home
RSS
February 25th, 2010
02:33 PM ET

When will we see a herpes cure?

As a feature of CNNhealth.com, our team of expert doctors will answer readers' questions. Here's a question for Dr. Gupta.

From Lloyd Bartley, Bowling Green, Kentucky

“How close are scientists to developing a cure for herpes, figuratively speaking will we be seeing a break through in 10, 20, or even 30 years?”

Answer:

Well, Lloyd, there is good news and bad news on the herpes front. The good news: Researchers have made serious strides and now better understand the mechanism behind herpes outbreaks. The bad news: There is very little funding for that research.

After receiving your question we reached out to a leading herpes expert, Bryan Cullen, the director at the Center for Virology at Duke University. Cullen is hopeful that a cure for herpes could come within 10 years, once funding hurdles are crossed.

Nearly one in five people over age 12 in the U.S. is affected by herpes. It is caused by a virus - either the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) or the herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2). Both strains can cause genital herpes, but HSV-1 usually infects the mouth and produces cold sores.

Despite funding challenges, Cullen and his team are inching closer to a cure. They conducted a study recently that identified the pathway herpes takes as it infects. They now know how herpes embeds itself into the cells and how it eludes treatment. Now that they have honed in on the physiology of the disease - and its triggers - researchers believe they are steps closer to creating drugs that could cure herpes.

While we wait for a cure, there are drugs out there that can at least suppress herpes. Three antiviral drugs: acyclovir, valacyclovir, and famciclovir are commonly recommended to quell outbreaks. A physician might recommend taking these drugs when an outbreak occurs to quiet symptoms; or taking them continuously to reduce the likelihood of an outbreak.

And of course the best way to avoid spreading herpes is to abstain from sex, but if you are sexually active, engage in safe-sex practices such as using condoms.

Editor's Note: Medical news is a popular but sensitive subject rooted in science. We receive many comments on this blog each day; not all are posted. Our hope is that much will be learned from the sharing of useful information and personal experiences based on the medical and health topics of the blog. We encourage you to focus your comments on those medical and health topics and we appreciate your input. Thank you for your participation.


Filed under: Expert Q&A • Sex • Virus

soundoff (1,331 Responses)
  1. seed

    so this was written 4 years ago, so does that mean we are 6 years away from getting the cure?

    February 3, 2014 at 19:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Lady

    I heard the prescription fungicide cures herpes
    Does anyone know?

    February 20, 2014 at 13:03 | Report abuse | Reply
    • candirose2014

      I don’t normally answer questions, but I have an experience I’d like to share that will hopefully help others in a similar position as myself Recently i discover my herpes then after that i was searching for natural remedy & found this system i was surprised with my results applying these treatment methods that have benn discussed here http://tiny.cc/ubxfix I’ve actually recommended this for anyone surf from herpes even if the children so go here http://tiny.cc/ubxfix – See more at: http://blogs.nejm.org/now/index.php/shedding-convention-new-treatment-for-genital-herpes/2014/01/15/#sthash.jA4KvvPd.dpuf

      July 3, 2014 at 18:44 | Report abuse |
  3. Lacey Autumn

    Hey, I too struggled with herpes and tried so many things. Different things
    work for different people and I was lucky enough to find something that works
    for me. I haven't had any recent outbreaks and it's been a life changer.

    I'm a little embarrassed to talk about my personal life here but if anyone actually
    cares to hear what I've been doing then I'd be happy to help in any way. Just
    send me an email at laceyautumn1980@gmail.com and I'll tell you about how
    things are going for me with the stuff I've tried.

    I wish someone would have helped me out when I was struggling to find a solution so if I can help you then it would make my day.

    February 26, 2014 at 17:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Ryan

    Has anyone seen the herpes trick video... http://remedieshealth.com/herpes ? What do you think about it?

    March 18, 2014 at 11:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Ryan

    Very interesting herpes post! Has anyone seen the herpes protocol video... http://remedieshealth.com/herpes ? What do you think about it?

