The herpes virus is probably more common than you think.
Half of the population in the United States has Herpes Simplex-1, the oral strain of herpes, which causes cold sores to grow around a person’s lips. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), however, many people with HSV-1 don’t show any symptoms of the virus.
HSV-2, genital herpes, is carried by one in six Americans.
There’s good news though.
Recent research conducted by the American Society for Microbiology suggests that the development of their new vaccine “could reduce the activity of the [HSV-2] virus, leading to fewer outbreaks and maybe even a lower transmission rate,” Dr. Kenneth Fife write in his report.
The vaccine wouldn’t necessarily cure the herpes virus, but it would boost and support the immune system in preventing outbreaks.
GEN-003, the new, proposed vaccine, has only been used on a small number of patients thus far, but the results seem to be positive. After further development, doctors are hoping that the GEN-003 treatment would be administered in three different injections that would reduce the activity of the virus, as well as the number of days an outbreak lasted. The treatment should be effective for up to one year.
Although nothing is fully conclusive right now, Dr. Fife is hopeful as they move forward. "The importance of these clinical findings is that it represents a new approach to treatment, and may provide a new option for patients suffering from chronic, recurrent genital herpes,” he says.