Herpes Vaccine Research Blog

Halford Formal Photo

WHO AM I?

My name is Bill Halford and I am an Associate Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine in Springfield, Illinois.  I have studied herpes simplex virus (HSV) biology since 1991, and I became interested in trying to develop a safe and effective HSV-2 vaccine in 2006.  There are at least 100 individuals in the world who are actively pursuing a HSV-2 vaccine, and I am one of these many researchers.  In this blog, I will try to cut through the nomenclature and statistics and explain in relatively straightforward terms what we know about HSV-2 vaccines and what we need to do next to advance a safe and effective HSV-2 vaccine to human clinical trials.

 

DISCLAIMER

The author of this website, Bill Halford, is an employee of the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine in Springfield, Illinois.  The viewpoints expressed on this website are solely that of the author, and should not be construed as an official statement of the policies, procedures, or opinions of Southern Illinois University, the School of Medicine, or any of the academic departments contained therein.

 

BACKGROUND ON HSV-2 INFECTIONS AND GENITAL HERPES

Genital herpes caused by herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) remains a huge medical and public health problem.  About 540 million people between the ages of 14 and 49 are life-long carriers of the HSV-2 virus.  About 5% of HSV-2 carriers live with genital herpes outbreaks that recur once every 2 to 12 months over the duration of their lives.  Each outbreak can last from 2 to 20 days in duration, and is physically uncomfortable and emotionally distressing.  Antiviral drugs such as acyclovir or valacyclovir (valtrex) reduce, but do not prevent the symptoms of recurrent genital herpes.  Likewise, antiviral drugs have not slowed the spread of HSV-2 infection at all; 10 to 20 million per year continue to acquire new HSV-2 infections from the hundreds of millions of people who already carry HSV-2.

HSV-2 genital herpes has been described as a silent epidemic.  This term is apt, as HSV-2 exists all around us and is carried by friends and family members, but people are reluctant to disclose that they are infected with HSV-2 as there remains a historical stigma associated with this infection.  Many people who have HSV-2 have had one or just a few sexual partners, and many teenagers who acquire HSV-2 have the misfortune of acquiring HSV-2 with their first sexual partner.  Nonetheless, the HSV-2 infection bears a social stigma, and people do not openly discuss their infection status.  Thus, most non-HSV-2 carriers assume that HSV-2 genital herpes is a relatively uncommon condition.  This is dead wrong.  One number helps put the problem into perspective; each of our children has a 1-in-10 chance of contracting a HSV-2 infection before they are married.

Aside from the individual suffering caused by recurrent genital herpes, HSV-2 infections can cause more severe complications such as HSV-2 infections of newborns as they pass through the vagina / birth canal.  The immune system of neonates is not yet developed, and thus HSV-2 infections in newborn babies can be devastating often resulting in death or severe mental / cognitive impairment, as HSV-2 infection can spread to the central nervous system of newborns.

 

THE POTENTIAL UTILITY OF A HSV-2 VACCINE

Effective vaccines have been responsible for the eradication and/or control of many viral diseases such as smallpox, yellow fever, red measles, mumps, German Measles, hepatitis B, chickenpox, and poliomyelitis.  In principle, there is no reason that a safe and effective HSV-2 vaccine could not be deployed in the human population to prevent HSV-2 genital herpes.

The applications of a safe and effective genital herpes vaccine would be two-fold.

First, an effective HSV-2 vaccine could be given to adolescents or prospective sexual partners of those who already carry the HSV-2 virus.  Exposure to an effective HSV-2 vaccine would bolster the immune system of such individuals such that their bodies were at least 100 times better prepared to repel the real (wild-type) HSV-2 pathogen if they were exposed later in life.  Such a “preventative HSV-2 vaccine” could be used to prevent ~20 million per year from newly acquiring the HSV-2 virus.

Second, an effective HSV-2 vaccine could be given to those who suffer from frequent outbreaks of recurrent genital herpes.  Such a “therapeutic HSV-2 vaccine” could be used to reduce the frequency and duration of genital herpes outbreaks in those ~40 million people worldwide who suffer from this chronic viral disease.  This latter application of a HSV-2 vaccine (i.e., to reduce symptoms in those who already carry the HSV-2 virus) would be more experimental, and less of a sure thing than a preventative HSV-2 vaccine.  Nonetheless, there are several publications dating back to the 1950s that claim such an effect has been obtained by treatment with a variety of vaccine formulations including inactivated-preparations of HSV virion particles.  Therefore, once a safe and effective HSV-2 preventative vaccine is identified, it will be relevant to determine if it has potential  to also serve as a therapeutic HSV-2 vaccine.

 

WHY DO WE STILL LACK AN EFFECTIVE HSV-2 VACCINE?

This is the million-dollar question and the focus of the Herpes Vaccine Research Blog.

I envision posts on this blog serving one of three general purposes, and these will be discussions of:

1.  The science of HSV-2 vaccines

2.  Moving a safe and effective live-attenuated HSV-2 vaccine into human trials

What I hope to make clear through the development of this blog is that a safe and effective HSV-2 vaccine lies within our grasp, but what we lack is a critical mass of support to advance such a HSV-2 vaccine to human clinical trials.  The primary barriers to the advancement of an effective HSV-2 vaccine are (1) misinformation and (2) a pre-conceived notion that live-attenuated HSV-2 vaccines should not be investigated or considered for use as a human vaccine.

One of the central purposes of this blog will be to (try to) simply explain why past HSV-2 vaccines have not worked, and define what we need to do differently in the future if we intend to end the needless suffering caused by genital herpes.  Make no mistake…..HSV-2 genital herpes is a vaccine-preventable disease.  However, the field of HSV-2 vaccine research is long overdue for a “course correction.”  I hope that this blog serves as a vehicle to increase the public’s understanding of what we need to do differently in the future if we hope to make HSV-2 genital herpes a disease of the past.

– Bill Halford

497 thoughts on “Herpes Vaccine Research Blog

  1. Johny says:

    The studies are being conducted on the Caribbean islands, is it possible for you to come to South America like Brazil, because I consider my country not so demanding in vaccine studies ?!

    Like

  2. Juliano says:

    I live in Brazil, would you like to know the possibility of us Brazilians having access to vaccina before FDA approval? Is there any way to buy it without going to the Caribbean?

    Thank you for your efforts!

    Like

  3. LK says:

    My condolences to the good Doctor’s family as well. They have suffered mightily.

    My question is regarding the vaccine for HSV-2. Is there a potential for this vaccine to be tweaked? In other words down the road is there a good chance the magic formulation may change? Are the safety tests just for safety or are we also testing for areas of improvement?

    Thank you

    Like

    • Sodon123 says:

      So will the vaccine prevent HSV-2 from being transmitted? My boyfriend is H+ and I am not. Hoping to find a vaccine to prevent me from getting it or a vaccine that “cures” him.

      Thank you!

      Like

  4. Raf says:

    Hello,

    I am terribly sorry about the recent passing of Dr. Halford. I hope all his family and friends find solace soon.

    My question is in regards to the ABVIC. Is there a specific timeline on when the test will be made commercially available to order through the rational vaccines site?

    Like

  5. Sean says:

    I’m really interested in the treatment of double positive HSV 1 and 2. I have both and i’m sure a lot of people have both. Dr. Halford mentioned that this group is harder to treat in a response to Juggalo but did not go into details. Have any patients been treated that are double positive? Did they have a less than optimal effect when treated with Theravax? What are some of the possible solutions for these people. Would being treated with Theravax HSV1 and Theravax HSV2 be necessary. I have daily chronic symptoms of neuralgia and herpectic outbreaks.

    Like

    • Herpes Vaccine Research says:

      I was not involved in the first trial, but saw Bill’s summaries. In his estimates, 7 out of 8 double-positive participants reported significant or partial improvements in their symptoms. So, it looks like there is a benefit to these people to be treated with Theravax. Your suggestion to use both Theravax HSV-1 and -2 is interesting and needs to be tested.

      Like

      • Kv says:

        Dr bill,
        Thanks for your posts it’s almost treated us 25% of disease.
        IS vaccine coming as HSV1 and HSV 2 separately?

        For only HSV 1 how many doses required in how many days?
        Will it available in India at the same time of market release?

        Like

    • James says:

      Will there be a double vaccine test? Could one virus be the dominant causation of outbreaks?

      Will both vaccines be for sale?

      Like

  6. Dr patrik grabianski says:

    when is the vaccine coming out for compassionate sales ? and what other countries are being worked on for it apart from carribean islands

    Like

      • nharbo says:

        When it comes to the caribbeans, will it be possible for people from for instance Europe, to go there and get the vaccine? I saw in an earlier comment, that you said it would be available in a couple of months, does this still seems doable?:)
        Thanks for your effort! I really suffer from this annoying virus – so I’m looking forward to your response! Take care

        Like

      • Philip says:

        My biggest question is, after somebody is given the vaccine for HSV2 will it still be possible to transmit the virus to another person?

        Like

      • Herpes Vaccine Research says:

        Good question and unfortunately at this point we just don’t know. With these questions I personally try to err on the side of caution and assume that even after the vaccination one can shed some virus. Significantly less, but not total 0. In reality, at some point in the future, someone will have to run a study where shedding will be compared in the same group of people pre- and post-vaccination. Once we have such data, we will be able to make a more accurate prediction. Hope it answers your question and sorry I cannot give you a more concrete answer.

        Like

  7. sd633 says:

    Hello,

    So, just to clarify….

    A phase 1 safety trial for Theravax was conducted in 2016 and the vaccine proved to be safe. A new trial is expected to happen at the end of this year and most have assumed it will be a phase 2 trial. However, new articles that have recently surfaced have said that this is *another* safety trial.

    All this new info recently has confused things a bit but from what I’ve read it would suggest that a phase 2 trial will happen (in Mexico) for the hsv2 vaccine and new phase 1 trial will happen (in the Caribbean) for a specific hsv1 vaccine. Is this accurate?

    Also, there has been talk of the vaccine being made available this year. How can this be if it hasn’t gone through the full testing and it is not known how effectively it works yet?

    Like

    • Herpes Vaccine Research says:

      The trial in 2016 was to test the safety of the HSV-2 vaccine. The safety trial planned for this year is to test the safety of the HSV-1 vaccine. We are also looking for partners in several countries (including Mexico) to conduct a more formal phase I trial for the HSV-2 vaccine before proceeding to phase 2. Based on the 2016 Theravax (HSV-2) trial, this vaccine appears to be safe and many of the participants reported improvements in their symptoms. This vaccine may be offered later in the Caribbean. The timeline of these events is not finalized yet. I’ll post more information as it becomes available.

      Like

  8. Tony says:

    Dr Halford I will name my first child after you for giving me light to keep living. Thank you for everything God Bless..

    Like

  9. lucie says:

    Hi ,
    some rumors say that Dr Halford passed away is it true or not? sorry for my english i’m not an english speaker

    Like

    • Philip says:

      Unfortunately the good doctor passed away due to cancer he was fighting while fighting for all of us! God bless this man! He is what every doctor should aspire to be!

      Like

  10. Andreas says:

    Hey there, You’ve done an incredible job. I’ll certainly digg it and personally suggest to my
    friends. I am sure they will be benefited from this web site.

    Like

  11. Dr feroz ahmadi says:

    when will the vaccine will be sold in caribbean islands by other doctors ? will it happen this year or there is still time ?

    Like

  12. Joe says:

    I came across an article quoting CEO Agustin Fernandez as saying “We have been approved to sell theravax” in one of the island nations where the clinical trials took place.

    If this is the case can we expect to have access to theravax (sale) in advance of the next clinical trial?

    Like

      • Violet says:

        Thank you for taking the time to update given the very sad circumstances of Dr. Halford’s passing. I think he was the only scientist that developed and maintained a “relationship”, through this website, with the people he was striving to assist with creating his vaccine – very unique! It provided the average person with the chance to understand some of the science of the disease. I access this site daily because it is such a source of comfort – it has been a valuable resource in my life and it is wonderful that it is being maintained by Rationale Vaccines. Way to go to Mr. Fernandez (III), who reached out to Dr. Halford and began a collaborative relationship to assist Dr. Halford with getting the vaccine to a human testing stage as well as a broader vision to get it to the public! Dr, Halford, through his research efforts, has thrown a stone in a pond and the ripple effect will be infinite.

        Like

  13. Gabriella says:

    Oi Dr. Halford,
    Im sorry for my english language, because im brazilian girl.
    Mudar para português
    At the beginning of the year I contracted the virus hsv 2. I am very young, only 21 years old and I have many fears like no one accept me due to my condition. I developed panic disorder and depression. I would very much like to be part of your tests, I could even buy the vaccine and you send me the vaccine by correspondence. I am desperate and afraid to wait for years because of state bureaucracies to formalize the vaccine. I believe that health-related issues in Brazil are easier, since the lobby of the pharmaceutical industries is not as large as in the United States. Please, I beg for help! In addition, my congratulations to your research and the advancement of it! You’ll help a lot of people.

    Like

  14. Will says:

    Just finished my 6 months Valtrex medication, and HSV 2 comes back 3 days later. Went back to my doctor and he got no answer to my condition, further administer 6 months of Valtrex again. Whoever is fighting HSV, you’re not alone. Stay strong people!

    I had HSV2 since 2016, I don’t smoke and drink, yet, I suffer daily recurrence. Valtrex has been helping me with my daily activity. I usually suffer from HSV outbreak 3 days after my last dosage (if I stop and ‘try’ to combat it).

    Like

    • VPX says:

      RIP Dr Halford, thanks for all your hard work. I hope your work leads to a change in how we fight hsv and you get the recognition you deserve.

      Like

    • 1anon1 says:

      So with the passing of Dr. Halford, is this vaccine going to continue it’s trial phases ? This is terrible news for both his family and the millions of people counting on his work. What will happen next ?

      Like

      • James says:

        We all hope you continue this fight with the same fight and gusto of the good Dr. I assume most people on here like me, we keep checking this site and the Facebook page daily for updates but don’t like the page as a tip off to our condition. Will you be laying out a timeline or plan?

        Like

      • Herpes Vaccine Research says:

        James, we will continue this fight and finish what Dr. Halford had started. The plan at this point is to conduct a safety trial of Theravax (HSV-1) in Q4 2017 and continue to work towards a formal Phase I trial with Theravax (HSV-2).

        Like

      • s.m. says:

        Who so ever might be posting replies since Dr. H’s unfortunate departure. Thank you. For the quick and continuous updates are responses.

        You (as Dr. H) had posted:
        “The plan at this point is to conduct a safety trial of Theravax (HSV-1) in Q4 2017 and continue to work towards a formal Phase I trial with Theravax (HSV-2)”

        So the version of Theravax that will likely become available on certain caribbean islands in 2017, is only useful against HSV-1? So if someone had HSV-2 and had the means to go to the caribbean for treatment. That version of Theravax would be useless in that case?

        Like

      • s.m. says:

        Thank you again for responding. I’ve read much of the content below but still unclear on one thing. So that vaccine that might become available this yr is HSV-1 targeted. So if someone with HSV-2 went down to one of those jurisdictions and received the vaccine, might there be any benefits?

        There was a woman from the UK that was part of your trials, and who shared her story on women’s health mag. She seemed to have HSV-2 and benefitted greatly from the vaccine. So I’m a bit confused. Thanks in advance.

        Like

      • s.m. says:

        you have been exceedingly patient and considerate to answer the barrage of questioning. It is an embarrassing, nagging, sometimes debilitating and emotionally impactful condition. thanks again for your consideration of this fact in responding to us.

        Like

      • Susan Barratt says:

        You are doing a fabulous job at stepping in where Bill left off. He’s got your back – as we all do. Thank you!

        On Fri, Jul 7, 2017 at 12:12 PM Herpes Vaccine Research wrote:

        > Herpes Vaccine Research commented: “As I said earlier, I’m not Bill, but > I’ll do what I can to keep this blog and his research going..” >

        Like

  15. T says:

    This site has been a source of inspiration and hope for me for quite some time. Thank you so very much for your time and your compassion over the years. I think of you and your family often. Cancer sucks.

    Like

  16. Another_Sufferer says:

    Dear Dr. Halford,

    I am writing this message to ask for your very valuable opinion regarding an issue seriously affecting my life now. In January while I had a genital herpes outbreak “not sure type 1 or 2” I simultaneously had a blurry vision and frequent urinating. The frequent urinating took longer than the outbreak to resolve, while the blurry vision fortunately resolved quickly.

    Three weeks ago I started L-Lysine tablets in an attempt to keep the monster at bay, and shortly after I started having blurry vision again. To cut a long story short it has recently escalated pretty much that my left eye became extremely blurry I cannot distinguish big letters, after having very sharp sight. Tonight I went to the doctor, been put through OCT and more advanced tests, and eventually the diagnosis was that I had sudden eye pressure for reasons they don’t understand, and that I now have permanent retinal damage “gotta live with that” and I won’t recover my normal eye sight again. Both eyes were affected, but the left one was affected much, much more. I was prescribed Ganfort daily for life, just not to get blind, but told that what I lost will never be back.

    Now my question is… Is it possible that what I am going through is relevant to ocular herpes in any shape or form? There was no pain or tears or swelling. Just blurry vision. Now I am developing slight pain around the eye like migraine, but I have history with cluster headaches if that helps.

    You are the only person on earth I can think of to help me with advice. Any advice is appreciated really. I have HUGE faith in you and what you do, regardless of the outcome which I hope to be fruitful.

    Could this be Herpes keratitis, Stromal keratitis, or Iridocyclitis?And if so, what do you suggest I shall do? Please note that I live in a third world country if that would make any difference.

    Like

  17. patick santimano says:

    consider me taking valacyclovir to prevent transmission to my partner .. even if i were to pass the infection to my partner inspite of taking valacyclovir prophylactically will the primary episode be less severe ??

    Like

  18. joseph patianski says:

    Hi
    can we expect the vaccine to be available in some part of the world not under FDAs jurisdiction by 2017 end .. living with genital herpes is really depressing

    Like

  19. VPX says:

    Dr. Halford,

    Have you heard of herpes symptoms where the patient has never had a blister but has chronic prodrome symptoms? Anytime I consume a beverage that’s high in caffeine or sugar like coffee/pop/energy drink I get itchy/pricking symptoms in the head of my penis that are extremely uncomfortable. Any experience with similar symptoms?

    Like

  20. AccountKiller says:

    Dear Professor Halford,

    hope you are feeling well and wish you strength in the battle with your disease.

    ..adenovirus vectors expressing ICP0 or ICP4 or VP16 induced trans reactivation from an already existing HSV-1 latency. HSV529 has all three of these intact, while Theravax has the latter two intact. It has been demonstrated in studies that ICP0 null mutants do in fact establish latency (studies demonstrate this).
    Is there concern that individuals who have an already existing latent HSV infection who get HSV 529 or Theravax would have increased reactivation from latency given that they still have some or all of these intact? I understand that the immune system will respond well initially – but what about after that? Will recurrences be worse in the long run ? Can the already existing ICP0 (and other proteins) transactivate the HSV 529 or Theravax virus and increase reactivation from latency?

    On the other news – what about the generated th1 immune cells / th2 immune cells response in people. Can a tweak for theravax be feasible? Profavax for prophylaxis does not need a tweak, but the therapeutic Theravax maybe does?

    Like

  21. Sean says:

    Dr, Halford,

    I’m really interested in the treatment of double positive HSV 1 and 2. I have both as i’m sure a lot of people have. You mentioned that this group is harder to treat. Have any patients been treated that is double positive? What are some of the possible solutions for these people to be relieved of the chronic symptoms of herpes? I have the ability to travel to receive compassionate treatment but would like to get my best shot at it. I’m wondering what you think will help this group of people. I am glad I have the ability to ask you questions directly rather than rummage through endless speculation and banter available elsewhere.

    I have read a lot lately but am no subject matter expert. I see clearly how the attenuated live vaccine is clearly needed. In my research I have found other attempts at a live attenuated vaccine or have been promoted as such (R7020,R7017, skinner, RAV9395, Gyotoku). What has been the downfall of these past attempts? were they squished like a bug by the supposed prevailing wisdom and money, or were they not pervasive enough to break through the barriers of making it a reality?

    My hat is off you to, Dr. Halford, for forging headstrong into the opposition to scientific common sense and succeeding for all of us sufferers.

    Like

  22. Tony says:

    Dr Halford first and foremost I am highly thankful for everything not going on in your life as I do understand you are very busy trying to save us from the darkness of hell. I only have 1 question this evening to you and that is..when will ABVIC be available for public?

    Like

  23. HSV1 Help says:

    Hi Dr. Halford,

    I was diagnosed with HSV-1 not too long ago, and my quality of life has completely tanked. I experience extreme neuropathic pain all over my body, ranging from my head down to my feet. This pain is consistent and excruciating every day, save for a period of one week it completely disappeared, then reemerged (which aligns to your theory that the neuralgia is not caused by nerve damage but rather by HSV).

    My question for you is: will someone like me with HSV-1 qualify for the HSV-2 Theravax clinical trials? If so, will it preclude me from ever getting the HSV-1 vaccine whenever that is ready? In other words, will one vaccine interfere with the other? I have applied to be a part of your next clinical trial on your website. I pray that I am fortunate enough to be selected. I am a young adult in my 20s, and I feel like my life has been ruined. I cannot see myself continuing on in life with this extreme pain every single day. It is absolute hell.

    Thank you for everything you are doing. You are doing amazing work. It is my only hope.

    Like

    • Sam says:

      I always check for recent updates due to having hsv2 myself. I have had to become a mum calmer person and take the blue tablets for 6 months to get ontoo of my breakouts.
      I understand that its not that hard to find a cure but i have no doubt in my mind with the mental and physical pain with herpeas. Almost everyone would be happy to donate and have enough vultures so just need someone to find a cure….

      Like

    • PH says:

      This is very good news.

      I acquired HSV-2 from my Wife shortly after we got married; at least I think so but she never had any visible symptoms and still has not 7 years later…but I have terrible outbreaks on my shaft and now even buttock area that is painful to sit.

      This has really depressed me and am so scared our little girl might get it from the toilet seat that I disinfect the seat thoroughly every use

      My hands are also in a terrible state due to all the disinfectant and scrubbing of them due to my paranoia of passing this on to anyone

      Please please carry on and if you need volunteers for trials abroad, count me in!

      Thanks

      Suffering in the UK

      Like

  24. Robson says:

    Dr. Halford, please, we need this vaccine. Some can no longer wait, for the pain in the head, in the anus, in the ears, in the whole body is too much. I can not stand it anymore.

    Like

    • Valen says:

      Robson
      I understand your mood. For being better, please wash your body with baking soda and apple viniger. Put 2 tbsp baking soda on warm water and wash your body with it . Plus that you should do this way with apple vinegar. This way help you for decrease symptom and itching and help you tolerate this disease until vaccine arrive to the market . Hope you will be better.

      Like

  25. Larry D. says:

    Hi there — Actually, I believe I already have been vaccinated with a live attenuated herpes vaccine. I received such a vaccine in the late 1980s in the UK – either in Manchester or Birmingham, unfortunately I can’t remember which. Nor can I remember the name of the doctor who administered it. I did have to go back a second time for a booster shot. It was an experimental drug, not generally for sale but he had no problem giving me a shot. He said that the only reason such a vaccine was not on the market was because it couldn’t be patented so no drug company was interested. I’m interested in finding out if anyone has any information about how that vaccine worked out and if it was indeed effective. I know I had a girlfriend with HPV-1 around that time and I never had an outbreak, so I assume either I was lucky or it was indeed effective.

    Like

    • Herpes Vaccine Research says:

      Hi Larry,

      It sounds like you received the “Skinner vaccine,” which was not live HSv-2 but rather was a ultraviolet- or formalin-inactivated preparation of HSV-1. This is parallel in principle to the injected, Salk polio vaccine (i.e., inactivated poliovirus), which is less effective than the live Sabin (oral) vaccine.

      If you want to look up publications on the Skinner vaccine, go to Pubmed (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed) and search under the terms “Skinner herpes vaccine”. The bottom line is that if the Skinner (inactivated HSV-1) vaccine worked in a subset of genital herpes patients, then live-attenuated HSV-1 and HSV-2 vaccines should be more effective…..particularly if the serotype o the disease-causing virus (in a person’s body) is matched with the live HSV serotype used in the therapeutic vaccination series.

      – Bill H

      Like

      • Dan says:

        Any forthcoming news on this information given in the article below??

        http://www.sj-r.com/news/20170419/paypal-co-founder-expected-to-invest-in-herpes-vaccine-maker-in-springfield

        If true, this is huge news for rational vaccines and have sufferers the world over. Truly exciting, Peter Thiel is a big believer in innovation and has the money and power to back it up. I know you have a lot going on Bill, but I was just curious if you could shed any light on this potentially ground breaking partnership?

        P.S The work you’ve put into this cause even while you’re going through your own personal battle is commendable and testament to the man you are. We love and respect you Bill. Keep up the good fight.

        Like

      • Juan says:

        If the vaccine is offered anywhere, do we have to follow a process or procedures to get the vaccine? Or just visit the authorize doctors and get the vaccine?

        Like

      • C Corbin says:

        Wow it seem like everytime someone is fighting for change they end up dead so sad..so as suffers we have too stand up and fight to get a cute

        On Wednesday, June 28, 2017, Herpes Vaccine Research wrote:

        > Herpes Vaccine Research commented: “Dan, the partnership is in the final > negotiation steps (it was slowed down by Bill’s decline). Once the > negotiations are completed, it will be formally announced.” >

        Like

      • Newlife86 says:

        Greetings Bill,

        What is the main complication or issue right now with Theravax that is the cause for it not being released yet. Also, would you recommend a candidate to be on anti virals or not taking any medication at all since I know you want to nip it in the butt right away when the virus is active and more traceable. Last question, would a vaccine like this be able to treat a herpes 2 patient to where they can never transmit the virus through unprotected sex and no shedding at all? Thank you Bill, hope this message reaches you kindly.

        Like

      • Kit says:

        Thank you Dr,

        I’m surprised no one is asking the obvious…”when and where will we be able to have this Theravax administered at our own expense outside of the US?” I know you are well aware of the desperation and admiration we all share in your brilliant advancements for this life ruining disease. We are desperate for a date a hope a timeline that might shed some light for our families and loved ones and those of us trying to put our restless minds from worrying about the spread of this horrible infliction to others. I want my life back. I can’t live like this.

        Many thanks,
        K

        Like

    • Marko says:

      It works like any other vaccine pretty much, there is no cure for viruses, only vaccine that teaches your immune system to better deal with virus, or permanently keep it dormant. Would be like chicken pox, virus is forever inside you but your immune system keep it at bay.

      Like

  26. Tulgabaatar Dashdorj says:

    Hi Dr. Halford,

    Thank you very much for your work and it lights our life. I really hope that everyone wants to help you in someway. At first, Let me briefly introduce what we do and where i am from. I am one of the co-founders of the Onom foundation is a non-profit organization which mainly works on health and education sectors in Mongolia. Also we work with the new startups and research institutes mainly on research side. At now, we have cooperated with a Stanford based pharma company and started trials of new anti viral drug for delta virus of liver among Mongolian people (~100 persons are in trial now) and there are lot more other interesting works going on.

    Because of the security reason, I can’t describe everything in detail here. My proposing idea is that we can help you on the bigger trial of HSV-2 vaccine on the ground. We can organize trials in Mongolia based on our capacity. I hope that we can discuss it more in detail if you like to. My web site: http://www.onomfoundation.org/

    Thanks,

    TD

    Like

    • Sam says:

      If this medication eventually makes it to consumers it will be a miracle. Reason being is that the FDA are not likely to approve a drug that has the potential to dent the revenue brought in to the pharmaceutical industry year on year from suffers of hsv1 and hsv2. Sales of drugs currently approved by the FDA to treat hsv1 and hsv2 brings in billions of dollar. They don’t want you to be cured they want to treat you so that you can keep them rich! I truly hope this new drug does make it to the streets but sadly i don’t think it will be the case. People need to seriously look at their diet and lifestyle that’s the only to stop this evil from attacking your immune system. God bless you all.

      Like

  27. Felix says:

    Hi Dr. Halford,

    You’ve been working so long and hard on behalf of us herpes sufferers, and I just wanted to tell you that your deducation to helping this community is humbling and inspiring. I hope you are doing well and staying strong in the face of your own health struggles. I’m happy I found this blog, and you’ve taught us all quite a bit. God bless you and your family, and thanks for all you’ve been doing.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Clemens says:

    Dear Bill

    At first I want to say here a BIG thanks for your long lasting super ambitious work in the HSV matter. 🙂 I follow this blog for quite a while. The moment has now come for some questions:

    Are there any plans to expand your Theravax clinical trials to Europe? What’s your opinion regarding the European Medicines Agency EMA? Is yours point of view here the same like regarding the US FDA?

