When one of the two strains of the sexually transmitted virus enters the body through genital tissue, it travels to neurons near the spine that the body's defenses have learned not to kill, even when infected, because they don't regenerate easily. Hidden herpes viruses are disabled by an injection that tracks infected nerve cells and induces them to produce special enzymes that cut genes, which work like molecular scissors, to cut viral genes in specific locations. Much of the team's meticulous work over the past five years has been to find better ways to attack groups of infected nerve cells and to thwart the virus's ability to quickly repair cuts in its genes. Patients who are infected with both herpes and HIV may also have a higher concentration of HIV virus in their body due to the interaction between the herpes virus and the HIV virus.
The natural history of varicella zoster infection is similar to genital herpes infection, since VZV is also latent in sensory nerve roots. Advances in herpes cure research over the past five years are largely due to a series of improvements in gene-editing tools. It will still be a long time before these experiments lead to the first human trials of gene therapy to cure herpes. Herpes medications may not work as well in patients who are very immunosuppressed and have been treated with these medications for a long time.
Neonatal herpes is when a pregnant person transmits the infection to the fetus before, during, or immediately after delivery. Medications have come a long way in helping to suppress herpes and it is possible that it can be cured in the future. A new drug called pritelivir is currently undergoing clinical trials as a treatment for herpes symptoms. That's why it's extremely important not to kiss or have sex with anyone when there are herpes sores.
A large study showed that if one partner has herpes and the other is not infected, treating the infected partner with suppressive therapy can prevent the transmission of symptomatic herpes in more than 90% of cases. Although lesions may be caused by something other than herpes, false-negative herpes tests can occur if the samples are not taken properly, if there is a long time of transportation between the clinic and the laboratory, or if the cultures were done at the end of the evolution of the lesions. Many new herpes infections occur by couples who transmit the virus asymptomatically, so condoms are strongly recommended. If you have blisters in your genital area, your doctor may request a test to determine if you have genital herpes.
Many people don't realize they have genital herpes until a blood test reveals that they have antibodies to the virus. 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.