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Herpes Simplex Blog

Experimental Drug Pritelivir Shows Promise for Genital Herpes Treatment

Posted 15 Jan 2014 by

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 15, 2014 – An experimental drug could eventually offer a new treatment option for genital herpes, a common and incurable sexually transmitted infection, researchers report. In a small study, researchers found that the drug – called pritelivir – substantially curbed "viral shedding" in people with genital herpes. That means it decreased the amount of time the virus was active and potentially transmissible to patients' sexual partners. The findings, reported in the Jan. 16 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, are based on 156 patients followed for just four weeks. Experts cautioned that the study is preliminary and offers a "proof of concept." Still, they said, the results are important because pritelivir is the first in a new class of drugs that works differently than existing medications for genital herpes. The hope is that pritelivir will be better at ... Read more

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U.S. Teens More Vulnerable to Genital Herpes, Study Suggests

Posted 17 Oct 2013 by

THURSDAY, Oct. 17 – Today's teens may be at higher risk than ever of contracting genital herpes because they don't have enough immune system antibodies to shield them against the sexually transmitted virus, a new study suggests. This increase in risk may be the result of fewer teens being exposed in childhood to the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), a common cause of cold sores, researchers reported Oct. 17 in the online edition of the Journal of Infectious Diseases. "HSV-1 now is the predominant herpes strain causing genital infection," explained Dr. David Kimberlin, chair of infectious diseases at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine, and the author of a journal editorial. According to Kimberlin, the new findings suggest that almost one in 10 adolescents who a decade ago would have already acquired HSV-1 and built up some immunity may now encounter HSV-1 when ... Read more

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Could Herpes Virus Affect Memory in Older Adults?

Posted 25 Mar 2013 by

MONDAY, March 25 – Older adults who harbor certain infections, such as the herpes cold sore virus, may have poorer thinking and memory abilities than their peers, a new study suggests. Researchers found that of more than 1,600 older adults, those with signs of chronic infection with herpes simplex and certain other viruses and bacteria scored lower on standard tests of mental skills. But the findings, published in the March 26 issue of Neurology, do not prove the infections are to blame. "They could just be bystanders," said lead researcher Dr. Mira Katan, a neurologist with Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City. "We can't make any definite conclusions about causality," Katan said. "At this stage, you can just say there's an association." Still, it's an "interesting" association that needs further study, she said. Many people carry herpes simplex ... Read more

Related support groups: Herpes Simplex, Mild Cognitive Impairment

New Vaccine Strategy May Fight Genital Herpes, Mouse Study Suggests

Posted 17 Oct 2012 by

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 17 – A new vaccination approach may provide protection against genital herpes as well as other sexually transmitted infections, including HIV, according to a new study involving mice. The vaccination model developed by researchers at Yale University focuses on tissue in the vagina where viral exposure occurs, rather than the immune system's antibodies, known as T-cells, which circulate throughout the body. In conducting the study, the researchers recruited T cells to vaginal tissue using what they called a "prime and pull" strategy. They first primed the mice's immune systems by triggering a system-wide T-cell response. Then, they recruited activated T cells to vaginal tissue by topically applying chemokines, substances that help mobilize immune cells. The researchers said the strategy could offer protection against genital herpes, caused by the herpes simplex virus, by ... Read more

Related support groups: HIV Infection, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Herpes Simplex

Ritual in Some Jewish Circumcisions Raises Risk of Herpes Infection: Report

Posted 7 Jun 2012 by

THURSDAY, June 7 – The practice of "oral-genital suction" performed during some Orthodox Jewish circumcision ceremonies could leave the infant with a potentially fatal herpes virus infection, health officials warn. New York City and federal health authorities issued a public advisory Thursday cautioning against the sucking practice because it has been linked to 11 infants becoming infected with the herpes simplex virus type 1 since 2000. Ten of the infected newborns were hospitalized, two developed brain damage and two died, the health officials said. A newborn can become infected when the adult performing the circumcision places his mouth on the circumcision wound to siphon blood away from the cut. The ritual is only embraced by a handful of sects within the Orthodox Jewish community, according to New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley. "There is no safe way to perform ... Read more

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Potential Herpes Vaccine Disappoints Researchers