    Your position about subunit vaccines is clear. Well, the time is running and there is a new ultimate “subunit blockbuster vaccine” on the rise. It not targets herpes, it targets shingles. It’s name is Shingrix (GSK) and it outperforms Zostavax (Merck), a live attenuated vaccine, in almost any regard. How this can be? Is it possible that GSK has found with the AS01B aka QS-21 adjuvant (derived from the soap bark tree) the “Holy Grail” for subunit vaccines? If yes, then it will be just a question of time that we will see Simplirix II or Herpevac II, – just with AS01B/QS-21 instead of alum/MPL adjuvant. 😉

    Kind regards from Central Europe
    Clemens

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Chris says:

    Bill,

    If you pull this shit off, I’ll get your name tattooed on my arm.

    Thank you for everything you’re doing. I’ve spent the past few years of my life trying my hardest to live for the benefit of others, and when this became a problem for me, it made me feel like a permanent and irredeemable outcast from the society I’ve dedicated myself to protecting. And, well, it hit me like a ton of bricks.

    So when I’m feeling down on a Saturday night and I decide to cruise around the internet for a bit to see if there’s any chance of this problem ever going away, I feel just a little bit better knowing that someone’s out there fighting for me.

    I’m going away for a few months, possibly longer, depending on what this crazy and dangerous world has in store for the near future. When I come back, I’m looking forward to seeing what progress you guys will have made. I believe you’re going to change my life. I have faith that you will set me free from the pain I carry with me. I trust that your work will one day allow me to live a normal life again.
    And for that, I am grateful. Even Marines need heroes, and that’s what you are to me.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Rick Torres says:

    Hello Bill,
    Congratulations on the partnership with Thiel Capital. Agustin mentioned that the pace would be sped up significantly with the investments. The question would be does this change any of your priorities for the development of any of your vaccines and will this also mean that the ABVIC may get to market soon after certifcation? These are exicting times for all involved and hopefully the upcoming trials will yeild good data to help you fine tune your vaccines.
    As an add on question will Theravax^HSV-1 Get to P1 trials in the near future? I understood that there might be some paralle development of the two Theravax ^ products?
    I hope that you are holding on to your strenght. Your dream is in sight. You are a hero and so are the members of your team!
    God bless you DR. Halford.

    Like

  31. Sam says:

    Hello Dr. Halford,
    I read the news that Peter Thiel is investing in Rational Vaccines. That helps provide Rational Vaccines with a much needed cash injection (guessing)
    This is awesome!
    Congrats!

    Like

  32. elitrya says:

    Hello,

    Adding my voice to the masses for the need of this medication. I’ve just been recently been diagnosed with HSP-1, and had my first outbreak after a bout of depression. I’m involved in a romantic relationship, and I suspect that I’ve had this disease since I was 8 years old. I fear to contaminate my current partner, and my peers. The stigma is the worst that comes from this, my emotional state has been brought down to the lowest that I have ever experienced, and I know that is what caused my out break.

    The idea of accidentally passing this to someone I care about hurts me more than having the disease itself. Researching has led me to realize that others have it a lot worse than I do, and realized the need of this drug. I wonder how many of my peers secretly hide in shame because of this disease? How many avoid all types of physical interactions because of this? and How many have suffered in depression because of the shame of having this virus?

    All this saddens me, but it is amazing to hear that a potential vaccine is so close. I will voice my support and desire to see this vaccine move ahead for the general public, and I will donate!

    -Jonathan

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lissy says:

      ELITRYA, Are you saying you had oral herpes since 8, but just now had an OB? How would you know you had it at 8? Oral herpes does not have a stigma like gentital, it is considered the norm. People would trade places who have it genitally w you having it orally any day.. you and about 85% of the world’s population has oral herpes. Just trying to understand where your devastation and shame is coming from? Most of us that follow bill have genital and completely abnormal symptoms, to where we don’t get years and years​ of dormacy like you sound like you do, we can’t control the virus w meds, have constantt obs, neuropathy from it and it impacts our health so bad, it trigger’s other conditions. It’s the quintessential “if everyone threw their problems in a pile, you’d be fighting to grab yours back”. I couldn’t bring myself to say all that w just oral herpes, especially to someone who has cancer. Sometimes people really need to get out of their heads and look around at the pain and suffering around them. It will really help you overcome things that aren’t that big of a deal. I’m symptomatic frequently and can’t even have a relationship, because I’d probably pass it. I’m 2 months shy of no sex, but you have a partner.. trust me, there are far wrse things to be depressed about, turn a few cold sores.

      Like

  33. help please says:

    For God’s sake, Dr. Halford, put theravax on the market, I’m desperate, my wife and I felt strong headaches and ear aches. Help me. I’ll do my best to get the vaccines. We need help. If it were just the lesions I would just be quiet to wait, but this nervous pain in the head and ears is tormenting me. I am 5 months of pain without stopping a single day. If it is not theravax I’d rather die than stay that way.

    Like

    • GodBlessYou12 says:

      Dr. Halford,

      Is there any update at all? I think this community would be grateful for anything at this point. I spoke to a 21 year old girl today who wants to commit suicide over the physical & psychological pain she is enduring due to her HSV diagnosis. She is holding on for this vaccine to get her life back! I think any information for sufferers could do a great deal of good!

      Thank you for all that you are doing! And God bless you! You’re a true American hero to many!

      Like

      • siva says:

        Hi same here every day nerve pain is worsening., i always get herpes on eyes. I think my skin become over sensitive because herpes.., planing to commit sucide.if the theravax doesn’t work sure i am going to commit sucide.my body is burning i dont know how long i going to handle it…

        Like

  34. zlatan21 says:

    Doctor, I would in no way want to waste your precious time but if it is possible for you to answer then I would like to know your views on the trivalent vaccine by Harvey M. Friedman, aprofessor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and how theravax is a more potentt vaccine?

    Like

  35. James says:

    Do you worry about possible side effect of increase of autoimmune or rate of cervical cancer?

    Been patiently waiting a new update and more trail info. Can we expect any updates in the near future

    Like

  36. Rocky says:

    Dear Mr.William Halford,

    If this vaccine is made available it will be a boon for millions…….I pray for its speedy development and availability….In your opinion when can this be available for public….

    Like

  37. Jesus loves you says:

    Dr. Halford, where does the HSV 2 virus reside when it infects the facial region? I have heard reports of latency in the neurons, but I also heard that it enters latency in the trigeminal nerve ganglia. In my case what bothers most is the nervous pains in the ears. Do you have reports of patients with these symptoms in their trial? Thank you if you can respond.

    Like

    • sailing sam says:

      I get the aching in the ears. I also get upper body burning on my shoulders, arms, and face. I’m pretty sure these are symptoms of the herpes as they started exactly when i got herpes and they only come when i have a breakout. I also get nerve pain in my left upper butt, outside of my thigh, outside of my lower leg, then shooting pains on my toes and heel. I’m hoping that i can get the vaccine soon. I hope Dr. Halford is using his time wisely to get all his reports done. I’m hoping he spends much more time doing that than posting on his blog.

      If he can offer the vaccine this year as he said is a possibility, I believe if he can get it in mexico he will have plenty of cash flow from americans wanting the vaccine. It would be so easy for me to drive there every month for treatment for 6 months. its a 10 hour drive and i’m several states away from Mexico.

      If he keeps it in the Caribbean, I would live on a sail boat for 6 months while treated. No problems either way.

      Like

      • RMaster says:

        Dr. Hanford could be a rich man from this, I have tested negative 3 times up to months and still believe I may have this bullshit disease. I will go anywhere just to get a vaccine to get my life back. This shit is miserable!

        Like

      • hope says:

        I’m the same friend, the pain in my ears is what bothers me the most. It’s terrible, almost daily. I’m almost giving up.

        Like

  38. help me says:

    Dear Halford, I believe I have only two types of HSV, 1 and 2, but since I had contact with the HSV 2 virus orally, I have constant ear symptoms, headaches and dizziness, I have these symptoms daily without stopping. As I also feel the neuralgias by the body. Does this mean that there are other subtypes of the virus that act differently than normal ?? It may be latent in the central nervous system and not only in the sensory ganglia ?? I hope theravx vaccine helps me, because for 9 months I contracted this virus and I can not take it anymore, that’s the only thing that keeps me hopeful today. I’m desperate.

    Like

  39. Hopeful1 says:

    Dear Dr Halford,

    Firstly, I would like to thank you for your unwavering dedication to finding an effective vaccine “functional cure” for HSV sufferers.

    My question(s) would be: Let’s say a person has been exposed to HSV 2, gets correctly diagnosed within weeks and shortly thereafter (within the year of being diagnosed) receives the Theravax vaccine – would that help the person’s immune system have a better response to the virus? Will it decrease their chances of experiencing severe HSV symptoms? Maybe cause it to become latent for good or a long time?

    Since being exposed/diagnosed with this silent happiness/life killer of a virus – I’ve read up on the multiple vaccines that are in the works, but for some reason I dismiss what they have to say and keep firm in believing that your vaccine will be the ONE to help us to get our lives back.

    Reading your blog is the only thing that sparks a bit of hope when I have none left. May the Lord continue to bless you! Thank you once again, Dr Halford!!

    Regards,
    Hopeful

    Like

    • Herpes Vaccine Research says:

      Hi Hopeful,

      I must say that I am very impressed that you offer a likely insight that very few have noticed to date. Specifically, you write……”Let’s say a person has been exposed to HSV 2, gets correctly diagnosed within weeks and shortly thereafter receives the Theravax vaccine – would that help the person’s immune system have a better response to the virus? Will it decrease their chances of experiencing severe HSV symptoms? Maybe cause it to become latent for good or a long time?”

      I do suspect that perhaps the greatest opportunity for the Theravax^HSV-2 vaccine to reduce the long-term severity of herpetic disease would be at the time a person is correctly diagnosed with HSV-2 genital herpes. At issue is the fact that some patients experience “primary episodes of HSV-2 genital herpes” that drag on for 6+ months with lesions popping up once a week for the duration. All of that time that the initial HSV-2 infection takes to get under control by the host immune system is time that the virus may seed the neurons in the spinal ganglia and set up a larger and larger reservoir of latent infection.

      If such a patient was started on the Theravax^HSV-2 vaccine at the time of diagnosis, this should greatly accelerate the development of a protective immune response and would reduce (1) the size of the latent reservoir of wild-type HSV-2 that seeds the spinal ganglia and (2) this in turn should reduce that individual’s odds of future herpes outbreaks.

      So, long story short, yes I am intrigued by the possibility / likelihood that administration of Theravax^HSV-2 as close to the primary infection as possible could truncate the course of herpetic disease and greatly reduce recipients’ odds of future recurrent herpetic disease.

      – Bill H.

      Like

      • matusalen says:

        hola doctor le escribo en español es mi idioma espero pueda entender o traducir.en primer lugar un fuerte abrazo y muchas gracias por todo su trabajo lo sigo a diario muchas gracias.es usted una esperanza el motor q nos mueve dia a dia.

        mi pregunta son las siguientes hace dos años q estamos mi pareja y yo infectados hsv 2 tenemos brotes aproximadamente cada tres meses por ejemplo en enero y ahora en marzo de nuevo siempre en la misma zona y dura aproximadamente entre 7 y 10 dias.mientras los brotes estan no tenemos relaciones y no tomamos ningun medicamento solo aciclovir en crema y una higiene esmerada con agua y jabón. cuando los brotes desaparecen esperamos unos dias y retomamos las relaciones intimas sin protección.

        mi pregunta es que mantener relaciones con mi pareja portadores los dos del virus si esto puede afectar algo el desarrollo del virus lo puede hacer mas fuerte lo podemos estar pasando mutuamente????.

        q efectos podria tener su vacuna en nuestro caso que tenemos unos brotes muy cortos al año y que no son como la mayoria de los casos que aqui leo que tienen muy seguidos brotes he incluso casi no desaparecen.??????

        comentarle q estamos disponibles para apoyar su proyecto desde nuestro humilde ser y que estamos con ganas de ir donde sea necesario para obtener su vacuna.

        q me recomienda usted pasos a seguir para si llega el momento de ir a por su vacuna estar en obtima condición para recibirla???

        estas don mis preguntas gracias de antemano doctor

        Like

      • Hopeful1 says:

        Hi Dr Halford,

        Thank you for taking the time to respond to my question! Wow, that’s great to hear! I’m hoping it also helps to decrease shedding of the virus too.

        Hopefully, in the near future we will be able to greatly benefit from the fruits for your hard labour. Always rooting for you and the success of the vaccines!

        Kind regards,
        Hopeful

        Like

      • questionherp says:

        I believe those with Fibromyalgia may actually be HSV 1 or 2 because of the associated Neuralgia pain. A herpes vaccine may be able to treat Fibromyalgia. Any thoughts on this?

        Like

      • Ali says:

        Dr. Halford I’ve been following your work for sone time now and my apologies in advance if this question is outlandish and I’m no scientist or anything but I was wondering what were your thoughts on Todd Riders ” DRACO ” work .

        Like

      • Sailling Sam says:

        When you replied to Juggalo you said ” what fraction of HSV-1 and HSV-2-double-positive sufferers can we help whose uber-high pre-existing antibody levels may be an impediment to any therapeutic vaccination regimen? Are their tricks that can be developed to treat this more refractory group?”

        My question is, on the next set of trials, will you be working on developing some of those tricks to treat double-positive cases. What if someone has only one herpes prior to treatment and then becomes double-positive at a later date after receiving theravax. I’m very interested in this as I have both HSV-1, and HSV-2 and life impacting neuralgia. Do you anticipate these people will need to be treated with a lighter dosage over more injections, or have to come up with a totally different strategy. or worse yet just out of luck. What are the complications of Uber high pre existing antibody levels. I am thinking its the HSV-1. That is the high one as when i was tested it was like over 10 times the level of the HSV-2. I know your busy so please keep working. Its more important than answering every little question.

        Like

      • deblynn123 says:

        Dr, I have a question. I have type 1 and type 2. Will Theravax work for people with both types? I don’t want to get my hopes up. I’ve gotten my hopes up so may times before thinking diet changes, supplements, and exercise would help. Thank you so much.

        Like

      • MJD says:

        Dr Halford
        In regards to your response to Hopeful- what if the person had been diagnosed before the administration of your Theravax? Would it still be effective in reducing the virus?

        Like

  40. optimistic says:

    Hi Rmaster, Thats a great line again you said, Lets make a small donation & ask everyone on the other support group mine is honeycomb to donate some amount & we can really help in making it accelerate.
    Bill can you please confirm the amount of donation you receive after this post, A way of tracking may be & this will help in bringing the vaccine early for us?

    Regards,
    Optimistic

    Like

  41. AccountKiller says:

    Greetings Prof. Halford,

    ..one certain member of a forum had a concern regarding the TH1 or TH2 polarization of the immune reaction after the vaccine, which can probably be detected in the blood.

    My question would be, would Theravax benefit from such a hypothetic tweak, such as the Th1/Th2 ratio is driven to optimize therapeutic threatment of HSV?
    Also is this goal difficult to acomplish? because getting the right attenuation in general has also proven to be long and hard work.

    Kind regards

    Like

    • Herpes Vaccine Research says:

      Dear Account Killer,

      Nice theoretical bullshit that is irrelevant. How many vaccines that actually work and are used in clinics were developed with this kind of thinking? Smallpox? Polio? Measles? This is the “prevailing immunological wisdom of the 2010s” that we need to dive deep into immunological gobbly-gook, but here’s the rub……more than 99.5% of the vaccines developed from such advanced immunological thinking have crashed and burned in clinical trials.

      F— immunologists who are proponents for this line of bullshit. Real people want vaccines that work. Period. End of sentence.

      All that matters is this. The live VZV vaccine works and has crushed chickenpox. VZV and HSV-2 share 70 of 75 genes in common and an incredibly similar latency-reactivation, neurotropic lifestyle. If a live VZV vaccine worked to crush chickenpox, then a live HSV-2 vaccine should do the same and crush all HSV-2 induced disease if it is APPROPRIATELY ATTENUATED (i.e., not too hot, not too cold….the Goldilocks principle). The same goes for HSV-1. That’s it. There is nothing more really but diving into the RELEVANT details, and my lab has done a great deal of that for the past 10 years and most of the work is already published.

      Some details remain to be filled in, but 80% of the picture is complete and the important points are uber-clear: (1) live HSV-2 vaccines are 50-100x more effective than the crap glycoprotein D subunit vaccines that have been in U.S. clinical trials for 30 years; and (2) you need a polyclonal B- and T-cell response to HSV-2’s many antigens to get optimal (rapid) protection against HSV-2. Duh…kind of self-evident, but whatever. So, in principle, we know a live HSV-2 vaccine should be possible because we know a very similar, live VZV vaccine actually works (in humans), and now because of the work of my lab and now Dan Carr’s lab, we have a very clear immunological understanding of why live HSV-2 and live HSV-1 ICP0- virus vaccines are SO MUCH BETTER than the crap that Glaxo Smith Kline tested called “Herpevac” which is eerily similar to the Corridon (Admedus), Genocea, and Vical vaccines.

      So, here’s my advice. Either stay in the big picture, THINK ABOUT THE IMPORTANT OVERRIDING PRINCIPLES that have yielded viral vaccines that actually work and have a proven track record in humans, and ask yourself how much TH1 versus TH2 polarization played into the development of real, life-saving vaccines. That’s the scientific version. Here’s the real-life version….stop being a putz and believing everything idiotic thought that some intellectual jerkoff commits to paper in the absence of understanding how VACCINES THAT WORK were actually developed. Too many scientists idly stroking their sticks. Not enough scientists delivering real vaccines to real people that really prevent infectious disease.

      The fact that more than 99.5% of vaccine concepts have failed in clinical trials over the past 25 years should give you a clue about how not on target “prevailing wisdom” in the vaccine development community currently is. Would you hire an architect to build your house whose last 200 houses collapsed within 5 years of construction over the past 25 years? The same should be true with vaccines.

      You can trust scientific principles and your own common sense, or you can trust every bit of bullshit that is committed into writing. If you don’t have enough confidence in your own understanding of the material to know the difference between shit and shinola, you should probably not be writing on this topic.

      – Bill H.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Juggalo says:

        Prof. Halford,

        thank you again for answering this. I really do not understand why the medical community concentrates still around glycoprotein D and similar concepts ’cause it has been proven that this is one if the devilish sides of HSV to cover it’s tracks using amongst others this one certain piece of it’s shell, luring immune response on this special part and with it also the scientists (who are blind to other concepts).

        In my opinion on a scale 1 to 10 Theravax atm IMHO deserves a 8/10, while Genocea’s partially effective soup I’d rate as 5/10. After phase 2/3 probably Theravax can climb to 9/10 if durable long-term positive effect is developed and maintained in vaccinated HSV sufferers.

        On the other hand Profavax is probably around 10/10 effective already – possible exceptions for this one are I suppose AIDS patients and similar company?

        Like

      • Herpes Vaccine Research says:

        Dear Juggalo,

        I would give Genocea’s hype 8 out of 10, and their actual vaccine 1 out of 10…..it won’t work because it is just Herpevac all over. I think we just have to get Theravax^HSV-2 vaccine out there and really, objectively, find out how well a therapeutic HSV-2 vaccine works. I have no doubt that for 50 – 70% of recipients, it will improve their quality of life in a very real way. I think the real questions revolve around (1) which HSV-2 patients will it work best for with what specific symptoms?; (2) will we need to break out Theravax^HSV-1 for HSV-1 herpes sufferers?….I suspect the answer is yes; and (3) what fraction of HSV-1 and HSV-2-double-positive sufferers can we help whose uber-high pre-existing antibody levels may be an impediment to any therapeutic vaccination regimen? Are their tricks that can be developed to treat this more refractory group?

        I think a live HSV-1 or HSV-2 virus vaccine is definitely the best option for a therapeutic herpes vaccine. That said, it will just take time and research to nail down the specifics of what fraction of patients it functionally cures, and figuring out the nuances of how to handle the more difficult to treat to cases. So, be optimistic, but just remember that good research (i.e., not Genocea’s empty hype) takes time to get right and figure out why things are working the way they do.

        – Bill H.

        Liked by 1 person

      • hopeful4acure says:

        Dear Dr Halford,
        You mentioned that people who have both 1&2 hsv could be or are more refactory with potential vaccine treatment, based on antibody levels being high.
        I’ve been newly diagnosed with both -at the same time!, so I am curious whether your statement would also apply to the efficacy of antivirals. My blood test results were equal for both, still having a low index number since it’s newly acquired. As the number of antibodies increase with time, will they also inccrease more quickly having both hsv’s?

        Thanks

        Like

      • Marie says:

        Good morning Dr. Halford,

        I’m a total laymen trying to understand so don’t shoot me if this is totally off base. In reference to your answer to “Juggalo” you stated that people with uber-high pre-existing antibody levels may be an impediment to the therapeutic use of the vaccine. So I’m taking that to say people with a high immune response already to the virus (but maybe with the wrong antibodies due to their genetic makeup) would possibly have little or not response. Could something like a immune checkpoint inhibitors work in combination with the vaccine for better immune system response to the vaccine? If so, would a specific inhibitor need to be created for HSV or could something already out there be used?

        ~ Marie

        Like

  42. UKdistressed says:

    Hello Dr. Halford,

    Just wanted your opinion on a group of patients who claim negative testing on all herpes tests (IGG/WB/etc)–some of whom have swabbed positive. These tests are negative for years out from original exposure. Also these patients tend to have atypical HSV symptoms (more neuropathy than outbreaks). Do you believe that some patients with HSV infection do not make antibodies (even off antivirals) and that there is some association between lack of antibody response and neuropathy symptoms?

    Thanks and good luck with all of your work!

    Like

    • Herpes Vaccine Research says:

      Hi UK Distressed,

      I think this is an important but not entirely resolved question. Glycoprotein G-2 antibody capture ELISAs are the current standard of care for herpes antibody testing, but the method has serious sensitivity issues. Trying to get the HSV ABVIC test out there so we can better address the important question you raise.

      – Bill H.

      Like

      • UKDistressed says:

        If the ELISA Is a poor test, why is the Western Blot also negative in some of these cases considering the swab is positive? Doesn’t the WB look for a wider range of antigens? Could it take some people years to turn positive as has been reported by a few? Thanks

        Like

      • Herpes Vaccine Research says:

        Dear UKDistressed,

        The HSV ABVIC manuscript is completed and will be submitted for publication shortly, and you can read the paper when it is published. What many blog readers forget is that 100% of my time is occupied doing research and writing that needs to be completed in order to solve these problems for the world (thru peer-reviewed science).

        The blog is a kindness that I attempt to offer to provide a realistic picture of where things stand, since such information is generally lacking. I simply don’t have the time to address every layperson’s every question that stems from (1) their lack of background with the science or, far more often, (2) because the state of the published literature does not provide a clear introduction / background to laypeople to make plain where the next logical line of scientific inquiry should be heading. So please note, that this will be my final response to your query as I have other matters that require my full attention.

        The bottom line is that without antiviral drugs in the picture and with a quantitative herpes serology test (ABVIC), which uses crazy things like hard numbers, thousands of replicate measurements, and statistics, then under those circumstances…..antibody seroconversion to HSV-1 or HSV-2 should not take years, but in general should take 3 to 6 weeks. Maybe there is an exception to this rule, but both gG-2 antibody capture ELISA and HSV Western blots are simply not the best possible tools for the job, and that is why I developed the HSV ABVIC test….I have been running herpes serology tests since I was a grad student in the early 1990s.

        In reality, today, antivirals are used widely and that complicates seroconversion times because it should generally delay the amount of time required to acquire detectable levels of HSV-2-specific IgG, and it may create an artificially low “ceiling” on how high those HSV-2 IgG levels climb……hence delaying and complicating their detection.

        The Western blot can be better than a gG-2 ELISA, but Western blots are not a quantitative test but rather are the worst kind of a test…..a visual test that relies on the subjective interpretation of a human observer. When Western blot results are clear and there are a truckload of bands in the HSV-2 lane but not in the uninfected cell lane, all is good and the results are clear. When there are no bands at all, all is good. But what if there are 2 bands that are fuzzy and indistinct in the HSV-2 lane? This is not a hypothetical….this happens all the time and the testing facility returns “HSV-2 Indeterminate” results. This is where the HSV Western blot fails, and it is because this test (and every test) has a lower limit of detection. The problem for the Western blot is that there are not 1000s of replicate measurements and there are no numerical values returned that quantify the level of “HSV-2-specific IgG antibody.” Rather, there is a human observer visualizing an equivocal result. This makes it incredibly difficult, and very fuzzy, where the lower limit of detection (+/- cutoff line) lies in the HSV Western blot. That is a big problem.

        The HSV ABVIC test quantifies the level of “HSV-2-specific IgG antibody” based on 1000s of replicate measurements in a flow cytometer and that allows statistical comparison to HSV-seronegative samples, such that we may conclude the probability of this person being HSV-2-seronegative is 50% (i.e., they are HSV-2-seronegative) or the probability of this person being HSV-2-seronegative is less than 1 in a million (i.e., they are HSV-2-seropositive). This is a more scientifically precise way to test for total HSV-2-specific IgG antibody. It’s qualitative testing versus quantitative testing, and makes for a, objective and better-defined +/- cutoff line between “HSV-2 seronegative” results and “HSV-2 seropositive” results.

        It’s litmus paper versus a pH meter.

        So, we can come full circle to where we started. If we start using a QUANTITATIVE herpes serology test that tests for antibodies to all of HSV-2’s antigens, then we will be FOR THE FIRST TIME, using the proper scientific tool to address your question as to whether people who fail to seroconvert are:

        (1) making HSV-2-specific antibodies that we are not detecting in current tests (i.e., I note that gG-2 antibody capture ELISAs are ordered by doctor far more frequently than HSV Western blots); or

        (2) some individuals erroneously attribute their symptoms to a “HSV-2 infection” that they do not have, and thus they never seroconvert and never produce HSV-2-specific antibodies because their bodies do not contain the HSV-2 virus.

        A third, obscure possibility..which I doubt is relevant to your question…is that a person could be infected with HSV-2 and could mount such an incredibly T-cell-biased immune response to HSV-2 that the B-cells would not produce enough IgG antibody to detect in an antibody test even after months or years. Personally, this sounds like a fairy tale to me. It is hard to imagine a patient with “herpes symptoms” (which will require significant HSV-1 or HSV-2 viral amplification) so successfully skewing the immune system away from a B-cell response that antibodies are undetectable after a year….very hard to swallow possibility 3.

        So my money is on predominantly possibility 2 (patients erroneously pinning real symptoms [caused for other reasons] on “herpes”) with a decent smattering of possibility 1 of failure to detect a real HSV-1 or HSV-2 infection over time with the PREDOMINANTLY USED, and conceptually flawed, gG-1 vs gG-2 antibody capture ELISA.

        Some patients infected with HSV-1 or HSV-2 may not put together antibody response that includes glycoprotein G-specific antibodies; HSV-1 and HSV-2 encode between 20 and 30 proteins that are “antibody-generating” and glycoprotein G is probably about #15 in that priority list [it is a weak antigen]…some patients may just skip it altogether and focus on more dominant HSV antigens like gB, RR-1, ICP8, VP5, VP1-2, VP22, gE, gI, gD, gC, etc.

        I hope that this helps bring specificity to what I said earlier in response to your interesting question. Getting the ABVIC test out there will vastly improve our capacity to answer your question, and I am afraid that the current, qualitative techniques we have been using since 2000 are simply not up to the task.

        – Bill H.

        Liked by 1 person

      • RMaster says:

        If funding is a problem and your the man that is bringing hope then why not ask the people suffering to help fund this so you can make it happen soon. I believe I have just got this horrible virus that is ruining my life. I would have no problem doing my part to pitch in so I don’t have to live in hell the rest of my life. If a million are affected a day and those million put in $5 that’s 5 million right there. Regardless if it is released this year in another country I’m there. This is my life and I want it back, thanks to you for bringing hope. Please make this a reality very soon Dr.Halford I don’t want to suffer!

        Like

      • Misnay says:

        Hi Dr Halford,

        Can a person infect with herpes and no symptoms and not generated antibody as the level of infection are too low which our body can’t detect.

        I’m very anxiety about this because I saw some experts said some person will not generate antibody for herpes.

        Thanks.

