Herpes Can Be Devastating but Therapy and Testing Continue being Scant

Herpes is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in the United States, yet few people know much about it and testing and treatment options remain scant. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 1.3 million Americans are infected with the herpes simplex virus (HSV) every year, yet only about 10 percent of those infected are even aware that they have it. As such, herpes remains a largely invisible and underrated threat, one that can have devastating physical, psychological and social effects.

Herpes viruses are categorized into two types. HSV-1 is usually associated with oral herpes and HSV-2 is usually associated with genital herpes. Symptoms of infection can range from mild (tingling, itching, or burning on the infected site) to severe sores, blisters and lesions. In addition, the virus is known to have high levels of recurrence, with some people’s outbreaks becoming almost chronic.

Unfortunately, the issue isn’t being taken as seriously as it should be. With the emergence of other high-profile STDs such as HIV or chlamydia, the stigma associated with herpes has prevented many from getting tested or seeking treatment. This has led to an increase in cases in recent years.

Testings also remain scarce, with screening for HSV often limited to individuals with visible symptoms. A better option would be to offer testing for at-risk individuals. Additionally, there are still barriers for many in accessing effective treatment options. Currently, there is no cure for HSV, but antiviral drugs can be used to reduce the severity and frequency of outbreaks.

Herpes can be a devastating disease, one that can take a heavy psychological and physical toll. It is important that we start to take this condition more seriously, with more resources devoted to testing and treatment. As we continue to learn more about the virus, we must continue to strive to develop better therapies so that all patients have access to the best care possible. [ad_1]

Some men have told her, flat-out, that they would never ever date a person with herpes, but what bothers her, far too, are the ones who say, “I’m so sorry this took place to you.”

“I never want people today to really feel sorry for me,” she said. “I wake up each individual day and I’m high-quality.”

Scientists have labored on herpes vaccines in suits and starts considering the fact that the 1970s, reported Dr. Harvey Friedman, a professor of drugs at the College of Pennsylvania Perelman Faculty of Medicine who has studied the disorder for over 40 a long time. But earlier tries have failed, for motives researchers are nonetheless making an attempt to uncover.

Mainly because herpes has been around for so extensive, the viruses have evolved together with us, generating them much more difficult to eradicate, reported Christine Johnston, an affiliate professor at the University of Washington School of Drugs who has analyzed herpes.

There are new vaccines under enhancement. Dr. Friedman is doing the job with BioNTech on an HSV-2 vaccine prospect that was presented to the initially human matter in December. But none are in late-phase medical trials, mentioned Dr. Ina Park, a professor of relatives and community drugs at the College of California, San Francisco, and author of “Strange Bedfellows: Adventures in the Science, Heritage, and Surprising Tricks of S.T.D.s.” “There’s nothing anyplace close to key time,” she reported.

When Ella Dawson, 30, contracted genital HSV-1 in university, she started to put up brazenly about her analysis on social media. To her shock, men and women came out of the woodwork to share their stories — buddies, family members, even a cashier who worked at the grocery retail store on campus. Quite a few instructed her that they experienced by no means disclosed their diagnosis to everyone other than a sexual companion.


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