    March 18, 2014 at 16:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Lacey Autumn

    Hey, I too struggled with herpes and tried so many things. Different things work for different people and I was lucky enough to find something that works for me. I haven't had any recent outbreaks and it's been a life changer.

    I'm a little embarrassed to talk about my personal life here but if anyone actually cares to hear what I've been doing then I'd be happy to help in any way. Just send me an email at laceyautumn1980@gmail.com and I'll tell you about how things are going for me with the stuff I've tried.

    I wish someone would have helped me out when I was struggling to find a solution so if I can help you then it would make my day.

    March 28, 2014 at 21:59 | Report abuse | Reply
    • annonymous

      hi lacey I am a 22 year old female who was recently diagnosed with the herpes type 1 ... extremely painful I got them around the inner part of my bum it has been almost a month the sores are just about gone ! and I am relieved about them being just about gone but I am absolutely devastated about having this virus ... I just recently told my boy friend about it and he is a 25 y.o male who now is in fear of having sex with me because of it .. I did not get this virus from him... I am just curious to know what the difference is between the two types type 1 which I have and type 2... I keep being told type 1 is the more common cold sore most people get but I would like to know if I have no sores, signs, or symptoms can I still pass this to another partner?? thanks lacey I hope you can help me out!

      September 9, 2014 at 17:05 | Report abuse |
  7. Emily

    I always thought that Herpes or any type of STD to stop from spreading the effected people should date only people with STD's, Then the spread rate will drastically come down. I have found some sites like http://www.Sensitivedating.org, http://www.Meetup.com and if you search online there are many more sites.

    May 26, 2014 at 08:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. candirose2014

    I don’t normally answer questions, but I have an experience I’d like to share that will hopefully help others in a similar position as myself Recently i discover my herpes then after that i was searching for natural remedy & found this system i was surprised with my results applying these treatment methods that have benn discussed here http://tiny.cc/ubxfix I’ve actually recommended this for anyone surf from herpes even if the children so go here http://tiny.cc/ubxfix – See more at: http://blogs.nejm.org/now/index.php/shedding-convention-new-treatment-for-genital-herpes/2014/01/15/#sthash.jA4KvvPd.dpuf

    July 3, 2014 at 18:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Henrietta

    It's going to be ending of mine day, but before
    end I am reading this fantastic paragraph to improve my knowledge.

    August 5, 2014 at 06:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Chang Stfleur

    El herpes es por eso una de las ms altas propagacin de enfermedades de transmisin sexual en los Estados y varias otras partes del mundo Yo aprendi a combatirlo con el protocolo final de Herpes me ayudo mucho

    http://forocomer.herpespano.hop.clickbank.net

    August 6, 2014 at 18:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Margareta Lanctot

    Con este recurso, los usuarios podrn descubrir la forma ms sencilla de erradicar el virus del herpes simple. Yo aprendi a combatirlo con el protocolo final de Herpes nos abri los ojos

    http://forocomer.herpespano.hop.clickbank.net

    August 6, 2014 at 18:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Frankie Truelove

    Con los potentes mtodos revelados por el presente Protocolo, enfermos de herpes no tienen que vivir con el herpes durante el resto de su vida. nos ayudo mucho

    http://forocomer.herpespano.hop.clickbank.net

    August 6, 2014 at 18:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Stormy Embler

    Este Mtodo introduce un mtodo muy eficiente para matar a esos patgenos virales que son la razn por herpes permanece en el cuerpo. Yo aprendi a combatirlo con el protocolo final de Herpes me ayudo mucho

    http://forocomer.herpespano.hop.clickbank.net

    August 6, 2014 at 18:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Ted Rearden

    A raz de un plan de dieta y el uso de ingredientes naturales significa que no hay efectos secundarios para el paciente herpes puede probar el Protocolo Herpes ltimo sin ningn tipo de vacilacin.