        Like

  43. hopeful says:

    Dr. Halford, I just want to ask you for everything that is most sacred. Put this vaccine on the market soon, just so it will get faster in Brazil, I have chronic headaches for 3 months without stopping, without stopping, without Stop, my wife the same way. Please help us otherwise a disgrace is on the way. There is not the slightest condition to live like this, feeling this damn virus on the back of the neck all the time, tingling and nausea. How terrible that, I do not have my normal head anymore, why this? Because the virus does not stop replicating one minute ?? Please help me. Dude, I do not know what I’m doing.

    Like

    • Femaleinher20s says:

      Hi Professor,

      I understand there is a vaccine being developed for HSV2, but what about a cure for those infected? I was diagnosed less than a week ago and it feels like my life is over. Are their any medical advancements for a cure for genital herpes?

      Like

    • Jim says:

      Dr. Halford your vaccine is greatly appreciated by all of us suffers. Many of us plan to get vaccinated ASAP but we also hope that an actual HSV cure is made down the line. Do you see a cure for HSV happening in our lifetime?

      Like

  44. devasher says:

    Dr Halford,

    The phase I trial included people who had the herpes virus for greater than one year. With the larger group of participants expected for phase II will consideration be made for potential participants who have more recently acquired the virus <1 year, or will it be a requirement to have had the virus for that length of time.

    Like

    • CC says:

      Hi Dr. I have all the symptoms of HSV but am repeatably testing negative for both types. I read that sometimes people do not produce enough antibodies to fight the virus. If I were to get your vaccine would my body learn to build antibodies? I have three outbreaks each month even on daily antivirals. I’m in need of help and hoping your vaccine can benefit me. Thank you.

      Like

  45. sciencenerd says:

    Interested in the science that you have described here and its clinical application. Based on the fact that the antibody response is important for the initial infectious challenge followed by T cell response, does it make sense during primary infection to put a patient on antivirals initially as this will suppress the amount of virus seen immunologically? Even though the primary outbreak may be more severe, wouldn’t the immune response be more robust rather than being blunted by the antivirals? Long term would being on antivirals at onset theoretically lead to more recurrences and other sequelae of HSV like neuropathy because the initial immune response was poor to the infection. Just conjecture. Do animal models help explain this? Just wondering if established medical dogma about treating primary infections early with antivirals is sound.

    Like

    • sciencelessblog says:

      This is a question I’ve also had. I contracted genital herpes 3 months back, and have been debating whether to go on a daily suppressive anti-viral routine of Valtrex or not.

      Dr. Halford – since you’ve studied the herpes virus in so much detail, it’d be great to get your insight. On one hand, I’m concerned that taking daily anti-virals is going to make the herpes virus resistant to anti-virals and I’d need to be going to hospital for IV foscarnet or something everytime I have an outbreak, which would be extremely annoying and draining. On the other hand, I’ve heard that taking suppressive anti-viral for first year or so prevents the virus from being able to establish any favorable sites to create lesions. After a year there would be enough antibodies, and virus would possibly just remain dormant. If not taking any anti-virals during the first year after infection, the virus will create sores and lesions at multiple sites and remember them, so then I’ll keep getting lesions on all those sites.

      Is there any fact to these statements? such that I can decide whether to go on daily anti-virals or not?

      Like

  46. hopeful says:

    Dr. halford, in a relation of both hsv 2 genital / oral, is there a possibility of increasing the infection in the glands due to the fact of oral sexual intercourse ?? That is, it can increase a latent viral load and consequently the symptoms due to reinfection ?? Or does not this exist, once infected then remains that single amount of nerves affected?

    Like

  47. Deus o abençoe says:

    Dr. Halford, I know you have already been asked this question to yourself, and perhaps you do not want to answer it again, but I wanted to know from you, if, from your experience, in the face of current genome-editing research, But other older techniques that show potential for latent viral genes, you believe that in the near future we will be able to reduce the latent viral load in the lymph nodes, that is, if it does not completely eliminate at least 50% of hosted viruses In nerve cells ??? Sorry for the question, but it’s just a question of hope in the future. Thanks for your effort.

    Like

  48. Quixotic says:

    Dr. Halford,

    Two questions:

    1) Is the theoretical effectiveness of Theravax in situations where the HSV-2 has affected multiple ganglia reduced? Presumably, the primary location for latency is in the sacral ganglia, so I assume the vaccine is administered in a location served by those ganglia. However, in cases where the virus has infected multiple ganglia throughout the spinal cord causing variable neuropathy (arms/face/etc) will the vaccine be as effective? Will it need to be administered in multiple locations on the body to get appropriate response? I hope this question is not too simplistic or poorly formulated.

    2) Is there any reason to believe that chronic antiviral usage could contribute to worsening neuropathy? Don’t have any mechanism for this but other than it has been anecdotally described by others.

    Thanks for everything you do in working diminish the misery some suffer from this disease.

    Like

    • Herpes Vaccine Research says:

      Hi Quixotic,

      I have to tread lightly here because your questions are not black and white, but are more on the edge of what anyone knows. Regarding first point, I suspect that the Theravax^HSV-2 vaccine would work for most people that have HSV-2 infections in more than one ganglia. Obviously, the challenge increase as (1) the scope [extent] of the HSV infection increases and as (2) the frequency of a patient’s symptoms increases from 1 to 365 days per year. No, I don’t think the vaccine would have to be administered in multiple anatomic locations to deal with a multi-ganglia infection….immunity resides in your blood and your lymph (i.e., your circulatory system) and thus it tends to circulate throughout your body and get concentrated in the places where the offending HSV proteins (what the immune system “sees” as foreign) occur in the body.

      2) Regarding the association of chronic antiviral usage and neuropathy, the main thing I have gotten from talking to patients is that while the antivirals may shorten the duration of their external (visible) symptoms, almost to a person, it seems that patients with HSV-induced neuropathic pain report the antivirals do NOTHING to alleviate this pain.

      – Bill H.

      Like

      • John B. says:

        Dr. Halford, thanks you what you are doing.
        2 very quick questions:

        1) Does the Theravax live-attenuated stain replicate in the body and then get eliminated by the immune system, or does it establish latency – periodically re-activating for life, but too weakly to cause any symptoms or risk of transmission (being attenuated)?

        2) One must not take anti-virals while receiving the vaccine, in order to allow the attenuated virus to replicate and build up the immune response – but is it recommended to not take anti-virals for just long enough to get the immune response? Would a person then start taking them after the vaccination is complete, and benefit from BOTH the vaccine and the anti-virals? Or would the anti-virals suppress the latent attenuated virus from activating, reducing the immune response over time, and thus being counter-productive?

        3) It would be great to get the benefit of both the vaccine and the anti-virals at the some time, post vaccination – but would this decrease the longevity of the effectiveness of the vaccine? I know many vaccines int he past have faded over time and required booster shots (with limited benefit to begin with, being weaker immune response vaccines / candidates) . . .

        Could you shed some light on this?

        Many thanks.

        Like

  49. Felix says:

    Hi Dr. Halford,

    I’ve been reading up a bit on skin-resident cytotoxic T cells, and learned that they play a key role in controlling HSV-2 outbreaks. I’ve also read that the virus does most of its replication outside of the ganglia, and much of it in nonlymphotic tissue. It got me wondering if vaccine injection site could play a role in the vaccine’s efficacy. For example, would an injection in the buttock or near the tailbone, elicit a strong T cell response in an area where the virus is known to travel and replicate? I’m curious if it is possible that T cells would swarm to this location and memory T cells could do a better job containing the virus by creating a local barrier, as opposed to the vaccine being injected into the upper arm, for example.

    Like

    • Herpes Vaccine Research says:

      Hi Felix,

      I have looked at the effect of vaccine-site delivery and in the case of a live-attenuated HSV-2 vaccine, it seems to make very little difference. This is likely because the way immune responses to HSV-2 seem to work is that (1) antibodies are the primary mediators of protection during the first 24 hours of a HSV-2 challenge and (2) that first 24 hours sets the stage to efficiently recruit T cells out of the bloodstream into whichever tissue is the site of the antibody-HSV-2 antigen interaction. Supporting 2015 paper is here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26670699

      Several other labs have since provided independent corroboration that antibodies are the relevant “first-wave of defense” against HSV-1 and HSV-2. So, getting back to your question, anywhere you immunize that elicits an antibody response to HSV-2 will work.

      – Bill H.

      Like

  50. Someguy says:

    Hey Dr Halford,

    I read that HIV-PrEP mildly prevented contraction of HSV.

    However, I googled, and googled, but I couldn’t find ANY studies detailing how effective a Valtrex-PrEP is for preventing HSV contraction.

    Furthermore, I couldn’t find anything about Valtrex as something to take for post-exposure prevention.

    It seems like such a basic thing, which should have lots of studies, at the least on mice or guinea pigs. Even if theoretically it shouldn’t be too effective, surely it is something that MUST be tested and measured? Do you know of any studies/trials you can cite or mention? Maybe I just didn’t use the right keywords…

    If this area hasn’t been thoroughly studied, is this further evidence of the mental laziness of viral scientists that you often talk about?

    Like

    • Herpes Vaccine Research says:

      Someguy,

      I do not understand why you and others keep suggesting that treatments that are completely unrelated to HSV should reduce the severity of herpes symptoms. Most people want to know about the claims that the VZV vaccine cross-protects against herpes. Similar claims have been made about any number of influenza, smallpox, and other vaccinations over the decades, and yet none of these claims ever yield a viable treatment.

      If we were to be logical about this, what should we conclude? Every vaccine that has ever worked in the history of medicine dating back 220 years has been ANTIGEN-SPECIFIC…..the vaccine must possess ANTIGENS (the more the better) that are shared by the pathogen (disease-causing agent) to get a protective effect.

      The reason the measles vaccine (part of MMR vaccine) protects against the viral disease of MEASLES is because the measles vaccine and the pathogenic measles virus share 99% of the EXACT SAME ANTIGENS in common. Please note that receiving the measles vaccine will not help you with herpes because they share NO ANTIGENS is common. The same is true for what you are proposing and for the VZV vaccine, which share nothing in common with HSV-1 or hSV-2.

      Maybe I have been studying immunology for too long, but I just don’t understand what people don’t get about this……..if you want to prevent disease caused by friggin’ HSV-2, then you probably want to use a HSV-2 vaccine that shares 99% of its ANTIGENS in common with the pathogenic HSV-2 virus.

      – Bill H.

      Like

  51. fernando says:

    Hello, Dr. When do you think this vaccine will be launched? It is very difficult to endure this disease, the disorder it causes in patients is terrible. I only have hope in you … because after I discovered that I have this misfortune my life is ruined.

    Like

  52. winksv12 says:

    Hello Dr. Halford,
    Hope you’re doing well!
    1. What’s the chance we’ll ever see a real cure for herpes? i.e., a cure that extracts all the herpes viral DNA/matter from hiding and then either let the immune system or strong antivirals kill it, and there by completely freeing the body from any traces of herpes virus? If there is a chance of such a cure, can you point me to any ongoing research/researchers and do you have any prediction on how long before we see such a cure become available?
    2. If and when such a cure does become available, would having taken a vaccine such as Theravax preclude my chances of successfully taking advantage of the “real cure”? i.e., would Theravax interfere with the drug that makes herpes virus come out of hiding? or any other pathway that this drug relies on (I understand it’d be close to impossible to accurately comment on this without knowing how this wonder drug would actually work).

    Thanks!

    Like

    • Herpes Vaccine Research says:

      Preventative HSV-1 and HSV-2 vaccines would prevent future generations from getting all forms of herpetic disease.

      There is no “cure” for people who currently are infected with HSV-1 or HSV-2…….they will always carry the latent virus in their peripheral nervous system. There are only better forms of management of disease. The data from RVx’s clinical trial suggest that the Theravax^HSV-2 vaccine can improve the management of herpes symptoms for the majority of people relative to antiviral drugs.

      – Bill H.

      Like

  53. s.m. says:

    This is a simplistic question by most measure given the scientific depth of some of the other questions. So appreciate if a staff can respond so as not to waste Dr. H time.

    I am an HSV-2 sufferer. My concern is my partner who isn’t. Would Theravax in fact reduce risk to her as a result in lowered shedding from me? How about Profavax. Couldn’t tell from RV website if that is at the same stage as Theravax.

    Liked by 1 person

    • sd633 says:

      Think about it like this: The fact that Rational Vacines is working on a preventative vaccine is evidence enough that the Theravax vaccine is not designed to control spreading of the virus but more to dial back symptoms of chronic sufferers. I imagine at best those people would be brought down to the level of people that are infected but have no symptoms.

      Of course, I hope that is not the only benefit and that what actually happens is that theravax does such a good job of retraining the immune system that as well as keeping outbreaks suppressed it in turn eliminates shedding. However, everything I’ve read so far doesn’t suggest that. Again, this turns out to be the case after phase 2 trials

      Like

  54. Philip says:

    Hello Doc,

    I hope you find yourself happy and in good health today. From what I’ve read in past posts this is not a cure for HSV2 or 1, this is a preventative vaccine that could eliminate the spread of the disease. I am one of the “lucky ones” who have HSV2 in that my symptoms are mild and mostly non existent yet spreading this to another person is a huge concern of mine, especially when I read what some of the other sufferers write. So my questions are (and I’m sorry if you’ve answered this a thousand times) 1. Is this strictly a preventative vaccine? 2. When will it be available through my doctor in the United States? 3. Can current sufferers use this vaccine to lessen or eliminate their symptoms and eliminate the chance of spreading the disease?

    Lastly to all those who are in a dark place because of this disease please try to see that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and no it’s not a train speeding down the track, it’s hope. I know not everyone can raise the money to fly to the doctor including myself but may I suggest opening a gofundme account to cover the cost of transportation. Anyway, hang in there I’m sure its been a long haul but help it seems is on the way!

    Philip

    Like

  55. David white says:

    hello halford ,
    I just can’t live with the daily burden of herpes .. I feel rejected and I can’t wait for a long time before ur vaccine reaches to me here in UK .. I know ur doing a wonderful work by speeding up the entire process by selling the vaccine 1st in Caribbean but for mediocre income people like me that’s not even possible.. the only way to get is to wait patiently till it comes out in UK and frankly speaking I’ve lost such hope. . I would today accept that this tiny virus has defeated Me and today I can’t really take so much of pain everyday .. m tired and I seriously quit

    Like

    • LittleBuddha says:

      Very greatful for all your hard work Doctor. Do you have any advice for those of us who cannot seem to get correctly diagnosed. What do we do when igg, swabs and even Western Blot does not provide us with the information we need to obtain the vaccine?

      Like

  56. ROB says:

    Dr. Halford,

    Thank you for all of your hard work here – I hope you know how much many of us appreciate everything you’ve done. I’m sure you’re super busy but I’m interested to know if there has been any thought or work with your live attenuated vaccine to those who are co-infected with HSV2 and HIV? I’m just curious if this vaccine could be taken by those who are co-infected when it goes to market. I’d be grateful for any feedback around this when you have time.

    Like

  57. Deus o abençoe says:

    Sincerely I do not even think about transmission anymore because unfortunately I infected the person I love the most, as soon as I got a few days later I had contact with this person and I passed hsv 2 oral to her. Result: headache, dizziness, imbalance. I feel we are at risk of life, because I know the risk of encephalitis, meningitis. Please, Dr. Halford, if you can not answer here, I understand perfectly, but if you can clarify in your manuscript I give too much praise. Please clarify whether your vaccine being periodically strengthened will prevent encephalitis and meningitis, your response will calm my heart. Thank you, my friend. God is seeing His will in helping many.

    Like

  58. Dr Ali Syed says:

    Dr Ali Syed ,
    I’ve read about a French study which states the effectiveness of varivax vaccine for hsv1 and 2 for 6 year period .. they reported zero outbreaks
    can we use this approach in the meanwhile till ur vaccine gets approved worldwide ? even if it helps to a little extent wouldn’t it help the patients in a better way?
    (practising dermatologists and venereal disease expert )

    Like

    • Justin says:

      Dr Ali,

      I also read the study and brought it to my doctors attention. He said it made sense and suggested i try the Zostavax shingles vaccine. Zostavax is the chickenpox vaccine but 14 times stronger. i was 46 and it is not recommended for those below 50. My doctor now gives it to HSV 1 and HSV 2 patients regardless of age as he has had good feedback.

      I have found it effective, it reduced my outbreaks (15 years HSV 2) by about 60%, reducing my neurological pain to almost zero and gave me alot of confidence in daily life that i would not have an outbreak. I have never taken antivirals and although i still get the occasional outbreak they are much milder and heal much quicker.

      Im not saying Zostavax is miracle cure but i believe it does benefit people who take it.

      Why was the study undertaken in Paris if there was no evidence of benefits from the chickenpox vaccine? Who paid for the study? I know many people who have taken the vaccine and they all agree it has helped them in many ways.

      Yes there was no follow up to this paris study, but there is also no study of the benefits of shingles vaccine to those under 50, and in theory it would help under 50s for shingles as many people do get shingles in 20s 30s etc. Why are people denied a shingles vaccine below 50, just because no study has been done, why has no study been done? A 50 year old would not be any different from a 30 year old with regards to immune system and i dont believe it would be dangerous to have it below 50.

      I would be happy to answer any questions from anyone about my experience.

      Like

      • leesa Huang says:

        Dear JUSTIN,
        Thank you for your information,Do you know any other people who get Zostavax have good feedback like you?Could you tell me you email so i can ask you some other questions. Thank you.

        Like

  59. Dr Ali Syed says:

    hello Dr halford
    I’m a practising dermatologist from Houston texas and I got to know about your vaccine from a patient suffering from genital herpes .. I’ve seen many cases like this and one thing common between the patients is the concern to transmit the infection to their partners.. I know there’s something called asymptomatic shedding but I’m also skeptical about it since it may have been created by the pharmaceutical companies to sell their products so that the people take it throughout their lives because of this fear .. if the patients watch out for prodormals , abstain during outbreaks and prodormals I don’t think it can be transmitted otherwise .. ur thoughts on this would be highly appreciated

    Like

  60. Dr Steve Ricardo says:

    why cant we use varivax vaccine for suppression of herpes symptoms as there has been a study in France which states that people receiving the shots experienced zero outbreaks in 6 year follow up period ? till the time ur vaccine comes to the market we can use it to manage herpes in a more efficient way .. there has to be some cross immunity between the two viruses .. and my other question is even if the manuscripts which u described earlier get finished by the end of 2017 there’s a long way it can be approved world wide so in the meanwhile I think the varivax vaccine may give my patients to keep the virus in check

    Like

    • mike chen says:

      hello,STEVE,you said varivax vaccine can help patinets who has herpes suppress thesymptoms of herpes,is it ture? Where can i see the report of france reaserch. appreciate if you can reply.

      Like

      • Herpes Vaccine Research says:

        Hi Mike,

        FYI, I have spoken to many herpes patients who tried the chickenpox or shingles vaccines, and it did not reduce their herpes symptoms. So, I question the credibility of the French paper (published in 2012) for two reasons: (1) too many patients have reported non-results after trying and (2) varicella-zoster virus (VZV, which causes chickenpox and shingles) are antigenically unrelated viruses……..there is no good immunological reason why boosting the body’s defenses to VZV should elicit cross-protection against HSV-1 or HSV-2. Seemed like a far-fetched idea in 2012. I have not seen any credible scientific follow-up in the past 4 years to change my mind.

        – Bill H.

        Like

    • Kim says:

      Hi Dr. Halford. A group of us neuralgia suffers are concerned about the comments made my a trailer patient who said even though the Vax helped her greatly it in,y lasted around four months. Can you please explain this a bit more? And what us chronic pain suffers should expect that may be different for us. Thanks for all your hard work!

      Like

      • stephen kcenich says:

        that is because it had only been 4 months after the third shot when the patient reported, there had not been any opportunity to observe the 5th month, but there is no reason to believe it would not continue — stop wasting Dr. Halford’s time, he’s a busy man.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Herpes Vaccine Research says:

        Hi Stephen,

        In general, I agree with you…..I simply have more pressing matters to attend to than answering each and every person’s questions. That said, these are all fair questions, but the way for me to address them is to write the scientific manuscripts and bring the whole world up to speed in one fell swoop. That said, I have 2 of 4 manuscript drafts completed for 2017, am starting into the 3rd manuscript, and hope to be working on the 4th manuscript related to the St Kitts clinical trial by June 2017. Unfortunately, good science just takes longer to execute than most people suspect. I hope that the finished manuscripts, once published, answer many of the questions raised on the blog in an honest and thorough manner.

        – Bill H.

        Like

  61. Suffering says:

    Hi Dr. H.

    Like most of those following this blog, I too am grateful for your hard work and dedication to finding therapeutic and preventative vaccines for herpes. I’m excited by the progress you’ve made, but have a few questions about the results you published from your first trial.

    What do you think happened with patient CC-32? How do you explain the increase in symptomatic days post-vaccination?

    With regard to the 3 patients with HSV-1, it’s interesting that they seemed to note some benefit from the vaccine, but 3 patients is an awfully small sample size from which to draw any conclusions. Do you have plans to expand this cohort?

    How do you convince others like them who are not infected with HSV-2, to volunteer for an HSV-2 vaccine inoculation and do you or they have any concerns that they might become infected with HSV-2 as a result of this vaccine?

    Will those patients undergo additional cultures and serotype testing do determine if any lesions test positive for HSV-2 post-vaccination?

    Do any patients in the study have facial or labial herpes and did they show any benefits? Are there plans to evaluate the vaccine on those symptoms as well?

    I pose these questions out of genuine curiosity and with the utmost respect for your tireless efforts.

    Thank you for giving us all hope.

    Sincerely,
    Suffering

    Like

  62. Kurius says:

    Dr. Halford,
    I know you are one of the few who acknowledges the neuropathic features of HSV. It seems like many in HSV neuropathy category have a history of negative or equivocal antibody testing even months or years out with some having a history of at least one positive PCR swab. Is there something fundamental about the humoral immunity angle (or lack of antibody production) that tells us something about why these individuals suffer more from neuropathic pain? The mechanism of neuropathic pain I’m sure is complex, but at this point only the therapeutic vaccines seems to offer long term hope for sufferers. Thanks.

    Like

  63. Dúvidas says:

    Dr. Halford, I know that questions seem repetitive, but I have two questions that you would like to answer because it is a question of many and also of great importance. You know that hsv 2 is a cause of malformation in the nervous system of newborn children, but it is also responsible for causing encephalitis in adults. The first question is whether women can take the vaccine after or during pregnancy, if in that case it would bring any problems for the child. And second question is whether after the first vaccination theravax and being periodically strengthened would virtually reduce to almost zero the possibility of encephalitis taking into consideration that it is a situation that occurs rarely and in that case would be an almost cure. Get dr. I know that you are quite busy, but these questions can be very clear to us. Thank you from the heart.

    Like

  64. Dr Samuel perrara says:

    I’m talking about the principle of Edward jenner which he used to prevent smallpox .. he is the father of modern vaccinology.. what he did was he inoculated children with cow pox lesions in the forearm when smallpox was rampant and when they got introduced to small pox the disease was mild and they survived which later on formed the core principle behind developing vaccines to prevent disease .. if hsv 1 and 2 can be inoculated in some area say in the hand then when the person gets exposed to the virus in the future he won’t get genital or oro labial herpes since antibodies would be there .. it would be convenient to get outbreaks on ur fingers rather than having them on sensitive areas like your genitals .. it could be dealt with easily so y not try this approach? herpetic whitlow occurs when the infection occurs at sites other than genitals or the oral cavity .. by doing so people would not get herpes and transmission could be stopped

    Like

    • Herpes Vaccine Research says:

      Dr Perrera,

      With a live-and-appropriately attenuated HSV-1 or HSV-2 vaccine, it is not necessary to get herpes on your fingers or hands or anywhere…..the live-attenuated vaccine is benign enough that it produces no symptoms and yet it still elicits a robust and protective immune response to HSV-1 or HSV-2.

      Jenner is the father of vaccinology, but a lot of improvements have happened since 1798. There are no known side effects of the live HSV-1 or live HSV-2 vaccines that I am discussing on this blog.

      – Bill H.

      Like

  65. Anonymous says:

    hello Dr Bill
    I’m seriously done with the pain and suffering from this virus and I can’t live with so much burden in mgm chest anymore .. ur vaccine has made a good progress and I know it would be avaialble for sale soon but as far as I know I live in india and it would take years for it to come to my country.. I’ve had 20 recurrences till now with large blisters and I’m tired of suffering the pain .. I know I should hold on but I’ve lost all courage .. I think it’s high time to end everything since living with it every single day is a pain

    Like

    • vccccc says:

      Hello anonymous,
      I felt like you did a while back. You have to stay strong, and hope that there will be a vaccine soon. I’ve had this illness for 21 long years, and have been hibernating from life since then. Sometimes I think prison would be easier. At least in prison you don’t get to see what your missing. I spend at least half an hour on the internet each day looking for something to get me through the next day. Most of the time, I see a lot of optimism, and nothing seems to happen. They said a vaccine was a couple of years away 20 years ago. This vaccine I’ve known about for along time. I’ve wanted this to go ahead, and can’t understand why its taken so long. I’ve come to a conclusion that politics, money, or business has become more important than peoples health. After all why cure something if you can make more money selling medication that gives temporary relief. I congratulate Mr Halford for growing a pair, and making progress to help the sufferers of this disease. He’s trying to help us as soon as he can, and as safely as he can. Try to be positive. Negative thoughts will only stress yourself out.

      Like

  66. Rick says:

    Dr. Hallford,

    When do you expect it to be possible for someone to travel to receive theravax outside of a trial? Also which country/countries do you expect it to be widely available in first? Thanks.

    -Rick

    Like

  67. Felix says:

    Hi Dr. Halford,

    I had applied for your upcoming trial a couple of months ago. On the questionairre section, it asked if I had taken antivirals, and my experience with them. At the time, I had never taken them, so I responded accordingly. Since then, I have been on daily Valtrex (unfortunately, it is not reducing my daily symptoms). Should I reapply and add this information, or is my initial application still ok? Thank you.

    Like

    • Hope says:

      Hi Felix I’m also on daily Valtrex yet it does nothing to help prevent OBs. When I first got HSV I did a lot of reading and was happy to hear most websites said how “easily Herpies can be controlled by antivirals.” ha! What a joke! This is why I’m so greatful for Dr. Halford. Without his determination so many if us would become life longer sufferers. Thank you Dr. Halford!
      Ps: I’m wondering if we are all better off just going off the antivirals? I believe anyone who is getting the vaccine has to be off of them for quite awhile anyway.

      Like

  68. Dr Hyder says:

    Regardless, the available data suggest that for a therapeutic vaccine to be effective, it must (i) induce Th1 immunity, including CD8+ CTL; (ii) activate innate immunity (viz., NK activity); (iii) fail to induce appropriate levels of Th2 cytokines; and (iv) overcome the effects or inhibit the function of regulatory (suppressor) T cells. does the theravax vaccine fulfil all these criterias ?

    Like

    • Herpes Vaccine Research says:

      Dear Dr Hyder,

      With all due respect, I have been studying the interface between herpes simplex virus and the immune system for 25 years, and you sir do not have the faintest clue what you are talking about. The requirements for a therapeutic HSV-2 vaccine cannot be so neatly summarized because the viral immunology community does not fully appreciate the underpinnings of why a therapeutic HSV-2 vaccine should work. However, I now possess significant data that (1) a therapeutic HSV-2 vaccine that reduces herpes symptoms is quite possible and I publicly presented this data on October 13, 2016 and (2) I am working on the manuscript that will formally write up what appears to be the real immunological explanation as to how it works.

      Quit wasting my time with your inane commentary which is consistently not only off-point, but just blatantly wrong and misinformed.

      – Bill H.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Kim says:

        Dr. Halford what would you say to someone who is suffering so bad from the physical pain of HSV that they are seriously considering suicide?

        Like

      • Herpes Vaccine Research says:

        Hi Kim,

        I would ask you to hang in there and have some hope that Rational Vaccines’ therapeutic HSV-2 vaccine is not that far away, and could really help dial back your symptoms. I believe that hope is worthwhile, and I would ask if you can find enough in your heart to hang on for another year.

        – Bill H.

        Like

      • Ali says:

        Dr.Halford I’ve been following your research for a family member of mine and I’ve told them to apply for the clinical trial , my only question is when will the next trial be if you can answer and once an application is accepted what is the next step ?

        – God Bless

        Like

      • Herpes Vaccine Research says:

        Dear Ali (and the scores of others who have asked),

        I will say when the next round of trials will occur only after all logistical details are nailed down. This is how it has to be. Otherwise, I am venturing into the realm of speculation with which I am uncomfortable. When I can specify dates, I will do so. In the meantime, my answer is ASAP.