Posted 4 Jan 2012 by

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 4 – A potential vaccine for genital herpes has shown only limited effectiveness in thwarting one type of the sexually transmitted virus and no ability to stop a second type from spreading, a new study shows. A group of American and Canadian researchers conducted a randomized trial on more than 8,300 women aged 18 to 30 who tested negative for both forms of the herpes simplex virus, known as HSV-1 and HSV-2. Half of the women were given the experimental vaccine while the other half were given the hepatitis A vaccine. The experimental vaccine was 58 percent effective at preventing genital warts stemming from HSV-1, but completely ineffective against HSV-2. "We were disappointed it did not meet the primary [goal], which was protection against all types of genital herpes," said study author Dr. Robert B. Belshe, a professor of medicine, pediatrics and molecular microbiology ... Read more

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Older Women Can Benefit From Sex Ed Campaigns

Posted 14 Sep 2011 by

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 14 – Most campaigns designed to educate people about their sexual health target younger generations, excluding a large number of sexually active women over the age of 50 who need and want this information, a new study suggests. Researchers from the University of Florida revealed that although older women are aware of the risks for sexually transmitted diseases, they are not comfortable asking their doctor questions about their sexual health. The study, published in a special issue of the Journal of Consumer Affairs, concluded the communication between women over the age of 50 and their physicians needs improvement. Study author Cynthia Morton and her colleagues pointed out that many health professionals mistakenly think older women already have all the information they need. On the contrary, the study revealed older women need information on how to discuss safe sex ... Read more

Related support groups: HIV Infection, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Herpes Simplex, Trichomoniasis, Chlamydia Infection, Condylomata Acuminata, Syphilis, Human Papilloma Virus, Gonococcal Infection

Genital Herpes Can Be Spread When Lesions Aren't Present: Study

Posted 12 Apr 2011 by

TUESDAY, April 12 – People with genital herpes can transmit the virus to partners even when they do not have lesions, new research shows. Although this has been suspected before, "the data here looks really robust," said Fred Wyand, a spokesman for the American Social Health Association. Herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) infection is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases, affecting some 536 million people worldwide. Sixteen percent of U.S. adults have tested positive for HSV-2, but only 10 percent to 25 percent of those infected recognized the disease. Blood tests to detect HSV-2 became widely available in 1999, making it easier for people to find out if they have genital herpes even if the infection isn't active. Still, previous large government surveys had found that some 80 percent of Americans don't know they have genital herpes, said study co-author Dr. Christine ... Read more

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New STD Report Finds Some Progress, High Costs for U.S.

Posted 23 Nov 2010 by

MONDAY, Nov. 22 – The approximately 19 million new sexually transmitted disease (STD) infections that occur each year in the United States cost the health care system about $16.4 billion annually, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in its annual STD report released Monday. The data for 2009 shows a continued high burden of STDs but there are some signs of progress, according to the report, which focuses on chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis. The national rate of reported gonorrhea cases stands at 99 cases per 100,000 people, its lowest level since record keeping started in 1941, and cases are declining among all racial/ethnic groups (down 17 percent since 2006). Since 2006, chlamydia infections have increased 19 percent to about 409 per 100,000 people. However, the report suggests that this indicates more people than ever are being screened for chlamydia, which is ... Read more

Related support groups: HIV Infection, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Herpes Simplex, Herpes Simplex - Suppression, Trichomoniasis, Chlamydia Infection, Condylomata Acuminata, Syphilis, Gonococcal Infection - Uncomplicated, Human Papilloma Virus, Herpes Simplex, Mucocutaneous/Immunocompetent Host, Herpes Simplex, Mucocutaneous/Immunocompromised Host, Herpes Simplex Encephalitis, Cervical Dysplasia, Tertiary Syphilis, Human Papillomavirus Prophylaxis, Gonococcal Infection, Gonococcal Infection - Disseminated, Congenital Syphilis, Trachoma

Research Sheds Light on How Herpes Virus Invades Cells

Posted 7 Jul 2010 by

WEDNESDAY, July 7 – U.S. scientists believe they are getting closer to understanding how the herpes simplex virus invades cells, potentially providing a target for new drugs to fight the virus, researchers say. The scientists used advanced imaging technologies to learn more about the structure and function of the cell-entry protein complex used by the herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2), which causes genital herpes. Complications of this sexually transmitted disease include recurrent painful genital sores, mental distress and, if transmitted from mother to child, potentially fatal infections in newborns. The new research may "help us answer some of the many questions about how herpes virus initiates infection," first author Tirumala K. Chowdary, a postdoctoral associate at Tufts University School of Medicine, explained in a university news release. "Knowing the structures of cell-entry ... Read more

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Herpes Infects One in Six in U.S.

