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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 (1,902 Responses)
  1. NICOLE ANDY

    I am so grateful to the great Dr IBrahmani for curing my herpes disease,for 7 years ago i was having this infection that made me look so horrible, since i have been having this disease i have been in a complete agony weeping everyday, i have gone to several places trying to get a cure but nothing was change, i had to search for solution in the internet, luckily i came across this testimony of how Dr Ibrahim a cured a lady from this terrible affection so i decided to contact him through his email address:greatdribrahim22@gmail.com i told him exactly how i was feeling and he assure me that he will help me to get cured from my disease, i believed him and obeyed all his instruction that he gave to me, afterwards he prepare a cure for me and when i received it and started using it just as he has promised me, i was cured totally within 2 weeks of usage. contact him at his email: Email: greatdribrahim22@gmail.com
    Whatsapp +918130105339

    July 21, 2018 at 05:40 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Bellin Davis

      Hello people am glad to testify how I got cured of HERPES DISEASE of 3 years, all thanks to Dr Uribhor and his herbal medicine that helped cure my herpes disease and also I never believed that I will be negative again on till I came across a testimony about how he cured someone of HIV, so I decided to give it a try also, so I contacted him and lucky for me he replied and I told him my problem and he assured me that he will get rid of it. He prepared a herbal medicine for me which I used for one month and two weeks, when I saw changes I decided to go for check up, and I tested negative am so happy to be free from such disease all thanks to Dr Uribhor I believed in him. He can also cure different diseases with his herbal medicine.
      Email him uribhorbreezeherbalhome@gmail.com. Am glad to be free, once more thanks to dr Uribhor.
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      July 27, 2018 at 00:08 | Report abuse |
  2. morise jones

    My names are MORISE JONSE I was haven herpes 2 spreading all over my body even on my private part two. I have had them for about 2 and a bit years(since the first year I got it). When I first contacted it (did go to doctor and got confirmed) I had a couple outbreaks that year (very painful) and then no outbreaks ever again. Like I said it has been almost 8 years. The only thing I can think I did was I used essential oil applications on my sacrum. I did take anti viral meds the doctor gave me for a couple weeks after the first outbreak to take care of the acute symptoms (I didn’t take them for the 2nd outbreak later that year and now this happened in my life I can’t believe this. A great testimony that i must share to all HERPES SIMPLEX VIRUS patient in the world i never believed that there could be any complete cure for Herpes or any cure for herpes,i saw people’s testimony on blog sites of how Dr. OBANOSE spell caster cure and sent to them and they were cured. i had to try it too and you can,t believe that in just few weeks i started using it all my pains stop gradually and i had to leave without the herpes the doctor gave to me. Right now i can tell you that few months now i have not had any pain, and i have just went for text last week and the doctor confirmed that there is no trace of any herpes on my system. Glory be to God for leading me to this genuine Dr. OBANOSE I am so happy as i am sharing this testimony. My advice to you all who thinks that there is no cure for herpes that is Not true, Here is his email

    July 23, 2018 at 17:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. ENCHONG Dee

    All thanks to Dr adasuwa for helping me to cure my herpes I will ever remain greatful to you Dr adasuwa email him via adasuwaspellcaster@gmail. com or whatsApp him on 234806 750 6197

    ONCE AGAIN THANK YOU SO MUCH
    DR ADASUWA

    July 26, 2018 at 04:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. hydeman Hughes

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    BEEN TO THIS GREAT MAN CALLED DR. ERAUDU
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    (drigueggadadahealinghome@gmail .com) and he send to
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    till today i cant keep sharing this testimony please
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    July 28, 2018 at 16:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. drtebor

    MY HIV DISEASE WAS CURED BY DR,Tebor, WITH HIS HERBAL HEALING SPELL/ All thanks to Teborherbalcenter@gmail.com for curing my HIV positive to Negative, i do not have much to say but with all my man i will for ever be grateful to him and God Almighty for using DR,Tebor to reach me when i thought it is all over, today am happy with my two kids and my husband after the medical doctor have confirmed my HIV status Negative,i have never in my life believed that HIV could be cure by any herbal medicine. so i want to use this means to reach other persons who have this disease by testifying the wonderful herbs and power of dr.Alabi that all is not lost yet, try and contact him Teborherbalcenter@gmail.com .or call him WhatsApp +2348153052125 ..GOD BLESS!! his website https://teborherbalcanter.wordpress.com

    August 8, 2018 at 22:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Blogs ♥

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    August 11, 2018 at 08:55 | 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.