Scientists are currently studying possible vaccines in their search for a cure for herpes. This is despite eight decades of effort to develop a vaccine. It will still be a long time before these experiments lead to the first human trials of gene therapy to cure herpes. Jerome estimates that there are at least three years to go.
Like the common cold, herpes is a widespread disease with no cure. People infected with the herpes virus are infected for life. They have no choice but to manage outbreaks when they occur and expect less frequent outbreaks to occur in the future. There is no cure for genital herpes.
However, daily use of antiviral medications can prevent or shorten outbreaks. Antiviral medicines can also reduce your chance of infecting it to others. Pharmaceutical companies are eager to discover a cure for herpes, but first they must overcome an extremely lengthy and expensive research process. The first results suggest that there is hope for a vaccine, but as with the CRISPR cure for herpes, the final results are still years away.
Advances in herpes cure research over the past five years are largely due to a series of improvements in gene-editing tools. According to the World Health Organization, two-thirds of the world's population under 50 are carriers of the herpes simplex virus type 1, or HSV-1, which mainly causes cold sores, while 491 million people between the ages of 15 and 49 are infected with the closely related HSV-2, which is the cause of sexually transmitted genital herpes. Until the herpes cure becomes a reality, you can continue to use current herpes treatments to control outbreaks. Keith Jerome began to explore the idea that lifelong herpes virus infections could be cured by using gene therapy tools to cut DNA.