What is Herpes?
erpes is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). It is one of the most common STDs in the world, and it is estimated that approximately one in eight people have been infected by the virus. Around 80% of those infected don’t even know they have the virus. It is impossible to know exactly how many people have the virus, since many cases are asymptomatic or never diagnosed.
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What Causes Herpes?
Herpes is caused by two different viruses: HSV1 and HSV2. HSV1 usually causes sores around the mouth, while HSV2 causes genital herpes.
The infection is spread by skin-to-skin contact, and it can be transmitted through oral, vaginal, and anal sex, and kissing. It can also be spread through contact with lesions from other areas of the body. The virus goes into the body through small lesions in the skin, or through the mucosae in the mouth, penis, vagina, cervix, or anus.
After the infection, the patient might develop unspecific symptoms such as fever, fatigue, nausea, myalgia, adenopathy, along with the characteristic sores. Sores are small blisters which can sting or burn. They are usually grouped in clusters and they become crusted before healing. They don’t leave scars and resolve spontaneously. In some cases, patients won’t develop sores, instead displaying only irritated skin. Women can also present with vaginal discharge. Some people can be infected and remain asymptomatic; however, they can still spread the virus to other people.
After the first episode, the virus can become latent and remain in sensory nerves. This is known as the latent stage; afterwards, the virus can affect the skin again, usually along the pathway of the nerve where it has remained. These are the recurring episodes of the virus.
Fortunately, outbreaks tend to become less frequent and painful over time.
Risk factors for acquiring the infection include:
- Multiple sex partners
- Previous STDs
- Female gender
- Having unprotected sex
- Early age during first sexual intercourse
How is Herpes Diagnosed?
A sample will be taken from a sore and tested to determine whether HSV is present in the lesion, thus confirming the diagnosis. However, a negative result does not rule out herpes. Samples should be taken from new ulcers, where it is more likely to find the virus.
Blood tests are also carried out to determine the presence of antibodies against HSV. This test can determine if the infection is new or a repeat outbreak. It is usually very difficult, if not impossible, to point to the exact moment a person was infected with the virus. If herpes is diagnosed, tests should be carried out to discard other STDs, since they can exist as comorbidities.
Herpes Cure Information
There isn’t a cure for herpes, and although the sores heal in days or weeks, the virus never leaves the body. However, some medications can help make the outbreak pass faster.
NSAIDs such as paracetamol can be taken to reduce the discomfort during an outbreak. Ice packs, salt baths, and local anesthetic creams can also be applied.
- Penciclovir: only available for topical application
The dosage and length of treatment with these medications will depend on the location and chronicity of the lesions. Immunocompromised patients can develop life-threatening infections due to HSV (such as encephalitis or pneumonitis), and in these cases, acyclovir is often used in high doses. If acyclovir-resistant HSV is encountered, it is usually treated with cidofovir and foscarnet; however, these drugs can cause kidney toxicity. Prophylactic treatment can also be administered with antiviral drugs to prevent or shorten future outbreaks.
Herpes Clinical Trials
Match to Herpes Clinical Trials
- Access to cutting-edge treatments
- Latest clinical trials
- Find trials in your area
Clinical trials are carried out before a new drug or treatment is released to the public to test its efficacy and safety. They are led by a team comprised of researchers, doctors, nurses, and other healthcare personnel. Participation in these trials is entirely voluntary, and patients can leave the trial at any point if they wish to do so. Joining a clinical trial allows patients to gain more control over their treatment, and to be treated by experts in the field.
Herpes clinical trials are carried out to test new treatments that could possibly cure the disease, and to create and test vaccines to prevent infection. If you are interested in joining a clinical trial, ask your doctor about any trials open in your area, or contact hospitals and/or universities to find out about clinical trials available for you.