        – Bill H

        Like

      • Kim says:

        Thank you Doctor! You are not just a strong, noble man, you are a god sent, All humans should strive to be like you. Thank you so much for your hard work and determination. Yes, with what you’ve said here I do believe I can hang on for one more year. Thank you for saving my life.

        Like

    • Respet says:

      DR HYDER?

      Dr Hyder, please leave Dr. Halford do what he is working his ass for during the last part of his life to help others!!!!!

      Dr Halford, you really are doing an outstanding job!!! Congratulations for your effort, regardless of the final results, you deserve all the RESPECTS!!!!!

      And I really believe you are very close to the results that you are looking for!!!!!!

      All respect and god bless you DR Halford!!!!!!!!!!!

      Like

  69. chris says:

    Hello Dr. Hartford. I wanted to ask for the theravax will it help prevent transmission or will it just help to refuce outbreak or both. Thanks

    Like

  70. Quero viver says:

    Dr. Halford, I’m sorry but I could not stop writing you. I have herpes at 5 months and I already have an encephalitis situation. I ask you humbly to have faith in this research because my only hope of staying alive is in God and his vaccine. Please help us. Thank you.

    Like

  71. AJUDA says:

    Dr. Halford por favor leia esse comentário. Além das terríveis consequências da herpes, tem também doenças como a encefaletite e a meningite herpética que está tirando vidas. Por favor ,ajude-me estou sentindo dores na nuca há 5 dias. Estou com medo. Minha esperança mais rápida é sua vacina. Deus te abençoe. Estamos com você !!!

    Like

    • Jess says:

      Hello Dr.Halford, hope you are doing well and pray for your success. I have a simple question, would getting the zostavax vaccine affect recieving the Theravax vaccine in any way ? I heard it can help with nerve pain caused by HSV. Bless you.

      Like

      • Hope says:

        Dr. Halford firstly thank you for all your hard work, you are giving many people hope. I’m in the position where my body is having a very difficult time handling the virus. I get atleast two painful outbreaks a month even while on daily Valtrex, will your vaccine be safe for people with low immiune systems? Please keep up the good work, you’re a life saver to many.

        Like

  72. Chris says:

    Hello Dr Hartford. I know your busy and I’m going to be brief. The theravex vaccine will reduce symptoms and prevent the spread of herpes or will it just reduce symptoms. Thanks

    Like

    • Niya says:

      Most of the questions being asked have been answered several times. Please read past comments.
      Also the petition he posted gives a lot more information, you should read and sign that also

      Like

  73. Dr. Steve Ricardo says:

    hi Dr Bill,
    as we know there’s a corelation between genital herpes and hiv so if a patient is having herpetic lesions at the Base of the penis where the condom hasn’t covered the sore then is he at risk of contracting hiv ? if the lesions are healed then the risk becomes zero or there has to be an outbreak for hiv acquisition? after reading Dr. Anthony’s new research paper it states that no need for active lesions for transmission of hiv in patients with history of genital herpes since the skin provides a favourable atmosphere for hiv to infect macrophages concentrated in that area .. so this leaves me pretty confused as to if the patient will really benefit by choosing to wear condoms if he has a history of genital herpes to prevent hiv acquisition

    Like

  74. Dr. Steve Ricardo says:

    hi
    I’ve read ur paper on hsv basic pathology and it says that the severity of primary hsv outbreak depends on the amount of trauma to the epidermis ? I’ve also noted from patients that their primary outbreak was very severe following a vigourous sexual intercourse .. does that mean that following vigourous sexual encounter it’s more likely for the HSV virus to enter the body more easily?

    Like

    • Herpes Vaccine Research says:

      Hi Dr. Ricardo,

      Yes, the outer layer of every surface of our body is covered in a layer of dead, highly keratinized cells that cannot support the replication of any virus. If that outer layer is traumatized / abraded / broken, the cells underneath are alive and are thousands of times better at supporting HSV-1 or HSV-2 replication. So, the integrity of the epithelial layer, or lack thereof, is a huge risk factor for a primary HSV infection being much worse. So, I agree with everything that you wrote.

      – Bill H

      Like

      • J Barnes says:

        Dear Dr. Halford,

        I read in your interview with Josh Bloom (October 2016) that you expected to make your Theravax HSV-2 vaccine available sometime in 2017, although not in the US. I know the phase 1 trial was done outside of the US to allow for accelerated human trials, with good results. Is it still your plan to make the vaccine available in 2017, in a location outside of the US?

        Is there any update on when we could expect a more detailed announcement from you or the company about what is being planned in this regard?

        Many thanks for all of your great work.

        J

        Like

      • Jessica says:

        Dear Dr. Halford, If you’d like an anecdotal data point re: your “epithelial layer integrity” theory, my cousin at 14 years old was only lightly “grazed” by a molester. She had very intact, young skin, fought him off and did not have any sex of any kind–just got lightly touched by his genitals. Yet, she got a severe case of herpes from that light touch–with very intact skin. She had never another outbreak for 40 years!–until menopause. Now she gets some. Why would this be? Also, nowhere have you explained why a vaccine would help recurrent outbreaks —when supposedly people have already built up huge antibodies by just having the disease. Why would a vaccine do any more than people’s own bodies have already done? Actually no one has ever addressed why most viruses, like Epstein Barr, even common flu–do not recur once the person has built up enough antibodies to oust the infection. So, why would just a few viruses–like herpes–recur? What is so different about HSV from other viruses that it is more prone to recurring? Maybe that “difference” is what needs to be isolated and understood in order to have a true “cure?”

        Like

      • Herpes Vaccine Research says:

        Hi Jessica,

        Thanks for the anecdotal story. It would be interesting to hear more such stories if blog readers have had similar anecdotal experiments……scientific observations often emerge from “anecdotes” that keep happening over and over again.

        You write, “Also, nowhere have you explained why a vaccine would help recurrent outbreaks —when supposedly people have already built up huge antibodies by just having the disease. Why would a vaccine do any more than people’s own bodies have already done?”

        The paper from the clinical trial remains to be written up, so I have not explicitly / formally addressed your question. However, I have made at least five posts on the blog that indirectly address your question…..perhaps you might want to read them? They are………

        1. https://liveherpesvaccine.com/2015/01/07/therapeutic-hsv-2-vaccine-critical-goal-or-pipe-dream/

        2. https://liveherpesvaccine.com/2016/06/11/the-downside-of-daily-antiviral-therapy/

        3. https://liveherpesvaccine.files.wordpress.com/2016/10/siu-tech-expo-talk-long-version-1.pdf

        4. https://liveherpesvaccine.files.wordpress.com/2016/10/4-theravaxhsv-2-siu-expo-long-talk.mp4

        5. https://liveherpesvaccine.files.wordpress.com/2016/12/halford-perspectives-manuscript-dec-2016.pdf

        Regarding Item 5, if you go to pages 15 and 16 of the manuscript, there is a section entitled “i. Why should a live HSV-2 ICP0- virus vaccine help genital herpes sufferers?”

        —————

        I think those materials are more than nothing, and you would have a better handle on the answer to your question if you familiarized yourself with these blog postings.

        – Bill H.

        Like

  75. safe820 says:

    Dear Dr Halford,
    I have three questions if i may…

    Question 1, Do you think it would be possible and safe to combine all of the other experimental vaccines to create a ‘super vaccine’ which would illicit a superior immune response making it more effective? ie Genocea, Amadeus, Einstein etc

    Question 2, Do you genuinely believe according to all your scientific knowledge and experience that you have produced a successful functioning cure for HSV?

    Question 3, Can i buy you a beer one day to say thank you?

    Lastly, i want to thank you. Your accessibility to those with this condition helps a great deal. It is comforting to know guys like you are out there.

    Thanks

    Like

  76. Suffering says:

    Hi Dr. H.

    Like most of those following this blog, I too am grateful for your hard work and dedication to finding therapeutic and preventative vaccines for herpes. I’m excited by the progress you’ve made, but have a few questions about the results you published from your first trial. What do you think happened with patient CC-32? How do you explain the increase in symptomatic days post-vaccination? With regard to the 3 patients with HSV-1, it’s interesting that they seemed to note some benefit from the vaccine, but 3 patients is an awfully small sample size from which to draw any conclusions. Do you have plans to expand this cohort? How do you convince others like them who are not infected with HSV-2, to volunteer for an HSV-2 vaccine inoculation and do you or they have any concerns that they might become infected with HSV-2 as a result of this vaccine? Will those patients undergo additional cultures and serotype testing do determine if any lesions test positive for HSV-2 post-vaccination? Do any patients in the study have facial or labial herpes and did they show any benefits? Are there plans to evaluate the vaccine on those symptoms as well? I pose these questions out of genuine curiosity and with the utmost respect for your tireless efforts.

    Thank you for giving us all hope.

    Sincerely,
    Suffering

    Like

  77. fé em deus e no seu instrumento na terra says:

    Boa noite doutor, eu sei que o senhor está muito ocupado e não vai poder responder esse comentário, mas queria só tirar essa dúvida: se essa vacina é um virus atenuado, como parar a dor nervosa se os anticorpos criados não penetram os nervos ?? esse vírus fica alojado nas celulas nervosas, eu já vi estudos que os anticorpos estão podendo penetrar nesse sistema, o senhor acredita que em breve teremos como ter acesso a esses virus para poder erradica-los ?? obrigado doutor, peço ao senhor que persista , só isso. Precisamos do senhor. Amém.

    Like

  78. lukezarc says:

    Dear Bill,

    I’m new to hsv and just got diagnosed for hav2 recently. I was freak out and getting hope by seeing your great achievement.
    I haven’t told my wife yet and before talking to her I m just wandering whether the vax for hsv2 will have side impact on having babe?

    Still anxious about this all the time for a while.
    Looking forward to hearing from you soon.
    Also hope we could hv the vax injeceted this year.

    Kind regards,

    Luke

    Like

    • Mackie82 says:

      Dear doctor Bill, please note that I have a severe chronic neauropathy pain due to HSV1&2 and would like to be in your next trail at any cost. You are the only hope for so many of us the pain is stopping me from even waking at times . I have registered today for the second trail. Thanks

      Like

  79. ajuda says:

    Dr. Wilian Halford, boa noite. Antes de mais nada parabéns pelo seu esforço em ajudar quem tanto precisa. Queria tirar uma dúvida com senhor que é especialista no assunto: tenho herpes e só tive lesão na primeira infecção, porém sinto neuralgias FORTES na região do ânus constantemente. Queria saber se após a vacinação existe a perspectiva desses sintomas diminuírem ou sumirem , ou pelo falo de ser no sistema nervoso a vacina não iria atuar nesse caso. Obrigado desde já.

    Like

    • Herpes Vaccine Research says:

      Dear Ajuda,

      Several participants in the Theravax^HSV-2 vaccine trial had herpes-induced neuropathic pain that they felt as burning and/or stabbing pain in and around their anus, as well as in their lower back. Upon receipt of two or more shots of the Theravax^HSV-2 vaccine, this herpes-induced pain subsided or altogether disappeared. As of 6-months post-vaccination, all people who started with herpes-induced pain indicated that the pain remained greatly lessened (i.e., now 10 or 20 minute-episodes every 3rd or 4th day instead of hours of pain per day every single day). Definitely want to get Theravax^HSV-2 vaccine out there for people with chronic herpes-induced pain, as I believe this is far more effective than antivirals or pain meds in combating this particular side effect of genital herpes.

      – Bill H.

      Liked by 1 person

      • RealScience77 says:

        Dr H.
        The number of people who keep reporting these same symptoms day after day flabbergasts me. For the last 2 years since my diagnosis, these are pretty much my symptoms I feel constantly. I have never had a visual breakout on the genital area but my anus area is always inflamed however, I can never clearly see anything. Sometimes I think I see what appears to be like an anal fissure but I do not know for sure because I have never been swabbed (I was diagnosed by Western Blot after numerous low positive IGG’s). As soon as it seems to heal, it comes right back the next month, rinse and repeat. I never really put the symptoms together with my back pain until I started reading this blog and your accurate info sections from the RV website. I am confident at this point that there has to be a connection with my lower back pain. I have been to a neurologist and now trying a physical therapist but I do not feel like these specialists understand the herpetic disease. I am looking forward to trying your vaccine in the near future. I would love to have my life back not to mention my anus back =-}

        Thank you and to your team for the hard work and wishing you continued success. The millions of sufferers are rooting for you!

        Like

      • Hope says:

        This is incredibly encouraging information Dr. Halford, thank you! Do you believe that the virus can cause nerve damage or are the neuropathic pains we experience simply the virus reacting? I myself get burning in the entire genital area, will the vaccine help with symptoms like this? Thank you for all your hard work. You give us all hope!

        Like

      • Hope says:

        Hi RealScience77, I’m sorry fir your pain. Do you have HSV 1 or 2? I also on,y get flare up feelings (burning, inflammation…) but no visible sores. I hope Dr, Halford can help us get our lives back!

        Like

  80. Seeker says:

    Dr. Bill,
    In your interview with Josh Bloom you said that it was your goal to have Theravax available this year. From what I have read the P2 & P3 trial are planned for later this year. Not validating what has been said on Honeycomb, is there a possibility of delivering a limited release of Theravax somewhere before the P2 & P3 trials have been completed? Again, not giving credibility to what has been posted on HC and not verified do you believe your goal of a 2017 delivery is still achievable?

    Anticipation of your success is super high in some circles and people are filled with hope. It is the only thing keeping some people going. I am part of a group that supports.. and believes in what your are doing 100%. I pray you will succeed.

    Like

    • Herpes Vaccine Research says:

      Hi Seeker,

      Be hopeful, but please remember that I am a single scientist with a lot on his plate (3 manuscripts to write, and a review to revise), and I just don’t like being pressed. Will be happy to share info at a time that is appropriate. We all succeed by letting me do my job, which for now involves writing scientific manuscripts.

      – BH

      Like

  81. Jesus says:

    $2500 for all 3 shots. Thank you, Doctor Bill. I’m crying of joy. You are an Angel. You give hope to the millions. I read the news on Honeycomb. God bless you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Herpes Vaccine Research says:

      Dear Jesus,

      Please bear in mind that I am not a fan of people who release unvetted information about RVx on Honeycomb. I am all about giving hope to people, but not false hope. When RVx has something REAL to say, we will make a Press Release. The inaccuracies posted on Honeycomb in my company’s name are staggering, and it upsets me that people think so little of my work that they would take it upon themselves to misrepresent what RVx is doing and make promises on RVx’s behalf. I would recommend that you take the latest on Honeycomb with a grain of salt, as I didn’t post the info, my business partners didn’t post the info, and the individual who did is not in a credible position to make promises about (1) a specific venue of vaccine sales, (2) a price point, or (3) a timetable for making this happen.

      I am fine with hope, but I am not a fan of unsubstantiated hype.

      – Bill H.

      Liked by 1 person

  82. winksv12 says:

    Dear Dr. Halford,
    First of all, it’s incredibly amazing what you & your team is doing. I myself suffer from genital herpes, and am personally interested in a therapeutic vaccine that can “cure” me, but when I look at the thousands of kids of all ages around me, I hope you find the preventative vaccine as fast, if not sooner, to protect these young lives. And I wish if there’s anything someone like me can do to help, you’d let us know.

    Now, I have 3 questions:
    1. You mention in your blog that “once a safe and effective HSV-2 preventative vaccine is identified, it will be relevant to determine if it has potential to also serve as a therapeutic HSV-2 vaccine” – but I see on your website that you are starting clinical trials for Theravax HSV2, which is the therapeutic vaccine, not the preventative one. Which is great news for me personally, but, according to your above statement, shouldn’t it be the other way round i.e., shouldn’t the testing of Profavax start first? Is it solely because it’s much easier to test effectiveness against the virus already in the body than to test preventative efficacy? If so, I’m still confused with your original statement and the methodology – how will a safe & effective preventative vaccine be identified to further determine if it can also serve as a therapeutic vaccine if you are testing for therapeutic vaccine first?

    2. What do you think about the recent news about a new vaccine being developed at UPenn. Please see http://www.popsci.com/herpes-vaccine-study and http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-4138240/Could-jab-STOP-genital-herpes.html
    In particular, “The new vaccine takes aim at two other glycoproteins as well (gC2 and gE2) which hamper the immune system while HSV2 runs amok through the body.”
    I’m curious to know how is this approach different from the ICP0 RELVs being developed by RVx? And how successful do you think this approach is going to be?

    3. Dr. Friedman, in one of the articles above, says “If the (therapeutic) vaccine behaves like this in people, it would limit lesions to appearing only about one day in 100, and the virus would be potentially contagious only about two in every 1,000 days.” First of all, are there any similar claims that you can make about Theravax just yet? Secondly, this sounds like it’s not a cure after all, just a way to control the symptoms. So the question is, will Theravax be a real cure or will it be yet another way to control the symptoms? Is there or can there ever be a therapeutic vaccine that will completely remove the virus from the body? Can Theravax be that vaccine?
    As you can understand, I’m interested in complete removal of the virus so as to not only get rid of symptoms like lesions, swollen lymph nodes, neuralgia, but also completely eradicate the chance of ever infecting anyone else, or auto-inoculating myself, or having to suffer from meningitis or encephalitis, any cancers, and whatever other risks come with harboring HSV in my body.

    It’d be lovely if you would be able to answer these questions. Either ways, I thank you & your team for what you are trying to achieve for humanity!!!

    Like

    • Gar11 says:

      Read through all the blogs and notes and comments on here, hes stated many times that theravax is coming first to help current sufferers and also will pave the way to the preventative

      Like

    • Eu says:

      Eu também queria muito essas respostas amigo, e acredito que todos aqui queriam. Porém o dr. Halford relatou em alguns comentários que a theravax é apenas uma “cura funcional” ou seja, o vírus permanece no organismo porém controlado. Isso pra quem sofre de neuralgia constantes é uma vitória. Acredito que para erradicar esse vírus ainda virão muitos anos de estudo e talvez nem haja essa cura, pois com as vacinas preventivas as pessoas não mais transmitirão o vírus. Essa é a ideia principal. Porém todos nós estamos atentos a descoberta dá cura e se um dia Deus mostrar será bem vinda. Mas uma pergunta sua me chamou bastante atenção: essas doenças são causas pela herpes ??? Mas se formos analisar ninguém morre de herpes. Abraço amigo. Deus te abençoe.

      Like

  83. esperança says:

    Doutor , eu lhe peço que leia esses comentários pois são de pessoas desesperadas que buscam uma luz ao fim do túnel. por favor nós depositamos todas as nossas esperanças nessa sua vacina, pois vivemos com sintomas DIÁRIOS desse vírus e precisamos muito de sua ajuda. Que Deus lhe dê sabedoria e paciência.

    Like

  84. Cz says:

    Hi Dr Halford,

    I am writing to enquire as to why a ‘instant home viral shedding test kit’ or something similar does not yet exist? Such a device would be available for purchase (similar to how pregnancy test kits or even the rapid HIV test kits are available for purchase to the public) and would take a sample from the affected area then give a reasonably rapid indication of whether viral shedding was indeed occurring at that time or not, in much the same way someone in lab performs such an analysis. Such a device would practically eliminate the biggest single issue that exists for HSV-2 sufferers, which is the possibility of passing on the virus to a partner when asymptomatic. People would simply not engage in intercourse if they had some indication that viral shedding was taking place. Clearly the market for such a product would be enormous, assuming that everyone who suffers from HSV-2 would purchase such a device. I can only speculate that such a device may have been thought of already but would clearly not be in the interests of big pharma, for whom sales of their ineffective antivirals would surely plummet? I am a physicist myself, so I don’t have an in depth knowledge of biology, but I have been reading about PCR and it seems to me that creating such a device is surely within the realms of possibility, perhaps producing a colour change of a certain reagent when a positive result was given? It baffles me why someone hasn’t thought about this, like I say I am not a biologist but I think such a device is surely possible with a little thinking. I may look into this myself! Maybe you can enlighten me as to the reasons?

    Cheers

    Liked by 2 people

    • Herpes Vaccine Research says:

      Hi Cz,

      If you are a scientist than you will be familiar with the concept of “below the reliable lower limit of detection.” HIV replicates in the blood and there are millions of infectious units of HIV per ml blood in someone who is untreated. HSV-1 and HSV-2 are not in the blood, but are in your nervous system. So, reliable detection would require surgical removal of the latently infected ganglia and polymerase chain reaction for HSV-1 or HSV-2 DNA. To be safe, you would have to remove the left and right ganglia from the lower 5 segments of the spine. You would be paralyzed and numb from the waist down, but you might answer your question.

      If one wishes to go the more conservative route of swabbing the skin, the amount of infectious virus shed at any point in time is 0 to 100 infectious units, with most of the time points containing zero. There is simply not enough virus for an instant antigen-based test like HIV.

      Learn some virology and something about chronic viral infections vs latent viral infections, and then you will know why the idea of a home-based test for HSV-1 or HSV-2 is vanishingly unlikely.

      – Bill H.

      Like

      • Catherine says:

        Hi Dr, Halford. Your research on HSV is the only thing keeping me alive at this point. I was infected in Septemberr by an open sore. My giver was not honest about what it was. I’m guessing my viral load is extremely high. My blood tests are still coming back negative for both viruses. My giver claimes that he only has HSV 1. If your vaccine comes available will it benefit those of us who suffer from GHSV1? I suffer daily from intense vagina burning. My doctor put me on Amitriplyn and Valtrex but it does little. I’d love to be apart of your next trail, I have signed up on the website. I’m praying for your vaccine. Thank you so much for your help.

        Liked by 1 person

    • SnowAngel says:

      I thought my life was going to be so different, Growing up I was painfully shy. The typical “good girl” I worked hard to get good grades despite my learning disabilities. I was well liked by everyone but much to shy to date or even talk to boys! The past few years had been life changing for me. I worked out and started eating extremely healthy. I lost a total of 60lbs over the past 8 years. I became a very good looking young women who finally had confidence. Men started to not just notice me but “hit on” me every where I went. I got a new job which I love and started dating, I was well on my way to a happy healthy life. Having my first kiss at 31 years old is pitiful enough let alone having sex for the first time at 32 and getting chronic herpies from it. Suddenly my life came to a hault. I’ve had herpies for almost five months now. I find myself in daily pain. I’m suddenly turned back into the overweight shy girl I was in high school. I feel like everything I have worked so hard for is crashing down on me. Having herpies is not a big deal to me, but having chronic nerve pain that is causing me extreme emotional and phsyical pain is. I’m lost. I’m scared. I’m broken. Every day I pray for the vaccine, It truly is my only hope. I was well on my way to good things in life. I didn’t deserve this and neither did any of you. Please let there be a light at the end of our tunnels, please end the suffering. I want to enjoy my life, I want to have sex without there being a painful outbreak, I want to eat chocolate again, I want to live. Thank you Dr, H for all you’re doing.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Vitamin C says:

        Hi Snow angel, your post reflected many of the same thoughts and emotions that I experienced when I was diagnosed 2 years ago. It does get better! Over time you will develop the ability to deal with the emotional and physical aspects of the disease. After my first outbreak (which was highly severe and lasted weeks), it took my body a good solid year and a half to “recover”. The nerve pain is very very minimal now and only occurs just before an outbreak. I still get monthly outbreaks associated with my period, however, these OBs are reducing I’m duration and severity. I, too, was lied to. Prior to sex, I asked “do you have any STDs”. He replied “no.”. I got hsv2. When i confronted him, he said “my first wife had it when we me.”. My point to the story is, most people seem to contract the disease through deception – which adds to the complexity of coming to terms with the diagnosis. Every outbreak has the potential to be a reminder – the “injury” from the physical assault never heals and goes away! That being sad, over time things get better. Living with HSV forces one to be more creative and stubborn about building a life inspite of it all. I quit my job and went to design school! I’m in my 40’s. It has reinvigorated me!

        Liked by 2 people

    • scholarguardian123 says:

      Hello Profesor ,

      I have contracted this virus approximately a year ago. I always thought that this virus only occurred to people who were irresponsible and practiced unsafe sex, unfortunately life taught me otherwise, and I caught the virus, despite always practicing safe sex (using a condom).

      That is my story that brought me here to your page. I am a graduate student so I am a heavy believer of the sciences and trust that at some point a vaccine will be made to eradicate this virus will occur at some point. Like I said I am a graduate student so I strongly believe in the sciences , so I always try to be on the lookout for any news from bio-tech companies regarding the HSV-2 virus.

      This has made me to learn about other vaccines that want to treat the HSV-2 virus, (Your vaccine and Gen-003). Recently however I stumbled upon this article: http://labiotech.eu/aicuris-pritelivir-herpes-phase-ii/ . I know that you clearly believe that Gen-003 will not work (as you have stated it is based on science which has proven for over 30 years that it will not work) , however, if you have the time to read about the treatment offered in the link above, would you believe it could offer a realistic treatment for the HSV-2 Virus, if not , why ?

      In addition, I know that you have established your own bio-technology company. I was wondering how you are currently getting funded ? is it through donations ? Stockholders who are seeking to profit from your vaccine ?. Have you tried to obtain government funding? (NSF , CDC)

      I know that I have written a lot, so I do not expect you to answer all my questions, but if you could take the time to at least answer one I would greatly appreciate it.

      Lastly, I would like to thank you for your hard work. Your work has the potential to touch upon and improve the lives of millions of people. As a young researcher myself, I believe that , that is the essence of a research, to create something whether its a vaccine or information that could be used to improve the quality of life of humanity. So from the bottom of my heart, thank you. and good luck. Millions of people are rooting for you.

      Like

  85. robert mesculin says:

    Hello Bill, I have been carrying the herpes virus for 10 years, I have been fighting against this disease and the number of times it appears every year and 7 to 8 times … I realized that the emotional conditions make it appear and I also realized that This virus is very communicative among them because in the week after the end of an outbreak is born another … it seems until the virus has a kind of cousin of the same family we should understand how they communicate or their language to awaken them all of a Instead … what the chemistry demonstrated by the weak immune system that awakens its appearance or how to sterilize its reproduction … I hope some of these ideas help you. If you have been able to see this message contact hugs bill.

    Like

  86. AccountKiller says:

    Dear Prof. Halford,

    why don’t you apply for a TED Talk? There are multiple ones around the globe (America and Europe) and you would have lots to talk about your life and research.

    Liked by 2 people

    • optimistic says:

      Hey Bill,

      Wanted to ask that if there would be any plans of measuring the viral shedding when the phase 2 will happen so you can analyse this data too as seems this was missing in phase 1 & most of the analysis were not measured by the docs rather by the patient due to which the reviewers mentioned it not a valid proof, how you have plan this work to show this to them.
      Regards,
      optimistic

      Liked by 1 person

    • Jesus says:

      Dr. William Halford, Yes. Please do a TED Talk… Also Money and location is the issue with the trials. What about people like me that can pay for its own travel and cost associated with phase II. Just a humble idea. It will make it easier on you if people with the funds can be part of the trials first.

      Like

  87. dan says:

    Dr. Halford,

    You have slew of people here that desperately want to understand and help with a cure/vaccine etc. With hope that relief will come. All of us have symptoms and provide you with just about anything you need to help. It sounds like you have a ton of writing to do and I am uncertain of your staff to help, but is there a way any of us can help You?

    Like

  88. Seeker says:

    Dr Bill,

    I am on the Honeycomb support forum and there is a growing group of us that have neuropathic pain related to our HSV infection. Most if not all of us tested negative for HSV 1 or 2 or both via IgG blood test. Some have tested positive via swab but not blood tests. I tested negative via IgG and positive for HSV1 via Western Blot at 17 week post exposure. I finally tested positive for HSV1 via IgG at 9 months. I still suspect I also have HSV2 because I was exposed to both types. I find it strange that many people who developed the neuropathy after HSV exposure have the same reaction to the tests? I also never had the “classic” out break only an occasional small blister in the boxer shorts area. I also would like to know if my body is suppressing outbreaks so well does that mean I am also shedding less than someone who has regular outbreaks? I do have constant neuropathy in the form of burning and itching in the anogenital area.? I am hoping that your ABVIC test can sort this issue out for us in this subset of HSav sufferers.

    Like

  89. WH says:

    Bill, really want your honest thoughts about neuropathy and why some of us suffer so greatly and others are fine with this virus? How can we address this while we wait for the benefits of the vaccine? Any thoughts/advice appreciated. Yours, a sufferer grateful for your work.

    Like

    • WH says:

      I also am of means and in the medical profession (suffering silently). Looking for any way to expedite the amelioration of symptoms especially the neuropathy. Want to help myself and others. Please email me if there is more that I can do. Thanks for your amazing stick-to-it-ivness. You are a breath of fresh air.