    http://forocomer.herpespano.hop.clickbank.net

    August 6, 2014 at 18:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Yasmin Nestler

    Hablando de herpes, es una enfermedad de transmisin sexual que es tanto viral y muy contagiosa, lo que significa que hay que ser muy cuidadoso de transmitirla a su pareja o algn miembro de la familia Yo aprendi a combatirlo con el protocolo final de Herpes me aliviano mucho

    http://forocomer.herpespano.hop.clickbank.net

    August 6, 2014 at 18:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Ashley

    Hi I'm Ashley
    Shingles have been part of my life for over 10 years. Always appear in the most unexpected moments. I have suffered much more than we would have liked.
    I tried all the creams and pills you can imagine, but the results not only slow in coming, but were not permanent. The herpes always returned.
    After surfing the internet I found a method to eliminate my herpes, since then my life took a 180 degree turn. A simple method to be effective.
    My herpes disappeared almost immediately and have never returned! I feel happier and safer than ever! I recommend this method and you leave the page so that you too will your herpes cures.
    Page method here: http://tinyurl.com/poaxkxd

    http://howtocureherpespermanently.blogspot.com/

    August 8, 2014 at 22:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. barby

    Hi
    Shingles have been part of my life for over 10 years. Always appear in the most unexpected moments. I have suffered much more than we would have liked.
    I tried all the creams and pills you can imagine, but the results not only slow in coming, but were not permanent. The herpes always returned.
    After surfing the internet I found a method to eliminate my herpes, since then my life took a 180 degree turn. A simple method to be effective.
    My herpes disappeared almost immediately and have never returned! I feel happier and safer than ever! I recommend this method and you leave the page so that you too will your herpes cures.
    Page method here: http://tinyurl.com/poaxkxd

    http://howtocureherpespermanently.blogspot.com/

    August 11, 2014 at 01:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. brigdget

    hi i am Brigdget
    No need to suffer because of the herpes. Needless fearing further infect your partner. "This method eliminates herpes" has made these issues cease to be in my head all the time.
    This natural program has proven effective on me and 2 of my best friends! We could not believe the results. No need to spend money on creams or medications. And without having to visit any doctor!
    I have spent many embarrassing situations because of my herpes but now I can happily say that No More! Shingles are just a bad memory and all thanks to "this delete my herpes treatment."
    Use it if you really want to eradicate herpes from your life forever !!! Like as has happened to me, not regret. I'll leave the page to get you started treatment.
    Website: http://tinyurl.com/poaxkxd

    http://howtocureherpespermanently.blogspot.com

    August 17, 2014 at 23:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Al

    There isn't any funding for this (and probably lots of other illnesses too) because the drug companies make more money off of TREATING diseases than they do CURING them.

    August 19, 2014 at 08:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. sherlyn

    Hi I'm sherlyn
    In recent months I have tried all the medications and for-gotten, trying to cure my herpes, I spent hundreds and hundreds of dollars and I could not find an effective solution!
    Today, thanks to an e-book that you download from the internet, I could finally get rid of my herpes in just 7 weeks with these effective methods that do work, now I have no fear of spreading herpes to my boyfriend I feel freer. I do recommend this method if it works, you leave the page the method below.
    Page method: http://tinyurl.com/poaxkxd

    http://howtocureherpespermanently.blogspot.com

    August 21, 2014 at 00:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. yhoselin

    hello I am yhoselin herpes cure me forever.
    "... my life took a 180 degree turn.
    Such a simple method as cash "
    Shingles have been part of my life for over 10 years. Always appear in the most unexpected moments. I have suffered much more than we would have liked.
    I tried all the creams and pills you can imagine, but the results not only slow in coming, but were not permanent. The herpes always returned.
    After surfing the internet I found an effective method to eliminate herpes and my life took a 180 degree turn. A simple method to be effective.
    My herpes disappeared almost immediately and have never returned! I feel happier and safer than ever now I'm not afraid of spreading herpes to my boyfriend!
    I leave the page for herpes cures you.
    Web page: http://tinyurl.com/poaxkxd

    http://howtocureherpespermanently.blogspot.com

    August 24, 2014 at 20:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Diana Michael

