect someone," Wald says. Unlike other viruses such as the human papillomavirus (HPV), for instance, researchers cannot inject a part of the herpes virus into our bodies because of vaccine, making them create a antibody that combats and prevents infection.
Fortunately, current antifungal drugs can already decrease the recurrence of outbreaks by about 70 per cent, based on American Family Physician.
Just how close are we to a prosperous herpes disorder?
Back in 2016, it appeared like we were on the cusp of a herpes vaccine once the bioscience firm Genocea declared that it had finished phase two clinical trials to get a therapeutic vaccine named GEN-003. Research showed that herpes patients were 65 percent less likely to have outbreaks after receiving the vaccine and were 60 per cent less likely to transmit the virus to their partners.
But absence of funds killed the undertaking, a company spokesperson explained to MensHealth.com. Back in September 2017, the company stopped development of GEN-003 because they did not have enough cash to pay for phase three clinical trials, that could have been needed to be accepted by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The company is currently focusing primarily on cancer research.
Will we ever get a herpes disease?
Not for quite a while, at leastat the present time, there aren't any promising clinical trials underway for a herpes vaccine.
Hansfield believes it is unlikely that researchers could soon develop into a herpes vaccine which would totally eliminate the virus from a person's system.
As for a preventive vaccine,"I would be surprised if there had been a HSV vaccine available on the marketplace which prevents herpes under 10 years," he says.
The Way to Safeguard Yourself from herpes
Aside from not having sexual intercourse, there's no 100% effective method to stop herpes. It is possible to cut down on the probability of contracting the infection by using a condom, however even a condom isn't foolproof, since the virus can be transmitted even if your partner does not have any symptoms.
Nevertheless, if you or your partner has herpes, then taking antiviral medications can significantly lessen the chances of transmission.
If you exhibit any of the signs of genital herpes, for example cracked, red sores around the genitals or rectum, ask your doctor for a blood test to find HSV antibodies. Even in the event that you test negative, routine STI screening is important for anyone who's sexually active, and free and cheap testing tools can be found on the CDC's web site.