ClinicalTrials.gov: Recruiting Studies | Herpes | Last update posted in the last 300 days Studies found on ClinicalTrials.gov by a search of: Recruiting Studies | Herpes | Last update posted in the last 300 days
- Bronchoscopic Score for Prediction of Herpes Simplex-virus Type 1 (HSV-1) Reactivationon April 15, 2022 at 4:00 pm
Conditions: Tracheobronchitis; Herpes Simplex InfectionIntervention: Diagnostic Test: Patients with herpes-simplex infection requiring bronchoscopySponsor: University Hospital MuensterRecruiting
- Safety and Immunogenicity of CRV-101 Vaccine for the Prevention of Herpes Zoster in Adults Aged 50 Years and Olderon March 31, 2022 at 4:00 pm
Conditions: Herpes Zoster; ShinglesInterventions: Biological: CRV-101 Vaccine Antigen High Dose; Biological: CRV-101 Vaccine Antigen Low Dose; Biological: ShingrixSponsors: Curevo Inc; Mogam Biotechnology Research Institute; Green Cross CorporationRecruiting
- Study of Posoleucel (ALVR105, Formerly Viralym-M) for Multi-Virus Prevention in Patients Post-Allogeneic Hematopoietic Cell Transplanton March 31, 2022 at 4:00 pm
Conditions: Adenovirus Infection; BK Virus Infection; Cytomegalovirus Infections; Epstein-Barr Virus Infections; Human Herpes Virus-6 Infection; JC Virus InfectionInterventions: Biological: Posoleucel (ALVR105); Biological: PlaceboSponsor: AlloVirRecruiting
- A Study on the Reactogenicity, Safety, Immune Response, and Efficacy of a Vaccine Against HSV-2 in Healthy Participants Aged 18-40 Years or in Participants Aged 18-60 Years With Recurrent HSV-2 Genital Herpeson March 28, 2022 at 4:00 pm
Condition: Herpes SimplexInterventions: Biological: Non-adjuvanted HSV formulation 1; Biological: Non-adjuvanted HSV formulation 2; Biological: Non-adjuvanted HSV formulation 3; Biological: HSV formulation 1 with adjuvant 1; Biological: HSV formulation 2 with adjuvant 1; Biological: HSV formulation 3 with adjuvant 1; Biological: HSV formulation 1 with adjuvant 2; Biological: HSV formulation 2 with adjuvant 2; Biological: HSV formulation 3 with adjuvant 2; Drug: Placebo; Biological: Selected formulationSponsor: GlaxoSmithKlineRecruiting
- Trial to Evaluate the Safety, Tolerability, and Immunogenicity of an Investigational Herpes Zoster Vaccine (Z-1018) Compared to Shingrix® in Healthy Adult Volunteerson February 18, 2022 at 5:00 pm
Conditions: Shingles; Herpes Zoster; Vaccine-Preventable DiseasesInterventions: Biological: Z-1018; Biological: ShingrixSponsor: Dynavax Technologies CorporationRecruiting
- HIV Indicator Diseases in Hospital and Primary Careon February 4, 2022 at 5:00 pm
Conditions: HIV Infections; Primary Health Care; Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome; Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Viral; Herpes Zoster; Dermatitis, Seborrheic; Pneumonia; Infectious Mononucleosis; Psoriasis; Candida Infection; Lymphadenopathy; Uterine Cervical Dysplasia; Weight Loss; Diarrhea Chronic; Leukopenia; Thrombocytopenia; AIDS Defining Illness; HIV Indicator ConditionInterventions: Behavioral: Peer to peer feedback; Diagnostic Test: HIV rapid testSponsors: Erasmus Medical Center; Huisartspraktijk Gezondheidscentrum Mathenesserlaan; TU Delft department of Artificial Intelligence and MyTomorrows; Huisartsen Groep Rotterdam; AwareHIV Project Group; Huisartspraktijk Handellaan; Huisartspraktijk Leerdam; Huisartspraktijk Capelle ad IJssel; Leiden University Medical Center; Maasstadziekenhuis; Rijnstate Hospital; Medical Center HaaglandenRecruiting
- A Study on the Immune Response and Safety of a Vaccine Against Herpes Zoster in Adults Aged 50 Years and Older in Indiaon February 2, 2022 at 5:00 pm