      Like

    • valerie says:

      Please help us, i contracted this shit two months ago and everytime i have an outbreak it gets infected by bacteria and i have no idea why. At this rate im going to develop a resistance to antibiotics. I’m not a bad person. Im feeling helpless, doctors dont do anything or say anything. They dont care about it and act as if it was normal. Everything that ive learn about it was found online. Is it too late for trials? When do you think its going to be available?

      Like

      • Seeker says:

        Valerie,
        Your type of questions are best suited for a support forum such as Honeycomb or H opportunity. You will find answers on how to best deal with you outbreaks from members. If you go to the Rvx website you can sign up for the future trials.

        Like

    • Seeker says:

      Hello WH, We have a private thread on honeycomb.click of members who are dealing with HSV neuropathy and pain. I hope you will join and share your experience as we together look for solutions to this problem. Seeker1960 as

      Like

  90. afadel1 says:

    I don’t mean as this to come across as a dumb question. However, why can’t something be created that absorbs contact with skin that will reach the nerve ganglion just as herpes infects a person, couldn’t a cure be applied in that same way? Thank you

    Liked by 1 person

    • Herpes Vaccine Research says:

      Hi Afadel1,

      Cures need to have a basis in how natural systems actually function. Just because you can imagine such a cure does not mean that is truly viable. In principle, I could build a bridge across the San Francisco Bay out of hay. In fact, natural laws dictate it would collapse. Likewise, what you propose also fails to align with reality.

      The fact that HSV (something that has evolved with animals for millions of years) has figured out how to con the nerve fibers to actively transport from the nerve input to the cell body (nucleus of neuronal cell) is a friggin’ miracle of nature…totally amazing. The idea that humans could wish a drug to do the same only seems feasible if you know nothing about chemistry or biology. Science is not complicated (in hindsight after decades of study), but one has to at least appreciate the realities of how natural systems work. What you propose does not recognize / align with natural laws. Men are not God….we can only observe what was created, and it takes years of study to appreciate the natural laws that dictate how everything around us actually functions.

      – Bill H.

      Like

      • Wawa says:

        I just read an article on the virus warfare( how viruses fight other viruses to retain dominance in your body. Research on single cell bacteria provides insight into its different defenses against other viruses and bacteria). Also, a team has had successful animal trials to treat brain cancer using gene edited salmonella….. These are interesting times.
        I do hope that you continue to do your research and find some respite for sufferers. This infection victimizes because that is what the virus does, it holds you hostage. The more I read, I can’t just imagine the struggles. Keep up the good work. Recruit clinical college students who have the disease and don’t mind looking for an avenue to fight against it….

        Like

  91. Seeker says:

    Dr Bill,
    I have been follwing you work since I was infected with HSV1 last year. I have been a particpant on several forums and there is a forum member on honeycomb who is in extreme daily pain from HSV related neuralgia and He says that he is thinking of taking his life.

    Can you please consider him as a candidate in your next trial as it would give him hope to keep living and give you a great test subject for the effectiveness of Theravax on neuropathy.

    I too have the neuropathy from HSV but not to the extent that he has. I too have applied for the next set of trials.
    Thank you Dr Halford I hope that you efforts will succeed.

    Liked by 1 person

      • WH says:

        Why is neuropathy not an accepted entity in genital hsv infection? Established sites like Westover forum dismiss it. Medical professionals don’t believe herpes causes these chronic neurological symptoms. It leaves those of us who suffer despondent. You as a researcher have more insight. Why has this knowledge not spread? Will in your opinion Theravax make a big dent? Praying it does!

        Like

      • Herpes Vaccine Research says:

        Hi WH,

        Most medical doctors acquire a very superficial knowledge of biology during their training that covers an incredibly wide breadth of hundreds of different biological systems (i.e., very shallow, but incredibly broad). In contrast, pointy-headed science nerds like myself acquire a very deep knowledge of biology IN ONE NARROW SPECIALITY that should, ideally, deal with virtually every aspect of what is known in an area, but that knowledge covers less than 2% of biology as a whole (i.e., very deep, but very narrowly focused).

        The smart doctors who put their craft first ahead of their pride (i.e., less than 10% of the total produced) are aware enough of the nature of their initial 10 years of training to know that they will spend their entire careers learning “the 5% of medicine they really know” and learning how to recognize when patients present with symptoms that fall into the category of the 95% of medicine that is either undescribed, uncharted, or simply falls into the realm of what they (and few others) really know.

        Such is the nature of why 90% of doctors say that HSV cannot cause neuralgia…..because they are not the smart doctors (or nurses) who are able to see beyond what they learned in their training. I do not fault doctors for this….it is simply not reasonable to hold every doctor (or nurse) to the standard of “you need to be a die-hard student of medicine for 50 years” so that you can anticipate every weird medical outcome that is actually possible. It would help if some medical professionals were more humble, which generally they are not because their job requires them to operate from a position of authority 95% of the time. However, if you want to know whose fault this really is, it is simple. It is the scientists. Scientists discover new knowledge and they should, as soon as is reasonably possible, codify this knowledge into medical textbooks that doctors and nurses WILL ACTUALLY LEARN DURING THEIR TRAINING. This is the nature of why HSV neuralgia is unknown…..because most “HSV experts” (molecular biology / virology nerds who know vanishingly little about the human body) don’t even know that HSV can cause neuralgia. Those people greatly influence the current writing of the textbooks nurses and doctors read about HSV during their training. If the “HSV experts” don’t know this is an issue, then it is unreasonable to expect doctors and nurses to know.

        I grew up in Louisiana, in New Orleans, where there is a joke that goes….”If a man and woman in Chalmette are divorced, are they still brother and sister?” I have close family from Chalmette, so I don’t really mean this per se, but I use it as a device to introduce everyone to the idea that I am from a part of the world that is rumored to be more incestuous in nature than other parts of the world. However, let’s be clear here…..the current community of herpesvirologists is incredibly incestuous with the source of most investigators ultimately tracing back to a relatively small number of laboratories. This incestuous group of investigators tend to live in academic ivory towers and the National Institutes of Health (which might be renamed the National Institutes of Largely Irrelevant Academic Questions) has encouraged this incest in the herpesvirus field to the exclusion of remembering how the study of virology relates to human biology and medicine.

        So, does HSV cause neuralgia? Yes, this should be a f—ing obvious possibility given, if nothing else, the fact that VZV (known to induce neuropathic pain when it reactivates to cause shingles) and HSV-1 / -2 share 65 out of 75 genes in common. Duh!! But, the two virology study sections of the NIH are primarily populated by molecular biologists who know a great deal about self-replicating nucleic acids, but exhibit stunning ignorance in their general knowledge of organismal biology, zoology (i.e., that which unifies all living animals), or immunology (i.e., the primary driver of infectious disease symptoms and/or viral control in the human body).

        So, am I surprised that an incestuous group of narrow-minded herpesvirologists who think about herpesvirus-encoded molecules 1,000x more than they contemplate the recurrent pain symptoms suffered by millions of HSV-infected patients? Absolutely not. Pointy-headed nerds who are disinterested in the suffering of other human beings will always be pointy-headed, myopic nerds.

        Am I disapponted that the National Institues of HEALTH has forgotten that their mission should include talking to the 5 million Americans who suffer with recurrent herpetic disease, and allocating some fraction of their $30 billion per year budget to addressing this MAJOR HEALTH problem in a real way? Yes. However, I have seen the pattern for 15 years as an independent investigator and I totally understand (regardless of the fact it is morally abhorrent) why human HEALTH comes up short in NIH Study Sections….at least the virology study sections. The NIH loves to give money to D-bags like Bryan Cullen at Duke (because of his academic pedigree) who will propose some ridiculous hunt to chase down some hypothetical microRNA (or whatever the fundable topic du jour is) that is completely irrelevant to patients suffering with herpetic disease. As someone who actually understands HSV biology, let’s just say it is mildly irritating that NIH study sections fall for the “academic pedigree con job” time and time again, and repeatedly fail to acknowledge the obvious when they do this crap…..the guy may have a fabulous pedigree, but he is (1) simply restating “You guys (the omnipotent NIH in their infinite wisdom) told me this was the topic du jour, so I am writing a grant on the topic du jour in the realm of herpes simplex virus, and (2) the reason the Principal Investigator can make such “bold, new claims” is that he does not know (has not published) jacks–t about HSV biology, and so his ignorance of the subject matter removes all the constraints that would prevent an expert in the field from articulating claims (hypotheses) that are simply untrue and will thus not be supported by the data that would come from funding of the grant.

        The first step towards improved knowledge and more accurate information about HSV biology is for the world’s science funding organizations to develop some f—ing humility and admit that (1) they are not omnipotent; and that (2) the reductionist approach to HSV biology that was very useful in the 1960s, 70s, and 80s is no longer the rate-limiting factor; we already learned 90% of what there was to learn. The rate-limiting factor today is SYNTHESIS of the info gathered in the 1970s, 80s, and 90s such that we start stitching together a COHERENT PICTURE of how these biological systems actually function in human beings. This has been the focus of my research for nearly the entirety of my career, as this is the rate-limiting factor of the day.

        But what is happening today at the NIH is that investigators who started their careers in the 1950s, 60s, 70s are re-hashing their glory days and getting the lion’s share of NIH funding (due to their now lengthy academic pedigrees) to the virtual exclusion of newer investigators who started their careers after me (i.e., people who became Assistant Professors after 2007). History informs us that most scientists make their most groundbreaking discoveries between the ages of 25 and 40. Apparently the NIH does not believe in history since the amount of $$$ going to junior scientists (i.e., within 10 years of establishing their own laboratories) is ridiculously low, which explains why very few of America’s best and brightest pursue a career in science.

        If you like fear, uncertainty, and the feeling the rug may be pulled out from under you 15 years into “your training,” then yes, academic science is the career path for you!!

        These junior investigators we are not supporting are precisely the people who would be most likely to update the scientific literature to reflect things like…..”Oh, HSV causes neuralgia in a significant fraction of patients, in a way that is very similar to VZV.”

        So, don’t blame the doctors. Blame the NIH for allowing itself to become far more incestuous than anything I witnessed growing up and living in Louisiana for 27 years of my life. Shame on herpesvirologists (as a group) for forgetting the first and highest priority of what we were supposed to be doing with our time was…….devising treatments to reduce the human suffering caused by herpesviruses, the vast majority of which (>95%) is caused by HSV-1 and HSV-2.

        If anyone doubts my words, please feel free to attend the International Herpesvirus Workshop in Summer 2017, and ask yourself two simple questions……(1) “How many of these talks or posters are relevant to human diseases caused by herpesviruses?” and (2) “How many of the clinically relevant talks or posters are presenting (a) new, promising leads to better herpes treatments vs (2) recycling the same-old ideas of the past 30 years that have yet to yield a useful treatment?”

        These are the people most culpable…..the scientists who should understand that a key part of the job description of being a “herpesvirus expert” is to set aside some of their time to update (regularly) the info that is the basis for the training future doctors and nurses receive on what they need to know to best manage patients who develop or suffer from (human) herpesvirus-induced diseases. Sadly, most doctors and nurses today are still receiving a 1980s-era training on HSV’s biology and how the infection presents in patients, hence explaining the abject ignorance of the medical community in 2017 on the issue of HSV-induced neuropathic pain (akin to VZV/shingles-induced pain). Believe it or not, we learned a few things about HSV biology in the past 30 years. I think it would be a good use of herpesvirologists’ time to update the textbooks to (1) succintly and (2) accurately distill down what we know in 2017, such that future clinicians might receive early training in what they REALLY NEED TO KNOW about HSV infections as they exist in ACTUAL PATIENTS.

        If I had time, I would do this myself. However, I am afraid that I don’t have this amount of time to spare, and thus focusing on preventing herpes in future generations via effective HSV vaccines will remain my primary focus until I am convinced that clear movement in that direction is a high priority for the biomedical research community.

        – Bill H.

        Like

  92. Joe says:

    Hello,

    Just wanted to wish everyone well this holiday season(regardless of denomination or lack there of)…lol. For me this blog is as much a source of information and hope as comfort, kinda like an extended family.

    I hope you take some time for yourself Dr. Halford and indulge in a few libations 😉 Work can wear on you like an electrified wire brush.

    Cheers to all! And happy holidays!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  93. Lorraine Fralin says:

    I suffer terribly from herpes and it has spread from one of my buttocks to my leg. I try to use anything to relieve the itch and the pain and one day I may just try straight bleach. I hope, wish, plead for a vaccine or cure.

    Like

    • enceladus_ says:

      Don’t use bleach. When I had my first OB, I was in my early twenties and didn’t know what was going on. It was really bad and I had just started learning about herbal medicine so I tried straight clove oil. Hurt probably as bad as bleach would! Unfortunately, for me, I even tried taking L-Lysine every day for a few months and that didn’t work either. Acyclovir subdues my OB and even keeps it at bay for several months until it stops working for whatever reason then I take a break and start on it again and it works again. So that with the occasional addition of analgesics is the only thing that works for me. I only use pharmies as a last resort, but, sadly, with this bugger the last resort is where I have finally arrived :/ As for the itch, good ol calamine lotion still does wonders too.

      Like

  94. Josh says:

    Hi dr. Halford.. I know that it’s going to be awhile before the vaccine is available in the US, what would be the possibility of opening up a clinic similar to the burzinski clinic in Texas.(unapproved cancer treatment)

    Like

  95. Jim says:

    JAMA has reported in yesterday’s weekly summary communication two separate articles on herpes simplex.

    The first is a Recommendation Against Serologic Screening for Genital Herpes Infection by Edward W. Hook, MD in which he writes, “There is no cure for genital herpes or a vaccine to prevent infection”. I appreciate of course that Dr. Hook is writing from the standpoint of currently available therapies, but notably the article is lacking in its coverage of current research.

    Furthermore, while Dr. Hook advises against routine screening for HSV in young persons, he goes on to give the reason as “unsatisfactory test performance” and again makes no mention that moves are underway to offer a test of substantially better accuracy and how his recommendation might be affected, should those tests become commercially available.

    Under the article’s conflict of interest disclosures, he confirms receiving grants from Hologic and Roche Molecular, a grant and personal fees from Becton Dickinson, and research supplies from Cepheid. One naturally worries that the failure to mention Rational Vaccines’ important recent announcements, may be motivated by conflicting commercial interests. If that’s the case – and I’m not suggesting it necessarily is – it would be very disappointing for those of us who are battling with this disease and longing for something positive to happen.

    The abridged article is at http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2593550

    In addition to the forementioned, JAMA also provides a report on a recent randomised clinical trial – the Effect of Pritelivir Compared With Valacyclovir on Genital HSV-2 Shedding in Patients With Frequent Recurrences, in which it suggests that the percentage of genital swabs with HSV detected over 28 days was significantly lower during use of Pritelivir than use of Valacyclovir.

    This might sound like positive news. Until, that is, one looks more closely at the result. The percentage of shedding under treatment of Pritelivir offered only 2.4% shedding over 28 days, against valacyclovir’s 5.3%. Hardly what one might call “significantly lower”.

    The article can be found at http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/2593569

    The finding reminds me of the language used in Dr. Halford’s article some weeks ago, regarding the important use of language in scientific studies, designed to cajole those who provide the funding. I don’t know how others will feel about the 2.4% shedding, but it sounds almost like a failure to offer something better, as I see it. All the best, Jim.

    Liked by 2 people

  96. JAY says:

    Hi Dr. Halford,
    I’m just curious, what has RVx done to reach out to mainstream media? I have a hunch that some publications (especially a libertarian publication like Reason) would be eager to cover a story about Big Government/The Scientific Establishment/Big Pharma preventing the distribution of the world’s only effective herpes vaccine.

    Like

    • Mark says:

      Bill, just a curious question. Can you be infected with hsv-2 and have it stay dormant inside of you for years and suddenly get OB after OB? I am trying to get a better idea of where I picked this little bugger from.

      Thanks.

      Like

      • Herpes Vaccine Research says:

        Hi Mark,

        Yes, I have come across this phenomenon many times, where people live with HSV-2 for years with little to no symptoms, and then a precipitating nerve injury or profound immunosuppression causes the host to lose control of the virus, hence ushering in a new readout of back-to-back outbreaks every 2 to 4 weeks.

        – Bill H.

        Like

  97. Terri says:

    Dr. Halford,
    Do you think the 21st Century Cures bill that has been passed by the Senate and is expected to be signed by the President will help move your vaccine along in the US? Even if you plan to do work in other countries, the evidence that you collect as to the efficacy of your product should count as evidence to help progress the approval of the product in the US.
    https://energycommerce.house.gov/cures

    Like

  98. John says:

    Soy de habla hispana y reconozco todo su trabajo y se que usted intenta hacer algo por este virus que mantiene a la gente deprimida sin metas y sueños, pero en mi humilde opinión usted empezó con una actitud muy positiva con sus vacunas

    Pero la mayoría de las personas con este virus quiere una cura, o cura funcional no una vacuna que solo disminuya los sintomas las personas que son afectadas con este virus son las que más donan a la causa y varios científicos están basándose a una vacuna preventiva

    No se que éxito tenga su vacuna para la gente que ya tiene el virus pero de que es un hecho es que una cura no creo que sea

    Like

  99. HOPE says:

    Hi Bill.

    Great work.

    You are giving lots of hope to sufferers.

    3 Questions.

    1) Have there been any results with follow-ups with those involved in the first clinical trials? (theravax) If so, What have they shown?

    2) Any efficacy on cold sores? Any notable mentions in regards to this in your clinical studies?

    3) When are the next clinical trials?

    All information would be greatly appreciated Bill.

    Thank you.

    Like

  100. John says:

    Dr.Hallford,

    When is the abvic test expected to be available? It’s been a while since there has been any update on this. Could you please update us on this front?

    Like

  101. optimistic says:

    Hi Bill,
    Do you still need funds from us to come your way to speed up the trials & vaccine development, Please let us know & we will donate, Also I’m trying to put on the internet mostly on the herpes blogs asking for the donation.

    Also let me know if you have any plans to conduct the trials in Asia?
    Regards,
    Optimistic

    Like

    • Herpes Vaccine Research says:

      Hi Optimistic,

      The approximately $69,000 in donations I have received to date have been very helpful in terms of giving me flexibility to accomplish a lot of important background work (e.g., mouse experiments; vaccine formulation refinement; development of complementing cell lines; publication and presentation of said results). Also, it helps remind my academic colleagues that herpes is a real disease that afflicts real people; hence the donations which are visible proof of the level of suffering that is out there.

      That said, individual donations are less of a rate-limiting factor than my time. I have one review and three original studies to write up for publication (including the Theravax^HSV-2 vaccine trial), and so my time is largely accounted for over the next 6 months. I will post on the blog as each publication comes out, and there will likely be multiple other RVx press releases over the next 6 months.

      – Bill H.

      Like

      • Goodwill says:

        Good day Dr Halford.

        Are you able to comment on how the therapeutic vaccine will be tested? Will there be herpes-free volunteers willing to risk exposure to the wild virus after having received the attenuated version as vaccine?

        Like

      • Mark says:

        Hello Halford,

        I hope you’re doing well! Viewing your responses brings happiness to my life as I know you, our savior (how dorky I say that haha) are doing well!

        Question; I know it’s a bit premature to answer this question but maybe you could speculate or provide an educated guess. Hypothetically speaking, let’s say we received the full amount of shots required to build a very strong immune response to the infection. Can we live a life without worrying about not getting enough sleep, drinking a bit too much etc ?would these actions offset the positive effects of the vaccine?

        Let me try to illustrate:

        Lets say “0” represents the virus and “=” represents our immune system.

        without the vaccine ;

        00000==== <—– no sleep consecutively/alcohol/stressed (4 "="s vs 5 "0"s where the virus wins the battle here and causes an OB and shedding.
        *0000===== <—- on a normal day with no OB's (5 "="s vs 4 "0"s) but there are enough virus activity to asymptomatically spread the disease but not enough for an OB.

        With the vaccine;
        1 shot 000=======
        2 shots 00========
        3 shots 0========= (functionally cured)

        What would you think would happen if we received 3 shots and went through a period of no sleep, lots of stress, drinking… Would these actions suppress our immune system so that the virus would have a chance to multiply?

        would your immune system go from this
        0=========

        to this

        *0000==== enough to shed and possibly infect someone else?

        I'm sure I could have explained this without the illustration but, I like it 🙂

        Like

      • Herpes Vaccine Research says:

        Hi Mark,

        A savior I am not, and I have no desire to compete with God or his kids. What I am is someone who is serious about bringing REAL HSV-2 vaccine science to people. As we approach the year 2017, I am utterly disenchanted with / disgusted by all the science zealots who keep blathering on about HSV-2 subunit vaccines (e.g., Genocea GEN-003, Admedus COR-1, and Vical Vaxfectin) when all of their technologies are eerily similar to the same gD-2 subunit vaccine garbage that has been failing since the late 1980s. Call me crazy, but any scientific approach that has a 30-year history of failure sounds a bit suspect to me. It does not matter if you call it “Herpevac” or “GEN-003,” it is still based on the same lame, 40-year-old premise that a herpes glycoprotein subunit vaccine “should be” effective.

        So, let’s be clear….I am just a herpes immunologist and this is what I deserved to be called; no hyperbole required. Likewise, all of the people peddling GEN-003, Vaxfectin, and COR-1 are either (1) pseudo-scientists, (2) snake-oil salesmen, or (3) both, and this is what they deserved to be called until they cay PROVE that their latest iteration of the gD-vaccine concept is at least 10-fold better than the dozen prior iterations of gD vaccines that have failed to prevent herpetic disease in human clinical trial (1990) after trial (1994) after trial (1997) after trial (1999) after trial (2002) after trial (2012). Let’s quit wasting time on a herpes vaccine concept that has been consistently lame since I graduated high school in 1986. Three decades of bullshit and wasted time is enough.

        A real HSV-2 vaccine will be based on the different (superior) approach of a live HSV-2 virus that is appropriately attenuated.

        – Bill H.

        Like

    • Royal says:

      Hallo sir i have herpes since2000 that time i take medicines after 8 year’s my problem repeated that time also i use aciclovir800mg now my problem repeat is there any cure permanently… please tell meci have 4 child may be they are also have these problem please sir give me any solution if any vaccine coming soon…gen-003 vaccine coming earlier next year or take time

      Like

  102. Idiotsavnt says:

    Hello Bill,
    I have been following your work since I contracted this acrimonious disease about four years ago. Three years ago I participated in the GEN-003 Clinical Trial. I received what would later be determined to be the second most effective combination ratio of adjuvant and vaccine. It was highly effective initially, going from 5-6 outbreaks a year to approximately 13 months outbreak and prodrome free. At around the 13 month marker I had a small outbreak that resolved itself in a much more condensed time frame. That year I probably had 4 small outbreaks and now I am back to a frequency indicative of never have received a vaccine. So, in my experience I would say they have a semi effective product as long as you are willing to get a booster every 6-12 months. Having been following your work, and all advances relative to this disease, one need only a rudimentary understanding of science to surmise that an attenuated vaccine would be more effective than a subunit vaccine. My question then is what do you surmise the longevity of protection it offers to be? Do you foresee having to get boosters? And if so how frequently?
    Thank you for all of your research, resilience, and determination to improve the quality of life for those that suffer with this. The FDA is as corrupt as every other province of government. I wonder how many suicides a year can be attributed to this disease, I am sure it is a substantial amount and the blood of those lost souls along with that of the victims of many other quality of life diseases is on their hands. Thank you again for overcoming their tyranny and giving people options.

    Liked by 1 person

  103. Brandon says:

    Hi Dr. Halford,

    With the recent “encouraging” results of some of the subunit vaccines trials, and the huge target market and revenue that comes with that, is there reason to be concerned that if one of these subunit vaccines is approved and released to the public, that your vaccine may be somehow out casted, as they may recognise it as a better option- thus money out of their pockets? I know that this is a cynical question, but I guess I’m distrusting of big pharma. A simpler question is: Have other herpes vaccine developers been supportive of RVx?
    Thank you.

    Like

    • pritelivir says:

      From my understanding all HSV-2 subunit vaccine trials demonstrate short term marginal shedding effectiveness. One clinical research physician that has participated in these trials said “they are playing games with shedding rates with respect to the timing of vaccination”. While these companies are receiving headlines and funding, it will not last much longer.

      Best wishes for your success and health!

      Like

  104. Eva says:

    Hello Dr. Halford,

    First of all, huge thanks for all your work.
    I was diagnosed HSV2 because I did a STD blood test last February. I had my first outbreak two months after. I was reading about the hard symptoms and I thought I was lucky because it’s not too bad. But suddenly I’m having outbreak every month. Why? I thought it should be the opposite, it should go to less. I’m feeling very depress. Can I not have sexual relations anymore?. Is it a normal behavior?. Will Theravax help to have a normal life again?

    Thanks a lot!

    Like

  105. Jim says:

    I post the below for the benefit of all as it helps to illustrate further that herpes simplex virus is never dormant, as has similarly been suggested by several other articles. The piece has recently been published by the Australian ABC network.

    Prof. David Tscharke of the Australian National University, used CRISPR, a gene-editing mechanism, to engineer the herpes simplex virus, introducing a protein which causes the gene to glow with florescence when it is active. It appeared from the research that the virus never becomes completely dormant. The relevant part of the video, which can be downloaded below, begins at precisely 10:00.

    http://www.abc.net.au/catalyst/stories/4529197.htm

    “… the virus will just sit there doing very little, but what we’ve discovered, it’s doing a little bit more than nothing.”

    A further copy is also available at You Tube…

    Jim

    Liked by 2 people

    • Herpes Vaccine Research says:

      Hi Jim,

      100% agreed on this point….“… the virus will just sit there doing very little, but what we’ve discovered, it’s doing a little bit more than nothing.”

      I have been noting the same since 1996 in these publications…..https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9375008 and https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8871654

      The basic concept that all herpesviruses (including HSV-1 and HSV-2) establish persistent infections that exist in an equilibrium with the immune system (that is called latency) is reviewed here….http://rationalvaccines.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Viruses-and-Interferon-Ch5-color-Figs-1.pdf

      There is nothing new under the sun here…..the original publication that set the stage for this view of HSV-1 latency / persistence was published in 1953….https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/13073293

      Funny how scientists keep re-discovering the same thing over and over. That said, David Tscharke is a very talented scientist and I am sure that his new publication likely adds some new wrinkles/new details to this old story.

      – Bill H.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jim says:

        Thank you for the reply Dr. Halford. I am trying to make good progress reviewing the video slides and various other downloads on the RVx website this week and there’s a considerable amount to absorb. What resonated today, while listening to one of the recordings, was that you regarded HSV-latency as a constant equilibrium between immunity and pathogen, hence my providing the David Tscharke link. In addition, you also mentioned the surrounding cluster of CD8 cells, suggesting that the virus is not latent.

        Incidentally, I strongly recommend the various downloads on RVx’s website to other fellow participants on this site, as the data are particularly helpful in regard to the clinical findings during the initial trial, if not for many other points of note.

        The concept of perpetual viral activity is something that some of us have perhaps concluded ourselves, during the course of our suffering and our own research, despite our MDs telling us that “it doesn’t sound like herpes at all”. The sooner this information can get out into the mainstream the better.

        I think we are looking at an important redefinition of the term “Post-herpetic neuralgia” and that more appropriately it might be called “Herpetic Neuralgia”. All the best, Jim

        Like

      • Herpes Vaccine Research says:

        Hi Jim,

        I wholeheartedly agree. Doctors need to start working with information about herpes from the 21st century, and quit relying on the outdated bullshit they were spoon fed in the 1970s. The 70s will forever be the heyday of disco, but not of herpes information. So many strong convictions were expressed about herpes in the 1970s and 80s based on little to no real data, and yet these ignorant (misinformed) viewpoints are what doctors predominantly learn today. In the 1970s, many researchers fervently believed HSV-2 was the cause of cervical cancer. Nice hypothesis, but it was dead wrong….cervical cancer is caused by human papillomavirus, not HSV-2.

        And so it goes. Why do all doctors assume that only HSV-2 causes recurrent genital herpes…..because this is the story they told each other in the 1970s. Except, again, it is not true…..HSV-1 can cause recurrent genital herpes and neonatal herpes just as much as HSV-2…but don’t tell that to your doctor, because a textbook told them something different.

        Time to bring doctors into the 21st century when it comes to what they learn about herpes.

        – Bill H.

        Liked by 1 person

      • rioogiel says:

        Hi Dr. Halford,
        Will the vaccine be available for those people who are suffering from HSV-1? Pls let me know and thank you for you great work. I wish you all the best and success.