    I have been suffering from HIV/AIDS since 3 years now, and i happen to have
    2 kids for my husband, and now we cannot proceed to have another kids all
    because of my disease. I have done everything possible to get my disease
    healed, i have went to several places to seek for help not even one person
    could ever help, until i met a comment on the daily news paper that was
    commented by Miss Jane, about how this powerful traditional doctor help her
    get cured of her disease (HIV-AIDS) . I first taught having a help from a
    spiritual traditional healer was a wrong idea, but i think of these, will i
    continue to stress on these disease all day when i have someone to help me
    save my life?" so i gather all my faiths and put in all interest to contact
    him through his Email address at ogboduherbalhivcure@gmail.com , so after i
    have mailed him of helping get my disease cured, he responded to me as fast
    as possible that i should not be afraid, that he is a truthful and powerful
    doctor that will help me cure my disease. So after all has been done, he
    promise me that i will be healed but on a condition that i provide him some
    items which he is going to use to prepare the herbal medication. I gave him
    the money to buy the items for me and only to see that the following week,
    Dr Ogbodu mail me on my mail box that my work is successfully done with his
    powers, i used the herbal medication just the way he instructed me to use
    it. When i went to the hospital to conclude my final test, to my greatest
    surprise, my doctor told me that i am now HIV- Negative. I am the most
    happiest person on earth now, thanks to Dr Ogbodu. You can also contact him
    via his email address: ogboduherbalhivcure@gmail.com if you need his help, he
    is waiting to receive you.

    September 4, 2014 at 22:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. anonymous

    I have genital herpes and I'm only 16. The boy I lost my virginity to had them and did not tell me. I first found out in the summer. July 2014. My outbreak is done but I still get this smelly discharge every day. My mom tells me that it will be like that for the rest of my life but I don't like the fact that the discharge gets all over my panties every day. I clean my self every where every day. I usually wear panty liners every day but it gets annoying after a while. I was wondering if there was a way to stop the discharge. I also wanted to know if later on when I want to start making sexual contact again when I use a condom would my partner still be able to get it or do I even have to tell him about me having herpes? Also when there is a cure do you think you'll have to pay for the treatment? Please get back to me I've been trying to get answers for months now.

    September 10, 2014 at 18:54 | Report abuse | Reply
    • anon

      Even when using condoms you still risk spreading the infection to your future partner.
      If you are having a discharge I suggest seeing a doctor as herpes doesn't usually cause a discharge unless you are having an outbreak.

      September 15, 2014 at 03:20 | Report abuse |
  24. rubios

    funding is an issue? how come the government does not help fund this programs? it for all those americans, children, man, woman that are infected. Imagine the relief it will bring to people. I was reading the same as for alzheimer. How lame, they rather spend money on weapons and their trips around the world than finding a cure for the whole world.

    September 26, 2014 at 14:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Micheal

