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Herpes Vaccine: Valid or Totally Bogus?

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In my short time on this site I have already come to value greatly everyones opinion.


Looks real - but so much Bogus. :-(


Efficacy of the anti-VZV (anti-HSV3) vaccine in HSV1 and HSV2 recurrent herpes simplex disease: a prospective study


Thanks Ra

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I don't think there's too much bogus information on the site, Ra. This is herpes, and it doesn't get any more real than what you'll find here. We are all bonifide students and experts in how to live with, cope with, and treat herpes simplex infection. Like Patch Adams would say, "Here, we are all doctors. We are all healers."


Herpes vaccines are definitely on the horizon. There are about 6 right now that are in various stages of development. Some have some real promise. Some have some real science behind them. Some are medical theories that are being tested.


But, the sad reality is that the vaccines are years away. For now, we are the vaccine. We are the medicine. We are the healing. Regardless of when or if a vaccine materializes (we all hope it does), we have to accept this for what it is; a skin condition that changed our lives.

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Hey Ra!


I posted a similar thread asking this question (about the same study) some time ago, but no one responded so I deleted it after a while.


The link to the study is:



I too was extremely baffled as to why I hadn't heard of this before - a vaccine alread on the market that could prevent outbreaks?!


I dunno, it's worth a shot I suppose - but, I also asked the question on Dr. Bill Halford's blog and he said he's heard of at least 4 people who have gotten it without any results.


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Hi Sun,


Yes - surprised too there isn't more discussion.

Looking at the blogs and the paper itself - seems that the so called cure takes five years?

One big question - after the five year mark - is the virus still alive and capable of be spread?

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It's not a cure by any means - from what I understand after reading this study is that it is just *possible* that it *might* alleviate symptoms in *some* people.


& yes, with this vaccine (as with any potential therapeutic vaccine) there will ALWAYS be the possibility of the virus being spread


Cheers & your daily dose of ... sunshine? :)

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I read the official study and although they appeared not to have outbreaks post 5 years, viral shedding was not examined. Also there was a control group but they were not given a placebo which is important for validating the results. Half of the individuals "cured" didn't bother to come back in to have titers done in the following years. Lastly, the key in diminishing outbreaks and shedding is an increased immune response (which means more antibodies) and there was no significant difference between the controls and the vaccinated.


I don't mean to be down but I believe the reason this study hasn't gone anywhere is because the methods aren't quite what would be expected of a phase I drug trial. I've read several places on here people upset that there's nothing being done sooner but drug development isn't an easy task. Only within the last couple of years have treatments for hepatitis C come out and there seems not to be a vaccination in sight. It would be easy to assume that a vaccine for C would be easy to come up with since we have some for A and B. Luckily, hepatitis C isn't something that you come by too easily unless your sharing injected drugs.


I don't want people to be holding out on a end all cure for herpes. Fortunately, it's not a life threatening condition but what that also means is that it isn't on the forefront of things that need to be accomplished soon.

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Hi CR,


Thanks for your input. Said from the start, I really respect the people opinions on this site. I am skeptical by nature and was dubious of this report. (The fact that checking for viral shedding wasn't done - is to me red flag.) But that said, might see about trying if my symptoms get and stay bad. :-(


Thanks - Ra

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Speaking from a pharmaceutical research professional aspect (work on various phases of clinical trials including HIV vaccines, as well as developing the test needed to for drugs to pass FDA approval) my personal opinion is in line with @CR_19.


"it's not a life threatening condition but what that also means is that it isn't on the forefront of things that need to be accomplished soon"


I don't believe herpes is high on the pharmaceutical totem pole for that very reason. The big wigs in pharma are all about big bucks. Returns on investments (it is a business after all). Everyday I see protocols coming in, not for innovators, but for biosimiliars. That means companies are making their own version of drugs based on previously approved drugs whose manufacturer patents have expired. Even those have to go through the trials to be approved by the FDA which can cost millions but they now it will sell b/c it's other versions are already on the market.


Now think of how much it cost to make a drug from scratch with very little insight of how it will fair through the trial, through FDA, and then on the market. I'm sure development of herpes vaccines/cures are taking place in several academic labs around the world. But at some point it's going to need the backing of the gov and/or pharma companies to get it anywhere near phase 3 studies.


Unfortunately for us, I don't think herpes is a big enough "issue" to fully grasp their attention and to spend as much time and money as other disease like HIV, cancer, etc. Maybe eventually... Just my opinion.

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Hi lotus


Wow - someone in the know of how the system works - or doesn't work. :-(


Yes - herpes won't kill you - it just makes you sometimes wish your were dead. :-(


The worst part getting wonderful disease now is (if you believe what Dr Bill Halford has written) - there should have been a vaccine years ago. :-(



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Well, here's the thing. Just because it didn't measure viral shedding doesn't mean it was a flawed study. It just means that wasn't something they were interested in including within the parameters of the study. Is it a lapse/oversight they should have included? Well, it would have been nice, but that doesn't make the study flawed.


That said, I agree with a lot of what CR19 and Lotus said. There are some definite flaws in the way the study was conducted and tracked. But, I also add in the optimist approach that says what could it hurt? In fact, as someone who had shingles just a few years ago, the thought of getting a booster vaccine doesn't seem like a bad idea. I certainly haven't seen anything that would suggest a real risk of harm from doing so, but if anyone wants to correct me in that train of thinking, know that I hate needles and am all ears.