        Like

    • Marko says:

      Well that’s how I feel, like herpes constantly aggravating my immune system. I never had outbreak, discovered that I have HSV 2 only because I had prolonged fatigue, joint, muscle pain, and all symptoms started after unprotected sex. After that I tested for all STDs and came positive for HSV2. Since than sometimes i get fatigue and fever that can last for months.
      Doctors dont believe me that my symptoms are caused by HSV2, but I really believe it is. I never had cold in my life and i think its just how my immune system is wired, but now keep over reacting to the HSV2. I really hope we will have vaccine soon.

      thanks

      Marko

      Like

  106. Simon P. says:

    Hello,
    I have always been curious about this. The problem with hsv1-2 is its location. I’ve research the topic and didn’t find anything on trying to move the outbreaks location. Only that it sheds on the initial entry area (weaker etc etc). I’m sure that most people suffering from hsv in the genital area would see the transfer of the location as a cure,.. far greater than reducing the number of outbreaks. Food for though, I was always curious why information on this or even trials aren’t common.

    On another note, I think what you are doing is inspiring for a lot of people.
    Thank you,

    Like

  107. Felix says:

    Hi Dr. Halford,

    I’ve spoke with many people infected with hsv-2 would have bad symptoms like myself, and have noticed a trend. A lot of us who have frequent outbreaks and nerve pain, did not have a hsv-1 infection prior to exposure to hsv-2. Could it be possible that the severity of hsv-2 is minimized for those who have a pre-existing hv-1 infection? Thank you sir, and I hope throughout all of you hard work, you’re enjoying the holiday season!

    Liked by 1 person

  108. Moe says:

    Hi Dr. Halford,

    First, thank you for all that you have done. You have given me hope that there may be an end to my silent suffering. Giving hope to so many, despite your own health concerns, is true compassion. I could never be so selfless. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

    The preliminary Theravax results are impressive, and I’m sure it will bring a new standard of relief to many people. However, for me, as I’m sure with many others, the worst part of having GHSV2 is not the symptoms, but the uncertainty of infecting a loved one. This has prevented me from dating and from being intimate with anyone since I have been diagnosed years ago.

    Although Theravax looks promising, and it should drastically reduce the symptoms, outbreaks, and shedding of HSV2, I imagine most Theravax recipients will still, at times, be shedding enough of HSV to be contagious. Do you agree?

    I can’t be intimate with anyone until I am 100% sure that I will not infect them. My hopes and dreams of finding love and having a family are slipping away as I age and I am running out of time. Profavax is what I’m truly waiting for, not for myself, but for my potential partner, so they would be 100% immune to transmission, and I could maybe, finally, find love and get on with my life.

    My question for you is, in a best case scenario, when do you think Profavax would be available, perhaps in somewhere like St. Kitts, so discordant couples could safely be intimate? What hurdles do you foresee in releasing Profavax?

    Thank you so much for giving me hope. You are the only reason I haven’t given up.

    Moe

    Liked by 3 people

    • lcabsite says:

      I feel the same. Live alone, no family around me and since being diagnosed a month ago, hsv 1 & 2 leaves me helpless, desperate to die already, ocd clean: constantly using alcohol, disgusted to even wash the area for fear of spreading it/making it even worse. I truly hate my body now. I will die a lonely death.

      Like

      • Herpes Vaccine Research says:

        Dear Lcabsite,

        I would suggest that you allow times for Rational Vaccines to get our therapeutic HSV-2 vaccine out there. I saw many borderline suicidal people in our trial feel like the vaccine gave them a new lease on life. Team RVx and I are working as fast as we can. Hope you can hang in there.

        – Bill H

        Liked by 2 people

  109. Phillipsue says:

    Hi Dr Halford, I really have my fingers crossed for you! Thank you for your hard work and dedication! We really need this!

    I just wanted to know if taking daily anti viral 500mg acyclovir 1 x daily long term could impact any potential success that a patient may have when your vaccine comes available.

    I am thinking positive and am willing to stop taking anti viral if it increases my chance of being more receptive to your vaccine.

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

    Like

  110. ANN says:

    Hello, everybody. Thanks a lot for these discussions, Dr. Halford.

    I am new in this (less than one week with possitive results) so, how you can imagine, I have thousands of questions but the most important one is:
    Could, please, anyone tell me which is the most efficient treatment to reduce the transmission (as well as abstinence, obviously)?

    Dr. Halford, what about Europe? Are you going to test your vaccine in any country here? We’ll be excited about the news.

    Thanks a lot for any information/tips/answers!

    Like

  111. Joe Frank says:

    Dr Halford

    Would it be possible to make a small investment in Rvx? Say 25k? Might as well invest in something I believe in.

    Thanks,

    Joe

    Like

    • Herpes Vaccine Research says:

      Hi Joe Frank,

      In principle, yes, you can invest in Rational Vaccines. You can find the email address at this webpage regarding investor inquiries: http://rationalvaccines.com/contact

      The caveat is at this phase of RVx’s development, is that we can only accept investment from “Accredited Investors,” which overly simplistically boils down to people who have (1) in excess of $1 million in assets laying around not including the value of their house, retirement plans, or other such non-liquid assets or (2) people who make a salary in excess of $300,000 per year.

      So, I could not invest in my own company, and I suspect that most people that follow this blog are not part of the 1% who qualify as Accredited Investors.

      Hope that clarifies things.

      – Bill H.

      Like

      • Amanda says:

        Hello, I received my positive diagnosis for HSV1 when I was 14, & HSV2 last night. I have never had an outbreak that didn’t resemble a cold sore. You can imagine how distraught I am. Though I study science and bio at a university, this stigma has been hard wired even within myself.
        What can we do to endorse the CDC and WHO to increase accurate education? Also, the Accredited investors you need for research, who are some of the companies and how can I contact them to publicly appeal to them? From what my own lab mentor has told me, most research is funded by the government. Thank you for your time and being proactive. You have my support whole heartedly. Anything I can do discretely, even at my own university, please let me know.

        Like

  112. afadel1 says:

    Hi Dr. Halford,

    We are all excited to see what comes about your research and development. In your interview, you mention the possibility of the vaccine being available next year. Are you able to clarify if this is to the general public who are willing to travel and is it in limited numbers ? Also what need to be accomplished and in what timeframe before this becomes available in st. kitt or wherever you choose. My apologies for all the question, thank you

    Like

  113. Halford Fan says:

    Hi Bill,

    The only physical symptoms i ever have are on my foreskin, never on my glans. I also seem to get symptoms by way of Balantitis induced from the Herpes, also on the foreskin.

    I have recently thought about getting circumcised in the hope that these visible symptoms would stop occuring. What would you think about this? Would you think this would remedy this at all? My concern would be a whack-a-mole affect, where the visible symptoms would appear either on my glans or a little further down my penis where it would be healed?

    Any thoughts at all on this?

    Thank you

    Like

  114. KAM says:

    Professor Bill H,

    I am a 54yr old female, in a 4 yr relationship. Next month in December will mark 2 yrs., I was diagnosed with genital herpes and shingles at the same time. After my devastating herpes diagnosis, I educated myself on the virus that was seemingly taking over my life, I was paralyzed with fear, emotions running off the chart. My initial breakout was hellish and long, and ever since, I’ve been suffering with nerve pain and multiple reoccurrences of breakouts 2 to 3 a month, at times back to back. I haven’t had not one month without breakouts. My Veltrex was upped from 500 to 1000mg helps sometimes, not my nerve pain. For 3 weeks my nerve pain has been relentless and so painful, changing to different areas.

    I am so thankful I found your research site, it has given me so much hope, as it has for countless others. This hideous virus, effects its host in ways that is physical and emotional on many levels, it’s very taxing. I’m so tired.
    My heart goes out to those who have endured many many years of suffering with this very old disease.

    Q: As the Theravax vaccine retrains the immune system to better control herpes simplex virus by reducing genital herpes symptoms, does this include nerve pain or will it be irreversible damage?

    Thank you, with so such GRATITUDE to You and your dedicated Team, for all your hard work!!!

    – KAM

    Like

    • Mike says:

      I thought I may have gotten HSV-2 when I was in high school when I was dating this one girl. It has been over 30 years now and I think I have having my first break out. Is this possible?

      Like

    • RealScience77 says:

      Same here Kam. I never knew something could effect my nervous system like it has. I have had HSV-1 of the mouth since my early teens which has never been a problem. Outbreaks maybe once a year. Now 39, since I tested positive for HSV2 last year I get these outbreaks pretty much 2 to 3 times a month on my tailbone. As soon as it feels like its healed it comes right back the next week week or two. The pain of the outbreak is not as bad as the state of influx my nerves are in constantly. My entire right side from the foot up to the shoulder. This is a constant feeling I have pretty much daily. I’ve yet to try antivirals because I dont trust doctors knowledge of HSV.

      I like most will be on the first plane to whatever destination Theravax vaccine will be offered.

      -CJ

      Liked by 1 person

      • KAM says:

        Hi CJ
        You are fortunate to be able to fly out to receive the vaccine when it’s available,
        I don’t think I can afford to go out of the country for the vaccine, which is very disheartening. Professor Bill Halford, did recommend those who cannot afford to travel, (which I copied and pasted from his words), to please consider contacting your senators or representatives in the U.S. Congress and ask them the following series of questions, or questions that follow this line of reasoning:

        “Why is the best HSV treatment in the world, developed in the USA, not more readily available for Americans to benefit from at home?”

        “Why is a live-attenuated HSV vaccine that was developed with dollars provided by U.S. taxpayers not more readily accessible to Americans?”

        “Why does an American vaccine developed by an American scientist have to leave the USA to be offered to Americans who then have to travel outside their own country to receive a treatment that they need?”

        I am happy to help bring the technology forward to the world. However, it is up to Americans who suffer with chronic herpetic disease to lean on their representatives in the U.S. Congress and ask them to re-evaluate whether current U.S. laws and regulations in the space of vaccine development really serve the interests of the American people.

        I would suggest that “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” More specifically, the status quo of how vaccines are developed in the USA today came to be through a combination of (1) inertia and neglect by lawmakers and the FDA and (2) Big Pharma companies who exploited these rules to reinforce their monopoly on the sale & development of biologics in the USA. As we all know, the U.S. pharmaceutical industry has gotten quite comfortable in the past 20 years with extorting fabulous sums of money out of the U.S. government and private citizens in the USA, who pay far more per capita for their drugs / biologics than the citizens of any other country on the face of the Earth.

        It is time for today’s lawmakers in the USA to reconsider the current rules that would lead an American scientist, funded by the American taxpayers, to take his invention to a nation outside the USA because the U.S. landscape for vaccine development is simply that regressive and prohibitively expensive in terms of dollars and time. The fact that there is now overwhelming evidence in support of the safety and effectiveness of a live HSV ICP0- mutant vaccine apparently is irrelevant; there is simply no viable path forward for an effective herpes vaccine in the USA. The U.S. Congress, and the U.S. Congress alone, has the power to change the legal landscape and restore the USA to its former status as a country capable of developing life-saving and/or live-improving vaccines. It is up to Americans who have suffered with chronic herpetic disease to demand a change, and demand that this disease finally be addressed (1) at home in the USA and (2) friggin’ ASAP. – Bill H.
        I couldn’t help to paste all of it due to its importance.

        CJ, I found it interesting that you mentioned your tailbone, the virus travels up nerve pathways and rests at the base of the spine (tailbone), where it remains “dormant” (We wish for)! When the virus is triggered or reactivated,(seemly all the time), it travels down the nerve pathways. My nerve pain shows up mainly on my left side, the tailbone, buttocks, hip, thigh, and even my foot at times, it used to show up before my breakout, so I had an indication the herpes virus was reactivated and coming!, but now things have stepped up, my nerve pain is sticking around regardless of an outbreak or not. when one area is just starting to go away (3 to 4 days), another area begins. Also, I calculated I have about 24 plus breakouts a year. I made it a habit to journal or keep a track record, it will be 2 yrs next month. I am a calm laid back person, I don’t have a stressful life, I’m aware of food triggers, I eat a healthy plant-base diet, so what I’m getting at is, I’m not a stressed out, fast paced, anxious individual, that eats a poor diet, which greatly risk the chances of awakening the “beast”, yet’, here I am, multiple breakouts, why?? I stopped taking the 1000mg of Veltrex, didn’t help much and hard on my liver and didn’t do anything for the nerve pain, not even 800mg of ibuprofen, I even tried a sunburn gel with Aloe Vera in hopes of relief, it didn’t work and very painful to apply, that’s how desperate.

        My concern is, even after the vaccine, will the nerve pain still be there?, I’m scared about this. I was relieved to find I’m not alone with experiencing nerve pain, I originally thought it was the result of having shingles at the same time of my initial hellish HV breakout, that it had done the damage, after all they are in the same family. The pain of my outbreaks varies each time, never pleasant that’s for sure.

        It’s about time this silent epidemic is eradicated once and for all, it has been around way, way, way too long. So grateful for all those working diligently on our behalf for a cure/vaccine to put this beast asleep forever!”

        KAM

        Like

      • RealScience77 says:

        Kam, wow, I’m blown away about how similar our symptoms are. I just like you try to live a fit and healthy life. I have yet to identify any triggers because now it just seems to be constant symptoms all the time mostly related to nerves. I also find that I am light head (brain fog) more these days and I am convinced there is a connection somewhere.

        It will be coming up on 2 years for me in June 2017. Another thing that has really bothered me about all this and what gives me hope is that there are others suffering these neuralgia symptoms. It’s impossible to talk to medical professionals if they have no accurate data to go on and are not educated. If you would like to connect sometime to discuss let me know. I could sure use the support from someone who understands what I’m going through. Obviously I have kept the diagnosis a secret to most, but explaining the symptoms when you can’t reveal the source gets me so frustrated sometimes.

        Getting back to what Dr Halford is doing. If I am lucky enough to fly to where the vaccine will be available I will be doing my part upon my return to the millions that are suffering by spreading the word to people, to doctors and to congress through forums and social media. The pain and suffering we face physically and emotionally should be heard, not muted. I also worry if we have permanent nerve damage or not. I guess time will tell especially if the vaccine is made available in the near future.

        As the symptoms have persisted over the past year and half for me I have grown away from realization that one day I could say I didn’t have HSV (as some people hope for this), I am more concerned now with just living a life that symptom of this virus. That in the end would make me happy and restore my lust for life.

        -CJ

        Liked by 1 person

  115. Chloe says:

    So this vaccine isn’t a cure? But, it promises for a better control? And a better chance to not pass it on? Should we be getting excited about this or really just face the fact that we will never be able to say, “I don’t have herpes.”

    Like

    • Mark says:

      We, the infected will never be completely cured or what I assume you mean (virus being completely eradicated) unfortunately the virus is hidden in our nerve ganglia where our immune system can’t get to. However, we can be functionally cured which is Dr. Halford’s goal. It will be in our system not able to cause symptoms or be passed on (eliminate viral shedding). Think of the chicken pox virus and other viruses that we bump into that hide in our bodies and don’t really do anything but can’t be eradicated.

      A functional cure would be the next best thing. Correct me if I’m wrong Halford?

      Like

      • Herpes Vaccine Research says:

        Hi Mark,

        Yes, you are correct. I do understand the appeal of Crispr/Cas9, which is that in theory that people who are infected with HIV and herpes simplex virus may (it is hoped) entirely remove the virus from their body. In practice, that has never happened once in a human being or an experimental animal model, and the basic constraints of pharmacology suggest that this is a long shot to ever work.

        So, then, what can be reasonably achieved? The available evidence suggests either (1) radically better antiviral drugs (possible, but yet to reach the market) or (2) a therapeutic HSV vaccine that does exactly what Mark says….gets the adaptive immune response to HSV back in the game for people who have recurrent herpes symptoms that are off the hook (i.e., more than 6 outbreaks per year).

        What is unique to vaccines is the ability to prevent disease before it occurs. If we could magically vaccinate everyone in the world who does not have genital herpes with a highly effective live HSV vaccine (which is what RVx has), then the transmission of genital herpes to new persons would effectively cease, and in 20 years, people under the age of 35 would have never of heard of herpes in their peer group.

        So, yes (1) a therapeutic HSV-2 vaccine is a practical and immediately achievable way to reduce herpes symptoms in those people for whom acyclovir and valtrex are ineffective and (2) a prophylactic HSV-2 vaccine is a way to protect the other half of a herpes-discordant couple such that there never needs to be the fear of intimacy, because the prophylactic vaccinated person will have pre-existing immunity to HSV-2 (and likely HSV-1) that will negate the risk of acquiring genital herpes.

        That’s the long answer. Short answer…..yes Mark, what you said.

        – Bill H.

        Liked by 1 person

    • enceladus_ says:

      Both. It is what it is and we have to accept the fact that we have this virus for life. It integrates into our DNA and essentially makes us all GMOs in the same way that the chicken pox virus does. But the more I learn about viruses, the more I realize that viruses have always co-evolved with humans and have even contributed to some important evolutionary developments. According to Johns Hopkins “50 percent to 80 percent of U.S. adults have oral herpes. According to the National Institutes of Health, about 90 percent of adults have been exposed to the virus by age 50.” So this means that people with herpes are in the majority anyway even though most want to forget they have it. I seem to go through periods where I experience symptoms of some sort or other every day for weeks at a time, then they go away for a while, then they’re back. There is also a correlation between frequency of symptoms and viral shedding frequency. So, although I am really hopeful that a therapeutic vaccine might reduce my PITA HSV-2 symptoms, even more importantly I am hoping this therapeutic vaccine could also reduce the risk of transmitting the virus to someone I care about. This treatment could also help prevent parents who get cold sores from passing the virus on to their children. And that’s just the therapeutic vaccine. Then there’s the prophylactic vaccine that could offer a viable level of protection for people not yet infected. Nothing works 100% of the time, but I am excited about how well this therapy has worked on animal models as well as the positive responses reported by the people who participated in the pilot study. So, I will always feel a moral obligation to give people the heads up that I have it, but I am hoping that if and when the vaccines are released, if we both have had our herpes shots that it will not be such a big deal.

      Like

  116. DownButNotOut says:

    Dr. Halford.

    Thank you from the bottom of all of our hearts for what you are doing.

    It is clear why targeting those whose immune system poorly controls the infection is the primary goal – both because of clear display of vaccine’s effects and of lessening of actual physical suffering. Great to see that is progressing.

    Might I suggest that a likely second impact that can be immediately created – and that would affect a MUCH larger group (the 90-95% whose infections are under some native immune control) – would stem from a study to determine the shedding reduction values that the vaccine results in.

    As the story goes – the biggest part of the damage of this infection is psychological, not physical. Those 95% – who are made pariah for fear of infecting those they love – illustrate the psychological damage.

    Not sure if you can elaborate on the targets and goals of the upcoming study, but here’s a voice of hope that a study determining the effects of the vaccine on virus shedding rates is not far behind.

    Thank you again,

    DownButNotOut

    Like

    • Mark says:

      For the first couple years I was getting outbreak after outbreak. I went on 6 months suppression therapy and had one outbreak and nothing for 6 months. I went out lastnight to celebrate a friends graduation and had consumed alcohol and woke up this morning with an OB. Wow, just when I was feeling like they were gone forever they had to pop up their little heads.

      I am feeling so depressed 😦

      Like

  117. LVH says:

    Hi Dr. Halford,
    Quick question. I looked at this part of a recent interview with you, and while it gave me great hope, it also left me a bit confused:

    “JB: You mention a ‘functional cure on this horizon.’ Can you give us an idea of how close the ‘horizon’ may be, and whether this could be due to the Theravax vaccine, or a more effective vaccine that we are not yet aware of.

    WH: I think we are on the horizon right now. My team has a tremendous amount of confidence in this vaccine. Should what we expect become reality, herpes could become a disease of the past before long. ”

    Could you further clarify what you mean by your answer? Does you mean that Theravax (perhaps at a higher dosage) could end up being a functional cure for herpes?

    Like

    • Sarah says:

      Dr. H. Firstly, way to go! Your devotion to finding a vaccine is and will be appreciated by millions world wide. My question: is there a greater risk of lumbar fusion surgery for someone with HSV2?

      Thanks

      Like

  118. Tinker says:

    Don’t you think injection location may affect durability of theravax? If you manage to infect some neurons couldn’t it improve the durability (which is a key factor in hsv vaccines)?

    Many thanks for providing us science and for unmasking fairy tale treatments.

    Like

    • Herpes Vaccine Research says:

      Hi Tinker,

      In experimental animals, the site of injection of the vaccine is relatively unimportant, and almost all vaccination sites I have tested in mice (nose, eye, vagina, footpad) work equally well. There are some very minor benefits to local immunity (i.e., immunizing the vaginal mucosa to optimize protection at the vaginal mucosa), but minor is the key word. The only immunization site I have tried in mice that does not work well is the peritoneum, which basically informs me that I need to apply the live HSV-2 vaccine to cells that it may efficiently infect and replicate within……basically anywhere in the epithelium from the head to the toe. So, bottom line, the protection is systemic in nature.

      Regarding neurons, if you apply a live HSV-1 or HSV-2 vaccine in the epithelium, it will reach the neurons of the innervating ganglia…..mutation of the ICP0 protein does not alter this aspect of the biology of the virus. The same is true with the VZV Oka vaccine…..it elicits a durable immune response because it establishes a latent infection in the peripheral nervous system of vaccine recipients. This is a published fact, and is widely known amongst biologists who study varicella-zoster virus.

      Regarding durability, this is a critical question that the vast majority of vaccine scientists do not fully appreciate. This is where (aside from all the other crap that is wrong with gD-2 subunit vaccines) subunit vaccines fall hopelessly flat on their face. I am not going into the details here for RVx propietary reasons, but what I can say is that:
      1) If one attempts to rationally engineer a live HSV-2 vaccine, the vast majority of mutations will not allow a durable immune response to occur (e.g., ACAM-529; Einstein vaccine; HSV-2 tk- mutants; AuRx vaccine). Basically, if you disrupt the establishment of HSV-2 latency in neurons and subclinical reactivation with your mutation, you will not get a durable immune response.
      2) HSV-2 ICP0- mutants may be, via the right mutations, engineered to give you a durable immune response which is how I came to choose this target 10 years ago. It is not trivial even in the ICP0 gene…..some mutations give you durable immunity and others do not. I worked all of this out in 2007 – 2009, and the paper (Halford, et al, 2010) was published 6 years ago.

      So, Tinker, great question….very important. You are far ahead of the curve of most vaccine scientists whose HSV-2 vaccines of the past 30 years fail to adequately consider what is required for (1) not only a protective immune response in the short term (6 months post-vaccination) but also (2) a durable immune response that will last a human lifetime.

      Welcome to my world……I thought through all of these details between 2006 and 2010, and now I am waiting for herpes vaccine scientists to catch up. One day.

      – Bill

      Like

      • Appreciative says:

        Dr. Halford,
        I couldn’t figure out how to post an original comment, so I’m replying to this one…I assure you that for every person you hear from on this blog, there are a hundred thousand that you don’t hear from. Know that you are inspiring and giving hope to literally millions of people. And I’m sure there are hundreds of thousands, like me, who can’t wait to see ongoing positive Theravax results, and also can’t wait to buy it from Rational Vaccines. There aren’t many people who can say that their work could, and hopefully will, change the world. Keep up the good work, sir.

        Like

      • stevenet777 says:

        Hi Bill, your research and upcoming human clinical studies for live attenuated HSV vaccines is really exciting and ground breaking. Naturally, I hope and pray for your success with this mission.

        I realize you are busy, but if you have time….

        There is one question in my mind regarding any HSV Vaccine development that keeps hounding me, and wonder if you can help me better understand in a reply. There is probably a very simple answer, and I do have theories as to what the answer might be, I just want to be assured that I understand this and so remove doubt from my mind.

        The lead up to the question, and the question itself, is as follows:

        Regarding HSV-2 in particular… When any person is infected with a live wild type HSV-2 they will most likely get an initial outbreak, and repeated outbreaks afterwards. Then, depending on the individual certain things will likely happen…

        1) Some healthy HSV-2 infected individuals will have outbreaks that become less frequent over time until finally at some point (within years) outbreaks will be pretty much controlled by one’s immune system – which is the best one could hope for, short of a cure or functional cure, although shedding will still occurr.

        2) Other healthy HSV-2 infected individuals will have recurrent outbreaks for life that are more frequent. And with some persons, far more frequent.

        As well, if a person is infected with HSV-2 in one part of the body, that does not necessarily give them entire immunity from becoming infected with HSV-2 in other parts of the body.

        My question is…

        How will being vaccinated with your HSV-2 ICP0 produce an immunity response that is so different from the wild type HSV-2 in the individual’s body as to cause total whole body lifetime immunity and without shedding?…

        In other words, if being infected with the real thing (the wild type HSV-2) does not cause the victim to develop a life long whole body immunity to future HSV-2 outbreaks, or infection to other parts of the body, or from shedding, why do you believe the HSV-2 ICP0 mutant will accomplish what the wild-type HSV-2 failed to do? ….

        So, to sum up… why would a person’s immune system work so differently with HSV-2 ICP0 (creating life-long whole body immunity without shedding) then it does with the wild type HSV-2 (causes recurrent outbreaks, not fully preventing infection to other parts of the body, continued shedding)?

        I want to learn why this is the case.

        Thank you Bill.

        Blessings,
        Steven

        Like

  119. Guess says:

    Mr. Halford your presentation said theraVax was able to actually able to reduce symptoms of HSV 1 just as good. This leads me to believe that if HSV 2 infected get provax HSV 1, the virus will be nerfed for HSV 2. Since the virus are more or less the same and the body doesn’t build immuity to HSV 1 virus if you get infected by wild strain of other. Do you think this could be a correct assumption?

    Like

    • Herpes Vaccine Research says:

      Hi Guess,

      I think I can offer a simpler and more accurate interpretation, as follows. The data suggest that the HSV-2 vaccine we are currently testing might reduce the symptoms of all forms of herpetic disease driven by HSV-1 or HSV-2 (e.g., ocular herpes, oral herpes, whitlow, or genital herpes). Likewise, in the context of a preventative vaccine, the prophylactic HSV-2 vaccine delivered to children (along with other childhood vaccinations) would likely protect against all forms of herpes.

      Hence, the separate line of HSV-1 vaccines might not be necessary at all. However, what I offer is a hypothesis (possible interpretation) based on only limited human data. The real answers will emerge in subsequent clinical trials with hundreds of people. So, the first trial is great and says we are on a new path that leads (for the first time) to the global eradication of herpes. However, the specific details of how best to get there will require subsequent trials, shedding studies, ocular herpes trials, oral herpes trials, etc., etc, etc until we have all of the answers.

      – Bill H.

      Like

  120. Gary says:

    Hi Dr Halford.

    Incredible work!

    Couple Questions.

    Does your vaccine have any results or data in regards to Cold Sores?
    If a person suffers chronic cold sores, would your vaccine show any efficacy against them?
    Did your trial or any of the participants, suffer or record any decrease in them?

    Please advise.

    Like

  121. William says:

    Hi Dr. Bill.
    I contracted HSV2 back in November 2015. Since then, I have weekly recurrence. My doctor advise to go on a 3 month suppression of 500mg valacyclovir daily for 3 months to bring down the level of active HSV2. Tried and done, HSV2 resurface 3 days after my last dose. Right now, I’m trying 3000mg Vitamin C with 2000mg Lysine. Only manage to keep HSV2 at bay for at most 3-4 days, after which, recurrence will happen again. This weekly pain is really causing a lot of issues to me. I don’t smoke, I seldom drink, I’m healthy and fit, yet, HSV2 still happens once every week. Please help.

    Like

    • Liz says:

      Dear William,

      I noticed on the final blog entry that Dr. Bill will not be very active in replies in the coming months, due to analyzing data and the work that they need to do to hopefully make this available.

      On a more personal note, I have had HSV2 for over 20 years. Healthy lifestyle, no smoking, rarely drinking, etc. For myself, I’ve noticed if I am under loads of emotional stress (i.e. prior to my father dying…months of running around, family conflict, etc) I had/have outbreaks every couple of weeks. It would barely be healed and breakout again. For me, finding a way to control my stress has been key to less breakouts. I still get them every couple of months but that’s a heck of a lot better than weekly and bi-weekly. Best of luck, hope this is of some assistance for you.

      Like

      • William says:

        Hi Liz

        Thanks for your advice. I can’t seem to identify what’s the trigger for me. I can go on a holiday, and out of no where, it recurs. Same as you, even before the previous episode fully recovers, the next one appear right after it. When all are fully recovers, it re-appear again after 3 days of peace. Currently, i’m trying Lysine + Vitamin C, but still, doesn’t seem to work. The only help so far is to take in Valtrex tablet once a day, but i’m afraid that it may damage my kidney/liver over time.