Posted 10 Mar 2010 by

TUESDAY, March 9 – As many as one in six Americans is infected with herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2), health officials said Tuesday. HSV-2, one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in the United States, is a serious, incurable infection that lasts a lifetime, causing recurrent and painful genital sores, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Preventing STDs is a public health challenge that we, as a nation, cannot afford to ignore," Dr. Kevin Fenton, director of the CDC's National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention, said Tuesday during a news conference. The CDC estimates that 19 million new STD infections occur every year in the United States, almost half of them among young people, Fenton added. "Young women, African Americans, and gay and bisexual men are especially hard hit," he said. "It is unacceptable ... Read more

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Genital Herpes May Never Go Dormant

Posted 1 Dec 2009 by

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 18 – Herpes, the sexually transmitted disease that causes genital lesions, never truly goes into a dormant state, new research suggests. As a matter of fact, even when it's not causing an outbreak, the virus is shedding tiny bits of itself in the genital tract. While the study did not specifically address whether or not the very small amounts of virus being continually shed are enough to infect someone else, the findings have the potential to change the way in which scientists view the life cycle of the disease. The herpes virus is believed to hide out in the neurons around the spine during latent periods, then periodically travel down neurons that end in the genital tract, where it infects the skin cells, causing a lesion. The accepted view is that the virus was largely inactive during latent periods, said study author Dr. Joshua Schiffer, a senior fellow at the ... Read more

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Health Tip: Soothing Herpes Pain

Posted 17 Apr 2009 by

-- Herpes blisters are caused by various viruses, and may occur inside the mouth, throughout the body or near the genitals. The American Academy of Family Physicians offers these suggestions to help soothe herpes blisters and sores: Take an over-the-counter pain reliever such as aspirin, ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Apply a damp, cool or slightly warm cloth on the sores. Take a lukewarm bath. Keep affected areas clean and dry. Wear cotton underwear and loose-fitting clothing. Read more

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Treatment Target for Herpes Pinpointed

Posted 27 Mar 2009 by

FRIDAY, March 27 – Researchers have identified a potential new target in the ongoing quest for a treatment, and possibly a cure, for the herpes virus. A viral protein known as VP16 is apparently responsible for pushing herpes out of its latent state and back into an active infectious state. Experts estimate that 70 percent to 90 percent of people worldwide carry the herpes virus, although not all show symptoms. "It's a huge, huge epidemic," said study author Nancy Sawtell, a researcher in the division of infectious diseases at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. Her report appears in the March 26 issue of PLoS Pathogens. Herpes is transmitted by close person-to-person contact, often through the mouth or genitals. This study looks specifically at herpes simplex 1, which can cause cold sores and genital lesions. The virus can also cause stromal keritis, the leading cause of ... Read more

Related support groups: Herpes Simplex, Herpes Simplex Labialis

In Time, Cream Might Prevent Herpes Transmission

Posted 21 Jan 2009 by

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 21 – A topical treatment that disables genes that play a key role in the transmission of the herpes virus has been developed by U.S. researchers. The treatment uses RNA interference (RNAi) to fight the virus in two ways: by disabling its ability to replicate and by blocking the host cell's ability to take up the virus. In mice, the treatment is effective when used from one week before to a few hours after exposure to the herpes virus. "As far as we could tell, the treatment caused no adverse effects, such as inflammation or any kind of autoimmune response," Judy Lieberman, a professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and a senior investigator at the Immune Disease Institute, said in a Harvard news release. In addition, there was no indication that the treatment interfered with normal cellular function. The research was published in the Jan. 22 issue of the ... Read more

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Herpes Simplex - Suppression, Herpes Simplex Labialis, Cold sores, Herpes Simplex, Mucocutaneous/Immunocompetent Host, Herpes Simplex, Mucocutaneous/Immunocompromised Host, Herpes Simplex - Prophylaxis, Herpes Simplex Otitis Externa, Sexually Transmitted Diseases

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