    Hello Everyone, my names is Micheal, i m from Florida USA. I want to share my testimonies to the general public on how this great man called Dr OSAS cure my herpes. I have been a HERPES patient for over 7 Months and i have been in pains until i came across this lady when i traveled to Africa for Business trip who happen to once been a herpes patient, i explained every thing to her and she told me that there is this Great Dr that help her to cure her herpes and she gave me his email address for me to contact and i did as she instructed. And the man Dr OSAS told me how much to buy the herpes herbal medication and how i will get it, which i did. And to my greatest surprise that i took the Herpes herbal medicine for just one week and behold i went for a herpes test, for to my greatest surprise for the Doctor confirmed me to herpes free and said that i no longer have herpes in my system and till now i have never felt any pains nor herpes again, so i said i must testify the goodness of this man to the general public for if you are there surfing from this Herpes problems or any deadly disease or other disease for i will advice you to contact him on his working email: doctorosasherbalhome@gmail.com and i assure you that he will help you just as he did for me okay
    contact him on his email: doctorosasherbalhome@gmail.com
    THESE ARE THE THINGS DR OSAS DOES
    1. HERPES
    2. LASSA FEVER
    3. GONORRHEA
    4. HIV/AIDS
    5. LOW SPERM COUNT
    6. MENOPAUSE DISEASE
    7. EPILEPSY
    8. ASEPSIS
    9. CANCER
    10. ANXIETY DEPRESSION
    11. PREGNANCY PROBLEM
    12. SHORT SIGHTEDNESS PROBLEM
    14. Male menopause
    15. Menopause – male
    16. Menopause – peri
    17. Menstruation problems
    18. Mercury Poisoning
    19. Migraine
    20. Miscarriage
    21. Mites (demodex mites)
    22. Mites (scabies mites)
    23. Motion sickness
    24. Mouth ulcer
    25. MRSA
    26. Multiple sclerosis
    27. Muscle cramps
    28. Myodesopsia
    29. Stroke
    30. He can as well cast and remove spell

    September 30, 2014 at 17:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Abigail

    I hope to god yal find a cure...

    October 1, 2014 at 18:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Jerry Sloane

    Hello, i am Jerry Sloane from Uk,
    All these post about HERBAL MEDICINE and spell casters are scammers and fake trying to collect money all in the name of HERPES cure and when you contact them, they will be asking for your name, pictures, country, phone number, occupation and when you have given them all the information, they will be asking for money. I was once suffering from GENETIC HERPES and i spent a lot of money going from one herbal doctor to another but they all scam and take my money away until i came in contact with this powerful one called Dr. Osas who cured me from Herpes with his herbal medication , after doctor Osas has finished preparing the herbal medicine, he asked me to send him my residential address, so that he will send the herbal medicine to via D.H.L so i did. 2days later, i receiveed the herbal medicine and i had to follow the instructions he gave to me on how i will apply it. 2weeks later i went to hospital for test and according to the test done by the Medical doctor Frank it stated that i was cured.
    So viewers be wise and beware of fake spell casters and fake herba doctors, they are all over the internet trying to steal from poor people. I will drop you the email of this powerful herbal doctor just in case you wish to contact him for help. DOCTOROSASHERBALHOME@GMAIL.COM or you can call him through his mobile number +2348109468829
    DOCTOR OSAS CAN AS WELL CURE THE FOLLOWING DISEASE:-

    1. HERPES
    2. LASSA FEVER
    3. GONORRHEA
    4. HIV/AIDS
    5. LOW SPERM COUNT
    6. MENOPAUSE DISEASE
    7. EPILEPSY
    8. ASEPSIS
    9. CANCER
    10. ANXIETY DEPRESSION
    11. PREGNANCY PROBLEM
    12. SHORT SIGHTEDNESS PROBLEM
    14. Male menopause
    15. Menopause – male
    16. Menopause – peri
    17. Menstruation problems
    18. Mercury Poisoning
    19. Migraine
    20. Miscarriage
    21. Mites (demodex mites)
    22. Mites (scabies mites)
    23. Motion sickness
    24. Mouth ulcer
    25. MRSA
    26. Multiple sclerosis
    27. Muscle cramps
    28. Myodesopsia
    29. Stroke
    30. He can as well cast and remove spell7

    October 7, 2014 at 23:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. stefanny

    Hi I am stefanny
    I had herpes for 3 years of my life. I was afraid of spreading herpes to my boyfriend, I was using many drugs and vaccines for herpes creams. None of these treatments gave me real results, improved my herpes was only temporary,
    But thanks to a treatment that recommended a friend, reach cure my herpes in just 4 weeks I saw improvements in my body, now after 3 months I do not have herpes, I feel very content and happy. I recommend this method to cure herpes.
    I'll leave the treatment page here: http://tinyurl.com/llnocky

    October 8, 2014 at 00:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. diabetes

    In the later phase of Lyme condition, an inflammatory response happens that advances towards the joints, as
    reported by the American Lyme Disease Association. Recognizing
    early changes in your peak flow meter measurement is
    important to understand and predict when an asthma attack may occur.