        Like

    • Vitamin C says:

      Hi William,. I have had similar challenges with OBs since contracting HSV2 over 3 years ago and I don’t want to use Valtrex daily. I found two things helpful:
      1. Intravenous Vitamin C. I did this monthly a few times as well as an intramuscular injection of Lysine
      2. I also let an outbreak go rather than using Valtrex. I watched the OB carefully to make sure it didn’t get out of hand – it finally resolved in 14 days. I kinda regard OBs as an opportunity to build antibodies
      I continue to get OBs with my period but they are less severe and not back to back anymore. Sometimes I use Valtrex if I’m too “tired” to deal with the OB.
      I also take Seriphos on a regular basis to reduce cortisol.
      You should also get your iron levels checked. Low levels can be associated with frequent OB.
      Oral vitamin C and lysine nevered for me but the intravenous dose did.
      Good luck

      Like

  122. Geo says:

    Dr. Halford,

    I know many people will request to be part of your trials. I just want to let you know I have the flexibility to travel at your request. Please consider me as part of your trials. Thank you so much for your consideration. I do have a question…. when will could we expect the next update? Please advise.

    Like

  123. Joe says:

    Hi Dr Halford,

    I do not need you to post my comment however, I felt this was the only way I could be sure my message would be heard. I am a 32 y/o male who tested positive 2.8 igg for HSV 2 and have chronic symptoms. Any chance I could participate in the next clinical trial? I live in Key West so St Kitts is a jump across the pond.

    Thanks!

    Like

  124. Geo says:

    Hello I know the primary focus is HSV-2 for this vaccine when available can a person diagnosed with HSV-1 take it as well? Is this vaccine kill the virus or just keep it in its dormant status. I know you may have answered this question a million time but I am a new diagnosed HSV-1 and this is the first light I seen since being diagnosed. Thanks for all the hard work and may God continue to guide you to success. Once it becomes available you will post it on here correct?

    Like

  125. Branwell says:

    Howdy! At your leisure, I would appreciate an update on the availability of the HSV ABVIC test. I have received a low positive HerpeSelect result, and two separate “indeterminate” western blot results, for HSV2, so I would love to see if your test might give a conclusive result. Thanks for all you and your team have done.

    Liked by 1 person

  126. afadel1 says:

    1) Will the theravax vaccine be curative or reduce shedding/breakouts.

    2) I would love to be apart of a clinical trial, are you still needing people. And would you post details on your blog if so

    Like

  127. TVEC says:

    Hi Bill,

    Is it harder to produce a live attenuated vaccine or a subunit vaccine? Is there a paper of yours somewhere that describes the process of synthesizing the ICP0 mutant vaccine?

    Thanks,
    TVEC

    Like

  128. Petrol says:

    Dr. Halford,

    Thank you for your devotion to this research, it will be a “game changer.” I read with interest your views on testing, and why testing in other countries makes sense. Bravo. Scientists have to be almost anti-establishment sometimes to herald an idea. Kerry Mullis, 1993 Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry comes to mind, an unorthodox thinker, who developed polymerase chain reaction (PCR) while driving in his car (he had written a program that did his job at work).

    Three questions:
    1) Your view on Einstein college of medicine’s herpetic research
    2) How in the $*#*$@@ are you still an “associate professor?” What does SIU want to grant you full professorship? They built the facilities around your research for heaven’s sake. Who do I write to?
    3) Billions from founders of Microsoft and Facebook are getting doled out for medical research, how in the world does this not qualify for a huge grant (I’m hoping your test to distinguish HSV and HSV-2 will flood your university and your research with funds).

    As for government pinheads, oh yes, oh yes. I live in Houston and watching the documentary on how the FDA treated Dr Burzynski was outrageous. Whether you believe in his methods or not how the pinheads clamp down on research is appalling.

    Thanks

    Liked by 1 person

  129. john says:

    hello sir , i am now 24 hours in front of computer ,waiting for your replies …..please tell some thing …….we want to hear something from u sir………..please reply something…..

    Like

  130. Ricardo Torres says:

    Bill,
    You work has generated a lot of buzz on some “support” sites. It is almost like the Presidential election with some taking sides. You have alot of haters and doubters out there. On some sites you can even mention your work because the site owner says it gives people false hope and that your work is based on “bad” science.
    My faith is in God and you. I believe in what you are doing and your approach to the problem. I believe that you will succeed where the others have failed.

    One doubter says that you won’t have the vaccine ready in time frame that you have said and that it will cost tens of thousands of dollars for the treatment. He pushing for the other vaccines like Gen 3.

    If you can give a range of how much you would you say the cost will be for the treatment with Theravax when it is ready for market?

    Thank you again, I am a believer in you and your work and I try to spread the message of hope to others by sharing you work with other who are affected by this virus.

    May God be with you! Rick

    Liked by 1 person

  131. HOPE says:

    Dear Dr Halford,

    I’m a 58 years old french woman and recently got the virus HSV2 from a man whom I loved (and still love), who was treated for many years for this but who was convinced that he could not be contagious if not in outbreak periods (max. 1 or 2 times/year in his case)… When I discovered that I had got this infection, I discovered in the same time that even doctors did not give reliable information about the transmission of this disease (it seems as if the risk of transmission of herpes out of outbreak periods is unknown…). I was very shocked by such a discovery…

    I apologize for these first explainations, perhaps I’m not very clear but it’s rather difficult to find the right words in english…

    After so many tears, I found your site and discovered that you fighted this disease for so many years and that you had just published very encouraging news. This gave me hope and hoping makes feeling alive again.

    Now I would like to help your researches and to send some money to your foundation. Has your foundation a partner in Europe who could transmit you the money ? If so, a donation can be recognized and at least 60 % of the donation can be given back in the form of a credit on the taxes we pay… I do apologize again for these explanations which perhaps are not very clear. But if european patients (or not patients) have the possibility to transmit you money through a european partner, this will allow to give more…

    So, do you have a partner in Europe ??? If not, would it be possible to have one in the future ? If all the persons who suffer from herpes could join your foundation, it could help very much and helping this research is perhaps one of the best ways to feel a bit better and less alone…

    I thank you so much for your researches, I wait for your answer and hope that european people will have the possibility to sustain your researches.

    With very best thanks and regards,

    Anne (and Pierre)

    Like

  132. Felix says:

    Hi All,
    I just wanted to mention one of the positive effects of this vaccine, and how it has already improved my life- and no, I have not recieved the vaccine. I’m just a herpes sufferer who follows this blog and has great appreciation for this community.
    I recently have found myself back in a relationship after taking a break from dating. I always feared the disclosure conversation, and it had kept me from pursuing a relationship in the 2 years since contracting HSV-2.
    Anyways, I met a wonderful woman and decided to take it slow, mainly because I wanted to put off having “the conversation.” When the time finally came, I just spit it out. I told her about my herpes and some statistics and facts about this virus. I told her that I would use any and all available precautions to minimize the risk of passing it on to her. I also told her about this vaccine, and how promising it is. That part wasn’t planned, but I guess I wanted to share my enthusiasm about the latest developments in the fight to eradicate herpes.
    Much to my surprise, her response wasn’t one of uncertainly or rejection. She looked at me and said “I don’t want to be with you any less because of this. But YOU have to be ok with having herpes.” It was like she could see all of my insecurities in regards to this viral foe. Well, no more. Today, I am ok with it. I have hope, and with that, restored confidence. I can accept that this virus is a small part of me, but also that great people like Dr. Halford and his team are out there everyday, working hard to give us a better treatment option. And while the vaccine may not be available to us tommorow, optimism and hope are always available in large doses in the meantime. Thank you Dr. Halford and the Rational Vaccines team.

    Like

    • Jim says:

      I think you have lifted many of us up with that story, especially the hope and optimism. Thank you. I’m suffering persistent nerve pain during the past month or so, but I almost feel better already, as I can tell it must have been a weight off your shoulders! Best of luck to you Felix. I second what you say about Dr. Halford… Jim.

      Like

  133. CC says:

    Thank you for your hard work at this frustrating and sometimes painful condition. Is it still possible to become involved in the trials? Are there future trials scheduled?

    Like

  134. john says:

    hello sir ,when will be your vaccine available in market???????? i got this infection after a body massage in a spa …no genital ,oral or anal contact .but still i got that…..i am very disappointed in my life now……

    Like

  135. Hopeful1 says:

    Hi Bill,
    Hope your well?
    A couple of weeks ago, prior to the expo on the 13th I asked about the potential for your therapeutic vaccine to eliminate shedding… Are you able to discuss this some more now the good news is out in the open?

    Like

  136. enceladus_ says:

    I just wanted to thank you again for all of the work you are doing. I just watched the “Audio/Video of the Long Version of Halford’s SIU Tech Expo Talk in 5 Parts.” With regards to Part 4, “Better relief from recurrent herpetic disease.” The results are fantastic! You and your team have really done a stellar job. I really like the way you explained everything, in particular the Western Blot Test results, in a way that was easy to understand. I also liked the way you would talk about how the treatment has affected the personal lives of some of the participants. There were some things in the lecture which also helped me to better understand some of the physiology regarding my own outbreaks and possible causes for the patterns there. Even if it might be a while before the Theravax vaccine is available, it still gives me piece of mind to know that RVx has finally developed a herpes treatment that has the ability to effectively offer relief from the symptoms where other treatments work only half-heartedly at best. This is so very cool. I have been sharing with my friends who are in the same boat. It has been exciting to watch the progression of your innovations as they unfold. It will be very interesting to see how the phase II trials work out.

    Liked by 1 person

  137. Felix says:

    Hi Dr. Halford,

    Congratulations on the success of the first human trials for this ground-breaking vaccine. I hope that the scientific community takes note of this medical milestone and puts their support behind the cause.
    I have a couple of questions that I hope aren’t too early to ask, as I know that the data is still being examined..
    Did these trial results meet or exceed your expectations?
    And did the study participants continue to have hsv-2 outbreaks with lesions after their final doses?
    Thank you so much. As always, you and your team are appreciated beyond words.

    Like

  138. enceladus_ says:

    Dr Halford,

    I have been following this blog for almost two years and it is very exciting to see how fast things have progressed. You have been working very hard on this and it seems like things are finally picking up momentum. This blog has been and continues to be a very important outlet for a lot of people. Thank you for all that you have done and for your steadfastness in continuing to push your innovations through all of that red tape despite the difficulties that have delayed achieving success. On behalf of all of the people you continue to serve, we appreciate you. Wishing you the best of luck at the expo today, and looking forward to seeing where things go from here.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Inloveandpraying says:

      Dr. Halford- I hope your vaccine is an amazing success. I thought it was slated for 10-13 but I will wait. I am one half of a discordant couple and admit I refuse to risk the pain of HSV2. I have HSV1 orally and it is excrutiating for me when I have had a sore on my lip. 3 wks to heal and so painful. I love her, Bill. I am selfish. I will risk emotional pain but even 1 in a thousand is too high for me. If you need a volunteer for safety trials on a mutant vax, I will fly to you if you need a person to take the shots.

      Like

  139. G.S. says:

    Dear Bill , on behalf of all your followers and patients to be … i would like to wish you all the best for tomorrow … you are the reason i have hope everyday since i got my HSV diagnosis… we will be waiting for the updates here on the 16th

    thank you

    Like

  140. Hope says:

    Hi Dr. H.

    Here’s my question. I hate to dampen the enthusiasm out there, but if phase I clinical trials haven’t even started, and phase I takes at least a year, phase II takes at least 2 years, phase III takes at least 3 years, and then the FDA review process takes at least another 3 years, then even if you were to start a phase I trial tomorrow, this vaccine wouldn’t become available for at least 9 years. And that’s assuming it works and assuming there are no hiccups along the way which delay approval or require repeating any of the trials or reformulating any of the vaccines. Of course late is better than never, but for many, the idea of suffering with this illness for another decade is unbearable. So what are the chances a vaccine for HSV could get fast track, breakthrough therapy, accelerated approval, or priority review status from the FDA? And would you consider pushing for some expedited approval process to bring your vaccine to market faster than usually required?

    Thanks.

    Hope

    Like

    • Herpes Vaccine Research says:

      Hi Hope,

      Reasonable question, which I will address in late October. You assume that I plan to play by the rules of the regressive US FDA. However, 95% of the world does not live under the FDA’s jurisdiction. I will focus on eradicating herpes outside of the USA, and later on the FDA can figure out whether or not U.S. citizens should have access to the vaccine without having to hop on a plane or a cruise ship (i.e., international law takes precedence 12 nautical miles offshore of Miami or Los Angeles). Not planning to wait 10 years to run clinical trials or start sales.
      If this seems outlandish, please remember that the live VZV Oka vaccine that has effectively started eradicating chickenpox was first described in Japan in 1974, used in the Japanese population for 15 years, and only then did Merck purchase, and bring back to the USA, with deployment finally starting in 1995.
      Uber did not succeed by playing by Yellow Cab’s rules, and RVx does not plan to succeed by playing by the FDA’s rules that only apply to 5% of the world’s population. It’s up to you whether or not you are willing to travel, and I am perfectly happy to start eradicating herpes in South America rather than North America.
      – Bill H.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Lucy says:

        Hi Bill

        All very positive and thank you as ever for being prepared to fight this crappy system. It’s however slightly depressing for those of us in Northern Europe what with the phenomenal costs involved in potentially three trips to get the vaccine in South America. Of course we understand that the blame for this lies with short sited administrations.

        I guess it’s too much to expect at this stage but is there any likelihood of any European countries jumping on board or is it as I suspect… they will follow the footsteps of the FDA?

        Thank you
        Lucy

        Liked by 1 person

      • Herpes Vaccine Research says:

        Hi Lucy,

        I expect many countries to hop on board, but I am not clairvoyant and simply lack the required information to predict the order (progression) of countries in which RVx will get traction. Here are a few simple facts to consider. The FDA is reticent to grant permission for any clinical trial of any biologic in the 2010s, which is why Merck, Glaxo, Novartis, etc routinely run their first human clinical trials in Eastern Europe, India, China, Mexico, etc., and then bring the final data set back to the USA. It is lame, but the high costs of litigation and the overly litigious society that occupies the USA makes all companies (and the FDA) highly “risk-adverse” when it comes to testing new biologics in the USA.

        However, once the data is obtained anywhere in the world in human beings (i.e., not mice, guinea pigs, rabbits, or monkeys) that shows that (1) the biologic clearly has the potential to be a safe drug or vaccine and (2) the relative risk of “not offering the treatment” is greater than the risk of “offering an untested treatment.” That is, once enough safety and efficacy evidence has been gathered (anywhere in the world) the FDA and U.S. doctors start committing medical malpractice by not offering a proven biologic to U.S. citizens.

        Two cases in point……….Dallas Buyers Club……..public pressure pushed for the rapid deployment of anti-HIV drugs into the human popuation in the late 1980s and 1990s….thus, anti-HIV drugs were developed very quickly. Second case in point….Ebola vaccines…..many concepts were sitting in drawers at the FDA for 15 years (where each filing represents a $5 – $30 million investment of some poor company or individual). The FDA did not grant permission until one Ebola virus-infected person traveled back to the USA and bled out and died in a hospital in Dallas, Texas…….and all of a sudden in 2014, many of those Ebola vaccine concepts started being approved and are now being vetted (due to public pressure).

        So, with RVx, there is every reason to suspect that delivering our HSV-1 or HSV-2 vaccines to any human population anywhere in the world will be precisely the activity that most directly “greases the tracks” for approval of the biologic in every other country in the world. However, as I said at the beginning of this comment……it is too early to predict the trajectory in terms of (1) which 10 countries would be first and (2) how long it will take the regressive FDA to officially recognize that “the risk of not offering live HSV vaccines represents medical malpractice to those who progress to a lifetime of recurrent herpetic disease” and that risk (and legal costs) is significantly greater than “the risk of giving individuals in the human population a series of 2 to 3 vaccinations with a live HSV ICP0- mutant vaccine (that is so attenuated that SCID mice can tolerate it for months).”

        – Bill H.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Mark says:

        Not sure why you decided to delete my messages. Worried some millionaire investor is going to read them and under value your company? Why not address my questions properly instead of running from them?

        Like

      • Herpes Vaccine Research says:

        Mark,

        At some point, I felt that you were not really asking a question, but rather trying to engage in a debate where you are simply out of your depth. Perhaps I am wrong, and so please do feel free to develop your cure for herpes, and I will focus on my own approach. Not wasting my time on this thread any more, which is why I deleted it. October 13 is approaching quickly, and that is where my focus will lie for the next 10 days.

        – Bill H.

        Like

      • Sam says:

        Hello Halford,

        It makes me wonder why there is so much stigma associated with genital herpes, and not oral herpes. When I was at my doctors, I was telling him about my condition and he said that genital and oral herpes are pretty much the same thing. You can get ghsv1 and have many outbreaks or you can get ghsv2 and never have outbreaks it all depends on how your body reacts. The same with oral herpes; some people have many outbreaks yearly while others don’t. He mentioned to me that it’s not really a big deal and is a minor adjustment and most people are infected with herpes so I am not a lone. However, at the end of the convo he told me to let my sexual partners know of my condition which I would have anyways.

        My question is why is it important to let sexual partners know about having genital herpes but not oral herpes? People think of oral herpes as if it’s just an acne breakout not much stigma to it. After he said that I felt he told me everything prior to letting my partners know so I wouldn’t feel depressed. They both are infectious.

        I know there was a marketing campaign years ago by one of the pharma companies to stigmatize it. I think this was evil IMO and a good way to make money out of this skin condition. I believe that we should fight herpes from all angles, not just through vaccines but through campaigns that aim at destigmatizing it because the stigma is a lot worse than the skin infection for most people.

        Thanks.

        Like

      • WB says:

        Hello Dr…thank you for your work. Quick question: In your estimation, to what extent will the therapuetic vaccine have to sufferers of HSV1?

        Like

      • Fernand says:

        Hi Bill Halford,
        First of all i would like to thank you for all your effort and heart about eradicating a disease that affects so many people in the world.
        Second, and it´s just a sugestion, i think you could consider take a look in Brazil as a place to deploy the vaccine or some place close. Here goes some topics that i just thought right now:
        – Brazil and USA are in the frontline about getting a vaccine to beat Zika virus. Many types of Vaccines are being studied, i think a live vaccine is in the course. They have hurry about this. Probably many “FDA´s barriers” are being bypassed in this development there.
        – Comparing the currency brazilian real x dollar, i think it would be helpful regarding the spend of money since the dollar has 3 times more value than the Real right now.
        – Brazilian Health System offers acyclovir for free spending lots of money on this since herpes there affects millions. Would be monetarily interesting to the country to have a vaccine there.
        – After the World Cup and Olympic Games this year, was built a good infrastructure there.
        – Is the 5 º most populous Country in the world. Probably one of the highest herpes rate in the world.

        Thank you forever.

        Like

      • SO DESPERATE PLEASE HELP!! says:

        Hi Dr. H,

        I’ve read all of the typical symptoms of hsv. My question is it possible for the virus to all of a sudden go rogue? I read something around the body no longer recognizing the virus as bad and stops fighting it and would cause ongoing outbreaks. Reason I am asking is that any professional I’ve talked to says my symptoms are non herpetic (diagnosed in 2013 with GHSV-1 with only one primary breakout and no reoccurence since then until now. I am 16 weeks post delivery and have been having significant pain and issues. I’ve gone to see the doctor tested for BV and nothing. My symptoms worry me that the virus has gone rogue and taking over my body. Is this possible?? I’ve been taking valacyclovir the last few weeks but have not actually had any lesions or sores. Could I be in a constant prodromal stage? Could the fact that I didn’t have any other outbreaks diminish my antibody production so now the virus is stronger?? My symtoms include:
        1) right side groin pain off and on
        2) sciatica like pain on right side, pain into periformus
        3) random tingling ie upper lip twitches, vibrations, leg twitches etc even arm
        4) worst pain is the burning in my genital and perineum
        5) crawly/tingly vibrations in vaginal area as well

        When I started getting the vaginal vibrations I thought was prodrome so started the valacyclovir. This has done nothing for these symptoms. Again no lesions or actual sores just ongoing related symptoms. Although a week ago the vibrations started I started valacyclovir right away and they stopped a day later … now they keep coming regardless of the valacyclovir.

        Does this sound herpetic? Could I be having PHN similar to shingles? I thought hsv-1 was “better” type to have and should have less severe outbreaks?? Although I don’t actually have any lesions or areas that are sore… no typical burning or tingling in one spot either.

        I’m so stressed and discouraged. I feel like the virus is taking over. I went from zero impact on my life, getting married, having a baby to not enjoying this time cause I’m in constant discomfort. I’m so worried the virus has morphed into something else and taking over and I’m in a constant prodromal phase? I can’t seem to find much or many with similar symptoms except for a few … is this a rare form?

        Some have suggested nerve pain meds or anti anxietals to calm the nervous system. My question is what is going on with the virus that it has literally taken over my body… with no reprieve. Would the vaccine work in these instances? I feel GPs do not know enough and can’t help and I’m basically turned away. Is there any thought on how to treat this… should I let an outbreak happen to reactivate the antibodies???

        Any insight would be great!

        Thank you!

        Like

  141. Hopeful1 says:

    Hi Bill,

    I’ve read through a lot of the information & can’t seem to find much information on what effect the therapeutic vaccine will potentially have on shedding rates? I have ghsv1 & believe the shedding rates are low for this type? Is there any evidence to suggest that shedding will stop after vaccination?

    Thanks.

    Like

  142. Nina says:

    Hi, i have been reading about the theravax vaccine, does this vaccine erradicates the virus from your system? Or just keeps the virus controlled inside of the ganglia avoiding new outbreaks? Or is just like a booster for your immune system? And as far as I know theres a vaccine available already in Russia since 2009, vitaherpavac what is the difference from this vitaherpavac and theravax?

    Like

  143. Halford Fan says:

    Hi Dr Halford,

    How long would HSV usually stay active on e.g. our hands for? For instance, if someone touched their genitals at a time they were virally shedding, and then went and touched someone else without washing their hands?

    Similarly, is it possible for someone already infected with HSV2, to do the above, but infect themselves with e.g. Ocular Herpes, if they touched their genitals and then their eyes?

    Thanks a lot if you have time to answer these and thanks again for everything you are trying to achieve.

    Stan

    Like

    • GhostVirus says:

      Hi Stan,

      Let me simplify this for you. With HSV there is so much unknown information as everyone is different with how their body reacts to the virus. You can read all day long about HSV and you will find many different answers to your questions which will just cause more confusion. There is no correct answer because nobody really knows how your body is responding to the virus. I had it for 2 1/2 years before I was diagnosed due to a few little occasional bumps on my buttocks and have never had an outbreak other than that. I get to live a life alone because nobody truly knows about shedding or how the virus varies among individuals and I will not put this on anyone else. I know many people are looking for that miracle cure and dedicating their lives for a resolution but we have to be realistic….there have been decades of research and I don’t believe anyone truly knows about the virus on an individual level. Some articles will give hope and I guess that is all we can ask for at this point. The why’s and the how’s are irrelevant because not everyone reacts the same towards the virus and nobody can truly tell you otherwise.

      Like

      • Felix says:

        Ghostvirus,
        Your post made me incredibly sad. You do not have to live your life alone, and you should remember that the MAJORITY of human beings are infected with HSV-1 and/or HSV-2. Roughly 20-25% of Americans woman alone carry the genital version of the virus, and many of them have children and happy families of their own. Don’t let a very common and mostly harmless virus stop you from finding love and happiness. Are the odds good that a cure or a vaccine will hit the shelves anytime soon? Probably not. But are the odds good that you can find someone who accepts you the way you are and accepts the risks (if they aren’t already infected)? Absolutely!

        Like

      • Herpes Vaccine Research says:

        Hi Felix,

        I agree with your comments. I acknowledge Ghostvirus’s viewpoint as a place that many herpes sufferers go. I don’t agree with the viewpoint that “It will always suck, but there is nothing I or anyone else can do.” Yes, hopelessness, despair, and withdrawal are all options, I just don’t think they are the best options. As someone who has been looking his own mortality in the face for five years, I think I am on safe ground saying that I have walked in shoes that could have easily led me to blow my brains out or hang myself. I just chose not to. For the Lord of the Rings geeks out there (such as myself)…….

        Young, scared boy wearing armor that is 5 sizes too big for him: “The men are saying that we will not last the night…..that there is no hope.”

        Aragorn: Long Pause. Heavy Sigh followed by resignation, and one clear, simple, and accurate response. “There is ALWAYS hope.”

        It’s just a matter of whether or not we can find it for ourselves when we are facing seemingly overwhelming odds or obstacles.

        – Bill H.

        Liked by 1 person

  144. Felix says:

    Hi Dr. Halford,

    Congratulations on the launch of your website. It is very informative, well designed, and thoughful.
    I just had a question regarding the vaccine and the way the live attenuated virus travels throughout the body once a patient is given the vaccine. We know that the HSV-2 virus travels along the nerve pathways, and then colonizes the dorsal root ganglion. With as much information as medical science currently has about the virus, is it safe to say that (1) the vaccine travels along these same pathways and (2) poses no threat of a negative interaction or effect on non-nerve cells (ie. T-cells, B-cells, etc)?
    As always, thanks for all of your hard work.

    Like

    • Herpes Vaccine Research says:

      Hi Felix,

      Asking a scientist “Is it safe to say” puts them on a slippery slope, and so Yes/No answers become largely impossible. What we can say is that the vast majority of wild-type HSV-2’s life cycle plays out in epithelial cells and neurons, and so I would anticipate the same is true with a live-attenuated HSV-2 ICP0- mutant vaccine.

      Are negative interactions possible? Yes. At this point in time, anything is “possible.” The relevant question is, “As the live HSV-2 ICP0- mutant vaccine progresses through its grossly attenuated life cycle, are negative interactions probable?” The answer to this more precise question is an unequivocal “No.” Decades of pre-clinical studies show that HSV ICP0- mutant viruses are ridiculously attenuated, which is why it took me seven years to prove to my virology colleagues that HSV ICP0- mutant viruses were even capable of replication in animals.

      Regarding what is proven about the behavior of live HSV-2 ICP0- mutant vaccines in humans, the answer is not much. One has to perform such studies first before one can hope to prove anything. Thank you FDA for making this process unnecessarily cumbersome. Regarding what pre-clinical studies tell us, live HSV-2 ICP0- mutant vaccines should be as safe, or safer, than any of the live-attenuated viral vaccines we currently give our children because they are (1) grossly reactivation-impaired; (2) interferon-hypersensitive; and (3) completely avirulent in every animal model in which they have been tested.

      Until we start testing live HSV ICP0- mutant vaccines in people, all sorts of things will be “possible.” After a few small Phase I trials, I think we can greatly allay such concerns as HSV ICP0- mutant viruses are incredibly benign and are primarily known amongst herpesvirologists for their penchant for easily going to sleep (going latent) upon infecting a host cell.

      – Bill H.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Felix says:

        Thank you for the response. I definitely could have framed my question a lot better, but your feedback is still insightful, as always. I look forward to Phase 1 trials to demonstrate to the scientific community and FDA, that your vaccine is the best chance of effectively combating this virus.

        Like

  145. Halford Fan says:

    Hi Dr Halford

    What could possibly be the risk concern to people in the medical profession about trialling your live attenuated virus in people already hsv2 positive? Surely there is no risk, given this is attenuated (massively weakened version) of something we already possess? What could possibly go wrong, even just in theory? Stan

    Like

    • Halford Fan says:

      Forgive me, i have just read this… “The advantage of “live-attenuated vaccines” is that, for 200 years, if a vaccine was sufficiently attenuated to make it safe for most recipients, then the approach never failed to protect the human population from the intended viral disease. The downside of traditional live vaccines is that they were based on random “accidents of nature” (e.g., genetic point mutations) and did not always achieve the desired level of safety. For example, the oral (live) polio vaccine deployed in 1962 was plagued by issues of “genetic metastability.” This means that during the production of the live poliovirus vaccine, the attenuating mutation could revert at any time and regain its capacity to cause human disease. Thus, about 3 out of every million oral polio vaccine doses would produce disease in vaccine recipients that would leave some children crippled. This specific situation caused a great deal of fear and anxiety about the risks of traditional live-attenuated vaccines.” Thanks Dr Halford.

      Like

  146. Vitamin C says:

    Hi Dr. Halford,. Congratulations on the successful launch of your website!!! You must feel very pleased that this part of the process has been implemented! I am most excited that by the time my 6 year old daughter is in her late teens to early 20’s, the STD known as herpes will be a thing of the past. I have HSV2 and contracted it 3 years ago. My worry has always been transmitting it to my daughter by accident. I feel a change in the air!!! A major shift in how herpes is treated and prevented! I am looking forward to the info on the human clinical trials – particularly jurisdiction!!!!

