Herpes is a virus that can stay with you for life, and there is currently no cure or preventive treatment available. However, there are ways to manage the symptoms and control the infection. Pharmaceutical companies are working hard to discover a cure, but the research process is lengthy and expensive. In the meantime, antiviral medications such as acyclovir, valacyclovir, and famciclovir can be used to treat genital herpes and reduce the risk of reactivation.
A recent study found that valacyclovir is effective in treating oral herpes with a one-day treatment of 2 grams at the first sign of cold sores and then again about 12 hours later. Advances in herpes cure research over the past five years are largely due to a series of improvements in gene-editing tools. Keith Jerome began to explore the idea that lifelong herpes virus infections could be cured by using gene therapy tools to cut DNA. Jerome estimates that there are at least three years to go before these experiments lead to the first human trials of gene therapy to cure herpes.
Although there is no cure for herpes yet, there are many ways to treat symptoms and control the infection. You can take medicines that make outbreaks shorter and less painful, and that can help prevent future outbreaks. Suppressive therapy with antiviral medications such as acyclovir, valacyclovir, and famciclovir can reduce the risk of reactivation of unrecognized herpes and stop recognized outbreaks. It will still be a long time before we see a herpes cure, but there is hope for a vaccine on the horizon.
Pharmaceutical companies are eager to discover a cure for herpes, but first they must overcome an extremely lengthy and expensive research process. Until then, you can continue to use current treatments to control outbreaks.