Can Herpes Be Cured Orally? An Expert's Perspective

There is no cure for the herpes virus, but there are treatments that can reduce the symptoms and infectiousness of the disease. Valaciclovir, a prescription antiviral medication, can treat symptoms and prevent outbreaks of oral and genital herpes. An episode of oral herpes will usually go away on its own within a week or so. Treatment options for herpes symptoms include prescription drugs, over-the-counter (OTC) medications, and home remedies.

It's recommended to avoid sexual and oral contact with someone who is experiencing a herpes outbreak, but it's also important to remember that herpes is transmissible even when it's latent. The most common signs and symptoms of a recurrent oral herpes simplex virus infection are blisters or sores on various parts of the body, including the buttocks. Latent herpes viruses hide in groups of nerve cells called ganglia, and researchers have found that some nodes are harder to reach than others. Several clinical trials have been conducted to investigate vaccines against herpes infection, but there is currently no vaccine available on the market.

The only ways to confirm the diagnosis are through a viral culture (PCR), blood test, or biopsy. People who have open sores due to genital herpes are twice as likely to get HIV compared to people without herpes. A herpes infection can cause outbreaks (periods of symptoms), but there will also be times when you don't have symptoms. Keith Jerome began to explore the idea that lifelong herpes virus infections could be cured by using gene therapy tools to cut DNA.

It's important to tell your doctor if you're pregnant and develop herpes, because the virus can spread to your baby during vaginal delivery. In this case, an antibiotic will treat the bacterial infection and may make those symptoms go away, but the herpes virus will stay in the body. Experts suggest that even if antiviral drugs destroy the active parts of the infection, only a small amount of the virus is needed to hide in nerve cells and remain inactive so that the herpes virus continues to persist in the body.