Herpes Prevention: Is a Vaccine on the Horizon?

There are many methods available to prevent herpes. These range from the simplest (protected sex) to the more complex (pharmaceutical intervention). Even with all of the safeguards in place, however, herpes still has a chance of making its way into your body through contact with an infected person. All of that may soon change.

Vaccines and Disease

Vaccines are powerful tools in the arsenal of modern medical personnel. Vaccines function as an immune informant, providing your body with a dead or severely impaired version of a virus in order to prompt an immune response and familiarize your body with the type of response required to fight off a particular disease. Although they started with a small number of illnesses, vaccines continue to grow and ward off countless ailments, saving the lives and sanity of countless people.

STIs have long been discussed as possible candidates for vaccines, but most measures taken to avoid these illnesses still center largely on protection and medication. As medical advances continue, however, vaccines are moving closer and closer to STIs, including the herpes virus.

Herpes and Public Health

Because the incidence of herpes continues to climb and has a hand in determining the likelihood of contracting and passing on HIV, the push to fight against the continuing onslaught of herpes is high. Happily, one vaccine has risen to the forefront in animal testing, and has demonstrated a unique and effective approach to warding off herpes in those who are not infected and improving the health of those who are.

The Herpes Vaccine

The herpes vaccine is unique, in that it not does not merely prompt an immune response. Instead, it prompts an immune response while tearing down the most common safeguards set forth by the virus, creating an extremely potent form of protection against the disease.

While human trials are not yet complete, and the vaccine is not on the market for common use, its efficacy rate in animals has many scientists and researchers excited for the future of vaccine manufacturing and the eventual eradication and prevention of the herpes virus.