    Another study investigated that connection between systolic and diastolic blood pressure and anxiety levels.

    October 8, 2014 at 21:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. nia

    great article....very helpful. thanks so much http://realherpescurebreakthrough.blogspot.com

    October 10, 2014 at 03:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Christian Louboutin

    Very great post. I simply stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I've really enjoyed browsing your blog posts. In any case I'll be subscribing for your rss feed and I hope you write again soon!
    Christian Louboutin http://goarticles.com/article/Factors-to-Think-About-When-Picking-Out-Fashion-Christian-Louboutin/9344967/

    October 13, 2014 at 09:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. anga

    thanks guys....very good article. http://herpescureforyou.blogspot.com

    October 13, 2014 at 23:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. mikaela

    I had herpes for 3 years of my life. I was afraid of spreading herpes to my boyfriend, I was using many drugs and vaccines for herpes creams. None of these treatments gave me real results, improved my herpes was only temporary,
    But thanks to a treatment that recommended a friend, reach cure my herpes in just 4 weeks I saw improvements in my body, now after 3 months I do not have herpes, I feel very content and happy. I recommend this method to cure herpes.
    I'll leave the treatment page here: http://tinyurl.com/llnocky

    October 18, 2014 at 11:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Kyle

    Hey guys, 19 year old male here that was just recently diagnosed with herpes. It's like a nightmare that came true. It's so awful remembering I have herpes while hanging out with my friends, I often worry about what would happen if they found out. I hate having to keep such a secret but I have to. Sometimes I wonder if I'm ever gonna have a wife because of this. I just don't know. But it the meantime, I need to do whatever I can to keep the herpes at bay. Any suggestions for what to do to keep outbreaks at a minimum, or none and what to use to lower the likeliness of transmission? Any help would be appreciated

    October 23, 2014 at 15:03 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Penny

      Kyle, I used to get these horrible, itchy mouth sores when I was growing up. It seemed whenever I was really stressed or I bumped my lips or sunburned them, my lips would start to tingle and swell up and start itching. Not knowing what it was, I would always scratch at and around it and it would turn into a lot of , like, little water blisters that would end up as huge, scabby sores. It would take a week maybe three to get rid of it. When I got older, I found out it was Herpes Simplex I. When it's in the watery, "break out stage" my doctor told me it was contagious and during a break out, I could pass it to someone by kissing them, drinking out of the same glass, or even giving oral sex to anyone. I started taking acyclovir, a prescription medicine daily as a prophylactic, which stopped me from breaking out all of the time, and got a prescription ointment called Zovirax that I would use to dry it out at the first sign of a break out which became few and far apart. Together, for more than probably 40 plus years, using those 2 medications, keeping my stress level down, AND being very careful not to it to anyone, I have managed to live a normal and fulfilling life! Don't be afraid or embarrassed to ask a doctor if those 2 medicines can help herpes simplex II, always keep plenty of condoms with you. As long as you are careful (and honest), you will find someone to share your life with and together you will work your way around this. It is not the end of your sex-life at all. Hope this helps.

      October 24, 2014 at 04:04 | Report abuse |
  35. Linda

    Congrats to all you. Please Doctor and your team. Educate people let us be from the those herpes and cold sores is brought on our lives please.. Take away all humiliation and embrassment we all feel about ourselves and in our possible other half... My friends and family had disowned me for having disease that I can't do nothing about it I feel helpless and suicidal most of the time and I cannot help but this disease is so hard to live with I don't know if you experience it yourself. But hangs other you like cloud and never leaves. :(

    November 19, 2014 at 12:21 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16

Post a comment


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

Advertisement
About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.