Condition: Herpes ZosterInterventions: Biological: HZ/su; Drug: PlaceboSponsor: GlaxoSmithKlineRecruiting
- A Study to Compare Sitavig (Acyclovir) Buccal Tablet With a Placebo in the Treatment of Herpes Labialis in Participants Whose Immune System Works Normallyon October 28, 2021 at 4:00 pm
Condition: Recurrent Herpes LabialisInterventions: Drug: Acyclovir 50mg buccal tablet, BAYM008894/UI1614773; Drug: PlaceboSponsor: BayerRecruiting
- Age Differences in Influenza and Herpes Zoster Vaccine Responses (INFLUENZA-SHINGRIX)on October 19, 2021 at 4:00 pm
Conditions: Influenza; Herpes ZosterInterventions: Biological: Herpes zoster vaccination (Shingrix, GSK); Biological: Influenza Vaccine (Fluarix Tetra Northern Hemisphere 2021 or 2022, GSK); Biological: PlaceboSponsors: Radboud University Medical Center; GlaxoSmithKlineRecruiting
- Safety and Immunogenicity of Live Attenuated Varicella Vaccine in Healthy Population Aged ≥13 Years Oldon August 20, 2021 at 4:00 pm
Condition: VaricellaInterventions: Biological: Live attenuated varicella vaccines manufactured by Sinovac (Dalian) Vaccine Technology Co., Ltd; Biological: Live attenuated varicella vaccines manufactured by Changchun BCHT Biotechnology Co.,Ltd; Biological: PlaceboSponsor: Sinovac (Dalian) Vaccine Technology Co., Ltd.Recruiting
- Valacyclovir for Mild Cognitive Impairmenton January 14, 2021 at 5:00 pm
Conditions: Mild Cognitive Impairment; Herpes Simplex 1; Herpes Simplex 2Interventions: Drug: Valacyclovir hydrochloride 500mg caplet; Drug: Placebo sugar pill capletSponsors: New York State Psychiatric Institute; Alzheimer's AssociationRecruiting
- OH2 Oncolytic Viral Therapy in Pancreatic Canceron November 20, 2020 at 5:00 pm
Condition: Pancreatic CancerIntervention: Biological: OH2 injectionSponsor: Wuhan Binhui Biotechnology Co., Ltd.Recruiting
If you have been infected with the herpes simplex virus, make sure to adopt habits that minimize the risk of infecting other people, such as using condoms to prevent infection during intercourse, avoiding having multiple sex partners, avoiding intercourse during an active outbreak. Be honest with your partners about having the virus, and consider contacting previous partners if you aren’t sure where you became infected.
Make sure to discuss all your therapeutic options with your doctor, since the proper treatment can make outbreaks shorter and less painful. Seek professional help if you are having difficulty coping with the diagnosis. It is normal to feel shock, anger and embarrassment after diagnosis; however, it is important to know that although there is a stigma associated with herpes, it is a manageable condition that hardly ever leads to serious complications and you can lead a normal life after being infected.
- Be kind to your partner if they have HSV and don’t make them feel ashamed or stigmatize the disease. Practice safe sex, and ask your doctor about prophylactic treatment to minimize the risk of infection.
- Herpes can’t be spread through contact with personal objects, so there is no danger in sharing objects like towels, sheets, toilets, or going swimming together.
- Avoid intimate contact with your loved one when they have active sores.
- Consider couples counseling to deal with the diagnosis.
- If you are interested, look for clinical trials near me
- Knott, L. (Oct 16th, 2017) Genital Herpes. Recovered from https://patient.info/health/sexually-transmitted-infections-leaflet/genital-herpes
- Genital herpes. 2015. Recovered from https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/genital-herpes