    I have greatly appreciated this blog. I consult it daily because it has provide hope and a sense of control over how to manage the disease due to the info you have imparted. Thank :))))))

    Like

    • Herpes Vaccine Research says:

      Hi Vitamin C,

      Glad to hear the blog has been a useful resource. The Accurate Info portion of the website, particularly the “For Patients” portion, has quite a bit of additional information that is not covered on the blog……9-page summary, lecture slides, and audio and video from this 75-minute lecture on persistent infections.

      – Bill H.

      Like

  147. Halford Fan says:

    Hi Bill,

    It just dawned on me the other day. Finding participants to test your therapeutic vaccine must be far easier than to test your preventative vaccine, in human trials. I know you are considering therapeutic vaccine trials at the moment, but would you consider running preventative vaccine trials too?

    Extremely excited and hopeful for both the imminent new website but more importantly news of how human trials are progressing.

    Your biggest fan,
    Sincerely yours,
    Stan 🙂

    Like

    • Herpes Vaccine Research says:

      Hi Stan,

      Please forgive the edits to your comment. Wording will be important for a few more weeks, and this is why I annotated your comment. In answer to your query, I think the RVx website will offer these answers, but the short answer for now is…..yes, RVx will be pushing to do both types of clinical trials in (1) current herpes sufferers and (2) those who are most vulnerable to HSV-2 infection by virtue of being HSV-seronegative.

      – Bill H.

      Like

    • Theresa says:

      Just saw that your site went live Dr Halford!! Looks great, excellent information , can’t wait to read all the content!! God bless you for your work!

      Like

  148. G.S. says:

    Dear Dr. Halford,
    thank you for everything that you are doing and for your research , you give hope to many.
    i would like to know what do you think would be the impact of the vaccine on viral shedding, or is it still too early to speculate on that ?

    also, and excuse my ignorance, would you please explain what is the difference between the immune response of the body to the wild virus Vs the vaccine which makes the vaccine effective in making the body fight the wild virus.

    thank you so much for all your work

    Like

  149. Claire says:

    Constantly waiting for your website with hope. The desperation of no adequate treatments is too much.
    You said your therapeutic vaccine will be available for type 1, same time release as type 2?

    Like

    • Herpes Vaccine Research says:

      Hi Claire,

      As I indicated to Joshua the website is complete…….just waiting on the web designer to launch it and make it live. I have a post prepared for when the website goes live…..like you, I am just waiting now. I should note, I only just finished last night, so I have not been waiting very long. The hangup is that it took me 6 months, not 2 months, to complete all of the website content.

      Regarding HSV-2 vs HSV-1, I now have a very strong hunch that the Theravax^HSV-2 vaccine would offer relief for sufferers of both HSV-1 genital herpes and HSV-2 genital herpes. We eradicated smallpox caused by variola virus using a similar, but not identical, infectious agent called ‘vaccinia virus’ (aka cowpox virus)…………hence the origin of the term “vaccin”[ia]”ation”. HSV-1 and HSV-2 are far more similar [90%] than variola vs vaccinia [maybe 50%], so clearly it is within the realm of possibility that a therapeutic HSV-2 vaccine could offer relief to recurrent outbreaks / symptoms driven by both HSV-1 and HSV-2. A little birdie suggested this possibility to me. Will discuss more thoroughly before the end of October 2016.

      – Bill H.

      Like

      • Lucy says:

        Hi Bill

        I know there is a lot of impatience here… A bit like the last 100 meters to the finishing line! You mentioned the same vaccine (Theravax) may work for HSV1 and HSV2 … Does that mean that if you have HSV1 you’ll acquire antibodies for HSV2 and visa versa? You mention it will help sufferers of genital HSV1 and HSV2… Does that apply to Oral HSV1 as well?

        Like everyone I appreciate the work you are doing and hope this is a valid question to ask.

        Like

      • Herpes Vaccine Research says:

        Hi Lucy,

        Please appreciate that what I offering is a working hypothesis for which there is only limited evidence. Hence, everything that I say represents an important new possibility, and it will take time to see if the evidence bears out the prediction. I will gloss over (not discuss) the supporting evidence for the moment and will get to the possibility I am offering.

        The possibility I am suggesting is that not only would a therapeutic HSV-2 vaccine be capable of (1) dialing back an individual’s symptoms who suffers with recurrent herpes driven by HSV-2 (of any type…on genitals, legs, buttock, back, or facial) but there might be adequate “cross-protection” for it might also (2) dial back an individual’s symptoms who suffers with recurrent herpes driven by HSV-1 (oral or genital or elsewhere).

        Do I know this for a fact? No. It is too early to say that. But, what I have observed is evidence that this is not only a “possibility,” but is highly probable and I would say the odds are better than not that is true.

        So, if in the fullness of time this prediction were true, then a single HSV-2 vaccine (therapeutic and preventative) might be able to clean up the whole damned mess, and effectively stop the spread of all herpetic diseases driven by HSV-1 or HSV-2. Based on what I have observed over the past 6 months, I think there is considerable potential for the Theravax^HSV-2 vaccine to offer relief to sufferers of recurrent herpes (oral or genital) driven by HSV-1 or HSV-2.

        Again, this is not proven….yet. But, I think it is an important development because it would be simpler to eradicate all herpetic disease if a single HSV vaccine were effective at stopping the spread of all forms of herpes (oral, genital, ocular, neonatal, encephalitis, whitlow, gladitorium, etc).

        – Bill H.

        Like

    • Claire says:

      Hi Dr Halford
      Great that the website is up! Are we still a long time away from being able to buy this?
      Kind of prayed some information would be there for this. I’d heard that beginning of next year was going to be possible… But seems that’s unlikely…

      Like

  150. Rylee says:

    Dr. Halford,

    I have emailed the addresses for the trial but have not received any feedback. How do I know if mine was received, as well as when trials will start?

    Like

  151. john says:

    Hello,
    I went thru your blog and you said that a vaccine from you would be seen as soon as december 2016. What is the status of your vaccine? Im guessing were not going to see anything other than a decade from now

    Like

  152. Nike says:

    Hi Bill,

    thanks for your great work and commitment. Meanwhile waiting for the real cure I am investigating other viable options . It would be interesting to hear your opinion.
    Company called Biogetica offers Herpes kit with herbal antiviral Hyperisince and homeopatic nosodes. I wonder if using homeopatic nosodes would make sense? In theory they should work as a vaccine stimulating HSV-2 specific response. On the other side the kit suggests to use herbal antiviral.. According to your comments antivirals might reduce immune response with time. I feel some contradiction here. Can you pls comment on this?

    2) Almost all doctors and available info claim that herpes outbreaks happen when immune system gets weaker. However, with info I have read I have a feeling that herpes outbreaks doesn’t have anything to do with general immune system condition but only with specific antibody response. Is your vaccine aimed only to stimulate HSV-2 specific response or also includes immuno modulators to stimulate general immune system response?

    thanks.

    Like

      • Nike says:

        Hi Bill. Hope you are doing ok and will have some time to answer my previous question.
        also it would be interesting to hear your opinion if smth like Low Dose Naltrexone in theory might help to fight with HSV. (http://restormedicine.com/low-dose-naltrexone/) It should boost immune system response. But I wonder if it also boosts HSV specific response or just boosts immune system in general and would be of little help to fight herpes.

        Like

      • Herpes Vaccine Research says:

        Hi Nike,

        Thank you for the reminder. I do not know much about naltrexone other than that it is an opioid antagonist that typically would be used to help wean addicts off of heroin, etc.

        How it fits into the management of herpes…..I have to profess complete ignorance. I keep hearing more and more about it, so I will have to do some reading and get up to speed. Until then, I have no firm opinion on the matter but I have heard positive things from a handful of herpes patients.

        Looking at and responding to your other note now.

        – Bill H.

        Like

      • Nike says:

        Thanks. You are right Naltrexone is opioid antagonist. I was referring to Low Dose Naltrexone use (4.5 mg). They claim that it blocks opioid receptors for couple of hours which then stimulates body to produce more endorphins (as it felt shortage of production by blocking). In its turn endorphins is one of the key factors in the ommune system and it boosts immune system.
        Now there is a question. Will it help with herpes if it boosts general immune system? Is there a chance that it will also boost hsv specific immune reply?
        This question actually applies to other methods of immune system boosting.Does boosting ( as advised by dictors) of immune system (vitamins, healthy diet, no alcohol etc) means that all specific pathogen reply like hsv is also getting boosted? Or it will boost your immune system but will not help with herpes as it’s more about teaching immunity to recognize virus (quality vs power of innunity)?Knowing your knowledge of immune system it would very interesting to hear your opinion.

        Like

      • Joshua says:

        given how many people have far fewer if any outbreaks than others with hsv2, is it possible there are subtypes that have not yet been discovered? ones that are more virulent than others?

        Like

      • Herpes Vaccine Research says:

        Hi Joshua,

        Please read the Accurate Info for Patients Document on RVx’s website, which should launch in a few days (rationalvaccines.com). The website is done and the review is complete……I am only waiting on the web designer to launch what already exists.

        – Bill H.

        Like

    • Herpes Vaccine Research says:

      Hi Nike,

      I am personally not a fan of herbal remedies, but in this space, if it works for you, then why not do it or try it?

      You use the term “herbal antiviral.” While an herbal might have an antiviral effect (I am skeptical but acknowledge that I don’t know what I don’t know, and I don’t know much about herbal medicine)…….these are not the antivirals I am talking about on this blog. At this point in time, there is only one class of true antiviral drugs that interfere directly with HSV replication, and these are acylovir-related drugs (acyclovir, famvir, penciclovir, valacyclovir) that all target HSV’s thymidine kinase to be converted into DNA chain terminators that can stop HSV replication. When I say that “antivirals may blunt the natural immune response to HSV,” I am very specifically referring to acyclovir-related drugs.

      If helicase-primase inhibitors are ever made available (BTW…thanks FDA for blocking those), then these drugs, such as pritelivir, would also be antivirals that directly interfere with HSV DNA replication by a different pathway, but which should also (most likely) blunt the body’s natural immune response to HSV.

      Herbal medicine, vitamins, supplements and everything else that falls into the medicine that traditional doctors do not advocate is irrelevant to my considerations of (1) antiviral drugs that directly interfere with HSV DNA synthesis and which, as a group, (2) should logically reduce the virus’s ability to engage the immune system and maintain natural immunity to HSV.

      Regarding point 2, doctors and patients need to distinguish between:
      (1) general immunosuppression of the ENTIRE immune system (e.g., someone with AIDS, a woman who is pregnant [high progesterone levels], or on steroid drugs like prednisone)

      versus

      (2) “HSV-specific tolerization of the immune system,” meaning that the rare HSV-specific T- and B-cells in your body that should give you true immunity (i.e., no herpes symptoms) are simply not engaged in the game.

      I would agree that general (global) immunosuppression of the ENTIRE IMMUNE SYSTEM is rarely the explanation for why people are getting chronic herpes outbreaks, and for those few patients (less than 1 per 3,000 HSV-infected persons) where this is true, a simple review of their medical history and verification that they are not frankly anemic would be sufficient most of the time to catch those cases. So, yes, I agree with you…..general immunosuppression is not the explanation for why the majority of patients experience herpetic disease such as genital herpes, cold sores, or ocular herpes that recurs at an exceptionally high frequency (i.e., more than 6 times per year).

      I think the piece of the puzzle that everyone is missing (scientists, doctors, and patients) is that for many sufferers, recurrent herpetic disease in all forms (>6 outbreaks per year) may very often be a “disease of immunological tolerance” where the T- and B-cells (the T-cells in particular) that should be protecting you are “burned out” on HSV’s antigens and have become non-responsive. In many chronic viral infections, when the body is constantly being exposed to the foreign proteins, the B- and T-cells may be duped into believing that the foreign protein is a “self protein” (part of you), and so they dial back what might be a potential autoimmune response. Logically, if your rare HSV-specific T-cells and B-cells quit engaging (fighting) the virus, then you should experience recurrent herpes symptoms way more (30 to >180 days per year) than HSV latently-infected persons who are always asymptomatic or who “only” experience 1 – 2 mild outbreaks per year.

      – Bill H.

      Like

      • G.S. says:

        Dear Bill,
        i’ve recently been diagnosed with HSV-2 , i’m in sever agony over this diagnosis especially because of the fact that i can spread it even without having any symptoms, so my question is , in regards to viral shedding , to what degree do you think the vaccine will prevent viral shedding ?
        i was in complete despair until i found your research, this is the hardest and worst thing that has ever happened to me.

        thank you for everything that you are doing

        G.S.

        Like

      • Nike says:

        Thanks for your detailed reply, Bill.
        It makes sense to me. I am very skeptical about doctors who say that you get herpes outbreaks when you have other chronic diseases, your immune system is very low, under stress etc. it’s more about specifics of recognizing hsv. Then what about correlation between getting cold and having herpes in the same time?.. Might be that hsv specific T and B cells get even weaker when you get cold.

        I am looking now into homeopathic approach which offers hsv nosodes.
        A nosode is a homeopathic therapy that could be described as an ‘oral vaccine’. Nosodes are derived from pathological substances; i.e. tissue, blood, pus, mucus, sweat, urine, feces from a diseased human or animal. But those are not live vaccines. They use more “imprint”of pathogen. I guess you would be sceptical about this since it’s not live vaccine. Unfortunately that’s what is being offered so far on the market so we look forward to your work.

        Like

  153. Rylee says:

    Dr. Halford,
    Glad to see you back interacting on blog. The previous commenter said a mouthful. We are all grateful that you have and still are dedicated to helping us. No one truly understands or cares to understand this condition, unless they suffer from it. We ate left devastated, lost and trying to figure it out alone.
    I checked back to see if there were any updates or I’d the website has went up. Are your clinical trials running or is that why the website is coming, so that we can sign up? How long will a trial run?

    Like

  154. Joe says:

    Hello Dr,

    I hope your efforts to advance a herpes vaccine to clinical trials are going as planned and that you are in good health. I was upset to learn that you are dealing with cancer at a time when you are so close to realizing your life’s work. You undoubtedly have made many personal sacrifices even at the cost of your own health.

    We on this forum are often so preoccupied with our own plight concerning hsv that we forget there are far worse curve balls life can throw. I guess I wanted to say thank you for your lifetime of selfless work and willingness to ignore baseless scrutiny in your pursuits. Screw the haters.

    To quote a deceased proff of mine from college. “Those who can, do. Those who can’t, profess.” You sir are most certainly the former!

    Thanks,

    Joe

    Like

    • Herpes Vaccine Research says:

      Hi Joe,

      Thank you for your kind words and thoughts, so nicely stated. Although my job title is “professor,” I am confident that in short order it will become very clear that I do precisely as I profess. Most people are just not used to thinking of a specific job, or task, as requiring years to complete. Like anyone, I can mow my lawn in 30 minutes. However, the job (task) that this blog revolves around has been ongoing since 2006. Good science that stands the test of time just needs to be done in a very deliberate and methodical manner….dotting i’s, crossing t’s, and triple-checking that nothing was missed.

      I am confident that I can put the ball across the goal line before my time is up, and show my scientific colleagues and medical professionals that we have the power to (1) stop the spread of herpes with effective HSV vaccines and (2) reduce the amount of suffering herpes causes in those already infected with effective therapeutic HSV vaccines. At issue, I believe that many of those who suffer with recurrent herpes do so simply because their immune system was duped by this most stealthy of viruses into believing that herpes is just another part of the body to be tolerated, rather than attacked. An effective therapeutic HSV vaccine reawakens the immune system out of this stupor and gets the body’s immune system back in the game by showing it that HSV is not a friend, but rather is an enemy combatant that must be vigorously attacked, and contained, such that herpes sufferers can have their symptoms dialed back to “asymptomatic” (or as close to that goal as is attainable).

      If you ever saw “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” all I can say is, “I’m not dead yet.” Let’s save mourning for when it’s appropriate. in the meantime, let’s get ‘er done.

      – Bill H.

      – Bill H.

      Like

  155. RuinedLife says:

    Dr. Halford

    What about HSV-1? Would it be easier to remove HSV-1 from the body with CRISPR and or make a live vaccine for HSV-1 over HSV-2?

    Many genital infections today are caused by HSV-1.

    Any input?

    Like

    • Herpes Vaccine Research says:

      Ruined Life,

      I feel like I have answered this question a dozen times previously. No, I don’t think CRISPR is going to be a viable treatment option for anything in the foreseeable future. Rather than repeat previous lengthy responses, I just offer the take-home message here.

      – Bill H.

      Like

  156. Philip says:

    Hello Doc,

    First I’d like to thank you for all the research and work you have done and continue to do to find a vaccine and hopefully a cure for HSV-2. I’m one of the “lucky” ones my outbreaks and or symptoms are minimal as a matter of fact I didn’t even know I had it until I was diagnosed after a girlfriend of mine started showing signs and still today I really don’t have symptoms. Even in my case, with little or no symptoms at all life can be very difficult. I was diagnosed 2 years ago and I haven’t been in a sexual relationship since. I feel like many people here do, as a sexual leper and it’s quite depressing. I have dated but as soon as I inform the other person that we have to use a condom because I have HSV-2 it becomes the elephant in the room and then that is that. I simply can’t knowingly do to somebody what somebody else had done to me, it wouldn’t be right. So that brings me to your work, I’m very excited to hear that you are close to a vaccine for this horrible virus, no it doesn’t kill but it destroys other parts of being a human being. From what I read a vaccine is not a cure but it would protect others from contracting the virus. Is this correct? I know you don’t want to give a timeline but are we looking at a human trial soon? Within a year perhaps? Thanks again Doc. your work is touching lives all around the world!

    Like

  157. Justin Fitzpatrick says:

    Dr Halford,

    i am 46 years old, 8 months ago i took the Zostavax vaccine through my research, i have HSV 2 and although down to 2 – 3 outbreaks a year since i had the vaccine i have had 1 negligible ob. Nerve pain has disappeared in my groin area which i had nagging me for 10 years. I have the confidence now to sleep at night not thinking i am going to wake up with an outbreak or that every tingle even after drinking will result in an outbreak.

    My question is that when your HSV 2 vaccine is released can you forsee and conflict or problems with those that have taken the chicken pox vaccine or the Zostavax vaccine both of which are live attenuated vaccines too?

    Thank you for all you work, im confident you will win through in the end, it just makes sense what you are saying!!!!!

    Like

    • Herpes Vaccine Research says:

      T,

      The answer is no. HIV and Hep C viruses are bloodborne and thus people infected with HIV and Hep C (and other bloodborne agents) cannot donate blood. HSV-1 and HSV-2 are not bloodborne viruses, and so there would be no reason that (1) persons who are naturally infected with HSV-1 or HSV-2 or (2) persons who are vaccinated with a live HSV-1 or HSV-2 vaccine could not donate blood.

      – Bill H.

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  158. Rylee says:

    Hello Dr. Halford,

    I have been reading a lot on the new CRISPR technology for gene editing. One article States in the future this could be a treatment maybe cure option for HSHSV1. What are your thoughts? Do you believe this could be done and possibly work for HSV 2 as well?

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    • Herpes Vaccine Research says:

      Hi Rylee,

      Anything is possible. However, there is no prior precedent to show that this is feasible. That is, many are making the suggestion that gene editing could be used to undo herpes infection or HIV infection by simply removing the virus’s genetic material from thousands to millions of virus-infected cells. However, unlike vaccines, there is not a single example where we have succeeded in achieving such a lofty goal and it is unclear that investigators have even achieved this goal in an animal model much less a human being.

      So, do I think it is possible? It is possible but I do not find it to be terribly plausible….this point is illustrated here starting at 1:30 in the following video…..https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KX5jNnDMfxA

      So, I think it is vanishingly unlikely that an endonuclease like CRISPR could be delivered to every cell in the body that houses a viral infection to systematically remove 100% of the viral DNA from the human body. Honestly, I would be surprised if the technology could be used in a human being to remove 1% of the viral DNA. I do sincerely hope that I am proven wrong. However, I would imagine that the majority of microbiologists (1) who teach antimicrobial drugs to future doctors and thus understand the constraints that have to be met for a drug to work and (2) the strengths and limitations of molecular genetics would generally agree with the assessment I offer above. So, simply stated……….possible but not overwhelmingly likely until there is proof to the contrary from animal models.

      – Bill H.

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    • Rylee says:

      Dr. Halford,
      So that I have a clear understanding- the live vaccine that you are working on will not cure or eradicate the HSV-2 virus? It will surpress symptoms longer and better than current treatments such as valtrex, but persons Receiving the vaccine cannot say ” had HSV-2, but now I do not”? Persons that have this virus will always have to label themselves as “infected with HSV2”?
      I had chicken pox as a child and did not get the vaccine. It wasn’t marketed until later. i was told it would always be in my body, and could reactivate at anytime… Though it hasn’t..
      Just trying to understand so that I am not hanging on false hope or assumption.

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      • Herpes Vaccine Research says:

        Hi Rylee, All that you say is essentially true but I would make a couple of slight modifications.
        I anticipate that the new Theravax^HSV-2 vaccine RVx will be offering would offer an improved standard of care for many HSV-2 genital herpes sufferers. It is probably unrealistic to say that this would be universally true, as valtrex is effective for many sufferers. A therapeutic HSV-2 vaccine would provide a new treatment option for those for whom valtrex is insufficient to reduce their symptoms.

        Second, the beauty of avaccine is that we should be able to eliminate transmission risks within discordant couples by vaccinating the susceptible / vulnerable half of the couple.

        Those modifications noted, i essentially agree with what you wrote.

        – Bill H.

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  159. Felix says:

    Hi Dr. Halford,

    I have been reading a lot about HSV-2, and I find it fascinating that some people have very bad symptoms, while others have practically no syptoms at all. Has it been proven whether this is due to some HSV-2 strands being weaker than others, and if so, are these weak strands similar to what we could expect from a live vaccine? Could there even be potential to replicate these weak strands that already infect people, thus already proven to be safe?
    Thanks for reading, and the biggest of thanks for all that you do.

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    • Herpes Vaccine Research says:

      Hi Felix,

      The difference in people’s variable level of symptoms probably has very little to do with different HSV-1 or HSV-2 strains. Unlike influenza or HIV (viruses that use error-prone RNA replication at some phase of their life cycle), HSV-1 and HSV-2 are DNA viruses that replicate in the nucleus of a cell where our own cells provide DNA “proofreading” functions that reduce the error-rate by 10,000-fold relative to RNA viruses that do not have access to this machinery (i.e., they complete the RNA-dependent phase of their replication in the cytoplasm of our cells). So, for HSV-1 and HSV-2, different strains are 99.9% similar and there is no evidence of which I am aware that strain difference accounts for the different outcomes of infection.

      In contrast, one major variable is the specific conditions of virus transmission. For example, exposure to HSV-2 with an intact epithelium / mucosa (e.g., skin and the lining of the vagina) is probably not nearly as bad as exposure to HSV-2 shortly after a ‘Brazilian’ pubic hair removal, which leaves a lot of damaged skin, or after a 4-hour sex marathon that leaves these protective layers damaged. A second major variable is how the adaptive immune response (antibodies and T-cells) come together to control the infection.

      There are no definite answers here, but my experience tells me that (1) conditions of virus transmission and (2) immune status at the time of infection (e.g., a weekend bender of alcohol does not help the immune system do its job) are probably two of the big factors. For women, the menstrual cycle (which involves massive changes in hormones that regulate epithelial sloughing and dampen the immune response) represents a third big variable. All that said, it has been for as long as I have been in the herpes field been a matter of debate what differentiates the 80% of people who are asymptomatically infected with HSV-1 or HSV-2 from the 2 – 5% of people who live with recurrent herpetic disease.

      – Bill H.

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      • Claire says:

        Dr Halford,

        the same variation can be said for the human genome. 0.1% accounts for most genetic differences which make us all individual. Would the differences between strains, such as KOS and McKrae cause alterations in treatment effectiveness? If a therapy is constructed based on KOS strain for example, would it work for someone with McKrae strain? Or would these genetic differences not matter?

        Some reports state the difference in strain sequencing make one more infective while the other can express infection more often due to variations in LAT genes.

        It’s hard to compare the 0.1% difference of complexity in human genome to that of hsv, but could this small amount of genetic variation have substantial implications for treatment?

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      • Herpes Vaccine Research says:

        Hi Claire,

        The HSV-1 strains to which you refer, HSV-1 strain McKrae and HSV-1 strain KOS, are laboratory strains of HSV-1. It is my impression speaking with clinical colleagues that HSV-1 strain KOS is more representative of how wild-type HSV-1 in the human population behaves, and I note that the strain KOS I inherited from my postdoctoral mentor, Priscilla Schaffer, was only 9 passages removed from its isolation from Kendall O Smith (KOS) in 1964. In contrast, the passage history of McKrae is murkier, and it is probably more laboratory-adapted and it is those adaptations that account for its unnaturally high virulence……..McKrae kills 100% of adult mice whereas KOS kills 0% of adult mice.

        You can choose to focus on strain variation being significant in the human population, but I disagree. If that were true, then there would be localized pockets of population like in Raleigh, North Carolina (an arbitrarily chosen location) where the “higher reactivating HSV-1 strain” you are proposing would cause everyone in that region to have recurrent oral herpes and asymptomatic infections would not occur. In contrast, in Des Moines, Iowa perhaps there would be a prevalence of “low-reactivating / low virulence” HSV-1 strains circulating and thus recurrent oral herpes would be non-existent in this part of the world. I am cool with the hypothesis, but the simple fact of the matter is that there is no evidence collected on the natural history of HSV-1 or HSV-2 spread that supports this interpretation (I note the data dates back to Buddingh, 1953, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/13073293). So, I repeat what I said earlier, strain variation is not the most likely source of the difference in asymptomatic vs symptomatic / recurrent herpes infections.

        In contrast, the natural (simple) variables that one would expect in transmission events are profoundly powerful in affecting outcomes as shown in the following landmark study: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15331741. For example, Figure 1 illustrates how the variable of scarification (breakdown of the innate immune defense of the epithelial barrier) profoundly influences the outcome of HSV-1 infection, and I note the same is true for HSV-2.

        So, strain variation in humans or virus I do not think is the real explanation, but that is at the end of the day simply my interpretation of the available evidence of the past 60 years.

        – Bill H.

        P.S. My tongue is firmly in cheek when I refer to the “landmark” publication above.

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      • Claire says:

        Does gene sequencing and strain variation have any role to play in why a person who already has an oral hsv 1 infection and then acquires a hsv 1 genital infection?

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      • Jim says:

        I’d just like to add two links for the benefit of any further discussion and in no way would wish to attempt to argue against Dr. Halford’s point that the level of disease is more a question of the host’s ability to control, rather than the neuroinvasiveness of the virus.

        I have often felt that in relocating from Europe to Asia some years ago, and subsequently being exposed to an Asian HSV strain, that my European DNA was deficient in dealing with that local strain. There is a paper by Moriah L. Szpara et al. (2014) “Evolution and Diversity in Human Herpes Simplex Virus Genomes” – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3911644 which claims evidence of regional variations in HSV strains across cities, including large deletions and frameshifts (not that that means very much to me, though I copy the text for reference).

        Perhaps more interestingly however (another from my own archives), is the paper “Functional and molecular analyses of the avirulent wild-type herpes simplex virus type 1 (1986)”
        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC252894 which goes further to suggest (the basis of the paper in fact) that there is a balance between neurovirulence and neuroinvasiveness of HSV, such that virus can trade one against the other – that if a virus is more neuroinvasive and therefore more causative in disease, then it does so at the cost of its virulence.

        This is always an interesting topic for me, since the extent to which my own symptoms have impacted me, have often seemed to border on the outrageous and in the past I have tended to blame – perhaps ignorantly – it on a more neuroinvasive strain of HSV-1. Jim.

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      • Lissy says:

        I’m waiting w bated breath to hear Dr halfords response, because I have questioned this too. I got hsv 2 In Charlotte, NC where I developed severe neuropathy from it and I have met one other person Who got the worst case I’ve heard to date in the same location. I had someone ask me recently who is asymptomatic w H, if sleeping w me would result in them reacting as I have, if they catch my strain. That’s a hard question to answer. I now not only fear sleeping w someone w out it, but who already has it and I could possibly cause them what has happened to me. I couldn’t live w myself knowing I inflicted such pain on someone I care about. Here goes to celibacy the rest of my life… Already two yrs and 3 weeks down.. what’s the rest of my life matter? Lol . Get used to it at this point.