As far as studies, money, and research, well, I'm pinning my hopes right now on Fraser out in Australia. Gardasil isn't perfect, but he did manage to do something that no one else had done before. His Herpes vaccine is going into phase iii right now and it's had some good results in I and II. And, as much as I know big pharma likes money, Fraser wants to be the Jonas Salk of our time, even if it isn't a life threatening disease like Polio, it's a disease that affects millions adversely and he's aiming for a place in the history books, not a financial windfall. Plus, he's got an ego and I don't think he'd be promoting it the way he is if there wasn't some serious merit to his findings. That's just my opinion though.


And, let's be honest, a lot of the money that's being funneled into HIV research is yielding insights into things that are needed for HSV research. Things like how to reactivate latent viruses hiding out in the nervous system and not circulating in the blood stream, how to break down the molecular envelopes that protect them, and how to trick them into attacking cells that will kill them. These are all problems HSV vaccine researchers have been struggling with. Also, over the past few years, the scientists/researchers and drug companies have finally come to realize that some of the drugs they have, some of the strategies they're using can be cross applied to other conditions. That's why they looked at the anti-varicella zoster in regard to HSV.

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My mistake, he's going into II, you're right. It's late, no sleep, too many different things on my mind.


Also, let's not discount ASP2151 or Pritelivir. While not cures, are potential game changers towards a cure. I know part of these trials is to determine if once weekly dosage of something like 400mg would be as effective as daily dosage with Acylovir for reducing shedding. And, unlike the others on the market now, I know they're claiming ASP2151 can reduce the OB to a single day when they occur.


Pritelivir was showing really good results, then the FDA paused it because of toxicity concerns at 20 times dosage. They were worried it could build up in the liver and kidneys, cause rashes, etc. That was last May, then there was no news whatsoever. Just a few days ago this release came out so share it with anyone who was curious as to what was going on there because there really wasn't much information until just this week.





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It's not a cure by any means - from what I understand after reading this study is that it is just *possible* that it *might* alleviate symptoms in *some* people.


IF a vaccine comes about, it MUST have a high percentage success rate, or you will have a bunch of people out there believing they are now "safe" doing the horizontal mambo and very possibly passing Herpes faster than rats during the plague. *Might* isn't good enough.


Someone complained about why we don't have the vaccine...well, we may well have if HIV didn't come along. There was a lot of talk about vaccines until HIV came along... once that hit the fan, herpes became the Red Headed Step Child. And as mentioned, there are a LOT of other conditions that are much worse that get most of the funding.


I'm not holding my breath for a cure. I'd rather have better testing AND have everyone tested at their exams first. Educate and inform, and with luck the numbers would drop simply because people could talk openly about it and would be more likely to have "the talk" before sex complete with a swap of each person's STD test results.

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Also we don't have a vaccine yet because scientists have been busy testing the same type of subunit vaccines for the last several years even though they have been proven repeatedly to be ineffective.


This excerpt taken from Dr. Halford's blog:


"...a therapeutic HSV-2 vaccine is a high bar to clear, but a prophylactic HSV-2 vaccine should be much easier once we quit wasting our time on Herpevac, GEN-003, HerpV and all the other failed HSV-2 vaccine approaches that promise 100% protection against HSV-2 by immunizing with 1% of HSV-2′s antigens. As soon as scientists in my field wake up to the simple truth that (1) the past HSV-2 vaccines that failed were lame ideas from the word go and (2) the solution to the genital herpes problem is as plain as day…..a live-attenuated HSV-2 vaccine. Once scientists put on their big boy pants (i.e., admit the error in logic that has held us back for 30 years), then the scenario that HSV-2 discordant couples face will be a non-issue.

Any live HSV-2 vaccine that would work as a therapeutic HSV-2 vaccine that reduces or eliminates the symptoms of genital herpes in someone already infected with HSV-2 (i.e., the hard task), then a lower dose of THE EXACT SAME VACCINE should certainly work quite easily as a preventative vaccine."


So sounds like HSV2 is absolutely vaccine-preventable, although likely not completely vaccine-curable (but, a reduction/elimination in symptoms and a way to prevent it from being passed along would basically be the same).


That being said, frustrating as it is - it won't be today or tomorrow, & most likely won't be for at least another 6 years as we all know.


So 'til then/possibly forever ... you decide what your successes are (not some dipshit virus)


Peace, blessings & love :)

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I want to apologize if I have upset anyone with my questions and comments - not my intention at all. I have just started the same dark tunnel that many you have been traveling for years and holding out some little hope that there might be an end.



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You haven't upset anyone, Ra. It's an interesting discussion and we're all interested in HSV1 & 2 research. Trust us, we all look into it from time to time.


That said, you need to get out of the dark tunnel and focus on your marriage and your relationship with your wife. Again, Dancer's suggestion that you and your spouse head into marriage counseling is still the cure that you need to be focused on, and there isn't a pill anywhere in the world that can help with that.

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I'm certainly not upset... it's a valid question. But after living with it for 35 years, well, I have bigger worries in my life for *myself* ... and I'd rather educate and if the vaccine comes along, great. I've just seen too many false hopes go out the tubes over the years. So I have redirected my energies to something I think I can actually contribute to so I can help others ;)


And funny - I read this on my phone and just got to my computer to reply and Herry LITERALLY took the words out of my keyboard....


The way out of your dark tunnel is through counseling and self growth and contemplation. A cure in 5-10 years won't change your situation right now. Yes, keep an eye on the research...but live in TODAY. Grasping at something that we really have no control over will just leave you frustrated AND it keeps you in that dark tunnel.



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