Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Genital Herpes Vaccine Fails

An experimental vaccine designed to protect against herpes simplex virus type-2 (HSV-2) has failed completely in clinical trials, according to a preview of an article in the New England Journal of Medicine this week. The study involved over 8,000 women.


HSV-2, also known as genital herpes, is transmitted via sexual contact. It causes painful blisters that may recur at various times in life after initial infection. Approximately half a million people worldwide currently are infected with genital herpes. At the moment there is no known cure for HSV-2 infection, and no other ongoing effort to find one. Genital herpes is considered to be a rather trivial disease by pharmaceutical companies because although it can cause irritating and painful blisters, it is not particularly dangerous. Given the negative result from this vaccine and several others before it, there may not be much of an effort put into finding a cure in the near future. We may just have to live with genital herpes for a while longer.

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