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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 (1,468 Responses)
  1. tracy malay

    Hello everyone here in this forum i am so glad that i have this great opportunity to come out here and share my testimony on how Dr okosodo was able to cure me totally from Hiv disease, i have been suffering from this Disease for approximately 4 Years now, i have tried various ways to get rid of this Virus out of my body, i have also purchase for Medical treatment from my doctor but they all failed, sometime back now while i was browsing the Internet i found some good quote concerning Dr okosodo Herbal Medicine, and how he has been using it to save souls from Different Disease including Cancer, someone also said she was been cured of Hiv from his medicine, and they gave out his contact details in case anyone needs his help, i decided to contact Dr okosodo and i told him about my Hiv illness he told me not to worry that he was going to send me his herbal medicine all i was to do is to send him my personal details and also my home address so he can post the Medicine to me, actually i did all that was required by this Man, i took the medicine just as prescribe by him, he told me to go for check up in the hospital which i did and to my great surprise my Doctor told me the Hiv Virus was no longer there, i even went to other hospital for better confirmation its was still the same thing, Today i am so happy that i am Negative again, Dr okosodo has given me reasons to share tears of Joy, you can reach to Dr okosodo on his email address at ( drokosodopowerfulhomegmail.com) or call him on +2348136623427

    April 27, 2016 at 11:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Jessica Sarah

    I am really happy that i and my husband are cured from (HERPES SIMPLEX VIRUS) with the herbal medicine of Dr Ighodalo, i have been suffering from this disease for the past 2 years without solution until i came across the email of this doctor who have cure so many people with his herbal medicine, i also choose to give him a chance to help me and my husband, he told me what to do and i kindly did it, and he gave us his herbal medicine and direct me on how to use it, i also follow his instructions for use and he ask us to go for a check up after 1 week and 4days which i did, to my greatest surprise our result came out as negative, we are really happy that there is someone like this doctor who is ready to help anytime any day. To all the readers and viewers that is doubting this testimony stop doubting it and contact this doctor if you really have one and see if he will not actually help you. i am not a stupid woman that i will come out to the public and start saying what someone have not done for me and i know that there are some people out there who are really suffering and hurting their family just because of these diseases here is his contact:dr.ighodalocuringhome@gmail.com
    Just give him a chance if you will not com out with your own testimony bye.

    April 30, 2016 at 11:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Robert Sarah

    All thanks to Dr asumo, I am here to share a good testimony of my self on how i came in contact with a real herbalist who helped me. i appreciate everyone for taken their precious time to read my testimony, 6 months ago i was diagnosed of HERPES, this means that 6 months ago i was HERPES positive when i told one of my good friend about this, she sympathized with me and then she said that she was going to help me out, she told me that we should do some research on the Internet, we came across Dr asumo and my friend said that she has come across a lot about him and said that he is a real herbalist remedy to all illness, i was really surprised on this and confused as well, I was so speechless and quickly i contact him to help me and he prepared some herbs for me and send it across to me and he told me the way i was going to be taken the medicine which i did, and in the next 2 weeks i went to the hospital and they said that i am now HERPES negative, i am very happy about this, when i contacted Dr asumo again to tell him the good result , i asked him how he was able to help me, and he said that he was gifted with it that he can cure any disease. also reach him to because health is better than wealth Email him via"asumoharbalhome@gmail.com

    May 10, 2016 at 05:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. nazmulh100

    To know How to Cure Herpes – Natural Cure for Herpes- http://www.usehealthtips.com/cure-herpes-natural-cure-herpes/

    May 13, 2016 at 05:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. nazmulh100

    To know How to Cure Herpes – Natural Cure for Herpes- http://www.usehealthtips.com/cure-herpes-natural-cure-herpes/

    May 13, 2016 at 05:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. judith

    And also to remind you that you are not wasting your money you are trying to get your healing and you will get it just try and send the money so that you get your medicine on time trust is one thing that lead to success my dear never give up on your dreams you will be heal.

    Regards
    Dr Omosun

    May 17, 2016 at 16:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Rhonda Parsons (@RhondaRhonda12)

    Herpes is a sexually transmitted virus that primarily infects the mouth and the genitals. It is transmitted by bodily fluids – penetration isn’t required for transmission, oral-oral or oral-genital contact will suffice,There are two types of herpes simplex virus: HSV-1 and HSV-2. Both virus types can cause sores around the mouth (herpes labialis) and on the genitals (genital herpes). Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). Cold sores sometimes called fever blisters, are groups of small blisters on the lip and around the mouth. The skin around the blisters is often red, swollen, and sore. The blisters may break open, leak a clear fluid, and then scab over after a few days. They usually heal in several days to 2 weeks. The herpes simplex virus usually enters the body through a break in the skin around or inside the mouth. It is usually spread when a person touches a cold sore or touches infected fluid—such as from sharing eating utensils or razors, kissing an infected person, or touching that person's saliva. A parent who has a cold sore often spreads the infection to his or her child in this way. Cold sores can also be spread to other areas of the body. Luckly there is a cure for herpes Contact Dr Odia Via:(drodiaherbalistcenter @ gmail . com)

    May 18, 2016 at 19:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. jerry

    This is a testimony this year 2016. on the 2nd of this month i saw a post that Dr okos cure his Herpes Virus and i contacted him, as i speak now i am free from herpes Virus. all glory to Dr okos. if you have herpes Virus contact Dr okos and i promise the world will be free from Herpes Virus.

    Contact his email: Drokos202@gmail.com

    May 19, 2016 at 02:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. alice valentino

    I am so so happy today, I have been suffering from herpes for the past 2years now, i have spent a lot on drugs and herbs which has all proved abortive, i have tried all means in life to become herpes negative , but there was no answer until i decided to try herbal solution and i found Dr Damian in an online research i contacted him and after I took his medication as he told me, i am now Herpes Negative, i am very very happy, thanks to Dr. Damian for helping my life come back newly again without any form of crisis, i promise to tell your name and good deeds to the whole world. Kindly contact him for cure regarding, HIV, Herpes, Cancer and other disease. Email: damianwood986@gmail.com or call him on +2348065182592

    May 19, 2016 at 04:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Christy Arven

    Having Herpes is a Terrible Experience and my Experience will help some hsv patients beware of Herbs from online doc.
    I tried Herbs from some Herbal Dr online communicating with them on email but i never received any thing.
    I know you know what that means. well, just about a Month ago i saw a recent post on Dr Mercola home page when patients recommended Dr Ehigiegba as a Honest to work with in the procedures on finding a cure then i contacted him in trial and the Herbs he Sent me giot me Cured after 16 days.
    still very WILD to me.
    well, his email is ehigiegbapatientsmailbox@yahoo.com
    or call 0092349054870144
    Hope he welcomes you

    May 22, 2016 at 16:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Leana Joe

    My name Leena Joe and Yes I have HIV and I am not Afraid of telling my story. I faced a lot of problems as a single HIV Woman. I got Depression and Frustration about my life at that time by gods grace I meet with FindPs.com really it is completely changed my life. First I meat with this site I really thought that “This small site what can I do with this”, but after Registration I meat my beautiful Future..Really Many Thanks to http://www.FindPs.com

    May 23, 2016 at 14:01 | Report abuse | Reply
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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.