I know this all sounds like a bummer, but it's the truth, at least for the foreseeable future, in spite of lots and lots of web sites that claim to have a magical "cure". Those sites exist to make money. Our sites exist to help people deal with the not-so-dreadful reality of living with herpes along with about a quarter of the adult population who have genital herpes. Yes, we can talk about oral herpes, too, more commonly known as cold sores or fever blisters. Almost all the adult population has that virus eventually, whether they know it or not.

 So what's the deal and why isn't there a cure? The problem with the idea of a "herpes cure"  is that the herpes virus is not a separate biological entity like a bacteria that can be targeted and killed. It is a little snippet of DNA that becomes part of the infected cell's DNA. "Killing" the virus involves killing the cell. Since the virus very effectively hides from the immune system inside the cell, there's not a good way at this time to kill only the affected cell without harming other similar uninfected cells. Further, the infected cells are still functioning nerve cells and I'm not much in favor of killing off otherwise perfectly good nerve cells.

There's been some talk lately about somehow coaxing the virus out of the cell by triggering viral replication and then "killing" the virus with antiviral drugs. Sorry, but it doesn't work that way. The original copy of the viral DNA never comes out. It replicates inside the cell and sends those copies out.

Alright then, so  what do we do about herpes? The very best treatments that we have today fall into two basic categories. One is the Nobel Prize winning antiviral drugs which act to interfere with re-activation of the virus which results in outbreaks and viral shedding. The other is enabling our immune system to effectively keep the virus under control so we're not bothered by it.

Immune enhancement, in my opinion, is best achieved by eating well, getting enough rest, exercise in moderation and active de-stressing. Yes, there are products on the market billed as immune enhancing "supplements", but they are less well evaluated for safety and efficacy than pharmaceuticals, so it's somewhat a caveat emptor situation with regard to potential side effects.

Another potential way to enhance the immune system's potential for keeping herpes under control is through the use of vaccines. To date, an effective general purpose herpes vaccine for either type 1 or 2 has not been produced.

Don't take our word for it, though, here's an article from About.Com that covers the same subject.

The other aspect of herpes is the emotional turmoil that it causes in many people, largely because of the very unfair stigma that goes with it. My suggestion is to go get acquainted with the online community of people just like you that you'll find at the Original Herpes Home Page. We've got information pages, support forums and a chat room so come on over.

Click here to enter The Original Herpes Home Page

To go directly to the HHP discussion forums, click here.

We also recommend reading the Free Herpes Handbook from the Westover Heights Clinic

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